May 5, 2011

REVIEW: Pre-release 601 La Bomba

Last Saturday I received a gift in the mail from Eddie Ortega (Co-owner of 601 cigars) for participating in 601's latest promo. I don't know much about these cigars and, from doing some Google searching, it doesn't seem that there is a whole lot of information public yet. What I do know about this pre-release was taken from a post on the BOTL cigar message board and one email exchange I had with Eddie.

"Just got the the samplers of the new 601 La Bomba. Will start shipping them to all who participated in the promo at the end of this week, hope you enjoy full bodied smokes,,,,this is a Bomb. Smoke after a good dinner...:-))

3 sizes will be available:

La Bomba – 5-1/2 x 46
La Bomba – 6 x 50
La Bomba – 5 x 52"

EMAIL exchange
"The only thing I can tell you, is that it’s very full body and has lots of flavor and that its made in Esteli, Nicaragua.  All else, We plan to keep under wraps"

So that's that. I don't know what factory these are being made in nor what the blend is made up of.  This is going to be fun...on to the review!

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: ?
Binder: ?
Filler: ?
Price: ?
Smoking Location: House of Cigar
Beverage: water


The first thing you will notice about the 601 La Bomba is the fuse-like pig tail that finishes the cap of the cigar. We've seen this done a few times recently and some will say it's a copy of this or that, but I, for one, am all for it. Call me crazy, but I like little additions like this to cigars now and again just for some added fun to the vitola. Does it really add anything? No, but I still enjoy seeing some creativity. The wrapper on the cigar was very dark and felt oily to the touch. Squeezing the cigar, I could tell it was evenly packed from head to foot. The pre-lit aroma was strong and smelled of leather and earthy grass. The pig-tailed cap clipped easily and the draw was very free with hardly any resistance. The cold draw flavors were a mixture of natural sweetness and vanilla. 

First Third
My 601 La Bomba only took a short time toasting to really get going and when it did, it bellowed huge clouds of smoke. The first few draws on the cigar tasted very strongly of white pepper -- it was actually a little harsh on the finish. I was a little worried about what this could turn out to be, so I let my cigar sit in an ashtray for a few minutes to give it some time to settle. This was a good idea because the draws following that rest period tasted much better. The flavor I picked up then was primarily leather, mixed with some earthy notes, just like the pre-lit aroma. The draw was great and the construction of the cigar was high quality. The body was in the medium to lower full at this point.

Second Third 

The second third of my 601 la Bomba smoked nicely along. The flavors stayed consistent to the first third with the leathery, earthy tastes both on the front, and on the finish. The amount of smoke this cigar was putting off was very impressive. Right about the half way point of the stick, the body kicked in to full gear. This cigar went from the medium/full range right into head spinning power. I grabbed myself a sugary drink to try to balance out some of the strength.

Final Third and Final Thoughts
The final third of my 601 La Bomba had a slight change in the flavor profile. Just like from the start of the cigar, the major flavor player was leather, but on the finish I started to taste just a hint of black pepper mixing in. It was a nice way to end the cigar because it brought, although slight, a little change to the experience. The body still was rocking in the upper full range all the way to the nub.

My final thoughts on the pre-release sample of the 601 La Bomba? In my opinion, this is a fairly simple cigar and pretty straight-forward from start to finish. With that said, I did enjoy the consistent leather flavor and top-notch construction, which made the stick effortless to smoke. Look for these, you FULL FULL body guys, because I think you will really enjoy the power that it brings to the table.

Would I buy it again? I will buy a few more when they are officially released and sit on them. I am curious to see if, with some age, the flavor profile will mature and become a little more complex.

Would I buy a box? If these are priced similar to other 601 lines I think I would pass on a box, and go with a 601 blue because it fits my taste a little better.