601 La Bomba Cigar Review

March 12, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Yes, I love the name of this cigar. The packaging is pretty nice too; they have cheekily put a little bomb where the “0” would normally be in “601.” But who cares about all of that? If the band, which is just a form of marketing after all, is eye catching enough it will get some people to try out a cigar. It’s the taste that will get people to come back.

But before you taste you have to consider the construction. There is a three inch long “fuse” of tobacco sticking out of the cap. (It’s actually a pigtail but let us stick with the bomb motif.)

The wrapper has a milk chocolate color to it and it is oily to the touch. When you look and feel with a little more of a discerning eye you begin to notice things that aren’t completely kosher. There are more bumps than with a normal cigar, more veins than a normal cigar ranging from inconsequential to slightly bigger than medium sized and there are some hard and soft spots. (By “normal” I mean “a quality cigar that you get from a quality cigar company.”)

Personally, this doesn’t bother me all that much as long as the cigar has good smoking characteristics (draw and burn) and tastes good. Let’s find out if it has those things.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Length: 5 ½″
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $72.00/Box of 10 | $8.00/Single

Zombie Flame!

Yeah, it’s a spice bomb. And not the soft, warm kind of spice either; the one that is delightful and easy going. This is all edge all the time. There’s a big part of me that really appreciates that and if that was all this cigar was I would be okay with it. But there is more than just this spicy banzai charge that doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “restraint.”

There’s some hard scrabble earth present along with a streak of sweetness that quickly fades thanks to the intensity of the spice. If pressed, I would say that this spice reminds me of a mixture of course pepper and maybe a little bit of cinnamon.

While doing a little research on this cigar I happened across this absolutely horrendous video from the makers of the 601 La Bomba. Titled “Preview 601 La Bomba” I thought it was going to be about the cigar. I was wrong. Take a look:

Wow. I’m going to take solace in my belief that that video is actually a good thing because it shows that all the money they make they put into their cigars because they certainly aren’t putting it into their videos.

I’m nearing the second third of the cigar now and the flavors are staying true. After your taste buds have had some time to acclimate to the unadulterated spiciness you can appreciate the flavors more. Basically, this cigar is everything the Cu-Avana Punisher was marketed as (and cheaper to boot!).

As I get nearer to the end oak does make an appearance and the spice does moderate a little bit. I’m not sure if the lessening in intensity of the spice is due to the physiology of the cigar or just my taste buds being overloaded but, either way, I’m fine with the change. It is a lot of spice and because this cigar is so unapologetically spicy I love it. That and the burn and draw were both great for this full bodied cigar.

94 points

Baker’s Bourbon

February 4, 2012 · Posted in Drinks · Comment 

Aged seven years and bottled at 107 proof this bourbon is a creation of some distant relative of Jim Beam. Fortunately for this distant relative, grand nephew (new one on me too) Baker (cool name) Beam (structural name), he has made something that is better, much better really, than his grand uncle’s namesake whiskey. But let us not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Baker’s is honey colored with a strong, sweet bourbon scent to it. Belying the fact that it’s 107 proof the first couple gulps are very smooth and the only way you can tell that this is a high proofed bourbon is by the gentle tingling sensation washing through your esophagus.

The flavors are surprisingly mild but that isn’t to say that they aren’t good. I think nuanced may be a better phrase to use than “mild” in this situation. I don’t get the vanilla notes that are mentioned on their site but I do get this buttered bread type of flavor mixed with some honey or mild fruit flavors. They have also described this as being a “silky” drink and I think that makes sense.

Before I started drinking the Baker’s I lit up a 601 La Bomba; you know, the one with that two inch long pig tale at the end and the aggressive flavor profile. It’s a good match for this bourbon. Being a strong-ish cigar with some very admirable qualities it can stand up to the Baker’s without a problem. I do think it’s a good idea to smoke a stronger cigar with Baker’s and this is especially the case when you’re drinking Baker’s bigger, better brother: Booker’s (I’m guessing that’s named after the great-grand step nephew of Jim Beam – or something like that).

Perhaps the best thing about reviewing liquor, besides the actual process of drinking, is that I don’t have to go through the whole “this third, that third” rigamarole when describing it. You can fairly quickly figure out whether or not you like a particular drink and this is one of those whiskeys that I like.

This is a good drink for a number of reasons. First, it has some good flavors to it. It’s smooth enough for my liking but also has a high enough proof to give it a little edge. And it’s a good sipping bourbon, something I like with my cigars. But it’s strong so that precludes lesser cigars as a pairing, which isn’t really a bad thing because who really likes smoking lesser cigars?

Overall, Baker’s is not one of my all-time favorites but it’s definitely a worthwhile drink. However, at this price, somewhat short of $50 a bottle, it won’t be something I go to very often.

601 Black Band Short Cigar Review

October 17, 2009 · Posted in Asides, Short Cigar Review · 3 Comments 

Pre-Smoke

Solid to the touch, looks wonderful, feels oily and a bit fuzzy. The 601 Black Band line features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and the binder hails from Nicaragua. For this review I am smoking the robusto (5″ x 50) vitola (there are a total of five vitolas in this line including the “Rabito” – funny name). The robusto will cost you around $7.50 per stick.

Smoke

The draw requires the faintest of tugs to get a mouthful of smoke. In addition to the great draw the burn is also very even. This is a medium bodied cigar.

Cherry and oak are the first two flavors noticeable. It’s almost like a cherry tinged oak flavor – to be more precise. Smokiness is the other major flavor.

After-Smoke

The 601 Black Band is a nice, easygoing cigar that was quite enjoyable. While it doesn’t offer a load of flavor the flavors that are present are very good.

3.5 points

601 Green Band Short Cigar Review

August 17, 2009 · Posted in Asides, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

Pre-Smoke: I just did a short cigar review for the blue labeled 601. I gave it three points because, even though it is an enjoyable cigar, it just lacked some of the oomph and the flavor that I was expecting from it. I am smoking the robusto vitola.

This cigar looks like a rather pedestrian cigar. Its a little soft with some bumps and it has a couple of pronounced veins. There isn’t much oil on the wrapper.

Smoke: Starts out with an unexpected oakiness and a very loose draw. There is also a grassy flavor to it and a burnt grain note that is quite nice. Medium-full bodied with a decent burn that requires a couple of touch ups.

After-Smoke: I was expecting a lot more richness from this cigar. Even though it has its moments this is an average cigar in my book. It is billed as a full bodied cigar, which it wasn’t. While it is not a cigar that I would shy away from smoking again it was a little disappointing based off of the expectations I had for it.

3 points

601 website

601 Blue Band Short Cigar Review

August 14, 2009 · Posted in Asides, Short Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

Pre-Smoke: If Don Pepin Garcia makes a cigar then it is worth a try or two. The wrapper and the construction are both perfect with the wrapper having some oils. There is a slight box press for this cigar.

Smoke: Sweetness is the first thing that pops into my mind and then it pops back out. There’s some spice and leathery flavors along with some toasty flavors. It is a medium-full bodied cigar with a slightly tight draw and a decent burn.

After-Smoke: It’s a good cigar. The flavors are above average and there is some complexity to it.

601 Website

3 points