601 La Bomba
Nicaragua Cigar Review

Cigar Review: 601 La Bomba Napalm

The 601 La Bomba line was launched in 2011. At the time the majority of cigar smokers never saw a cigar with a fuse. Sure, there was the Don Pepin Firecracker that was made for exclusively for a  retailer 2 years prior but it was a limited edition that had yet to reach the popularity it enjoys today.

It was a topic on many of the podcast episodes I was part of whenever a new Firecracker would be announced. There was some animosity toward Espinosa for creating La Bomba. I’ve known Erik Espinosa since the days of his partnership with Eddie Ortega when they had a brokerage company that spawned EO Brands and the original 601. We’ve played dominoes together and even though he cheats at Dominoes for a laugh,  I believe him when he told me that he was unaware of the Firecracker when he had the concept for La Bomba. Which he managed to tell me repeatedly every time the subject came up that in turn led to a phone call from Erik on many a drive home from work.

Being out of the industry I can now enjoy a guilty pleasure openly, so today I bring to you 601 La Bomba.

Cigar Review: 601 La Bomba
Size: 5 x 52 (La Bomba)
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: La Zona Cigar Factory (Nicaragua)
Release Date: 2011
Box Count: 10

The Cigar: The cigar features a thin fuse that reaches almost the halfway point of the cigar. The fuse which created controversy is pure aesthetic and does nothing to add to the cigar smoking experience. The cigar is adorned by a black, yellow and white band denoting the brand and the size at the foot of the cigar. We slid it up for photography purposes. The oily wrapper has some veins to it, but nothing that really stands out. In the hand the cigar is firm and it has a nice weight to it that feels heavier at the foot.

The Taste: The amount of spice and pepper is prevalent on the cold draw of the cigar while the foot has an aroma of red pepper and paprika making it appear to be explosive before we ignite it. Once the cigar is lit it starts off with the slightest bit of mocha before an intense pepper aroma causes me to sneeze.

Smoking the first third of the 601 La Bomba I can’t help but smile as I visit an old friend. It’s loaded with pepper though as my palate and cigar smoking have changed over the years it doesn’t seem as extreme as it once did. In addition to pepper, there are notes of cedar, earth and cocoa.

The second third sees the pepper remain the focal point of this ligero heavy blend. In the background is just enough cocoa to offer enough of a contrast. Around the halfway point notes of cashews  develop with an earthy mouth drying finish. I usually retrohale a cigar every 2-3 puffs but with this one the more I smoke it, the less I retrohale it as the spice is eye watering.

As we conclude the 601 La Bomba the spice seems to pull back for a bit on the palate with earth, cashews and caramel being dominant for a bit before finishing with strong pepper notes. It’s a bombastic conclusion to a cigar that has long been a favorite of mine that doesn’t disappoint.

Conclusion: La Bomba was a revolutionary cigar in the sense of its bold spicy profile at its time of release, perhaps being one of the strongest on the market. The name fit the cigar, it was a pepper/spice bomb. These days La Bomba doesn’t appear to have the presence it should. It’s gotten lost as Espinosa focused on Laranja, Murcielago, and of course Knuckle Sandwich. Though I am sure the cigar still does well at some of the big mail order places.

The 601 La Bomba might not come off as strong as it did when released but it is still a flavorful powerhouse of a smoke. Halfway through my cigar I opted to order a box. It also caused me to reflect on the fact that too many times I chase what is new versus cigars that I love.

Score: 94
Price: $11.70 (Before any local or state taxes)

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