Cigar Review: 601 Habano (Red Label)

601 Habano

601 Habano

My site has a lot of reviews for what people would call high end premium cigars. My tastes are expensive but with the downtrend in the economy I find myself smoking cigars that are less expensive. I guess this is a good thing since I got my first piece of hate mail the other days when I reviewed the God Of Fire. I was labeled a cigar snob for the second time in my life.  The first was in a cigar shop when it was mentioned by a friend of mine to the patrons that I run a website which got a response of, “oh you are one of those cigar snobs”. It really bothered me and this email really got to me as well.

There are a lot of great smokes under 8.00 and today we will find out of the 601 Habano fits the billing as one of those cigars.

Cigar: 601 Habano (Red Label)
Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Habano (Nicaragua)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Appearance & Construction (18/20): The brand was created by Jose Pepin Garcia along with Erik Espinosa & Eddie Ortega. The cigars are manufactured at the Tabacalera Cubana factor in Esteli, Nicaragua. The cigar first hit the shelves in 2006, The cigar has a tremendous amount of oils that are just seeping through the wrapper. The wrapper itself is toothy, but attractive at the same time. The cap is centered and after cutting the it there appears to be no major veins. At the foot the cigar shows some loose packing.

Flavor & Notes (26/30): The prelight offers notes of molasses on the draw. The foot offers the same molasses but some impressive spice as well. It is quite clear this will be a full body cigar. Upon lighting the cigar, this smoke has the trademark burst of Pepin pepper. My mouth is on fire like I just ate some really spicy food as we get underway.  As the pepper fades there are notes of sweet spices with some massive pepper through the nose. I occasionally forget this and whenever I exhale through the nose I have a sneezing fit. For a couple of pulls in the 2nd third there was some mocha, but other than that this stick is pretty straight forward.

Burn/Ash/Draw (21/25): The burn line started out a little bit rough and for a while I was scared I would have a canoe before long. I held off on correcting it, and sure enough the cigar caught up to itself. It did however remain wavy throughout. The ash held long and tight it’s color was that of an overcast sky. The draw was a little bit too loose and it did smoke a little to fast for my liking.

Overall (22/25): Definitely not a bad smoke, in fact it was quite enjoyable albeit a tad too quick of a smoke (about 45 minutes, and I am a slow smoker). The flavors are a little bit 1 dimensional but sometimes you want to enjoy a smoke for what it is and not go crazy trying to figure that out.

Rating: 87
Price: 6.00

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  • Travis

    So it’s kind of like a cheap bourbon, it get’s the job done? I like that! For a “cigar snob” you gave a great review for this cheaper cigar.

  • Barry

    I’ll just walk away from that comment with my nose in the air :)

  • Arnie

    Interesting intro. There are people who equate price with quality. If you are one of those, you are not a cigar snob, you are an idiot. There are folks who feel that high price equals hype. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes not. There are those who just want to distinguish themselves and feel special if they have the most unique and ,by definition, most expensive stuff. There are the reverse cigar snobs who think that if you buy quality then you are insecure and tring to make yourself feel better. They are also idiots. There are people who have good taste. There are some who have poor taste. Interestingly, if I look honestly at myself I find that I have a little of all of those things about me. I try not to judge, but sometimes I do anyway. At the end of the day we all enjoy a good smoke. Our definition of a good smoke my vary, but it’s the process that counts; the ritual of feeling the wrapper, the pre-light sniff and the clip. Then the moment of truth: light-up!! The sensual feel of the smoke rolling around in my mouth. All the flavors and the sensations. The buzz! It could be a Muniemaker or a Montecristo #2 from Havana, it’s the process of smoking that I enjoy. (Of course, if given a choice, I’ll take the Monty #2, thanks). Barry, don’t let the bastids get ya down. Just keep smokin’, brother!

  • doc8466

    I must say, I’d prefer you enjoy those “ultra premiums” and keep your comments to yourself. I mean, I wouldn’t want to read a review of a few high end sticks so that if the time comes when I’m ready to splurge on an expensive smoke, I can just choose the one with the sexiest band.
    So when you’re ready to come down to earth with the rest of us, review a bundled stogie that you can get at $19.99 per 25. That’s where it’s at baby!


  • Gary

    I wanted to like this cigar really bad,,,for that matter anyone of these cigars. I have tried every one of them and found them to be mediocre at best. I understand all of the hype these cigars get and for those who love them I will make this vow to let as many who want them,,,buy em up. My preference in a cigar is geared along the lines of lots of flavor, complexity and a good draw. Well, the draw was great but it lacked flavor from the outset as it came off very “peppery” almost to the point of get me some water quick. Cigars are all about taste as far as every smoker is conerned and this one just doesn’t float my boat even though I wanted it to. More for the rest of you.

  • Odili

    It’s too bad some people are getting caught up with price and not the flavor and the taste. To call someone a snob, or even to call someone a cheapskate in the context of cigar reviews is just a form of censorship. I want to read a cigar review to get an insider’s info on the cigar I have not tried, or am testing to know whether I’m going to commit to buying more of it. And I agree with the comment from Gary – it’s all about the taste of the smoker and what they like and don’t like. A cigar reviewer is just a person giving you a slice of their perception. I myself am interested in the 601′s – particularly the green line in the connecticuts, and the oscura, as well as the red habano line. I have a few in my humidor from some old Famous Smokeshop deals and put them away because they were not my taste a few years ago. Recently, I’ve bloomed to them, and want to get some more – so here I am. Personally, my taste is varied, and it reflects my personal style. I know that smoking is dangerous, so if I’m going to do something dangerous, it better be good, and as my time on earth is important to me, I better not waist it with crap mediocrity – imagine spending an hour on something absolutely not worthwhile – that sucks! So, yes, I smoke OpusX, VSG, Padron 1964, Davidoff Millenium blend, Edicion de Silvio, and God of Fire Carlitos, and love them all, but I also dig the 601′s, CAO America and Soprano, Exodus 1959, Torano 1916, Tatuaje Cojonu, Pepin Garcia Blue and Black, Mi Barrio Puros, the MAXX, La Flor Dominicana, Partagas, My Father Le Bijou, Avo and Illusione cigars. I just love a good smoke. I can say that I won’t smoke cheap because it’s cheap – that’s just a bunch of BS whooohee!! Plain and simple, the cigar has got to be good, or as I see it, its a waist of one’s time and one’s life.

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  • sandspitter

    Enjoying one now. Pretty much agree with your rewiew. The only difference was that I had a razor sharp burn all the way thru.

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