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)
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Habano (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.