My first experience with the 601 brand of cigars was at my friends shop in New Jersey, and it wasn’t a good one. In fact I didn’t get to smoke them due to the fact their was an issue with beetles. It goes with out saying my friend was not happy with the situation and was pretty against the cigars because of that and they didn’t meet his profile. I informed him the cigars were a hot ticket and despite his desired to phase them out in his humidor people kept coming in asking for them to his dismay. The cigar at last checked is now a staple in his humidor and this past week I ran into the rep from the Miami Cigar Company and I was gifted a couple to review.
The 601 Green Label La Punta is described as full bodied smoke with complex flavors and is blended by Don Pepin Garcia. Being heavy into Peruvian Tobacco lately I was hopeful this smoke hailed from Peru as La Punta is a district in the Constitutional Province of Callao in Peru. But the cigar turns out to be a Nicaraguan puro.
Cigar: 601 Habano Oscuro Green Label
Size: 5.5 x 48/52 (Perfecto)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Appearance and Construction (19/20): The perfecto is one of my favorite cigars if done right and this one is done close to perfection. The cigar features a very oily dark chocolate wrapper with a fair amount of tooth. The foot and cap of this cigar are extremely well done and screams premium quality smoke. The cigars bands is gold, and green with 601 in the center. In the past I have had some problems with the burn of Oscuro wrappers, but I am constantly attracted to the oils that make the wrapper shine.
Flavor & Notes (27/30): Prior to lighting up the smoke, I was able to pick up some faint chocolate notes off the wrapper of the cigar. The perfecto foot makes it difficult for me to pick up notes on that end. Prior to lighting up the cigar the notes were a heavenly rich mocha with notes of cinnamon. I would of been content to smoke this cigar dry all day long. I reluctantly took a cedar strip to the foot of the cigar and began my smoking journey hoping that the cigar would live up to the prelight expectations. The first third of the cigar starts off with a slight pepper that is typical of a Pepin produced cigar. The pepper fades and you get notes of mocha and cinnamon which are virtually identical to the prelight notes. As we approach the second third of the cigar there was the occasional introduction of leather that came and went, but the primary notes here at this point are of mocha and nuts with an occasional re-introduction of pepper. These notes however disappear ratheer quickly and the cigar begins to take on the notes of spices and leather, but not bitter.
Burn/Ash/Draw (21/25): The burn on the cigar is Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. At times the burn in straight and event. I look away from the cigar for a bit and the burn is jagged as can be, only to return to straight in a short while. The medium gray ash holds fairly well, but has a lot of flake. So you have to watch it to avoid a shirt full of ash. The draw on both of my samples started off very tough to the point of frustration, but once the nipple was cleared the cigar opened up to a enjoyable draw. I often wondered why people buy a perfecto only to clip the nipple but after this cigar I can unstand the theory behind it. The final third of the cigar has continued spices with some dark coffee notes and a touch of mocha.
Overall (22/25): The cigar while developing into a cigar with a nice draw has a limited pull with reduces the intensity of the smoke and helps keep the strength closer to medium bodied in the first half of the cigar, as the spices begun to pick up in the 2nd half of the cigar the cigar transformed into a full body smoke. The price for the perfecto is almost double that of a corona so if your on a budget like I am these days that provides a nice alternative.
When you buy a perfecto, do you clip both ends of the cigar?
Price: $156.99 a box of 20 from Famous Smoke