As you may have heard, the 601 La Bomba line, by Erik Espinosa, is told to be forged of the strongest tobaccos known to man. A legend among cigar folklore, it is said that those who smoke the La Bomba breathe the “fire of the gods”, it is one by which the most powerful must be compared (Okay so maybe that was a tad dramatized).
Early this summer, Espinosa Cigars announced there would be a new addition coming to their popular 601 La Bomba line, and the time has finally come! I submit to you the 601 La Bomba Maduro Warhead – a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro-wrapped cigar that truly holds up to its name.
The 601 La Bomba Warhead arrives in a semi box-pressed, 6 1/2 x 54 ring gauge; like the original, the Warhead is capped with an overly-long pigtail, resembling a bomb fuse. Unlike the original, this “fuse” is weighted down by one of the darkest, oiliest wrappers you’ll ever see! The Warhead replaces La Bomba’s original Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a super dark, Connecticut Broadleaf maduro, this thing is dripping with oil… On the foot of the cigar you will find a cleverly wrapped band donning the 601 logo over a gray, metal-like finish. This is where it gets really cool, unwrapping the band displays a retro, WWII era bomb detailed with a classic “shark face” one might expect to find on a WWII fighter aircraft! Espinosa Cigars really did their homework on this one, and the result is one of the coolest bands you’ll ever see.
While I hate to see the beautiful band go, I was anxious to get this bomb lit! Upon trimming the fuse and cap, you’ll find the Warhead to have a very peppery cold-draw (as expected) with a sweet, mocha smell on the wrapper. Toasting the cigar took a bit longer than usual, simply due to the intense amount of oils in its dark wrapper.
A few puffs into the cigar and I already realized I had made a huge mistake… I was smoking on an empty stomach. Seriously folks, you may have to do some planning and preparation prior to smoking this monster. I’m talkin’ eat a big dinner loaded with protein, maybe even drink a few glasses of water and get a good nights sleep the night before. In other words, this is not a cigar for novices! While smoking the Warhead, I was reminded of my first maduro cigar, I was young, inexperienced, and white as a ghost!
One of the first things I noticed with this smoke was a real heat after the first few puffs. I don’t mean the cigar was too hot, this was a feeling similar to that of a high proof bourbon going down and the warmth that follows back through the chest and throat. The flavors were spicy and greasy, like fresh cracked pepper over a juicy steak. The tobacco imparted a tingling zing when pressed against my tongue, traveling down my throat and back with a real zest I could feel long after each puff.
Through the first inch, I would describe the profile of the cigar as oily tobacco, leather, and pepper, with a sweet, mocha-like finish. Retrohaling the smoke proved more challenging than your average smoke, stinging the nostrils as the smoke left, but with a rewarding strong note of roasted coffee beans not evident on the tongue.
As with most oily cigars, the Warhead did need a few relights, the embers simply can’t handle the damp oils saturating the wrapper. This isn’t necessarily a fault, as I’ve found cigars of this caliber just need a little extra resting time – let the humidor sort things out.
Slowly burning my way through the Warhead’s generous 6 1/2″ of intense tobacco, I actually found myself light-headed at times, which is actually saying a lot, coming from a guy that reviews cigars! The Warhead kept a steady flavor profile throughout much of the smoke, interrupted every now and then with a sudden cinnamon or caramel note, just to keep you guessing. As the cigar progressed, darker flavors emerged, showing dark chocolate, worn leather, and aged tobacco, along with an added touch of anise on the finish. Feeling nostalgic from the tremendous power of the ligero leafs contained within the 601 Warhead, I let the embers slowly die – then promptly ate as much carbs as I could contain! A successful night’s smoke, no doubt.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes, I will most certainly be stocking plenty 601 Warheads in my humidor for future use! Considering this is a somewhat rare release, limited to 2,000 boxes, I would recommend stocking up on these beauties. I am also very curious as to what a few months (or years) of aging would do to these cigars… If they’re anything like Erik Espinosa’s other maduro blends (La Jugada & 601 Blue Label), a little age will do these cigars wonders.
- Ages well
- Requires attention
- Needs age