It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of pretty much anything Erik Espinosa makes and I recently had a chance to smoke the 601 Red Label (Habano). The 601 Red Label is a fairly standard looking stogie with nice looking construction and a great hay and pepper aroma. I was really curious about the Red Label because I’m such a fan of the Espinosa Habano that I was interested to see how the Red Label habano would compare.
After cutting and toasting the first thing I noticed was the incredible draw. Right off the bat tons of satisfying smoke with little effort on my part. It was at that moment that I gained the attention of my entire party and stated… “this is going to be really, really good”. It was love at first draw. The Red Label has a spice similar to the Espinosa Habano but the Red Label is more peppery, I guess it’s that pepper note that distinguishes it from the Espinosa Habano. You might say the Red Label emphasizes the pepper while the Espinosa Habano emphasizes the spices. White pepper mixed with the subtle yet fulfilling Espinosa spices that (in a nutshell) is the tale of the tape for the 601 Red Label cigar. Every cigar smoker has a flavor profile that fits their tastes and for whatever reason the Espinosa stuff is right in my wheel-house.
The burn on the Red Label was not exactly razor sharp and the ash wasn’t pure white but I wasn’t complaining because the flavor and voluminous smoke was holding my attention just fine. I never once needed to touch up nor relight the cigar which allowed me to relax and focus on the task at hand… enjoying this great cigar. The strength on the 601 was medium to full yet the flavor was full which might be my favorite combination.
Occasionally I would pick up some leathery aged tobacco flavors but for the most part the 601 stayed the same flavor profile all the way to the nub which was a white pepper with a nice subtle spice finish. I paired the 601 with a glass of Knob Creek bourbon and that combination was stellar. The peppery spice of the cigar melted into the oaky sweetness of the bourbon in a whirlwind of deliciousness.
Would I smoke the 601 Red Label again? Are you kidding me? As soon as I was done with this one I ordered a 5-pack of these babies because I love them. Which brings up another great point, these cigars are extremely affordable. You can get the 601 Red Label for under $5 retail and they are often on sale for as little as $70 for a box of 20 which reduces the stick price to $3.50 – now THAT is a bargain my friends.
- Satisfying flavor
- Perfect draw
- No flavor changes