The 601 La Bomba Warhead II debuted at IPCPR in 2014. Much like its predecessor, the original Warhead, 2,000 boxes were produced, both arriving in 10-count boxes. The Warhead II comes with a slightly altered band, using the WWII-inspired “shark-face” nose art often found on military planes, this time incorporating a camouflage background. But the most noticeable change between releases is the new 5 ½” x 56 robusto grande size. The wrapper is a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro and both binder and filler are Nicaraguan. It is of course manufactured at the La Zona factory. All of this comes for the price of around $10.
SEE ALSO: 601 La Bomba Warhead 2013 cigar review.
Now it’s time to suit up and prepare for war, troops, because this is no cigar for the gentle-hearted. Warhead II uses the same fuse-style cap as the rest of the La Bomba line, only its maduro leaf makes for a much heavier, oily feel. After its removal, the pre light draw is slightly tight, but it gives notes of maple and wheat, similar to Cream of Wheat breakfast porridge! The wrapper smells earthy, with slight hints of cocoa. My first few puffs are like bootcamp, I’m starting to realize what I’ve gotten myself into because I just got a tobacco kick in the face! This thing is pretty strong, as would befit a creation of Erik Espinosa.
After the first few puffs, the flavors of the cigar are present and accounted for. I detect notes of white pepper and malted barley. Also, there are subtle hits of cocoa and leather. The strength is still there but it isn’t overpowering. And though the burn is less than razor sharp, I haven’t had to touch it up. One thing I can say is, if you are looking for a nice cigar to smoke while eating cotton candy at a picnic, you’ve come to the wrong place… This cigar is no joke.
The Second third is more robust than the first; this is the sweet spot folks. Complex flavors appear with the smooth, dense smoke that pours out of this cigar – not unlike a smoking gun. Charred barbecue and rum raisins (yes, that exists) were the closest thing I could compare to the flavor at this point. On the retrohale (which was surprisingly smooth for this strong of a cigar), I got dark chocolate and anise. This would be a great cigar to pair with some barrel proof whiskey. The burn issues have gotten worse as I have had to touch it up a few times, but the smoke didn’t suffer because of it. This cigar is like a middle linebacker that does ballet, it hits like a ton of bricks but it has a great deal of finesse as well.
Wrapping up the Warhead II, the smoke has become a bit more harsh and the smooth, creamy, dreamy, meaty smoke has been diluted a bit and some of the great flavors that I loved in the beginning are gone. Burn issues have also persisted but I am staying in the trenches to see this battle to its conclusion. That charred BBQ has turned into charcoal and I get much harsher smoke then when this cigar was at its peak. Leather has picked up and the cigar is still enjoyable, but it is a far cry from the awesome second third.
Would I Smoke This Cigar again?
I most definitely would smoke this cigar again; it is a great late-night cigar. This is a “5-er worthy” cigar. For me, the first two-thirds were spot-on but it lost what made it great in the last portion. Because of the strength, I can’t see myself smoking it anytime other than after a big dinner, with some whiskey in my hand, and that affected its score. Also, the $10 price point is a bit high in my eyes, I could not see myself buying a box. If you like big, strong, oily maduros however, this baby is right up your alley.
- Dense, oily flavor
- Great presentation
- Big smoke output
- Multiple relights
- Flavors turn harsh after halfway
- Needs age