601 Serie Oscuro La Punta Wednesday, Nov 5 2008 

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Perfecto 51/2 x 52 ring

Today I am enjoying another excellent smoke courtesy of my friends at CigarsDirect.com.  EO’s 601 Serie cigars are made by the red hot Jose “Pepin” Garcia and are available in four flavors each denoted by it’s own band color.  There is the 601 Red wrapped in a spicy habano wrapper, the Ecuador Connecticut wrapped Black Label, a sweet maduro Blue Label, and the dark and oily Green Label Oscuro.  The EO brands are the realization of a dream of two friends, Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega.  Their partnership with Pepin Garcia have produced a handful of excellent cigars.  In addition to the popular 601 Serie cigars their collaboration also brought about the Cubao and Mi Barrio which are also beginning to generate some buzz in the industry.

The Green Label 601 has a dark oily wrapper laced in very small veins. Although it is a perfecto, the taper isn’t very severe except right at the foot. The taper to the head of the cigar is shallow and if it weren’t for the nipple at the foot it would look very much like a pyramide. As you would expect from a cigar made by Pepin Garcia, the construction is excellent. It has a near perfect draw and burn. It has a good heft to it so you know it is packed full of tobacco. It burns slow and cool producing firm pepper gray ash that wants to hold on for ever.

The oscuro is supposedly the strongest most full bodied of the 601 line. Personally I found that wasn’t the case. While certainly a full bodied smoke, I think the Red Label Habano is fuller and much stronger packing a bigger punch than the Green. Where the Red is a blast of pepper and spice, I found the Green to be smoother with a maduro sweetness, just a bit of spice and little or no pepper. That said it is still an excellent smoke. At the start there is lots of cocoa and coffee with notes of cedar and leather all wrapped in that sweet maduro flavor. At about the halfway mark most of those flavors fade and all that remains is a sweet core with occasional hints of coffee. As the smoke progresses it doesn’t change much. Sweet with a creamy feel and a bit of leather. At the start I was expecting a real complex smoke and though it is by no means one dimensional, it lacks the complexity of the Red and doesn’t have anywhere near the strength I was expecting. I know it sounds like I am a little disappointed with it and in some respects I guess I am, but I still think it is a very good full bodied and enjoyable smoke. It is an excellent cigar if you are looking for a full, flavorful cigar that won’t kick you in the pants.  Of course that is just my opinion.  A lot of people think this is a powerhouse smoke.  I gravitate to strong smokes so my opinion may be skewed.

Get your 601’s at CigarsDirect.com

Rating – B+

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601 Serie Habano Robusto Wednesday, Mar 14 2007 

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto 5.0″x50 ring

Picked this up at my local shop. The brand was created by Pepin Garcia and is manufactured at the Tabacalera Cubana factory in the Estelí, Nicaragua. The brand was introduced in August of 2006 for EO\United Tobacco. There is also a black banded Ecuadorian grown Connecticut-Shade wrapped version of this cigar. This post is about the red labeled Nicaraguan Habano version. It has a good looking toothy wrapper with a beautiful triple cap. It is jam packed full of tobacco. I was afraid it might draw too tight but the draw was perfect. It produced a ton of great aromatic smoke. The ash was light grey and little papery on the edges. The burn could have been better but it wasn’t problematic. It is a fantastic smoke, full bodied, it packed a little punch. Flavor wise there was lots of earth and nuts. I was thinking I should have ate something first rather than smoke it on an empty stomach. It reminded me a bit of a RASS. I thought it was somewhat reminiscent of one in flavor and aroma. I’d say this is another great cigar from ERdlH. I am admittedly a bit of a Pepin Garcia homer, but I definitely recommend giving this one a try. It’s delicious.

Rating – B+

Check out The Stogie Guys for another take on this cigar.

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