Cigar Review: 601 Red Label


Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 20, $106.00

Grade: 9.1

United Tobacco got its start in 2003, when Eric Espinosa and Eddie Ortega joined forces. Since their partnership began, they have released some highly rated cigars, including the 601 line (Red, Blue, Green, and Black), Cubao, and Mi Barrio, all blended by Don Pepin Garcia.

The 601 line, released in 2006, is produced in Pepin’s Nicaraguan factory, Tabacalara Cubana, and comes in several wrappers: Nicaraguan Habano (Red), Nicaraguan Habano Maduro (Blue), Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro (Green), and Ecuadorian Connecticut (Black). The Blue Label was Pepin’s first box pressed and his first Maduro cigar produced.

Today we are reviewing the Red Label, which comes in seven sizes and is available in boxes of 20, except for the Guapito, which comes in boxes of 100:

Churchill, 7×48

Rabito, 6 1/2×46

Robusto, 5×50

Toro, 6×50

Torpedo, 6 1/8×52

Trabuco, 6 1/8×58

Guapito, 4×32

We haven’t focused a lot on EO Brands here at Toasted Foot, though we did quick toast the Black Label (here). It does seem however that we’ve been attracted to some Pepin blends as of late.

Now, on to the toast.

Pre-light, 1.8:
This Nicaraguan puro was a great looking smoke right out of the gate. The medium brown wrapper was very toothy with one noticeable, prominent vein. The cigar had no soft spots, a good weight, and the triple cap was constructed very nicely. The pre-light aroma was of leather and oats at the foot. The cold draw produced a note of pepper spice that tickled the throat on the inhale.

Burn, 1.7:
Toasted and lit, the 601 Red Label produced a nice amount of smoke with just the right amount of resistance on the draw. The ash was very dark on the cigar and was not layered well at all, but it held well past an inch before I let it go. The cigar burned well until the last third, when it got a bit jagged, though this did not deter from the smoking experience – the draw remained open and the cigar produced a mouthful of smoke throughout.

Flavor, 2.8:
This being a Don Pepin Garcia blend, my expectations were high in this department. The first puff on the 601 was of tobacco with a hint of spice. The first third followed this trend but of course the spice picked up as I smoked. The second third seemed to transition into a more lively tobacco profile, with some leather and the ever present spice. The last third really took it up a notch in the spice department – it was a very warm spice that left the tongue and lips a little numb on the exhale, but in a good way.

Overall, 2.8:
The flavor profile on the 601 Red was very balanced and somewhat complex. You can readily pick these up between four and six dollars a stick, making this an excellent value for the money. EO Brands has a solid stick on their hands that produced a nice, consistent smoking experience that will not break the bank.

(Total: 9.1)

Question of the Day: What is your go to smoke?