Sunday, April 11, 2010

601 Red Label Trabuco

I recently reviewed the EO 601 Blue Box Press, and that lead me to try the 601 Red Label.
Red Label stats are as follows:

Size: 6 1/8” X 58
Shape: Trabuco
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano Natural
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

The presentation of this cigar was excellent, like its brother, the Blue. Simple and classy, this one is red and gold with some green tobacco leaves adorning it. The wrapper was dark and lovely with a slightly oily sheen and was silky smooth to the touch.
The pre-light aroma was promising, smelling of sweet earth and pepper. Any time I detect pepper pre-light, I’ve experienced a full bodied smoke and so I made sure to eat a full meal before I dove into this experience. I’m glad I did, because even fully sated I got a buzz off of this cigar.
When I came back to the cigar, I walked through the usual tests: construction was solid and dense with no soft or hard spots discernable; cut was easy and smooth with just a few crumbs; pre-light draw had lots of sweet pepper to it. I could feel it on my lips. I was very glad I ate before I lit this guy.
First light was fantastic! Lots of peppery earthen notes with some caramel undertones dominated and the full body of the smoke was apparent immediately. After the first few puffs, the body mellowed to a more medium profile which made the journey very interesting. Still, the cigar showed what it’s capable of right at the start.
The first quarter of the stick was excellent, tasting primarily of sweet, rich earth, pepper, and caramel. The smoke left a peppery sweet aftertaste in my mouth which I really enjoyed. About half way through this portion, the smoke became creamy, which was a delightful and welcome addition to the party. Unfortunately, this was about the time that the runs started and, to the detriment of the experience, never stopped.
The second quarter of the cigar brought about some bitter dark chocolatey coffee notes which was actually quite nice. Flavors that were present in the previous quarter were still around, but they shared the dominant space with this new coffee-like flavor.
The third quarter of the cigar gave way to the bitter dark chocolate coffee flavors with some creamy caramel still present in the background. I began to feel a pretty decent buzz by the middle of this quarter and was really enjoying the cigar, despite the constant runs and flags that I experienced.
The finish was quite nice, increasing in strength and bitterness. Bitterness in this situation wasn’t awful but more of a characteristic of the chocolate coffee notes present in the smoke. I realized that I hadn’t detected pepper in a while and exhaled through my nose to discover that the pepper was definitely still around. Despite constant runs and flags, the cigar had fixed itself throughout the smoke, but I finally had to do a touch up at this point, just before I put it down.
Overall, I really enjoyed the blend of this cigar and would buy another. The only turn off I experienced was that I found myself constantly wondering whether or not to touch it up due to runs. However, based on my experience with the overall quality of 601 cigars, I believe that I may have just received one that was not quite up to par. But I'll be watching this line to be sure the construction qualities remain high. Despite this issue, I’d go for another as the blend was simply delicious, complex, and interesting all the way down. Despite the price being slightly out of reach to be a frequent smoker for me, I can definitely see myself picking one of these up to enjoy in the future. I sincerely recommend that you do the same.
Happy smoking!

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