Wednesday, May 16, 2012

601 Oscuro La Fuerza

Size: 5.5 X 54
Shape: La Fuerza
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Medium - Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habana Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoke Clock: 1 hr 25 mins

After a long and successful summer season, I have finally gotten settled into my new apartment. To celebrate, I pulled out a smoke that I have long waited for: the EO 601 Green.

The 601 Green has spent the last month and a half eluding me. I’d bring it with me to work to smoke on a break, only to have more work than I expected and not enough time to smoke this stick. I’d step outside to light up on my day off, only to be bombarded by phone calls to go hiking or kayaking (two of my other favorite things to do). As you can imagine, neither of these things are conducive to taking notes on a fine blend, so this cigar continued to elude me. However, yesterday, I had time to sit outside on the veranda (aka the cement porch of my apartment building) and relax and that’s just what I did, bringing this elusive smoke along with me.

Sliding this stick out of its cellophane, I immediately noticed the consistency of color and quality of the wrapper. It didn’t scream juicy deliciousness though, and for a moment, I lost heart. I trudged through the cut, which was clean and easy, pushed through the prelight ritual, which was a delight, and lit up. Boy did this stick blow my doubts out of the water.

Prelight, there were strong earth, spice, and leather notes detected with the spice being very forward. However, when I lit up, the Green delivered a complex, sweet, and earth filled profile with only a subtle spice note present.

Developing into the first quarter, the profile became all about the compost note. Delicious! The smoke was soft and creamy in the mouth as the profile ebbed and flowed around and through the compost note. Pepper and caramel notes wafted up into dominance and meandered back into the blend several times until the profile began its first evolution into deep earth and bright cedar notes. The cedar notes here taste like a cedar campfire: toasty and bright. Towards the end of the quarter, some dark chocolate notes had begun to peek their heads through, but didn’t take over until the half mark of this stick.

I was admiring the view of shorts sporting college girls as they passed by when the second quarter of this cigar really came into its own. Notes of toasted cream and leather took over, then slowly and gently relinquished command to dark cocoa and coffee notes. That delectable compost note had slunk way into the background at this point, nearly vanishing into the delicious depths of the flavor profile.

It was at this point that I tried to ash for the first time. The ash, having remained quite dense, would not relinquish its hold on this cigar. I was so confident in its density, in fact, that I stood the cigar on end ON THE ASH. I could not believe how incredibly well packed this cigar must have been to be able to sport such fine and strong ash on such a lengthy, heavy stick. Bravo!

After my ashen foray, I refocused on the flavor profile as the third quarter began. The second quarter carried over into the third nicely, relinquishing dominance to some oak campfire notes once or twice before returning to where it began. That fantastic complex compost note returned just before the fourth quarter, bringing the profile full circle and leaving me completely satisfied.

There are times when I realize that the Universe is smarter than I. This is one such case. The EO 601 Green eluded my smoking desires until just the right time when I could really focus on it and enjoy it to the fullest. Thank you Universe for all your wisdom.

Presentation: 9/10 – I really like the band on all the EO 601 cigars, but the interplay of green and gold here is really stunning. Great design with an excellent focus on the 601 line. Simple and straightforward yet beautiful in its own right, accenting the color of the cigar perfectly. Way to go, EO.

Appearance: 7/10 – This cigar is nice to look at, but not gorgeous. The wrapper has a very consistent color, it’s toothy, and the seams of are almost well hidden, but there’s barely any shine to it. There was also a small dime sized patch missing towards the foot of the cigar, but I burned through that quickly enough.

Construction: 33/35 – Great construction. The draw was open, the pack firm enough to stand the cigar up on its ash, and the burn was mostly even with a little wave here and there.

Flavor: 44/45 – This cigar told a story and brought it full circle. I really respect a blender’s ability to do this clearly while providing purity to the flavors and a dynamite smoke to booth. Excellent work.

Overall: 93/100 – This cigar is tasty and delicious, telling a story with its pure flavors. The construction is very high quality, allowing the smoker to focus on the flavorful experience and not on the draw or relights. This is one heck of a cigar that I highly recommend any fan of full bodied smokes try at their earliest convenience.


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