After taking a year off, Espinosa Premium Cigars’ La Bomba Warhead is back.
The almost-but-not-quite annual release that debuted in 2013 is a spinoff of of the 601 La Bomba line and is blended to be slightly stronger by replacing the Nicaraguan habano wrapper on the original La Bomba line with a Connecticut broadleaf maduro leaf while keeping the same Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
During the 2018 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Espinosa Cigars showed off the fourth vitola in the line named 601 La Bomba Warhead IV, a 6 x 48 box-pressed toro that is packaged in boxes of 10 carrying a retail price of $10.99 each. As with the rest of the releases so far, the new incarnation is being rolled at Abdel Fernández’s San Lotano factory in San Rafael, Nicaragua.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the La Bomba Warhead line is the packaging, which was explained by Espinosa Cigars in a press release when the brand debated in 2013:
The packaging is inspired by several themes in the World War II era. When unraveled, the foot band on the cigar is revealed to be in the form of a bomb. This “bomb” features nose art or aircraft graffiti, which was common in this era. Most prominent is the shark-face which is a reference to the Flying Tigers, the 1st American Volunteer Group, who would paint the shark-faces on their military aircrafts.
There have now been four different vitolas released in the 601 La Bomba Warhead line.
- 601 La Bomba Warhead (6 1/2 x 54) — 2013 — 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars) — $10.50 (Boxes of 10, $105.00)
- 601 La Bomba Warhead II (5 1/2 x 56) — 2014 — 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars) — $10.95 (Box of 10, $109.50)
- 601 La Bomba Warhead III (7 1/2 x 38) — 2016 — 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars) — $10.95 (Box of 10, $109.50)
- 601 La Bomba Warhead IV (6 x 48) — 2018 — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $10.99 (Boxes of 10, $109.90)
- Cigar Reviewed: 601 La Bomba Warhead IV
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: San Lotano Factory
- Wrapper: Connecticut broadleaf maduro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $10.99 (Boxes of 10, $109.90)
- Release Date: July 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
As with the rest of the vitolas in the line so far, the 601 La Bomba Warhead IV is extremely visually distinctive, with a rustic, dark espresso brown wrapper that and a long “fuse” pigtail flowing from the cap that is glued to the front. The cigar features a noticeable box-press as well as a foot band that will look familiar to fans. The aroma emanating from the wrapper and foot is a combination of hay, strong manure, dark chocolate, oak and earth while the cold draw brings flavors of leather, barnyard, oak, maple sweetness, black pepper and a touch of spice on my lips
The first third of the 601 La Bomba Warhead IV features a very creamy profile overall, as well as a dominant cedar flavor interspersed with lesser notes of leather, gritty earth, tea leaves, roasted coffee beans, almonds and baker’s spices. The maple sweetness from the cold draw is noticeable on the retrohale—albeit slight—and it is integrated nicely with the black pepper that is also present. Construction-wise, the draw is a touch tight after a simple straight cut—although not tight enough to give me any real issues—while the burn needs to be corrected almost right out of the gate. The smoke production is well above average, while the strength ends the first third well on its way to the medium mark.
Unfortunately, both the black pepper and the maple sweetness notes on the retrohale begin to fade a bit as the second third of the Warhead IV begins, although the overall profile seems to get even creamier overall, coating my mouth every time I take a puff. The dominant flavor remains a fairly standard cedar flavor, while other notes of leather, hay, earth, cinnamon, dry tea leaves and a bit of floral flit in and out in various amounts. In terms of construction, the draw has opened up nicely by the time I reach the halfway point and the burn has evened up as well, while the smoke production remains at a level just north of average. Strength-wise, the new 601 La Bomba finally hits a solid medium by the end of the second third, although it does not seem to be going any further anytime soon.
Seemingly like a broken record, the final third of the 601 La Bomba Warhead IV is dominated by the same creamy cedar flavor that has been at the forefront for pretty much the entire cigar. However, unlike the first two thirds, both the maple sweetness and black pepper that were present on the retrohale have diminished significantly, throwing the balance of the entire profile off. In addition, there are additional flavors of peanuts, roasted espresso beans, leather, earth and cocoa nibs, but they are far from strong enough to threaten the dominant flavor. The draw remains quite good to the end and although the burn does start to waver a bit a few times, it is never bad enough to need a correction. Finally, the overall strength level increases a bit right at the end, hitting a solid medium by the time I put the nub down with about an inch to go.
- The glue that is used to glue down the “fuse” leaves a very unappealing, shiny residue, which is especially noticeable since it is glued down on the front of the cigar.
- In addition, when you remove the fuse in order to cut the cap, it takes some fairly significant pieces of the wrapper with it. To be fair, it did not seem to affect the construction on any of my samples in any negative way, although that is most likely due to all the glue that was used in the first place.
- The La Bomba Warhead line is not the only example of cigars with “fuses” or long pigtails: the various Firecrackers have one, as do the multiple releases of the Viaje TNT cigars and the Tatuaje M80 that was released in 2011.
- Speaking of the other cigars with “fuses”, while the Viaje TNT ships with the pigtail loose, both the Firecrackers and the M80 feature the “fuse” that is placed under the band, which does a good job of keeping it from being damaged.
- The 601 La Bomba Warhead III took the 18th spot on halfwheel’s 2016 Top 25 list.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Despite the fact that it is a bit smaller than a typical toro, this was not exactly a quick smoke, with the final smoking time for all three samples averaging two hours and 17 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the 601 La Bomba Warhead IV cigars, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Cigars.com, Famous Smoke Shop, JR Cigar and Serious Cigars have them in stock now.
The creaminess in the profile was the star of the show for the 601 La Bomba Warhead IV; in fact, it is easily the creamiest vitola out of the four for me and it is not even close. Unfortunately, that overt creaminess seems to come at a price, namely the fact that the flavors in the profile—while very familiar if you have smoked any of the other vitolas in the line—are just not as distinct or as nuanced as I would have liked. There is also significantly less of the maple sweetness on the retrohale that really put the 601 La Bomba Warhead III over the top for me. In the end, while the 601 La Bomba Warhead IV is not as good as the 2016 version, it is still a very enjoyable cigar as well as a worthy addition to the Warhead line.