One of my favorite cigar bands has been found on various 601 La Bomba Warhead releases over the years. The series launched in 2013 as a stronger version of the 601 La Bomba, itself a stronger version of the 601 brand.
The band is based on a World War II-era munition and features a shark face design that was made famous by the Flying Tigers, who flew aircraft with the design over China in the early parts of the war. It’s placed on the bottom of the cigar and just looks like a normal band until you undo it and you discover that the band is shaped like a bomb.
This year marks the sixth release of the 601 La Bomba Warhead VI, a 5 x 58 perfecto that uses a broadleaf wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers
- 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)
- 601 La Bomba Warhead V (6 x 52) — 2019— 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $10 (Box of 10, $100)
- 601 La Bomba Warhead VI (5 x 58) — 2020 — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Ciars) — $10 (Boxes of 10, $100)
- Cigar Reviewed: 601 La Bomba Warhead VI
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: San Lotano Factory
- Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 58
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $10 (Box of 10, $100)
- Release Date: June 15, 2020
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Ciars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
This is a rather unique looking cigar, particularly with how the tip of the foot protrudes out in a rather aggressive matter instead of a gradual taper like most cigars. It’s a very dark cigar with a lot of oil and the familiar Warhead band on the bottom of the cigar. Aroma from the wrapper is a medium-full mixture of leather, raisins and a bit of barnyard. The foot is a bit sweeter with leather, pasta and sweet cocoa. Taking a cold draw doesn’t produce the most flavorful of results, though there are notes of beef jerky, cocoa and a bit of white pepper.
I’ve smoked a lot of cigars with uniquely shaped and designed feet, but nothing has prepared me for the start of the 601 La Bomba Warhead VI. No matter how much I light the foot of the cigar, the first puff feels as if the cigar isn’t lit. It’s not like a very dense covered foot where there’s sometimes no airflow; rather, the Warhead VI has airflow but there’s not much in the way of the smoke. By the second puff, I’m able to get some smoke in my mouth and taste some toasty flavors, along with a bit of cocoa and black pepper. I wait for the La Bomba to come alive but it really doesn’t happen. An inch or so in and there’s a muted profile that’s a layer of toastiness: generic toastiness, earthiness and some burnt coffee. The finish is also muted with grains, toasty flavors, some sweetness and a bit of harshness. If you are thinking that sounds like a glass of Scotch whisky, you would be correct. Retrohales provide a bit more detail with some citrus joining the layers of toasty flavors. It leads to a finish with some sweet bread flavors and a bit of harshness. Flavor is medium-full, body is full and strength is full. While it’s clear the cigar has some strong tobaccos, the construction is actually really impressive with plenty of smoke production and an even burn.
In the first third I was waiting for the 601 La Bomba Warhead VI to come alive, in the second third I’m just waiting for the cigar to change. Eventually—usually after the halfway mark—I can taste some mineral flavors mixing in. Pretty quickly thereafter, the harshness begins to fade. It’s still dominated by layers of toasty flavors, though there’s a straw flavor that manages to define itself as the second strongest flavor. The finish is very toasty with minerals, apple and some of the harshness. Retrohales have earthiness, lots of peat flavors and straw. It’s not as sweet as the retrohale from the first third, though it’s a bit more dynamic. Flavor remains medium-full while body and strength are both clearly full. Construction continues to be awesome with no signs of letting up.
Once again, I’m still sort of waiting for a change and eventually it comes in the way of some saltiness. It’s still dominated by toasty flavors though leather is increasing its presence. I suspect if the cigar was two inches longer, the leather might be able to match the toastiness, but at this point there’s barely an inch left of the cigar. It finishes with creaminess being the most defining feature, though to be honest there’s still a lot of the muted toasty flavors that are reminiscent of the first third. Retrohales in the final third are decidedly different than the rest of the cigar, offering earthiness, paprika, nuttiness and a roasted flavor. For the first time, it’s neither dominated by toastiness nor by a singular flavor note. The draw loosens a bit which leads to a decline in smoke production. I manage to make it to the end of each cigar without having to make a single touch-up.
- The first puff of this cigar is so interesting. It’s not something that I expected and I’ve never smoked a cigar that started like this.
- As has been the case with the rest of this series, this is a very strong cigar.
- The first three La Bomba Warheads were made at the La Zona Cigar Factory in Estelí, the three most recent versions have been made at AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua.
- For those wondering, the text on the band says “KILROY WAS HERE” and “Bro!” I love the inclusion of “Bro!” given Erik Espinosa’s propensity for using the phrase.
- This cigar will likely score higher than I subjectively enjoyed it. As far as our scoring criteria is concerned, there weren’t any obvious flaws. If we had a category that punished cigars for boredom, things would be a much different story.
- When the first La Bomba was released, Espinosa Premium Cigars created ashtrays that looked like cannonballs that included a fuse. It’s one of the better swag items I’ve seen.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was two hours and 20 minutes. Given how this cigar burned, I suspect that it could be smoked in about half that time without a ton of additional harshness. Good luck dealing with that nicotine though.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Famous Smoke Shop carry the 601 La Bomba Warhead VI.
If a cigar is going to be this strong in nicotine, there has to be some sort of payoff for me to think it's worth it. That's because strong cigars can carry two potential downfalls: first, there are sometimes difficulties with construction; second, there's the potential for me to end up a bit woozy. What's odd is that the 601 La Bomba Warhead VI didn't have either one of these issues, but I still don't think it's worth it from a flavor perspective. There just wasn't a ton to be had beyond toastiness, and at times it created a cigar that was rather boring to smoke given that I wasn't pairing it with anything. I never could have imagined saying this about any 601 La Bomba Warhead, but I wish it was just more dynamic.