Espinosa Premium Cigars is adding two “new” blends to its 601 line, the 601 Orange and the 601 Yellow.

The 601 Orange uses a Brazilian cubra rosado wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler, a profile that the company calls medium to medium-plus in both flavor and strength. The 601 Yellow, meanwhile, uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler, which the company describes as medium-plus to full is flavor and strength.

Both cigars are being offered in a 6 x 52 toro vitola, both are priced at $10 per cigar, and both are limited to 500 boxes of 10 cigars. The cigars are made at the La Zona Cigar Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

“We are always trying to make something different for our fans,” said Erik Espinosa in a press release. “They are the ones that have made us successful and here is another opportunity to do something special for them.”

This isn’t the first time that the 601 Orange and 601 Yellow have been released, as in August 2016 the company gave its 601 line a fairly significant overhaul, adding five new lines, including a 601 Orange and 601 Yellow. That 601 Orange used a Brazilian habano leaf similar to that found on the Espinosa Laranja line to go over the Nicaraguan core, while the previous 601 Yellow also used a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler. Both blends were released in three sizes, a robusto (5 x 54), toro (6 x 52) and Churchill (7 x 50).

Given that cigar companies were under pressure to release new cigars to the market ahead of FDA regulations that were introduced in 2016, it is not known how widespread the releases were, as many companies released small quantities of new cigars simply to have evidence the cigars were marketed prior to Aug. 8, 2016.

Hector Alfonso, the company’s director of operations, estimated that there were about 100 boxes of those cigars released. He noted that this new version is essentially the same blend as the company had been waiting for the right opportunity to release them.

As for whether or not the new 601 Orange and 601 Yellow lines would be one-and-done releases or could return in new vitolas or with additional production, Alfonso told halfwheel that the company is undecided. “We’ll see but never say never,” he said.

Both cigars begin shipping to retailers on Wednesday, April 5.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.