Don "Pepin" García first blended the 601 Blue Label line at My Father Cigars for EO Brands, the now-defunct cigar company founded by Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega. 601 took some time to find its footing, including a time with Rocky Patel as a 50% owner, and the ultimate dissolution of EO Brands. In the end, the brand was reimagined and released through Espinosa Cigars.
The brand is an ongoing best-seller for Espinosa. It didn’t take long for demand to overtake production. So Espinosa moved production over to A.J. Fernandez’s San Lotano factory to reach the demand.
Before Erik Espinosa started producing premium stogies of his own, he worked in various positions from sales manager to retail cigar store owner. He worked for and with names like Drew Estate, Rocky Patel, and Gurkha.
The 601 Blue Label Maduro cigars are built to please in what is close to a box press but not quite. The wrapper is an espresso-colored, sweet, oily Connecticut broadleaf Maduro, yet this is not your ordinary Maduro. In fact, it'd be challenging to find many Maduros available today that are as mild as 601 Blue Label Maduro cigars without losing any of that lush, complex Maduro flavor. That said, this baby is still full-strength, so walk lightly and carry a big torch.
Beneath this oily, ripe leaf is double-fermented, Cuban-seed long-leaf Nicaraguan filler tobaccos held snug by a Nicaraguan binder. 601 Blue Label Maduro cigars are beautifully constructed with a great draw. The cigar has a lot of small, flat veins, but in the best way. It’s like looking at the map of a small amusement park.
On the cold draw, we’re getting chocolate and nuts. Once lit, the spice is the first to enter the mix. Chocolate, earthy, and almond notes soon join. The smoke is chewy, and there is a lot of it. Gorgeous to just kick back and blow out these billowing clouds. There is a fantastic burn line, and the ash is solid and holds for a reasonable length.
About halfway through the Blue Label, and we’re getting a lot of pepper and chocolate. Toward the end, spice and pepper are joined by coffee, cedar, and something close to dried fruit.
Please enjoy 601 Blue Label Maduro cigars at your leisure.