The 601 brand of cigars are made in Nicaragua by Don Pepin for the United Tobacco Company (EO Brands), which merged with Rocky Patel subsequent to this review. 601 blue label cigars are box pressed Nicaraguan puros, made entirely with tobaccos from Nicaragua, including their Maduro wrapper. The torpedo size/shape selected for this review measured 6 1/8 inches long and had a ring gauge of 52. These cigars are available in several other sizes, including a Toro which was ranked 6th by Cigar Aficionado in 2009.
601 Blue Label cigars are full of flavor, but medium-to-full in strength. Because they are very smooth, their strength seemed closer to medium than to full. In other words, they are very well balanced, and tasted great. The flavor started out a little on the spicy side, but not at all like that initial strong blast of pepper that you get from some other cigars made by Don Pepin. The spice settled down into a delicious sweet and spicy tobacco flavor after the first few puffs, and tasted great for almost the entire smoke. This was definitely a superior smoke, and worthy of one of our highest ratings.
Draw and Construction
The 601 torpedo had a great draw, providing a nice volume of smoke. The cigar was very well made, had a relatively even burn for most of the smoke, and held a medium-to-long ash. About 15 to 20 minutes through the smoke, a touch-up light was applied, just to keep the burn perfectly even. Near the end, I relit the cigar in order to continue smoking it beyond 2 inches remaining. The cigar lasted for about an hour, with about 1 ½ inches remaining.
601 Blue Label Maduro Torpedo cigars are available in boxes of 20 for about $125 to $160, if you buy online. Always shop around for the best price. Five packs in the Robusto size are a great value at about $27. That's less than $5.50 apiece for a world-class smoke. The 601 box pressed Maduros are highly recommended for experienced smokers, but advanced beginners should enjoy these also. The 601 is almost as good as a cigar can get, and a must-try for every cigar connoisseur.