EO 601 Habano Robusto

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I was checking out the EO Cigars Website a few days ago, and after escaping the clutches of the sirens who grace the front page I discovered their “blog” section, which is really more of a place to post comments and questions. Eddie Ortega was kind enough to answer a question I posed about the origin of the “601” name for this series of cigars. I was thinking maybe it was a birthdate, or part of an meaningful address, something like that, but it turns out that 601 was the date that Eddie and Erik first went to visit Pepin’s factory in Nicaragua.

There are now three 601 cigars created by Don Pepin Garcia for EO Cigars — the 601 Connect I reviewed a few days back, a newly released box-pressed maduro, and this one: the Red Label with a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper.

The wrapper on the Red Label is a dark oily rosado that could easily be mistaken for maduro. It has a leathery look to it and is heavily stippled with prominent “teeth” that are much coarser than than the toothiness of most Cameroon wrappers. The head is nicely finished with a classic Cuban cap, of course. This is a Don Pepin production, after all. The final result is a real winner in the looks department.

So with all those teeth it’s appropriate that this smoke should start up with a bite. It’s similar to the 601 Connect in this regard, but overall I think it’s comparatively tame for a full bore Pepin. The base flavor here is leathery, with the wrapper contributing some subtler spices. Cinnamon, maybe. After the mid-point the flavor gets sweeter, taking on a molasses like tang, and the pepper enters for a reprise. It’s similar, but not the same pepper as the Connecticut version — I tasted a lot of black pepper in that one and it had me sneezing pretty good for a while. The Habano is a sweeter rendition — instead of peppercorns I’m thinking hot northern New Mexico chiles.

The construction was good, but not perfect. This one suffered a little from an uneven burn and at one point the wrapper unraveled a little. But neither of these things really affected the performance of the stick.

The 601 Habano is a powerful little puro with a lot of sweet spicy flavor. At around 6 US greenbacks it’s not a cheap date, but ya gotta live a little sometimes. If you’re in the mood for a well-balanced but brawny cigar, check it out. Fill up at the dinner table first though. A big plate of chile rellenos, some black beans and rice, and a couple of Tecates would be a great prelude to this tough guy.

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7 thoughts on “EO 601 Habano Robusto

  1. Hey CigarFan,

    Love your blog. I have been popping in for a little over 6 months now and love your reviews. I picked up a five pack of these when they first came out on CI. One thing I noticed about these if you leave them out for a few hours before smoking them it takes care of the burn issues. Also, most Pepins, for me at least, seem to fair better when left to dry a little. All the different kinds of Pepins I had seemed to swell and crack on me so I started storing them at the top of the humi and letting them sit out for a while before smoking. Took care of the swelling and cracking.

    Keep ’em burning

  2. The blend of criollo and corojo that Pepin uses is extremely sensitive to humidity, and does best when stored at a lower RH. They’re very similar to habanos in this respect. (Actually, they’re similar in other respects as well.) So I always keep them between 60 and 65%. If you’re storing them at a higher level, leaving them out for a bit before ignition sounds like a very good idea.

    On the other hand, I just smoked a Padilla Miami that was really tight even stored at 60%. I’ll be having another before the review comes out to see if it was just a fluke.

    Cheers, Jeremy!

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