With Valentine’s Day upon us, it’s a day that can bring back the memories that we love and sometimes within the cigar industry a certain cigar may be brought back to remind us how much we missed and loved that particular cigar.
Here we have the 601 Black Connecticut. The 601 Black had been out of production for several years. In 2020 this cigar was reintroduced as an annual limited editiion. The 601 Black is a cigar that traces back to EO Brands, the partnership between Espinosa Cigars founder Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega. 601 Black was one of the original 601 blends released in the EO portfolios. At the time it was released, it was considered a groundbreaking cigar in that it was one of the early Connecticut Shade blends to break the mold of traditional, milder Connecticut Shades and as Espinosa Cigars Director of Operations Hector Alfonso quoted, “the 601 Black was a cigar ahead of its time”.
The 601 Black is certainly a cigar that might change your view on Connecticut Shade cigars. Underneath the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper leaf is a core of perfectly aged Nicaraguan long filler and binder tobaccos, yielding a more powerful and bolder smoke than an old-school Connecticut smoke.
Getting ready to light this cigar up I take a few dry pulls to get the FULL aspect of the experience I am about to have. In my dry draws I was able to pick up some caramel, toasted nuts, and cedar notes. The cigar definitely started to get my glands active with saliva which was all before the cigar was even lit.
As I began to light up, right off the rip, I was getting some very rich and flavorful pepper, cream, cedar, toasted nuts and dried fruit. I can immediately understand why this cigar is typically not your traditional Connecticut Shade cigar. As I continue to smoke the first 1/3 of the cigar it was staying strong with robust flavors of caramel, toasted nuts, cedar with a hint of floral notes to enhance my experience. Continuing on with the second 1/3 of the cigar a nice frothy latte with some cocoa powder came to mind; coffee, cocoa, hints of sweetness, and molasses certainly surprised me yet the transition was certainly enjoyable. As I continue with the last 1/3 of the 601 Black the strength and flavor really became prominent; molasses, espresso, cocoa, with hints of brown sugar.
This cigar certainly illustrates why it stands out above most traditional Connecticut Shade cigars. This cigar will absolutely pair well with your drink of choice. The 601 Black is offered in boxes of 10 and ONLY in a Toro Size. This cigar is most certainly one you want to hunt for. I would rate this cigar 4.9 out of 5 which say’s a lot because I can be quite picky on a cigar from start to finish but this cigar was absolutely delicious and almost flawless. I did have one tiny burn issue half way through but it didn’t last long and the flavor profile was impeccable. Check out your local B&M to track some of these down!
Wrapper – Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder – Nicaragua
Filler – Nicaragua
Price: Around $9.00 a stick
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 pints.