Pre-Release- Cigar Review- Limited Edition 601 La Bomba Maduro “Warhead”

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.125 x 52
Price: Unknown





The only info available to me is the press release that came out June 6, 2013. It is to be released on July 14 at the IPCPR Trade Show.
Erik Espinosa was kind enough to send me a couple sticks from his own stash. They don’t have the exciting and gorgeous bands on them. But they are the real thing.

This press release should tell you more about it:
“Hialeah Gardens, Florida (June 6, 2013) – Espinosa Premium Cigars is proud to announce they will be introducing a limited edition cigar for their full bodied 601 La Bomba line called “Warhead” at IPCPR this year. This is the first time the 601 La Bomba line is offered with a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper. The Warhead measures 6 1/2 inches by 54 ring and is semi-box pressed with the familiar fuse-like pig tail that is found on the 601 La Bomba line. “Although the wrapper is different, we are using the same powerful blend as the rest of the line.” said Erik Espinosa.
Warhead is limited to 2,000 boxes of 10 and the packaging is inspired by several themes in the World War II era. When unraveled, the foot band on the cigar is revealed to be in the form of a bomb. This “bomb” features nose art or aircraft graffiti, which was common in this era. Most prominent is the shark-face which is a reference to the Flying Tigers, the 1st American Volunteer Group, who would paint the shark-faces on their military aircrafts.”

The stick is very hard with a small give to it. The wrapper is a very dark brown akin to a dark coffee bean…seams are tight and there are a lot of veins. The wrapper is very oily and feels smooth.

Both caps were already cut off on my samples. I don’t think this is how the cigar will be presented.

My first sniffs are red wine, cocoa, spice, and the dry draw is cocoa.

Time to light up.

OK. Lots of spice slams into my palate. As expected. The red wine aroma becomes a flavor. There is cocoa and coffee. And sweet tobacco.
The draw is good and the burn line is just a tad bit wavy. My fault.

Erik told me that this new La Bomba is TWICE as strong as the original La Bomba. I have an airsick bag nearby…just in case. But it is midday and have food in my svelte belly.

Surprisingly, the strength starts out medium…not like the sledge hammer I predicted. And then before I reach the first inch, the power hits. Oh my. I have 6” to go and I think I am getting the spins. LOL! Erik, my son…what have you done to me?

There is a very earthy flavor. Beside the power of the cigar, the flavors are subtle and nuanced. And then as I reach the first inch, creaminess appears…slightly taming the power.

Erik told me during our phone conversation last week that he has 400 boxes. He is waiting on more but the special wrapper he uses is extremely difficult to procure. He will be fine by July 14. Although, no release date has been set.

This cigar is going to rock the market. The current tide craves full bodied cigars. This one should satisfy everyone if everything Erik told comes to fruition.

The power is now more medium/full. The creaminess had quite the effect. The cigar is so jam packed with tobacco that it burns very slowly.
The ash was hanging nicely until I knocked it out of the ashtray. I’m nervous. I have a band audition in less than 3 hours and I’m a wreck. Playing 48 years and every audition scares the bejeezus out of me.

I am halfway through the first third and my fears of passing out are allayed. It’s strong. But it is also very tasty. I gotta’ say, while I am a big fan of the La Bomba ( and finished my last one out of the box I bought 6 months ago), this stick has different characteristics. It is more subtle. The old La Bomba hit you over the head with a sledge hammer. I have a feeling this one creeps up on you.

I am really digging the flavor profile as the first third ends. The red wine mixed with the creaminess, cocoa, coffee, and sweet tobacco is marvelous.
Now I’m wondering if Erik was pulling a Rod Serling on me and trying to scare the shit out of me.

The second third begins with my hands beginning to shake. Uh-oh. Until now, I didn’t realize I had two laptops. Because there are two in front of me. Oh lord.
It goes from creeping to becoming a gazelle. Manny Mota!

Focusing on the flavors keeps me from collapsing in my chair. Watch. I will get to the audition and I will be blind. Which means we can only do Ray Charles songs.

This is a fun cigar. It’s like a birthday party and being water boarded all at the same time.

The flavors are emboldened as the strength increases.

The burn line has corrected itself from my lousy lighting technique.

I approach the halfway point and the strength is a planet killer. If Saddam had these hidden, they would have found the mysterious WMD’s. Make your enemy smoke one of these sticks and he will do anything you tell him to do. Or just vomit on you.

The trick is to make this an evening cigar; not your morning and coffee cigar. Why dial 911 in the morning?

It is pretty damn powerful now. The flavors are exploding. And my dog looks alluring all of a sudden. I wonder if she would mind if I put garters on her?

The cap, while a bit sloppy, is rock solid. Not a single piece of loose tobacco. Although, the drool on my chin might be a tradeoff.

As far as I know, there will be only one size. And the press release states that the cigar will have a slight box press. The samples that Erik sent me are round. These must be the samples you put on a conference table and then lock the door on the test smokers.

You count how many come out alive and go from there.

The gray ash is very strong and I’m trying to let it go as far as it can go without it falling on to my keyboard. This usually ends up working out badly for me.
The flavors remain the same. Almost dormant. I break the ash off to be on the safe side.

The earthiness is leading the pack. This is a very deep and rich cigar. It is nothing like the original La Bomba. With no disrespect to the original. The wrapper is the only new component to the cigar. The wrapper is the tide turner.

Now this cigar is called a maduro. And as far as I know, the original had a maduro appearance but in fact, is a Nic Habano.

The last third begins with the power increasing. I take a small break to make sure my will, and last testament, is in order. I am now climbing the mountain.

The last third sees the flavors come back in force. The spiciness is much stronger. The creaminess is making its way back to the front. The red wine and cocoa have been a constant.
I got some barbed wire out of the garage and asked my wife to tie me to the chair. It will keep me upright and alert at the same time.

The flimsy test band comes off easily and exposes the word, “La” to finish the name of the cigar.

Wow. It is at this point the flavor profile stands out big time. The creaminess usurps the spiciness. The rich earth is impressive. I definitely feel the body of the cigar but I am willing it not to kill me. Some sort of Zen thing.

The power of the cigar is twice that from the first third. I hope Erik places a warning on the inside of the box top like he did with the original. But maybe add something along the lines of a liability clause that removes any responsibility of death or permanent impairment from his company.

I’m still on the last third which is burning slowly. The flavors are going nuts.

I feel drunk.

I fully expect some smokers to put this cigar down halfway through it. I’m not kidding. I am finishing the cigar for two reasons: 1) I have a contract with the Reviewer’s Union…and 2) I want to know what’s it is like to float above the table watching me type.

I’m beginning to lose vision in my right eye. I have a patch on my left eye from an incident in Thailand. So typing is being done by touch only.
I don’t want to put the cigar down because of its flavors. They are extraordinary. At some point, the cigar became very complex but I can’t remember when. Apparently, I am losing left brain activity.

I love this cigar and would willingly, and without compunction or coercion, buy a box of these.

I come close to finishing the cigar. I have had several out of body experiences and I can see my dead relatives in the lighted tunnel.

I want to thank Erik for sending me the samples. A real mensch. He now has a cigar that he can give people and then watch them perform.