Today we take a look at an oldie but a goodie: the 601 Green Label Oscuro by Espinosa.
Eddie Ortega and Eric Espinosa had a thriving business in EO Cigars. They didn’t get along and went their separate ways. Like a divorce, they split up the earnings. Ortega got the best of the deal. He went off to develop some mind blowing cigars in the form of the ground breaking “Wild Bunch” series. His Serie D line is smoked by everyone. He got the great Cubao, and the Heavy Duty line.
Espinosa got 601, Murcielago, and went on to build upon the Espinosa brand with the La Zona and the Warhead, along with the Espinosa blends of Habano and Habano.
But Espinosa has also but out cheap bundled sticks for the big online stores. Crap. I give Eddie two snaps up for not debasing himself and heading in the direction of Patel, Hansotia, and the other makers of shit cigars using their brand to lure smokers.
I love the 601 line. I was sent two by reader/friend Mike Simmons. And truthfully, the 601 Red Label Habano has always been my favorite. So I haven’t smoked the green label in years. It was also kind of Mike to send me nicely aged sticks.
Like the rest of the 601 line, it is collaboration with Pepin Garcia. The cigars were sighted first in the summer of 2007. So if you haven’t smoked one by now, well…..er….
This blend is attributed to be the strongest. We shall see.
Cigar Aficionado gave it a 90.
The cigar is packed with tobacco. Not a single soft spot. But it is a sloppy cigar. Exposed seams, lots of veins, an exposed triple cap, and lumpy and bumpy. It does have a nice oily sheen to its medium brown wrapper.
But it has rained all night and it is coming down like cats and dogs as I type these words. I may have to use the flash on my camera for the photos.
I clip the cap and find aromas of floral notes, spice, chocolate, raisins, cedar, and some coffee.
Time to light up.
Draw is good. Loads of smoke when a nice vanilla creamy note pops up. And then some sweetness to turn everything into homemade whipped cream.
Chocolate shows up next with a minty quality. And then the Garcia Blast of Pepper. A mocha latte element forms. There is a cinnamon graham cracker flavor. “After you finish your dry, throat choking graham cracker and milk, go get your mat and lay down.”
I’ve smoked a quarter of an inch and the cigar is at its first stage of flavor bomb status.
The minty faction works well with the chocolate bringing up memories of the candy bar, “York Peppermint Pattie.”
The weather is terrible. I can’t get a decent photo; flash or not. I’m half considering blowing off the review and try another day.
The black pepper is strong but overpowering.
The creaminess is not out front.
Here are the flavors of the 601 Green Label Oscuro: Creaminess, spice, chocolate, mint, mocha latte, cinnamon, graham cracker, dried fruit, sweet cedar, and leather.
At the ¾” burned point, the cigar turns into a luscious candy bar. Only thing missing is the caramel or nougat.
I am adventuring with my “look.” I am letting my hair grow out so I can wear a pony tail. But not with curly hair I won’t. So I got a keratin treatment to keep my hair from being affected by humidity and to relax it.
Had it done yesterday. All those curls in the back are now straight and shoulder length. I can’t wash my hair for 3-4 days. And sleeping on it last night kind of funked it up but I can’t wet it.
The 601 Green Label Oscuro is incredibly warm and delicious. Like a hot cup of mom’s hot cocoa in front of the fire.
The second third begins.
Something I’ve wanted to say for a long time. I have written thousands of reviews over the last 7 years. And I get comments, every day, on cigars from reviews I wrote years ago. So when I go to my Comments section on my blog (which you can’t see), there will be dozens and dozens of comments. No one knows this because I don’t advertise it. It takes time to answer questions from so many comments. Some are incredibly dumb and ask me to do something they are too lazy to do; like I’m their cigar review slave. “Can you make a list of all the cigars you’ve reviewed that only took two weeks to be ready?” “Can you make a list of all the cigars you’ve reviewed and how long each one took to be ready to smoke?” Or, “Would you go into greater detail about the comment you made about what earthiness means?”
Come on. Who has time to do this shit? On top of that, it will be a comment that may only be read a few times in the future. All you, my lovely readers only see the current comments made on the current reviews; not the thousands.
I usually get a rush of hits when a daily deal is going on and people aren’t familiar with that particular cigar. So they type the cigar’s name in on Google and find me and others that have reviewed it. I’ve also reviewed a lot of obscure cigars.
So you will just have to pardon me. Set me free. I try to answer what I can but don’t ask me to respond to a question that will take a page long quote from Wikipedia to do so.
I hope I wasn’t too harsh but I know readers get frustrated when I don’t address their comments. Look at the A List reviewers. They don’t answer a single comment. But then they don’t get the onslaught of comments that I do. From the start of my blog to now, I have gotten over 10,000 comments. And it goes up at least 30 per day, or more.
So don’t stop your comments. But please understand that I cannot answer every single one if it requires an extensive answer.
OK. Back to the 601 Green Label Oscuro.
The cinnamon graham cracker is smooth and delicious.
The strength is classic medium bodied. Probably due to its extensive aging in Mike’s humidor.
I always thought the Red Label was the strongest. Did you know that the Red Label is the closest thing to a Cuban Ramon Allones on the American market?
The price point. Yeah, the retail is over $6 but if you go to Cbid you can get them for pennies on the dollar. Making this a truly affordable premium cigar. The Green Label doesn’t get the respect of the other blends but if smokers could taste what I am enjoying now, that would change.
The 601 Green Label Oscuro is a marvelous cigar. Makes me want to buy a box and then stick them in my humidor and forget about them for 9 months. I’ve smoked my fave; the Red Label Habano when it has 9 months on it and I now officially change my mind about which is my favorite. It is the Green.
Here are the flavors at the halfway point: Sweetness, chocolate, creaminess, cinnamon graham cracker, mint, raisins, spice, mocha latte, sweet cedar and leather.
I would snag some of these while smokers ignore them. Cbid has a 10 pack of robustos that ends tonight and the going price is $25. Crazy. And there is one more 5 pack of which there are 4 units and going for $5. $5.00!!! It ends on Saturday.
The last third ends and some new flavors expand the flavor profile. The mint is enhancing something chewy with a long finish. What the hell are they? It is a combination of chocolate cake, pecan pie, nougat, butterscotch, and dates.
The strength begins its move towards medium/full body.
The extensive humidor time has erased some of the strength but enhanced the flavor profile.
The 601 Green Label Oscuro is a must have. I have one more that Mike Simmons sent me. I shall treasure it.
The 601 Green Label Oscuro had a deep complexity by the middle of the first third. The balance has been close to perfect since early on. The cigar has one of the longest finishes of any cigar I’ve smoked.
And now a hint of nicotine.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS