601 La Bomba Sake Bomb
If you’ve been keeping up, I have included some history on Erik Espinosa and his connection to the 601 brand. Once a partner in EO Brands with Eddie Ortega, Erik has been operating as Espinosa Premium Cigars since 2012. He has his own brand plus some of the former EO brands, like 601, under his belt, all of which are produced at his La Zona factory.
It seems that Erik’s focus for the 601 line lately has been the La Bomba series. It started with four vitolas and has now, once the Bunker Buster is available, will expand to eight. They are: Atom, Napalm, Nuclear, Atomic, F-Bomb, Warhead, Bunker Buster (coming soon), and Sake Bomb.
The Sake Bomb is the smallest of all the vitolas. It contains the same Nicaraguan tobaccos as the others with a slight tweak to the filler to accommodate the smaller ring gauge. The latest press release states that it will be available at your local 601 retailers on May 12th.
Just like the Habano and La Zona, this sample was sent to us from Espinosa Premium Cigars. We are grateful for the samples, but their generosity will not affect the rating.
The 601 La Bomba Sake Bomb looks slightly menacing despite its small size. It has a milk chocolate wrapper that is pretty veiny but has smooth seams and a rough and oily surface. The foot appears to be well packed. There is a triple cap that has the signature La Bomba fuse coming off of the top. Unfortunately, it appears to be glued to the side of the stick and breaks when I try to loosen it.
The band is around the foot. It is yellow with gold trim and black print. The yellow and black remind me of a fallout shelter placard. Sake Bomb is listed across the bottom. In my opinion, all the La Bomba bands look gimmicky and cheap. But hey, it fits with the branding so I get it! It certainly isn’t going to keep me from smoking it!
The Sake Bomb feels the way it looks, which is a little bumpy and oily. At least the seams are smooth. When I squeeze the barrel, it feels well packed with no soft spots.
Sniffing the foot, I get some notes of molasses, earth, and cayenne pepper. The barrel smells of cocoa and cayenne. I do love that combination!
I clip the cap and remove the fuse that is glued (pectin) to the wrapper. It does leave a little glue residue, but nothing substantial. The airflow on the draw is good. The notes I get are dust and grass. I must say that this is disappointing after the aromas I got previously.
The 601 La Bomba Sake Bomb was a little difficult to light. One half lit right up but the other half did not. Maybe too much oil settled on one side, but it did make it take longer than I’d expect for a cigar with a 42 rg. Once I get it lit, it burns mostly even throughout, only requiring a small touch up in the final third.
The draw on this little guy is pretty open. I get plenty of smoke on each pull. The good thing is that it is not so open that it burns fast. For the size of the stick, it actually lasted the right amount of time.
The ash is gray with some black and white. It looks a little flaky. In fact, when I got up to take the picture around the 1” mark, it fell on me. From that point on, I made sure to tap it off when it looked suspect.
Now, the moment of truth. Though it is a little gimmicky, the 601 La Bomba Sake Bomb has been pretty solid in terms of construction and overall appearance. But none of that matters if it fails the final and most critical portion of the review. Well?
The first third hits me in the mouth with a strong blast of cayenne and black pepper. The cayenne goes all the way to the back of my throat. The black pepper is mostly on the finish. When I am able to start tasting other notes, I pick up on wood and nuts. Near the end of this section, the spice dies down a tad and some sweetness comes through as well.
In the next third, the cayenne, black pepper, wood, and nuts are still present. The sweetness that was coming in starts to taste a little like caramel. Later on, the wood and nuts increase and a little earth creeps in too.
In the final third, the pepper, earth, wood, and hint of caramel are all still present. The caramel changes to more of a sweet, savory flavor. At the very end, I get a little char taste before letting it go out.
The 601 La Bomba Sake Bomb is a full strength/full flavor firecracker that has a full tank of spice, but allows other enjoyable flavors shine through as well. Overall, it performed very well. Smoke time was right at 1 hour 15 minutes.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Only if you like strong, spicy cigars.
Would I Buy a Box?
Yes, especially a 10 ct box. I will at least get a 5 pack when they are available.
The 601 La Bomba Sake Bomb lives up to its name. Whether you find the marketing to be gimmicky or not, it delivers on what is advertised. While it’s not the strongest cigar I’ve ever smoked, it is definitely one of the spiciest, especially for its size. Though I like strong cigars, I do not always want something that spicy or strong, so I probably wouldn’t go for one of these everyday. However, I like that it is smaller because you can enjoy something spicy without getting tired or overwhelmed by it.
I will go on record and say that I am looking forward to this release. Hopefully they will be available in a shop near you. If so, pick one up and try it. Just remember, don’t smoke it on an empty stomach!