Team Cigar Review: 601 Blue Label Maduro Toro

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Cigar Details: 601 Blue Label Maduro Toro

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6.25″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $8.96
  • Release Date: August 2016
  • Source: Espinosa

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

John-McTavish

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is very rustic as it’s dark brown and has a couple of thick veins present. There is quite a bit of tooth to the wrapper to give it a bit of a sandpaper feel. The seams are very well blended and are hard to detect as they go around the distinct box press. The head carries a double cap with lifting edges in some areas. The band is the latest iteration of the 601 design with a lot of gold along with blue which is the color signifying this line. The aroma from the wrapper is wood along with some cocoa. The foot brings more wood along with a slight ammonia note. The pre-light draw consists of wood along with a bit of floral perfume.

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the 601 Blue Label Maduro Toro is smooth and a dark chocolate color, with the cigar shape featuring a soft box press. The cap is is well applied. The band stands out with the bright blue against gold and gold accents. The aromas from the wrapper are spices, Spanish cedar and hints of chocolate. From the foot, I’m reminded of pilons with their syrupy sweet tobacco.

First Third

Things start out with a profile of dark wood, a heavy mix of black pepper and baking spice along with a slight amount of cocoa. A fairly heavy spice was present on my lips the first few draws as well. At a half inch in, the pepper and baking spice settle way down letting the cocoa move up to work with the dark wood. The retrohale features the black pepper and baking spice and little else is detectable there. At an inch in, the dark wood and cocoa are all that’s left in the profile as the pepper and baking spice are now only present on the retrohale. As the third comes to a close, the profile remains with the dark wood and cocoa. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The initials draws produce powdered creamy cocoa, finishing with leather. I get a mild cedar on the retrohale. The leather is more pronounced on the post draw, and as the cigar settles in, the cocoa starts to follow into the post draw. There is a sweetness present, but the cocoa is at a medium strength and serves to push it down. As the cigar progresses in the first third, I’m tasting a light vegetal, almost clover tone just underneath the cocoa and leather.

Second Third

As the second third begins, it’s a continuation of the dark wood and cocoa from the previous third. At a half inch in, a bit of ashiness joins the profile. The retrohale is now dark wood along with a mild black pepper. At an inch in, the ashiness remains in the background with the cocoa while the dark wood is up front. As the third comes to a close, the cocoa has dropped out of the profile while the dark wood is up front and a faint ashiness in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to right at medium.

Second Third

The sweetness that was being dominated by cocoa in the first third picks up in strength here, bringing some mild baking spices. As the second third continues to progress, the cocoa falls off in intensity, with some barbeque roasted flavors supplanting it. At the halfway point, the primary flavors are a light plus creaminess with cocoa.

Final Third

As the final third begins, a slight cocoa note rejoins the profile as the dark wood gains a bit of char and the ashiness is no longer present. At a half inch in, the char picks up and begins masking the cocoa in the profile. At an inch in, the cigar begins to warm up bringing some mintiness to the profile along with the charred dark wood. As the cigar comes to a close, the mintiness has subsided and the dark charred wood remained. The retrohale showed the same profile. The strength in this third finished out at medium.

Final Third

Some charred earthy notes to begin the final third. The charred earth fades a few minutes in and I am mostly tasting tobacco notes. Unfortunately, the char returns after the band is removed for the remainder of the last third.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy at times and always caught up with itself. Smoke production was very high throughout the smoking experience. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn for the 601 Blue Label Maduro Toro is amazing, with the ash holding on in two inch increments. No touch-ups with a razor sharp burn line from start to finish.

Draw

The draw was slightly looser than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The flavor profile was centered around dark wood and cocoa. Black pepper and baking spice were present in the first third and char joined in at the second half of the cigar. Construction was very good. For maduro lovers, this is one to check out to see how it fits their profile although it wasn’t anything profound. I would prefer the cigar in a smaller vitola as I got a bit bored towards the end. Overall, it was a fairly average offering, but one that is still something I would smoke from time to time.

Aaron
John
Good Pre
Light
Amazing
Good First
Third
Average
Average Second Third Average
Average Final
Third
Subpar
Very Good Burn Amazing
Very Good Draw Very Good
Average Overall Average

Draw

The draw starts out very resistant, and opens up halfway through the first third. Even with the draw opening it’s still quite snug.

Overall

When you consider the high level review performance for Espinosa cigars, it sets a challenging bar for releases to meet. Compared to those consistently great releases, the 601 Blue Label Maduro Toro ends up being an average cigar. That isn’t to say it’s a bad cigar, because it is enjoyable, and the powdered cocoa flavors are going to appeal to a very broad smoking audience.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

$1.49

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.47

Cost/Point

$1.64

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: 601 Blue Label Maduro Toro
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: 601 Blue Label Maduro Toro

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