“… everything with this cigar just seemed to come together perfectly. I loved the power and spice this cigar brought to the table. Warhead III is a cigar where the flavor is not sacrificed and the strength and spice does not assault the palate.”
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona)
Lancero: 7 1/2 x 38 (Box Pressed)
Review: 601 La Bomba Warhead III by Espinosa Cigars (12/22/16)
Brand Appearances on Countdown: 5 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Coming in at #5 is 601 La Bomba Warhead III by Espinosa Cigars. The Warhead line is an (almost) annual release that is an offshoot of Espinosa Cigars’ popular 601 La Bomba line. With the Warhead, La Bomba’s Nicaraguan Habano wrapper is replaced by a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The blend is then tweaked to a particular box-pressed size. Each installment of the Warhead has been in a different size. For the Warhead III, that size is a box-pressed lancero.
The previous two installments of Warhead: Warhead I (a box-pressed Toro Grande) and Warhead II (a box-pressed Robusto Grande) each placed on a Cigar Coop Countdown. Warhead III is the longest (7 1/2 inches in length) and thinnest (38 ring gauge). In particular, while box-pressed lancers are not totally uncommon, this one is a traditional 38 ring gauge – something not often seen as many box-pressed lancers are in the 40 to 42 ring gauge. Warhead I and Warhead II were released in 2013 and 2014 respectively and earned places on the Countdown for those years.
Like the first two Warheads, Warhead III utilizes Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The cigar is made at Espinosa’s La Zona factory Estelí, Nicaragua and was blended by Hector Alfonso Sr.
This marks the fifth consecutive year that Espinosa Cigars has landed on a Cigar Coop Cigar of the Year Countdown. For those keeping score at home, this is the third cigar from La Zona to make the 2017 Countdown. It also marks the tenth maduro to make this year’s Countdown. While 2016’s Countdown saw five lanceros on that Countdown, Warhead III becomes the first lancero to land on the 2017 Countdown. Finally, Warhead III gives Espinosa it’s highest placement ever on a Cigar Coop Countdown.
Warhead III delivers notes of cocoa, black pepper, earth, and “maduro sweetness” (a cross of natural tobacco and dried fruit). True to its name, this cigar has some fire as it started out medium to full in strength and body before progressing to full in the second half. Warhead III delivers a nice dose of strength and flavor and neither attribute overshadows the other.
The Warhead III is simply an epic smoke – and it’s one that has earned its way into the top five for 2017.
For details of the 2017 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2017 criteria.
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop