In 2013, Espinosa Cigars launched an extension of its 601 La Bomba line known as the Warhead. The Warhead took the 601 La Bomba concept and was a blend based on the original 601 La Bomba, replacing the Nicaraguan wrapper with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and box pressing the cigar. The 601 La Bomba Warhead became a hit for Espinosa Cigars, and since its initial release in 2013, it has become an (almost) annual release for Espinosa Cigars. Each year’s release features a different vitola with different artwork. 2019 saw Espinosa Cigars released the fifth iteration of the 601 La Bomba Warhead, the Warhead V. Today we take a closer look at that cigar.
The 601 brand has its origins with EO Brands, the company that Erik Espinosa owned with Eddie Ortega. Back in 2011, the 601 La Bomba line was introduced. When EO Brands dissolved, Espinosa took the 601 lines into his new company, Espinosa Premium Cigars. From there he has expanded the 601 La Bomba line (as well as the 601 brand as whole) and added the Warhead line as a limited production offshoot.
Without further ado, let’s break down the 601 La Bomba Warhead V and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the remainder of the 601 La Bomba Warhead V consists of all-Nicaraguan tobaccos. Production for the cigar is handled out of AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocatel, Nicaragua where Espinosa Cigars produces the rest of the 601 brand.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: San Lotano
The Warhead V is a classic 6 x 52 box-pressed Toro. The cigar is presented in 10-count boxes. Each blend of the Warhead is slightly tweaked to the vitola.
For historical purposes, we recap the entire Warhead Series. With the exception of the recently released Warhead VI, the Warhead is an all box-pressed series
The Connecticut Broadleaf had a dark espresso bean color. This was a very oily wrapper There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The fuse extending from the cap is attached to the side of the cigar. This is also a cigar with a very sharp box-press.
The Warhead V features a footer band. While each of the Warhead installments has had a similar band design, there have been differences in the color scheme. Like the other installments of the series, Warhead V still has the shark-face “bomb” design reminiscent of aircraft graffiti during the World War II era. Warhead III differs in that the background has a mostly red and black design. On a “spray-painted” black colored background is the red 601 logo with a bomb design over the “0”. There is a red wreath design surrounding the left, right, and bottom of the logo. Across the lower part of the wreath is a white ribbon with the text “LA BOMBA” in red font. Below the wreath is the text “WARHEAD V” in red font. The left side of the band contains some graffiti which includes the text “KILROY WAS HERE” and “Bombs Away.” The right side has the eyes and teeth of the “shark face”.
Given the pigtail fuse is attached to the side of the Warhead V, I don’t advise pulling this pigtail. Instead, I placed a straight cut into the cap which left the pigtail fuse attached to the side of the cigar. From that point, it was time to move on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of chocolate, earth, cedar, and coffee. The coffee was reminiscent of what I term “chock full o’ nuts” (having a slightly burnt quality to it). Overall this was an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to remove the footer of the Warhead V, light up the cigar, and move on to the smoking experience.
The Warhead V started out with notes of mocha (a flavor that represents a fusion of coffee and chocolate), earth, mixed pepper, and cedar. During the early stages of the smoking experience, the mocha motes moved into the forefront. Meanwhile, the earth, pepper, and cedar settled in the background. There was an additional layer of mixed pepper on the retro-hale.
As the Warhead V moved through the second half, the mocha notes morphed into a coffee note. Like the pre-light draw, the coffee note had the “chock full o nuts” quality from the pre-light draw. The earth notes joined the coffee in the forefront. The cedar and pepper remained in the background, but during this phase the pepper notes slowly increased in intensity.
By the last third, the pepper closed in on the coffee and earth notes. There still were some cedar notes present in the background. This is the way the Warhead V came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Warhead V was slightly wavy, but it was never a burn that seriously meandered off a straight burn path. The resulting ash was firm and had a near-white color. Meanwhile, the burn temperature and burn rate were both at ideal levels.
The draw to the Warhead V had a touch of resistance to it. This is something that I like. Many box-pressed cigars tend to have draws that are too open for me, but no such case with the Warhead V. The Warhead V was also a cigar that had a significant amount of smoke production.
Strength and Body
The Warhead V is pretty much on par with its predecessors when it comes to strength and body levels. This is a cigar that started out medium to full in strength and body and by the second third progressed into full territory. The increase in intensity for both the strength and body leveled off in the second half. In terms of strength versus body, a slight edge goes to the strength.
Since it has first been introduced in 2013, the 601 La Bomba Warhead Series has become a personal favorite. Each year Espinosa has delivered an excellent cigar with the Warhead – each bringing its own nuances to the table. These haven’t been necessarily the most complex of cigars, but they have all had excellent flavor. In addition, the cigar brings a powerful punch to the table without sacrificing the flavor. Given this cigar is strong in terms of strength and body, it’s a cigar I would recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again. While it’s limited, it certainly garners box worthy consideration if found.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee, Chocolate), Mixed Pepper, Earth, Cedar
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
News: Espinosa Showcases 601 La Bomba Warhead V at the 2019 IPCPR
Brand Reference: Espinosa
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop