Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $8 each
In the fall of 2010, the team behind 601 cigars and Sabor Havana Cigars in Doral came together to create a special cigar to celebrate the release of Rafael Cerrato Salas’ book “25448, No! Roberto Martin Perez.” This cigar highlighted the Cuban experience and life of an outspoken critic of Fidel Castro’s communist regime. Roberto Perez spent a total of 28 years in jail in Cuba, and he was referred by Castro as the “father of the prisoners.” The initial release of the book was in Spanish, and personally I have not read it. The cigars, 364 boxes of 10 (3640 total), were specifically blended for this release using the same Habano wrapper as the original 601 Red, but the filler tobaccos are unique to this stick. These cigars can be differentiated by the secondary “Edicion 2010 Limitada” band below the newer 601 Red label.
I bought a box of these cigars awhile back and planned on doing a review of them, but like a few other sticks, I ended up enjoying them so much that I smoked up all my stock. I acquired a few more from Brooks @ Smoking Stogie.com that I am doing the review on today. Just to note, this is not like any other Pepin made stick. This was a totally different cigar from what Pepin usually makes, so how was it?
Simply, it’s a perfect example of a toro. The quality control for 601’s are very good in general, but these are especially good looking cigars and perfectly put together. The wrapper is a light Colorado or tan coloration. Perfectly smooth on the outside, the wrapper has a fuzzy sueded texture to its surface. Veins are super thin and hardly noticeable. The wrapper leaf smells of cedar and hay/grass and a touch of leather, and the foot smells of sugar cane and hay.
Out of the 10+ cigars that I smoked, none had a bad draw after being snipped. If there was any deviation in the draws they were usually on the more open side. The cigar lights easily for a bigger ring gauge (52 gauge). Burn lines were usually razor sharp and I may have needed to only touch up one or two ever. I smoked several in my car that never needed a touch up. The salt & pepper ash holds on for 2-3 inches at a time. The smoke is very thick and plentiful coating the palate and is very retrohale friendly. This is also a cigar you leave alone for a few minutes come back and it will still be burning really well.
Pepin made the perfect Cuban cigar without Cuban tobacco. At this point with months of aging, this cigar has lost any spice that used to be present in the beginning of this cigar. A substantial amount of cedar flavor is tasted with the first few puffs and then a hay flavor appears. The smoke has a sweet tobacco and vanillin flavor to it. This flavor profile remains solid throughout the 1st third.
In the 2nd third, flavors move harmoniously to sugar cane, vanilla, and hay. The body of the cigar is definitely medium which is perfect for me. In the end of this portion of the cigar the flavors are a little fuller/darker and remind me of the sweetness I get in hoisin sauce. This round sweetness remains combined with hay, funk, and cedar.
The conclusion of this cigar transitions to milk chocolate and cedar with some asian five spice. The flavor profile just remains incredible with transitions bouncing from one to the other in a smooth fashion. Even though the body is medium, the nicotine content is significant in this one. This cigar allows you to get the full experience from your taste buds and sinuses, ‘cause you can retrohale the entire time while smoking it. Your sinuses never get tired of the smoke,….just surreal.
It’s $8.00 for probably the best cigar from 2010,… enough said.
Overall Rating :
This is a classic cigar. Pepin shows he can out-Cuban the Cubans any day of the week. He proved, with this stick, that if he wants he can still produce cubanesque cigars that can compete with the best of the island south of Miami. Though most of his cigars are renowned for being pepper and strength heavy, Pepin really shows off his ability to master the full flavor and strength spectrum. This is simply a superb cigar and I can only wish that these could be made once again someday. This is a no-brainer for the top cigar of 2010 for me. If you still have these cigars, do smoke them, because they are singing right now!