The La Bomba 601, by Eddie Ortega is an odd cigar. This was recommended to me by the folks at my local B&M shop (Watch City Cigar Co, in Framingham MA). This recommendation came as a response to my query about spicy cigars. I was looking for peppery stuff, similar to Don Pepin Garcia’s lines. From what I’ve read online this is actually made at the My Father factory. This cigar actually has a warning to dissuade newcomers. How can I pass that up?It’s uniqueness is apparent immediately due to the long, fuse like tail off the cap. This is intended to look like an explosive. Gimmicky? Maybe, but still, I’m a sucker… It’s cool.
It’s 5×52. Quite large. It’s appearance is great. Slightly oily and smooth all the way through, with thin veins on the wrapper that are visible, but not detectable to the touch. It’s also extremly soft. Almost like a suede. The unlit draw tastes like normal cigarette tobacco, but the scent of the stick is pungent. It smells of strong earthiness at the head and the scent gets stronger down the length of the cigar until it ends with a stronger spicier kick at the foot.
The initial few draws taste full and smooth giving off massive plumes of smoke. It tastes very good. Within the first few minutes I can taste the spice picking up. The ring gauge is a wider than I prefer, and it hurts my jaw to hold it, and I can feel my teeth digging into the wrapper to hold it in place while I type this. The draw is light and easy, and about 10 minutes into the stick I had to relight the wrapper by holding my torch at a distance and rolling the head above it for a few seconds..
The ash is salt and pepper, fluffy and flaky. I can see bits of ash poking up from the head like snowflakes. Specks have begun to fly off on my shirt.
So far, I am really enjoying this cigar. The spice is fantastic. My only complaint so far is that this is the only vitola the shop had, and I’d prefer it to be bit thinner. Obviously, not a strike against the cigar, more personal preference.
There is no doubt, it’s a full body smoke. It’s not just black pepper, but in the first inch, I’ve tasted several different spices, along with some leather. I ingest quite a bit of nicotine on a daily basis, and this thing is giving me a buzz for the first time in a long time.
About an inch in, the burn hasn’t been even, as I let the ash fall, I’m going to have to touch it up a bit. Not surprising considering the early relight.
Entering the second third the flavor changes a bit. It’s lighter… sweeter, and kind of.. almost… bready. The pepper is still there, and still strong, but not as intense as it was… Like a pepper cookie. It’s awesome. My jaw is relaxing a bit and the larger ring is bothering me less. My shirt is now speckled with the flecks of ash that continue to drift off.
I’ve read elsewhere that this stick is not complex. It’s complex to me. I’m tasting a lot of flavors with a strong solid peppery base. Exhaling through the nostrils gives me a sneezing sensation. About an hour into it I’ve reached the halfway mark.
I’ve just realized that for a good 10 minutes, I’ve been staring at the screen, blank and thoughtless much like a drooling retard. My mouth is a bit dry with my tastebuds probably a bit dead from the prolonged spicy assault. The stick is burning unevenly again and will require another touchup. I’m going to give it a little help, and set it down for a minute or too to give myself some time to recover.. and a few sips of coffee.
Entering the last third, it’s about what I expected. Strong and spicy, and there actually what is probably an induced sneeze. All through this cigar the draw has been perfect. Every draw produces a huge cloud of thick white smoke that results in good strong, full smoke rings.
My tastebuds may be shot at this point, but all I’m detecting now is consistent spice. I don’t imagine that’s going to change for the remainder of the stick, and honestly.. that’s not a bad thing. Maybe that’s why folks claimed this wasn’t a complex cigar. In the beginning… I feel that it was.
I don’t generally smoke my cigars all the way to the nub, I usually let them die out somewhere near half way through the last third, but this one was special. At no point did it become bitter or unpleasant or too hot. It stayed consistent and tasty, and strong as hell. When I decided to put this down to sleep I’d had a good solid buzz for quite some time. Total smoking time was 1:58.
This isn’t the kind of stick I could smoke every day, for obvious reasons, but I’ll definitely pick up some more for special occasions and nights when I want to veg out for couple hours without thinking about anything. Definitely recommended for pepper fans and those that enjoy full bodied cigars. Now I’m going to lay down on the couch for a while to recover and watch some Dr. Who.