601 La Bomba Bunker Buster (Smoke Inn Exclusive)
I celebrated my Memorial day with thoughts of respect to those who have sacrificed for our county, a 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster, and a bottle of Prairie Artisan Ales’ Bible Belt. I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday.
The Good Stuff: We are not strangers to Smoke Inn, and it’s famous Micro Blend series. In fact, we have smoked every one and actually reviewed most of them. For those who aren’t familiar with them, basically Smoke Inn releases a few limited edition, exclusive sizes and blends made by some of the biggest names in the industry.
- Tatuaje’s Anarchy
- Padron’s Anniversary 1964 SI-15
- My Father’s El Hijo
- Arturo Fuente’s Solaris
- Tatuaje’s Apocalypse
- Room 101’s Big Delicious
- The Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel
And now Espinosa’s 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster. The press release pretty much sums up the blend, pricing, and availability:
Smoke InnTM has once again teamed up with a manufacturer for our eighth installment of our highly regarded Microblend SeriesTM. Smoke Inn together with Erik Espinosa of Espinosa Cigars are proud to present the world a very special limited edition of Espinosa Cigars’ highly acclaimed 601 La Bomba Series, the Bunker BusterTM. Bunker Buster Bombs are vicious weapons that penetrate deep into mountainsides destroying bunkers hidden in the heart of the mountain.
In the spirit of the Bunker Buster Bomb, the 601 La Bomba Bunker BusterTM drills deep into your pallet unleashing a memorable full bodied smoking experience. Using the finest hand selected Nicaraguan Habano claro wrapper, the Bunker BusterTM deploys a exceptionally strong Nicaraguan Criollo leaf binding a full blown arsenal of Nicaraguan fillers. The Bunker BusterTM is a truly a full-bodied bold smoking experience.
The 601 La Bomba Bunker BusterTM will have a National Release Party on Friday June 6th, The Anniversary of D-Day, at Smoke Inn’s Casa de Montecristo location in Boynton Beach Florida from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. Total Production is 500 (10 count) boxes. The 5.5×56 Figurado Cigar will retail for $8.95 a stick, $89.95/ box.
Pre-orders will be taken at www.smokeinn.com beginning Friday, May 23rd. All box pre-orders will receive a commemorative Military Challenge Coin along with FREE shipping while supplies last. ALL pre-orders will ship out Monday, June 9th 2014.
Thanks goes out to the Smoke Inn staff for providing us a few samples for review.
Size: 5 x 56 Figurado
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Claro
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo
Pairing: Prairie Artisan/Evil Twin Bible Belt (Imperial Stout 13% ABV)
Prelight: The 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster looks like something straight out of an Army Surplus Store. We’ll start with the band cause, well cause it’s pretty awesome. The Bunker Buster carries a military green band with the standard 601 La Bomba Crest in a darker green, metallic gold, and white. Underneath it has the words “Bunker Buster” printed in a stamped looking metallic gold font. You’ll find some class chevrons and the words “Espinosa” and “S.I.M.B. 2014” which we all know stands for Smoke Inn Micro Batch 2014. All in all the band design is very unique, eye-catching and fitting. I really dig it. Underneath the band is what matters, the cigar. First off it’s a format we don’t see too often, a perfecto boxpress. The Bunker Buster starts with a stubby, tapered foot which is barely open as it leads to a much wider box pressed body before tapering off again to a very pointy cap. I’m not overly enthusiastic about the perfecto format as I know many people are, but you can box press just about anything and I’ll fall in love with it. The wrapper seems a bit thin while it seamlessly sits around the tobacco. It’s pretty oily with some soft tooth and only a few tiny veins. The wrapper is a medium brown in color with some darker areas around the cap and the webbing in the leaf. The cigar is a bit soft in my hand, but very consistent which usually translates into a great draw.
The wrapper on the 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster gives off only a faint spice while the foot of the cigar carries a very strong cedar and sweet tobacco aroma. The cap cut clean and easy using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw is rather tame only showing of some grainy, natural flavors.
First Smoke: The 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster started out with some strong black pepper, leather, spice, coffee, cedar, and tobacco. I’ve smoked a ton of La Bomba in my days and expect a very peppery experience but the pepper is really toned down in the one in comparison to the others. It was strong for the first few draws, then nothing but a backing flavor behind the cedar, spice, and coffee mixing in the with natural flavors from the tobacco. The draw was a bit tight for the first couple of puffs but once it got going it was kicking out a ton of thick smoke with every little puff. The burnline is pretty thick, but dead even. The ash left behind is a bit flaky, medium and light gray, and held on for a bit over an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: I’m really surprised, and actually pretty happy with how tame this La Bomba is in comparison to some of it’s counterparts. The pepper is completely gone going into the second third and now the cigar can really showcase a much sweeter profile leading with strong cedar, orange, coffee, spice, and lots of natural tobacco. This is an example of the La Bomba at it’s finest. The retrohale is really clean coating my nasal passage with some strong cedar, spice, and even a bit of a berry flavor/aroma. The burnline is still pretty even and I am already feeling a bit of a nicotine kick as I close out the second third.
Finish: The final third is where the already bold Bunker Buster starts to show what it’s all about. As I stated, the body was already complex and bold, but it really steps up pumping out a ton of spice, berry, cedar, coffee, and natural tobacco. While there is a ton of flavors I love how smoothly and creamy them blend in. So balanced, so smooth with an almost milky finish. I took this bad boy down to the nub and experienced absolutely no harshness or heat. It took me about 2 hours to smoke this cigar down and it left me with a great little nicotine kick and a very relaxed state.
Overview: I eluded to it in the review, but I will now just come out and say it. The 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster is one of the best, if not the best cigar in the 601 La Bomba portfolio. I found that many of the others feed off that pepper and it ends up costing as the experience is all muddied up with that pepper and more of the true flavors really never have a chance to shine. This is the exact opposite in the Bunker Buster. This cigar takes a step back from the pepper and really lets loose the more deep, complex, and bold flavors that the blend has to offer while finishing incredible smooth and creamy. The price is pretty damn modest. Honestly this cigar will find it’s way into my rotation and it’s pretty easy to call it a box-worthy purchase.
Pairing: The Prairie Artisan Bible Belt is a collaboration between Prairie artisan and Evil Twin brewing. They came together and made a imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla bean, and chili peppers coming in at an awesome 13% ABV. The Bible Belt tastes similar to the Prairie Bomb! That I paired with a while ago except it’s toned back a bit on the sweetness and is much heavier on the chili. The Bible belt leads off with a strong chili flavor which quickly transitions to a milk-chocolate flavor with lots of sweetness and spice before finishing malty and creamy with some slight spice on the after taste. No booziness at all which is incredible due to the amount of alcohol in this bad boy. Now take those notes and lay them over the flavor profile of the La Bomba Bunker Buster and you’d have a pretty close carbon copy resulting in one hell of a pairing. Usually I don’t drink many stouts during the summer but this one isn’t as heavy as others and I actually find it quite refreshing.