Tag Archives: 601 La Bomba

Black Abyss, Dominican Big Leaguer and 601 La Bomba Cigars and an AshStay

It’s gotten cold here in PA, but fortunately no snow like in some areas of the country. I’m sure in February temps in the 30s will feel balmy, but in November it’s too cold, too soon.  Looks like I’ll be dipping into the supply of smaller cigars for a while!  In other news, I came across an ashtray via a Twitter follow called “AshStay”  This is a covered ashtray that actually looks pretty nifty. The one problem I have with the video they have on their site is that the woman in the video complains that her husband and his friends love cigars and she has to clean up after them.  Gentlemen, there’s no reason we can’t clean up after ourselves!  I get having a nice, covered ashtray like this to keep the wind from blowing ash all over, but I think we are all capable of emptying our ashtrays and not burdening our significant others with cleaning up our messes.  Of course, if your wife joins you for a smoke, she can pitch in with the clean up, but I would bet that making your spouse clean up after you will not endear you to her!  Just a public service announcement (and a little unsolicited plug for a pretty cool product!).


BlackAbyss_HydraMonday, before it got awfully cold, I selected a cigar that’s an exclusive to JR Cigars, the Black Abyss Hydra, a 6″ x 52 Torpedo. This line has a San Andrés maduro wrapper, and is made by Jochi Blanco at Tabacalera Palma.  Of course, this is a hot factory with some great cigars in their portfolio.  I enjoy this reasonably priced line, it’s got a fairly typical Mexican Maduro profile that I love, and burns very well.  It’s medium bodied and had a nice sweetness and coffee flavors. This is a tough cigar to pass up in the under $4 price range.


DominicanBigLeaguer_Maduro_La MaquinaTuesday the cold set in, so I picked a short cigar. I met Francisco Almonte, the owner of Dominican Big Leaguer Cigars, at The Smokin’ Goose a couple months ago. I was first introduced to this line by my local tobacconist, Jeff, at JM Cigars who was really taken with the brand.  I chose the 4″x60 DBL Maduro La Maquina, another San Andrés wrapped cigar. This is one of those cigars that I’ll be interested in trying again under better conditions as I’m not willing to judge a cigar smoked on a cold and windy night.  The burn was uneven, but it had a very nice flavor. On the milder side with the earthy, espresso flavor one might expect.  This hard to find line is a bit of a surprise, they are making some nice cigars.


601_La Bomba_AtomTonight I chose one of my last 601 La Bomba Atoms.  I’ve had a craving for one of these all week, and this corona gorda size was perfect for a cold evening. This cigar is from the original My Father production, as I’ve had these in my humidor for quite some time. The current production is made in Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory, so I’m sure the newer ones are on a par with the old, although I haven’t had a new one yet.  This is a powerhouse, plenty of flavor to gut through the wintry temps, but smooth and balanced too. The burn was perfect, as was the draw. I know I have one or two of these left, and I look forward to trying the new production one of these days.  I can’t think of a cigar from La Zona that I didn’t like.   The La Bomba impressed me from the first time I smoked one with Eddie Ortega when this was a part of the EO Brands stable and they continue to be a favorite.


I continue to be grateful and impressed by the goodies that are coming in for next month’s 12 Days of Spectacular Cigar Giveaways!  At the risk of jinxing myself, this might be the most stress free series of contests yet. I could just about run the contest now with the great contest presents I’ve already received, and there’s more to come. I may have to turn sponsors away (but I doubt I’d do something so silly)!  Stay tuned, this will be the best year yet for the 12DoSCG! If you need a contest to enter in the mean time, check out that awesome Norteño ashtray stand and humidor from Drew Estate.


That’s all I have for today, until the next time,





Filed under Editorial, Review

Kristoff CRA, 601 Bunker Buster and La Jugada Cigars

I’ve been largely absent from writing and social media since my wife’s father passed away this week.  My wife has been busy making arrangements and tomorrow he’ll be laid to rest in New Jersey. I’m sure everyone understands why I missed my Wednesday post for the first time in several years.  I smoked many cigars with Mario over the years, I remember him telling me early on that cigars cooled you off on a hot day, and he had a story about coming through customs at the Canadian border with a three pack of Havanas, having them confiscated, and telling the agents “I hope you f**king enjoy them!”.  He would lick and chew up the cigars I gave him and ruin them, then complain about them not being too good. It didn’t matter to me really as I was happy to share. We lived with him for the last year and a half or so, so it’s going to be weird not having him around. May he rest in peace.


KristoffCRASince it’s been hectic around here, I haven’t really smoked too many notable cigars. Sunday I lit up a Kristoff maduro of some sort which came from the Cigar Rights of America, and I can’t recall which year I got it, maybe this year. I took my favorite summer chair out in the yard and enjoyed this maduro cigar while catching up on podcasts. It had a nice pigtail cap and closed foot, it was a really good looking cigar.  Since this is supposed to be a special blend just for the CRA, I don’t know the blend, nor will I speculate on it. It was reasonably heavy in body and full of dark, decadent flavors. I haven’t smoked a bunch of Kristoff cigars, but I should probably try some more based upon this cigar. I have about five more of these special CRA editions that I’ve accumulated over the years that I’ll get to in the near future.  Don’t forget, time is running out to leave your comments on the FDA site.  Just do it.


601_BunkerBusterLater in the day I realized it was June first, so I figured I’d smoke a 601 of some sort.  I had recently received some 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster, which is the newest micro-blend from Smoke Inn. This cigar is a 5 ½” x 56 box pressed figurado that’s lighter in the hand that one would expect. This cigar wasn’t as potent as it’s La Bomba cousins, and I smoked an Atom on Tuesday to get a bit of a comparison.  I enjoyed the Bunker Buster immensely on it’s own merit, but I don’t think it packed the punch for me that the regular line does.  It’s a really cool shape with a wide open draw and even burn, despite feeling under filled.  If you like the 601 line, you have to give these a try if you can, and even if you aren’t a strong cigar fan, try it because it’s not as strong as you’d think.


La Jugata Habano BelicosoLater in the week I smoked another cigar from Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory (the 601 Atom might be a leftover from the My Father factory, it’s been in my humidor for a while), the La Jugada Habano.  This is another really great cigar with a perfect burn and draw, and full, rich flavors. This is a great cigar to take a nice long walk with. It’s a 6 1/8″ x 52 belicoso with a beautiful Ecuador Habano wrapper.  The website recommends a full meal before this one, but since it’s been a crazy week for me, I can’t remember what I ate, but it was a very good smoke.  I think both the Prieto and Habano lines are really good cigars from Moya Ruiz Cigars.


montecristo_petitedmundoYesterday, after the majority of guests left our home where the post-funeral reception was held, I lit up a little Montecristo Petit Edmundo that has been in the humidor for about a year.  This is a cool little robusto, measuring 4 3/8″ x 52, which is a unique vitola in the Havana range.  I picked this because it was pretty short and it was on the top row of the humidor.  I enjoyed this cigar so much that I picked up a toothpick to finish it off.  It had some sweetness and that unmistakable Cuban “twang”.  I felt like my father-in-law would have enjoyed this cigar.  I wished it had been longer, but it was tasty. While I don’t feel that Cuban cigars are really any better than Nicaraguan, Honduran, Dominican, etc. cigars, they certainly have a distinctive flavor that you don’t find in others, and I happen to enjoy it from time to time.  Real ones are worth sampling.


That’s it for today.  It’s been an exhausting week, more for my wife than me, so we’re trying to grab a little bit of normal while we have a chance. Tomorrow will be another busy day as we drive to New Jersey for the cemetery portion of the funeral.  Hopefully the coming weeks settle  down and we can get our bearings.  Until the next time,








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1502 Black Gold, 601 La Bomba, Merlion and a Kentucky Fire Cured Cigar

1502_BlackGold_ToroLast time I said I was going to smoke some readily available cigars as opposed to the limited and discontinued stuff I was smoking last week. I think I managed to accomplish that, and smoke some pretty tasty cigars in the process! Sunday afternoon I lit up my last 1502 Black Gold Toro, a cigar I really like and will have to put some more in my humidor. I recently received all three 1502 blends in lancero format, so look for those recaps in the not too distant future! Anyway, I love the way they partially close the foot on these, I get a little extra blast of wrapper flavor on lighting. Always well made, the Black Gold is the maduro offering, and I dig the dark, rich flavors and excellent construction. This is a 99 on the CigarCraig rating scale, I need to pick up a few more to have on hand. The whole line is highly recommended and another winner distributed by the House of Emilio.


601 LaBomba_Sake BombMonday my wife and I went out for a while, when we got home, I opted for a short smoke, so the new 601 La Bomba Sake Bomb was the cigar of choice. I received a pair of samples a week or two ago from Epinosa Cigar Co., and, quite frankly, I probably could have been more patient and let these rest a little longer. I really enjoy the La Bomba line. It’s one of my go-to cigars whenb I just want something satisfying and familiar. I’m partial to the Atom in this line, although I’ll happily smoke any of them. Anyway, the reason I said I should have waited was that the little 4½ x 42 Sake Bomb might have still been a little overhumidified from it’s journey.  The draw was a bit more firm than I would have liked. Still, it had the great flavor that I expect from the  La Bomba line. I like them because they are pretty strong, but really flavorful.  The Habano wrapper is flawless, and, although I’m not a fan of footbands, the presentation is really cool.  My example didn’t have the long fuse that it should have had, but we just cut that off, don’t we.  I’ll revisit this in a few weeks, it’s a nice little size. Given that I don’t drink, I have no idea what Sake tastes like, but I’m quite sure there’s no flavor comparison. This is a solid 97 until I revisit it.


Merlion_Sea LionMonday evening I picked another smaller cigar, however, this one is a limited edition. It’s a currently available limited edition, so I figured it would fit with this weeks theme.  The Merlion Sea Lion from La Sirena is a cool shaggy footed perfecto, measuring 5½ x 47 in a perfecto shape that tapers pretty severely, so that the 47 ring gauge is pretty meaningless.  I prefer the La Sirena line over the Merlion line typically, but this blend made at the La Aurora factory was very good.  The burn was perfect, the shape is really fun to smoke.  These come in a box of ten, with one cigar bearing a maduro wrapper. Odd that I didn’t smoke that one first, I know, but I am afraid that I’ll really love it and I won’t have another. I wanted to make sure I liked the Ecuador Corojo wrapped version too. I smoked this to the tiniest of nubs, and this is another cigar that’s going to be hard to leave along. I look forward to smoking the maduro, and maybe I’ll smoke both wrapper varieties side by side one day to compare and contrast.  Try one if you get a chance, it gets a 98 because it’s a cool looking and smoking cigar.


MUWAT_KFC_Fat MollyTonight I decided to smoke a cigar that I’ve smoked before (although not in this size), but is popular and currently available. The My Uzi Weighs a Ton Kentucky Fire Cured from Drew Estate was released at last year’s IPCPR show and was highly anticipated.  This cigar is made at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in partnership with Drew Estate, and features fire cured tobacco which gives it a distinctive campfire aroma. I personally am not a fan of this aroma in a cigar and samples I’ve had in the past, including a pre-release sample in Nicaragua, have left me wanting.  This one was a nice smoke, perhaps the size works better for me, but I didn’t get the heavy smokey flavor. The burn was perfect, until it got to the band, where there’s a layer of the Fire cured tobacco on the head, not unlike the Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta made in the same factory. Like the Cabinetta, that tobacco on the head of the cigar doesn’t want to burn.  While this wasn’t my favorite cigar this week, it was still pretty good, and I wouldn’t hesitate to smoke this again. It’s certainly unique in the world of premium cigars. I’m going to give it a 97 for construction and appearance.


I’ll see what other goodies I can scrounge up for the rest of the week! I think I better put my rating scale on the “about” page so it’s clear.  Until the next time,




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Snow, Blue Mountain Cigars, Snow, a 601 La Bomba, a UF-13 and Ice

This winter has been pretty, er…wintery?  We had a mild couple winters in years past, so this one just seems rough, but it’s probably not that bad.  Today we had ice and a lot of broken branches and trees.  It’s going to be a mess to clean up.  As long as there’s no property damage we’ll be fine.  It’s resulted in a couple “snow days” which has given me some time to smoke cigars!  This week, so far, I’ve chosen some old favorites, along with something completely different.


BMC_El ThreesomeSunday….what happened on Sunday?  It seems so long ago.  Oh yeah, it was Groundhog Day and the furry little bastid saw his shadow. That and there were a lot of new commercials on TV.  IT was a reasonable nice day, so I figured it was a good time to take a chance on a cigar from the IPCPR show, a 6″ x 60 BMC El Threesome from Blue Mountain Cigars. They say that this cigar not only has three different wrappers (Connecticut, Habano and Maduro), but also has three different blends. The cynic in me finds this hard to believe, it looked to me like a Connecticut shade wrapped cigar with overlays of Habano and Maduro. I guess I’d have to see them being made to actually comment on this with any authority. The cigar started as you would expect, I guess, with a fairly mild and typical Connecticut shade flavor, and it did have noticeable transitions when it burned from wrapper to wrapper. I liked the end of this cigar more than the start, and it’s always interesting to see how the wrapper changes the flavor. If this does, indeed, have three different blends (would that make it NOT a long filler cigar but a mixed filler?), I didn’t get that big a flavor change, it was subtle. this is not a new factory, it’s been in Esteli since 1995, and they make cigars for other people.  I’d welcome comments from the folks at Blue Mountain on this cigar, I thought it was an interesting and entertaining cigar, and I’d love to see a video of these being rolled.


601_La Bomba_AtomMonday was a snow day.  When I heard pouring rain, then sleet, then saw it dump about 4 inches of wet, heavy snow in an hour, I decided to stay home.  We ended up with about 10 inches and wore ourselves out shoveling the slop. I decided this wasn’t the time to fool around, and went straight for the 601 La Bomba Atom, a 5½ x 46 corona gorda with a long “Fuse” pigtail. I absolutely adore this cigar. I don’t find this vitola to be quite as strong as some of the larger sizes, but it’s loaded with flavor, and it’s a flavor I really like. This is another great cigar from Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory (although I can’t say for sure if this wasn’t from an older box from the EO Brands days, which would mean it was made in the My Father factory). If you have a fondness for stronger cigars, you can’t go wrong with this one. I really want to try the La Bomba Warhead, I just haven’t come across them in a shop yet, and I’m really looking forward to the Bunker Buster, Smoke Inn‘s next micro-blend.  This is one of those cigars I reach for when I want a “sure thing”.


UF-13 DarkTuesday I grabbed a Drew Estate Liga Privada Serie Unico UF-13 Dark, a birthday present from Steve Saka last August. I don’t like taking cigars from the unemployed, but he was insistent. It was a lazy selection. We had another forecast for snow and rain and ice and stuff, so I wanted a satisfying smoke.  This is just such a smoke. the presentation is awesome with the fan style pigtail.  I just know when I select one of these it’s going to make me happy.  It burned perfectly and tasted great.  I have trouble finding fault with any of the Liga Privada line.


Today was quite an adventure.  We awoke to freezing rain. After Monday’s wet snow clung to the trees, there was excessive weight on a lot of branches and we had limbs coming down left and right.  Fortunately, no damage was done, but there were a great many road closures and getting to work was tricky.  At one point I stopped on one local thoroughfare and helped clear a tree from across the entire multi-lane road.  One lane going one direction and two going the other. Last I read about 90% of our county was without power, luckily we have auxiliary power, so I can post as usual. I took a walk tonight with a two plus year old Macanudo 1968 Robusto which was quite nice. It has developed a sweetness over the years and hit the spot after a long day.  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it hits me just right.


I was quite honored to be included in the Famous Smoke Shop Blog‘s “Top 10 Cigar Blogs of 2013”.  Famous Smoke Shop is a supporter of CigarCraig.com, and has recently upgraded their advertising here (look for a new ad on the left side bar coming soon). These guys have been around a long time, as a matter of fact, I signed up on their site in the late 90s and still get alerts when some old favorites come into stock. I should probably go in and edit those alerts, as I probably wouldn’t be interested in some of those cigars any longer anyway. Check them out if you are ever in Easton, PA, they have a nice shop, lounge and restaurant. In addition to their blog, they also have the CigarAdvisor online magazine, as well as the annual Cigarnival. Thank you to Famous Smoke Shop for their continued support and recognition!


Also, please join me in welcoming La Sirena Cigars to the CigarCraig family. La Sirena Cigars recently went out on their own after a long association with Miami Cigar and Co. and produce some really tasty cigars. I smoked a Merlion just last week.  I look forward to featuring more of their cigars in the coming weeks. I’m quite pleased to have another cigar manufacturer represented here.


That’s about it for now.  Sunday’s post will be up in the air a little, as I have some travel plans.  If nothing else, I’ll have something ready Saturday morning and set it up to go out Sunday. Until the next time, Stay safe!





Filed under Review