Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the 601 La Bomba Warhead VIII by Espinosa Cigars. This is a cigar blend previously assessed in the Warhead VII size back in August 2022.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: San Lotano
Warhead VIII: 6 x 60
One of the most popular annual limited edition series of cigars to hit the market over the past decade has been the 601 La Bomba Warhead Series. Warhead is an extension of the original 601 La Bomba line, but it replaces the Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a Broadleaf wrapper. As the name Warhead suggests, this is intended to be a stronger and bolder cigar. Each installment of the Warhead has featured a different size with a tweaked blend adjusted to that size as well as a different set of artwork. Warhead made its debut in 2013, and with a couple of exceptions, has maintained an annual release schedule. The eighth installment came out in 2022 – appropriately titled Warhead VIII. This introduced a 6 x 60 box-pressed vitola into the series.
Originally the Warhead was a Connecticut Broadleaf release, but starting with Warhead VI, the company changed the wrapper to a Nicaraguan Broadleaf wrapper. The remainder of the blend is 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos. The cigar is packaged in ten-count boxes. It is worth noting each release has its own design and color scheme. For Warhead VIII, Espinosa Cigar produced about 2,500 boxes.
For historical purposes here is a list of the Warhead releases:
Warhead (2013): 6 1/2 x 54
Warhead II (2014): 5 1/2 x 56
Warhead III (2016): 7 1/2 x 38
Warhead IV (2018): 6 x 48
Warhead V (2019): 6 x 52
Warhead VI (2020): 5 x 58 (rounded figurado)
Warhead VII (2021): 7 x 50
Warhead VIII (2022): 6 x 60
Warhead IX (2023): 6 x 56 (rounded perfecto)
The Warhead VIII opened up with notes of earth, mocha (a fusion of coffee and chocolate), citrus, and a slight herbal note. In addition, some mixed pepper notes also surfaced on the tongue. The pepper was also present on the retro-hale, but it wasn’t as sharp a spice as I’ve seen on other Warhead releases. The earth, mocha, and citrus were primary early. Later in the first third, the mocha receded to the background. The second third saw the earth notes take control as the primary note as the citrus diminished. The mocha notes transitioned to more of a traditional coffee note. The pepper started to increase on the tongue and the retro-hale. By the final third, the pepper joined the earth in the forefront.
For the most part, the Warhead VIII delivered a medium to full strength and medium to full-bodied experience. While Warhead VII started out milder than Warhead VIII, it still finished as a full-strength, full-bodied cigar For the most part Warhead VIII remained medium to full from start to finish. At the same time, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with Warhead VIII. As for the burn and draw, both performed excellently. This was a cigar that didn’t require frequent touch-ups, and the draw had a touch of resistance to it (which is a positive). The Warhead VIII delivered a stellar burn and excellent draw.
The 601 La Bomba Warhead Series has been one of the most consistent scoring ones in the history of Cigar Coop. The Warhead VIII follows in the path scoring 90 points and earning a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation. For the past several years, we have recalibrated our scoring to make getting 90 points a meaningful achievement. The Warhead VIII fits the bill. On the other hand, even allowing for the scoring shift, this was actually the lowest scoring of the Warhead cigars we have assessed over the years. Still, by all means, this cigar is still a winner – and it’s one that I’d recommend to a season cigar enthusiast. It’s certainly one I would buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Earth, Mocha (Coffee/Chocolate/Cocoa), Citrus, Herb, Pepper
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Medium (Start), Medium to Full (Til Midway Point), Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
Previous Review: 601 La Bomba Warhead VII by Espinosa Cigars
News: Espinosa Cigars to Launch 601 La Bomba Warhead VIII at PCA 2022
Brand Reference: 601
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop