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Cigar Review: EO 601 Serie “Blue” Toro (Aged Two Years)

12 Jun 2012

My approach to aging cigars has gone from haphazard to chaotic. I frequently forget to use stick-on labels to date my purchases or give much thought to what might benefit from serious time in the humidor.

It’s not that I don’t believe some cigars benefit from aging. I’m just not organized enough to do it well. How I envy those of you who meticulously record your stash in a database.

But, as they say, even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while. And when I pulled this 6.25-inch, lightly pressed maduro out the other day, I noted on the sticker attached to the yellowing cellophane that it had spent a bit over two years in the humidor. While I’ve long been a fan of all the 601 colors, the Serie Blue isn’t my top choice, and I suppose that’s why it had gone unsmoked.

But now I wish I had more. The aroma of the Habano wrapper and the Nicaraguan filler was deep, rich tobacco with a hint of chocolate. It clearly lived up to Cigar Aficionado’s description as “both gorgeous and delicious” when CA ranked it sixth among the top cigars of 2009.

The flavors were a rich blend of coffee, cocoa, and that appealing maduro sweetness. It burned perfectly, produced lots of smoke, and had a buttery smooth finish. It wasn’t dramatically different than one from the shelf, but aging had created a subtlety and depth that pushed it to another level.

This was Don Pepin Garcia’s first maduro and he clearly knew how to make it shine. It is brilliant with two years of age..

At around $7 a stick, I’m awfully tempted to buy more and see if I can duplicate this experience in 2014. That is, if I can remember to mark them when I buy them and then refrain from smoking them along the way.

With a full two years of age on it, I rate this EO 601 Serie “Blue” Toro a full five stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. A list of other five stogie-rated cigars can be found here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

14 Responses to “Cigar Review: EO 601 Serie “Blue” Toro (Aged Two Years)”

  1. stogiesontherocks Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Impressive. It's amazing what 2 years of aging can do for a cigar. I've seen the 601's before, but never picked any up. It's a great looking cigar to say the least!

  2. Patrick Ashby Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    This is only the second cigar to receive a 5-stogie rating in 2012, the other being the Berger & Argenti Entubar V32 Rogue Rothschild.

    Only 33 cigars have received 5-stogie ratings since the inception of over 6 years ago.

    • stogiesontherocks Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Thats awesome! Must have been one hell of a cigar!

  3. Mike Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    I think I have 1 of these in the humidor I will have to find. I have had the red 601s but found them unpleasantly spicy — and I do enjoy spicy cigars. Have they reblended any of the 601 line?

  4. George E. Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Mike, I was told when Rocky Patel bought into EO Brands that the 601 line was getting new packaging but not being reblended. That was about 2 years ago and I know that packaging changes have continued and the lineup has changed as well, but I don't know whether the cigars have been reblended. That would be a good question for Rocky the next time someone sees him at an event.

    • jjo Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      I've read that the Green and Blue blends have remained the same, but the Red was reblended to make them a bit stronger. I can't recall if it was Eddie who said that.
      I have a few of the new Blue Labels, and they have a very loose draw and kind of washed out flavors, so I'm letting them rest a while longer at a higher humidity. Never had any of the older Blues, but your review really makes me want to track some down.

      • Patrick Semmens Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

        I believe that while at first there were reports that the red label was being reblended, that was later back-tracked. Of course all the labels changed (twice), but not the blends. The black label was discontinued and the white label replaced it (to be a creamier more mild smoke).

  5. Patrick Ashby Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm #


    Any leads on where you can buy older (at least pre-Rocky) Blue Labels? I remember smoking and loving the Blue when it first came out. But I haven't had any in stock for a while. Would be nice to get a box that already has some age on it.


    • Patrick Semmens Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      No specific leads, but at least the old ones are easy to identify. They have the band shown (as opposed to a less shiny band) and the box does not have a paper band that wraps around it, while the new ones do.

      • Patrick Semmens Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

        Also the new bands do not have the red strip at the bottom, while the old one does.

  6. cigarfan Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    The Green labels (Oscuro) seem to peak around 2 years, maybe 3, but then start to decline. I still have a few in the bank to see if they will turn around again… I think they're five now. Soon I'll be sending them off to college.

    Good luck in your quest!

  7. Chris S Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    The 601 Green was the first cigar I ever smoked at a party in 2006, and they've been my go to cigar ever since. I didn't have the blue for the first time until last year, and can't say I liked it as much as the green label, but that's basically taking a step from incredible to unbelievable in my book. So I guess this is my question to you guys; how long do you think this line will continue to be produced? I certainly will be stocking up soon, but I'm just wondering exactly how many I should set aside.

    • George E. Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      Chris – I think that's a good question and one that should be posed to Rocky Patel. Since he has so many events one of us should run into him in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully, we can get an answer.

      • Chris S Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

        That would certainly be appreciated George. Any info you can get would be awesome!