Alec Bradley Nica Puro Short Cigar Review

October 13, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

The cigar for this review was provided by Cigars Direct; As always, all reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Nicaragua    |   Binder: Nicaragua   |   Filler: Nicaragua   |   Box of 20: $125.95; 5 Pack: $33.00   |   Robusto   |   5″ x 50

Alec Bradley Nica Puro cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer site)

Alec Bradley Nica Puro cigar (click on image to go to manufacturer site)

0/3: When I first started smoking cigars I smoked a lot of Alec Bradley cigars and while there are definitely some good cigars in their lineup (I especially like the Prensado and the Family Blend) I found myself smoking less and less of them as time went on. Maybe my tastes have changed or maybe there are just too many good cigars out there that I just lost touch with Alec Bradley cigars.

But then I saw that Alec Bradley had put out their first Nicaraguan puro, aptly named the Nica Puro, and I wanted to try it to see how good it was.

It is a good looking cigar, not a lot of oils on the wrapper, nor veins, noticeably not symmetrical but pretty close. Mostly consistently packed.

1/3: How is the world suppose to end? Does it include fire raining down on the sinful masses? Well, my shorts just received their own little micro-apocalypse after I fumbled with the cigar and knocked newly lit tobacco cherries off of the foot and they fell on my shorts like a shower of small asteroids. Argh!

The cigar is quite good though. This is a very good example of what I think of when I smoke a Nicaraguan cigar: a bit on the dry side, bold flavors (including spice, leather and cedar) and a general sense of contentment on my part. Not only are the flavors bold but the strength is fairly bold as well. I’d say that this is an aggressive cigar that is by no means harsh or containing an off note during this first third.

2/3: While the spice is still present, especially in the back of my nasal cavity, the main flavors I’m getting are dry earth and leather. The cedar is still present around the edges of the flavors profile and it is now accompanied by a whiff of sweetness, which rounds off any rough edges this flavor profile may have had. The strength of this cigar has moderated a bit and is now in the low full bodied range.

3/3: Copious amounts of smoke have billowed throughout the duration, which is neat and shows that there is good combustion going on, which is important for performance and the such. The flavors, however, take a bit of a turn during the final third going more for oak and a bit of spice. On its own it’s not a negative but it did take some of my enjoyment away from the cigar. Kind of a bland ending when compared to the first two thirds but not compared to cigars in general.

4/3: Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Alec Bradley Nica Puro was, overall, a very good cigar. I especially liked the first two thirds which featured a good mixture of spice, sweetness and earth. The final third was somewhat of a drop off but still a net positive third in my estimation. I thoroughly liked this addition to the Alec Bradley line of cigars.

4 out of 5 points – A very nice addition to the AB line that fans of Nicaraguan tobacco will surely like

Alec Bradley Prensado Short Cigar Review

November 1, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

I received the cigar used for this review from Cigars Direct. All reviews are my own.

Wrapper: Trajes, Honduran   |   Binder: Nicaraguan   |   Filler: Trajes, Nicaraguan & Honduran   |   Box of 20: $175.00; 5 Pack: $47.00   |   Churchill   |   7″ x 48

0/3: Looks well made, slightly darker than medium brown in color, no noticeable imperfections on the wrapper, fairly hard packed with a soft box press. I should note that I am shocked, SHOCKED!!!, that I haven’t reviewed this line before. I thought I had (maybe that’s why I never did a review because I thought I already had).

1/3: Starts out very well. Coffee, earth and some sweet spice. It’s got a bit of strength but not so much as to overpower.

2/3: Flavors are pretty much the same as before but the spice does pick up a little in intensity. With the increase in spice it does add to my enjoyment of the cigar because the extra spice adds an extra dimension to the flavor profile.

3/3: Bitter earthiness is the main force in the flavor profile during the final third. I like it because the flavors are deep and work well with the spice and the hint of chocolate that is starting to break through now. I did have to touch up the burn line a couple of times but this is a rather long cigar and it wasn’t too much of a hassle.

4/3: It is pretty easy to see why a certain publication that has been around for two decades likes this cigar so much. Medium-full bodied with a good draw and decent burn, this cigar has a lot of flavor in what I like to refer to as the dark end of the flavor spectrum.

4.5 out of 5 points – a cigar most everyone will like

Alec Bradley Black Market Short Cigar Review

March 21, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

Disclaimer: I received this sample from Cigars Direct.

Wrapper: Nicaragua   |   Binder: Sumatra   |   Filler: Panama & Honduras   |   Box of 22: $135.00; Single: $6.75   |   Robusto   |   5 ¼″ x 52

0/3: Why “Black Market”? Probably because it sounds edgy. I don’t really care about that stuff though. I will say that I use to smoke a lot of Alec Bradley cigars and I enjoyed them.

It’s a good looking cigar with a neat parejo shape to it. There are some soft spots and minor veins. It feels fuzzy to the touch with a slightly above average amount of oils.

1/3: Leather and spice. Spice is black pepper. Heavy flavors.

2/3: Pretty much the same during this third. The flavor intensity has been raised a little.

3/3: There are some changes here. Burnt wood and sweetness. Some chocolate notes near the end.

4/3: It’s a good cigar. It’s a little heavy, not as in strong but as in the flavors were heavy. Medium bodied with a slightly tight draw and good burn. Many will like it.

3 points

AFGL: CRA, AB, Avo & Breaking In

March 9, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Assault on Cigars, Cigar Industry, Entertainment · Comment 

A Few Good Links for this week covers some good news from Cigar Rights of America, Alec Bradley’s Red Badge Report, a new Avo and a show that returned from the grave.

1. From CRA is this:

In a significant advancement for the effort to keep the U.S. Food & Drug Administration out of your home and local tobacconist’s humidor, S. 1461 and H.R. 1639 has acquired two major new co-sponsors from the House and Senate.

Representative Fred Upton (R, Michigan) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina) are the politicians who have signed on to fight the FDA. That’s good news and I’m glad we have some more people fighting those who would stomp out our cigars. And a big thanks to CRA for their activism and for keeping us up-to-date on what is going on.

2. Alec Bradley just published the first edition of the Red Badge Report. Here’s a little video (jump ahead to about 0:40):

 3. Then there is the special (can a 100,000 production run be termed “special”) run of the Avo La Trompeta. Here’s the stuff:

Through the subtle balanced Ligero tobaccos and the add-on of Peruvian Seco from exquisite tobacco fields, this special vintage is a medium to full- bodied cigar with complex notes in the aftertaste. The beautiful, slightly oily Ecuador Special Sun Grown wrapper “Seleccion 702” awards this cigar an indescribable spicy and balanced, multi-faceted experience. This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams.

“This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams” – wow. Somebody ate their Wheaties before writing that! More info:

“La Trompeta” presents itself in a majestic and charming cigar format – a brilliant 6 ½ x 54 “Piramide”– the addition of a special feature to pay homage to the jazz trumpet, three small circular cigar leaf cut-outs are placed on the wrapper leaf to resemble “trumpet keys” – limited to 100,000 cigars worldwide with 50,000 cigars for the US market.

“La Trompeta” will be available on March 26th at Select Merchants with a retail price of $15.50 taxes not included.

4. Breaking In is not a great show but it’s fun. At least, it was. With the addition of Megan Mullally and the subtraction of a couple of guys (the kind of up tight one and that other one, you know, the zany guy) the premiere episode wasn’t good. Hopefully it will get better but, well, let’s hope. Here’s a video that I think shows one of the funnier moments from the first season:

Alec Bradley Family Blend Cigar Review

November 18, 2010 · Posted in Cigar Review · 4 Comments 

[A note from Travis: This is one of the cigars that will be featured in my cigar dinner on December 1st. If you are in the Los Angeles area and want to smoke some great cigars, eat excellent food and meet a great group of people go here for more info!]

I started seeing this cigar online during the spring or summer and finally pulled the trigger and purchased some a couple of months back. Lo and behold, I get my new issue of Cigar Aficionado and this cigar gets a rating of 94 points. And it was the same vitola that I bought a box of. Crazy, right?

The genesis of this cigar is interesting since it started out as the personal blend for the patriarchs of the AB dynasty.

Alec Bradley Family Blend cigars were created expressly for the fathers of the company’s three principal executives, Alan Rubin (President), Ralph Montero (Vice President), and George Sosa (National Sales Director).

Based off of my mediocre memory of cigar history, it is usually a good omen if a cigar starts out as the personal blend of the head of the company and then gets released to the public. (Some of the Fuente’s cigars and Drew’s Liga Privadas come to mind.) I’ve smoked a few of these Alec Bradley Family Blend cigars now and they continue that trend.

The Alec Bradley Family Blend T11 is a very well made torpedo. There can be some stretch marks on the wrapper and there are some minor veins; ho-hum. The Honduran wrapper has a nice chocolate brown hue to it and it is accompanied by a good allotment of oils.

Besides the good appearance the most striking thing about this cigar, besides the actual smoking of it, comes right after you pull it out of the cellophane. A potpourri of tobacco, sweet spice and leather greets you with a warm embrace.

Cigar Stats
Torpedo
Length: 6 1/8″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Price: $7.25/Single | $125.00/Box of 20

AB Flame!

The flavor parade starts right after the cigar is lit. What I smelled after taking it out of its cellophane cocoon is pretty much what I am tasting. A restrained sweet spice, a background of leather and some tobacco flavors round out this little flavor parade. Add to that a pretty great draw and an even burn and it is shaping up to be a great cigar during the first third.

What is the most refreshing thing about this cigar, for me at least, is that it is a superb medium bodied cigar. This is a cigar that every cigar smoker will at the very least enjoy, probably much more than just “enjoy.”

During the second third and especially during the final third there is a distinct woody note that comes through. Also during this time the sweetness and the spice grows a little bit. The sweetness slowly morphs into a nuanced dark fruit and the spice deepens into a warm spice, something like cinnamon.

If you are looking for an excellent way to spend a couple hours of your time then you should definitely give these cigars a try. The Alec Bradley Family Blend T11 is a laid back cigar with a ton of flavor and well above average level of complexity. A must try.

95 points

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