New York state cigar shops were walloped with big new cigar tax (75% of the wholesale price) this past year, so the Alec Bradley Cigar Co. has released a special cigar just for those shops in the state. They call it, simply enough, the Alec Bradley New York. Made in Honduras, the wrapper and binder are Honduran Criollo ’98 with Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. Just 1,000 boxes were released in 2010, and debuted on December 10th. There are a total of 5 sizes in the line, and I’m smoking the “Six Two,” a 5 1/4″ x 52 ring robusto. Not living in New York, the cigar was sent to me by the Alec Bradley Company for me to try.
Company: Alec Bradley
Made In: Honduras
Made By: Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L. factory
Size: “Six Two” Robusto 5 1/4″ x 52
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo ’98
Filler: Honduran & Nicaraguan
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98
MSRP: $11 single (inclusive of New York taxes)
How It Looks
The cigar wrapper is a beautiful reddish-gold tint with a nice bit of toothiness to it. There are a nice amount of oils in the wrapper, and leaves the cigar slick and smooth to the touch. The construction feels excellent. Firm throughout with no soft spots, but not overly tight. The cap is a little crooked, but other than that it looks nearly flawless. The band is nicely down with a stylized version of the Empire State Building in red and gold, a nice compliment to the color of the tobacco.
How It Tastes
The pre-light draw was a good indication of what was to come throughout the cigar: a nice balance of sweet and spice. Once I lit up, the spice came through first, and the sweetness followed after I exhaled the smoke. It was a nice counterbalance, and neither one outshone the other as I smoked. Both slowly ramped up as I smoked, but stayed in harmony. Even though the flavors basically just stayed the same, it was not a boring smoke at all.
How It Smokes
The cigar smoked well, but was not particularly remarkable. The ash was a solid, medium gray that held on for about 3/4″ at a time. The burn line wasn’t ruler straight, and at various times different sides were lagging behind the others, but never so far as to require a touch-up. One relight was required as I hit the final third. The draw was very nice, with just the right amount of resistance. The smoke had a nice smelling aroma, slightly sweet like the flavor.
How Is It Overall?
The cigar was definitely enjoyable, and the one word that comes to mind to describe it as balanced. The two notes of the cigar, the sweetness and the spice, blend perfectly, and make for a nice, nice smoke. It’s definitely worth picking up a few. Not being a New York resident and being familiar with the average prices of other cigars at this price point on New York tobacconists’ shelves, I can’t really speak to the value of the cigar. Barry over at A Cigar Smoker’s Journal reviewed the cigar, and he has a take on the price point from a New Yorker’s point of view that can provide some insight. If you find some of these, do yourself a favor and smoke a few.