Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
The name comes from the fact that this is a 100% Nicaraguan puro. Makes sense. The number 1685 refers to the year that the city of Esteli was founded. As you all know, Esteli is the “Oz” of Nicaragua.
Construction of this stick is gorgeous. It is so dark brown; it comes close to being black. I can’t see a single seam, nor can I see any veins except for some minor spider veins. There is a nice oily sheen and a nice bit of tooth. The double cigar band is probably the most beautiful Alec Bradley has produced. It is most certainly a work of art.
I sniff around and detect some lovely cocoa, leather, strong cedar, and a hint of sweetness.
I V cut the baby and light up.
The initial puffs are of that strong cedar. And a deep earthiness. Smoke is plentiful and the draw is dead on. I chomp my cigars and the laptop is being obscured by the smoke. The char line is spot on.
A spiciness arrives early. And so does the cocoa. Oh my. Am I in for a flavor bomb? I took a chance by smoking this stick, purposely, too soon. The new breed of blenders have a commonality in that most can be smoked right away, getting better with age. This cigar seems to fall into that category. Not the Old School dilemma of needing a month or longer to really taste what the blender had in mind.
This cigar tastes great early on. I probably have a reputation of gushing in my reviews. There is a reason. I, generally, won’t write a negative review unless the cigar costs a fortune and it doesn’t meet the criteria for an expensive cigar. That’s about it.
So I only review cigars I like. The ones I don’t like find themselves in the trash as I discover the cigar is crap. It’s not right to diss a blender, especially a boutique blender, when they have worked so hard to bring their cigar to market. And there are a lot of crappy boutique blends out there. In fact, most of them. I burn more bridges when I tell an owner that I don’t like his cigars. But I won’t lie. I’m also not in the pocket of any manufacturer. There are a lot of reviewers out there that get lots of goodies from their patrons. So they gush and praise an unworthy cigar. That is bullshit. I am, if nothing else, an honest man.
So back to the review. The stick is getting better and better and I am only at the 1” mark. The cocoa, spice, and cedar components are screaming laughter.
A nuttiness appears. I will try to isolate the type of nut, honey. The char line continues to be very respectful…showing how well made this cigar is.
The strong cedar is very refreshing. It’s like opening a brand new humidor and taking a huge whiff. It is indescribable. As the first third closes, cinnamon shows up. It is common to Nic puros. And very enjoyable. The stick now has a very long finish.
The cocoa is so good, I grab my Diet Coke for the chocolate soda experience. But so far, no creaminess, which is usually very utilitarian in Nic cigars.
The char line is now dead nuts perfect.
The body is classic medium as I approach the halfway point. The cocoa leads the charge on the flavor profile with cedar and cinnamon and nuttiness and leather are right behind it.
I expect with a few months on this cigar, it will be a flavor bomb. At the moment, it is a very respectable flavorful cigar that is well balanced and very enjoyable.
The halfway point finds the cigar boasting a deep richness and earthiness. I could use a little more spiciness but I expect that will follow after some more rest in my humidor.
I am an iota away from having to remove the beautiful double bands. I almost hate to do it. Oh crap. There is too much glue on the lower band and I will probably tear it to get it off. Or I will have to use a sharp folding knife to cut it away to keep it one piece. I always cut the wrapper when I do this. Not good.
The lower band is integrated so that the top part of it is underneath the main band. I can’t get either off without my knife and, of course, cut the wrapper in doing so. This could have been better thought out. The band is now in 3 pieces. And I’ve left only a minimal tear in the wrapper; so it could have been worse. There should be directions. Or I should be smarter.
That’s OK, because the tear is close to the ash and will disappear shortly. The burn line gets a little erratic but no correction needed; at this point.
As I’ve stated in other reviews, I prefer a robusto or smaller in my old age. I like that the flavors are more intense. A/B makes a smaller one called the Bajito at 4.25 x 52. That’s a good size for flavor bombing. I think that will be what I buy when it’s time to get me some.
The flavors are just outstanding. I think it was a good move to blend this cigar using only Nicaraguan leaves. I would love to know a little more info on the leaves used. But the Alec Bradley is playing it close to the chest on their web site. At $6-$7 a stick, this is a very reasonably priced premium cigar. For this quality, they could have easily charged more.
The last third becomes complex with the flavors melding into one mélange. The creaminess finally shows up smoothing out the whole profile. Now we’re talking. The cocoa intensifies because of the creaminess. And it brings out the sweetness as well. The cedar, leather and nuttiness move to the background. The spiciness has remained static.
I have no idea how many caps are in place but whatever the count, the construction is excellent as not a single piece of loose tobacco finds its way to my lips. Or waves in the air like a flag.
It is here in the cigar that the flavor profile soars. It is a flavor bomb. And I am so happy because I have four more of these sticks yet to smoke. But I will allow them to sleep for a month or so. I can’t wait to see what is waiting for me.
The creaminess and cocoa are running the show and make the cigar uber delicious.
The Alec Bradley folks really hit one out of the park with this blend. The cigar finishes smooth, cool and without a hint of harshness or bitterness.
Kudos Alan Rubin.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS