Alec Bradley Post Embargo | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Honduran (Corojo)
Binder: Nicaraguan, Honduran (Double Binder)
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Size: 5 x 52 “Robusto – Box Pressed”
Body: Medium-Full
Price: $8.00 MSRP

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Post Emabargo Artwork

Today we take a look at the Alec Bradley Post Embargo.
Two reasons I’m writing after only a short break. I smoked one the day after I got it and it was great. I assume I was getting that fresh rolled flavor and I didn’t want to lose it and then need to wait a month or two before the flavor returned.

BACKGROUND:
The cigar was released mid-December, 2015.
Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L (Honduras)

From Cigar Aficionado:
“First previewed at the 2015 IPCPR trade show in New Orleans, the cigars were presented in a large, wooden shipping crate with bold, eye-catching artwork on the band that appeared to represent the marriage of the Cuban and American flags. At the show, Rubin indicated that the band and packaging were not finalized and would likely change before Post Embargo’s official release. The cigar’s artwork has now been overhauled, and features two women (one from Cuba, one from the U.S.) draped in their country’s respective flags, clasping hands.

“I welcome the dropping of the embargo,” Rubin said. “I hear the term ‘non-Cuban cigars’ and it bothers me. It’s as if Cubans are the benchmark and everything else is second-rate. When the embargo ends, we’ll all be on a level playing field, and I’ll be able to compete with Cuban brands. I want people to smoke my cigars next to Cuban cigars. That’s what Post Embargo is really about—open trade and a level playing field where the smoker can make his choice without being influenced by the mystique of the unattainable.”

“Naturally, the change caused a delay in the release date, but Alec Bradley Post Embargo will start reaching retailers this month and is slated to launch on November 11 at a series of events at Cigar Cigars, a chain of cigar retail stores located throughout Pennsylvania.

“Post Embargo features a Honduran wrapper, two binders from Nicaragua and Honduras, and a filler blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco. The line will have suggested retail prices from $8 to $9.25. There are four sizes: Robusto, at 5 inches by 52 ring gauge; Toro, 6 1/4 by 54; Gordo, 6 by 60; and a limited-edition Lancero, at 7 1/2 by 41. Only 1,000 boxes of each size have been produced, with the exception of Lancero, with only 500 boxes. The cigars ship in boxes of 20 and are made at Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L., in Honduras.”

DESCRIPTION:
Nice looking cigar. Smooth as silk in the hand. A milk chocolate colored wrapper. Nearly invisible seams. Almost no veins. Very close to being a crisp box press.
A flawless, seamless triple cap.
And the two flags: American and Cuban. Beautiful cigar band.

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SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5 x 52 $8.00 MSRP
Toro 6.25 x 54 $8.25 MSRP
Gordo 6 x 60 $9.25 MSRP
Lancero 7.5 x 41 $8.50 MSRP

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet honeysuckle, dried fruit, chocolate, coffee, licorice, red pepper, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell a green vegetal note, chocolate, coffee, strong red pepper, sweetness, golden raisins, cedar, and malt.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate, raisins, sweetness, spiciness, coffee, cedar, and cream.

FIRST THIRD:
Right off the bat, my palate is assaulted by a boat load of flavor: Milk chocolate, red pepper, caramel, creaminess, coffee, black licorice, cinnamon, and cedar.

I really dislike box pressed cigars. They are such a pain to light correctly and almost impossible not to have minor runs. Gotta keep an eye on them at the start or they head for the hills. (As it turned out, this must be the first box press that I had zero issues with. Now that’s some great rolling.)

Did you know that CI requires most of their manufacturers to make a 5 x 55 box press for them exclusively? The 55 ring gauge may vary a bit but you get the idea. Just a foot note and actually has nothing to do with this cigar.

Smoke pours from the foot like a house afire.
Within just a couple of minutes, the Alec Bradley Post Embargo finds its complexity.

The malts are a big part of the flavor profile. The usual suspects you’ve read described in prior reviews.

This stick has that same kind of panache that the best Ezra Zion cigars have. In fact, it reminds me of the Blessed Leaf Doxology and the All My Ex’s. Very creamy and malty with the right touch of spice.

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Strength is medium+ body.
And then Bang! With only 1” smoked, the cigar blossoms big time. (I’m not going to say those two words…you know what I mean).
Like Moe said, “Spread out!” Flavors are black licorice, cinnamon, red pepper, chocolate, creaminess, coffee, cedar, caramel, cedar, floral notes, and heavy on the malts.
Delicious cigar.

I can say with all the boldness of a bull fighter being gored in the ‘nads that this cigar is every bit as good as the Blessed Leaf Doxology by Ezra Zion. So if you missed out on that 2 day sale, you can get a really good approximation of that blend with the Alec Bradley Post Embargo for the same price. Actually, the $8.00 is MSRP but they really go for $7.00 on most online stores. Or you can wait til it hits Cbid.

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The hot pepper moves to the front of the line. I’m a spice junkie. I can’t really truly enjoy a cigar unless it’s spicy. One of the reasons that I like the 601 Series blends. All pepper bombs thanks to Pepin Garcia. I prefer the early blends to the My Father blends: 601, Cuban Classic Black, Serie JJ, La Duena, and La Aroma de Cuba. But I particularly like the 601 Blue and Red. Great cigars.
Strength is medium/full.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is around 20 minutes or so.
Damn complex. Nice balance. Lovely long finish.

I believe I prefer the Alec Bradley Post Embargo to the Doxology. One reason is that the Doxology loses its spiciness quickly. The Post Embargo doesn’t and gets stronger the more you smoke.

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At this rate, I will score the Alec Bradley Post Embargo the same as the EZ Doxology. It’s that good.
To demonstrate the greatness of this cigar, this could be your last cigar of the evening and it still breaks on through and hits your palate and presents all the flavors as if it was your first cigar of the day. Although, I highly recommend that the Alec Bradley Post Embargo is the first choice of your day.

I’m getting a tasty salty pretzel element now. Flavors are perfectly balanced. Strength hits full body.
The creaminess and the malts are a match made in heaven. The chocolate and coffee are a perfect conglomeration. The black licorice is a nice quirky flavor.

The caramel and honeysuckle work like a team.
I reach the halfway point. Smoke time is 40 minutes. For some reason, it slowed down. The packing of the filler may be a little off kilter. That’s OK Alec Bradley Post Embargo…you slow down all you want.

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There are other flavors that elude me. Off the top of my head, I’m guessing marzipan, meaty, a touch of Worcestershire sauce because of the barley malt vinegar, sweetness, salt, tamarind extract, and garlic flavors. I know that is strange and it just gives fodder to my detractors that like to make fun of my palate but I taste what I taste. Period.
The dreaded nicotine shows itself.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.
Damnation! What a fine cigar. I don’t know the exact details of how the Alec Bradley Post Embargo was blended but it is a quantum leap for the company. It has New Breed-blending-style written all over it.

The other reviewers don’t do this cigar justice. It is better than the Doxology. What it does is take that flavor profile and then pile on more complexity to make a better Doxology.
Man, a box of these must be on your wish list.

Flavors don’t let up. The complexity becomes more intense with each puff. The finish lasts forever. It coats my teeth like toothpaste.
I fully realize I am going to be lambasted for my opinion. But I don’t care. If you snag some, smoke your first one the day after you receive them. And then try to stop smoking one after another.
I noticed that Andrew of SBC took down the announcement for this special on all their A/B blends. I contacted him and he got right back to me. The promo code is still good.

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The Alec Bradley Post Embargo doesn’t stop climbing the complexity tree. Like a squirrel, it just climbs and climbs.
Strength is muy full bodied.
I love this cigar. You will too.

The Alec Bradley Post Embargo finishes clean, no heat, no bitterness, and firm to the touch.

Final smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.

Thanks go out to Sam C., Jeremy Schaeffer, and Christoffer Schumann. Thank you brothers.

RATING: 95

10

And now for something completely different:
My downfall as the fixer….Farewell Curved Air.

From far left: Me, Mick Jacques, Darryl Way, Stewart Copeland, and in front: Sonja Kristina:
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The band had finished its second album, at the legendary Island Studio in London…and since Miles Copeland was a cheap bastard, he picked an untried producer to ride herd on the biggest egos on the planet in the studio.
Now the guy had a distinguished career as an engineer, but nothing as a producer. And the band ran all over him.. Once, he was almost brought to tears because Darryl Way, the band leader and violinist and keys player yelled at him….because Darryl wasn’t getting his way.

The old Island Studios:
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I was the mediator of the group and we all know what happens to that guy. And it did.
Two camps sprung up…Mick, the guitarist, and Darryl. Then there was Sonja, the singer, and Stewart Copeland, the drummer. I was in between trying to make the peace.

Stew was a very good drummer but had no constraints. He was like Keith Moon and just soloed away during every song. He didn’t have any of the restraint that he learned during his days in The Police.

On stage, this was torture, because while Darryl and Mick were upfront trading lead riffs, Stewart was on some other planet soloing in all sorts of weird time signatures causing the boys up front to lose where “1” was.

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Which forced me hit quarter notes, hard and heavy, so they would know where they were. Quarter notes means 1-2-3-4. The backbone of rock n roll. The boys stood front and center of the stage while they traded riffs. But because they didn’t know where 1 was, I had to mosey over and yell out the 1-2-3-4 count so they knew where they were. All the time, hitting those miserable quarter notes…instead of playing what the song expected.

It made me crazy to be an accomplished bassist playing quarter notes while Stew behaved like he was the star of the band. And this band was a progressive one with lots of intricate chordal changes. Not a 1-4-5 blues band.

During the end of the recording of the album, Jose Feliciano showed up for a couple nights and added his own style to our English progressive recordings. The only one it sounded good on was my tune: “I Broke My Leg in Yucca Valley, but My Heart Lies in Palm Springs.” Really, no bullshit. That was the name of the tune and of course, it was bass oriented. I got to show off.

The band hated it. It was so intricate that they couldn’t figure it out. So they went to the booth and sulked. Even Sonja couldn’t understand the Ella Fitzgerald scatting I needed. The band hired me because of my progressive jazz fusion skills but when I used them, they got pissed off at me. Yeah. It was my fault that these university trained classical musicians didn’t understand jazz. Wankers.

Top: Jose Feliciano enjoying a doob, Me with fro, Jose recording in studio, and the lead roadies enjoying my hospitality in my hotel room.

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RCA had a big “Listening Party” debuting the release of that album called “Midnight Wire.”
It was a scene right out of “Spinal Tap.” The record was played on a continual loop throughout the party and each time Yucca Valley played, I could hear mutterings of, “What the fuck is that?”

My heart sank. Feliciano liked it so much that he bought the licensing rights to it…but I waited and it never showed up on any of his albums.
RCA’s reaction to our album was a disaster.

Behind closed doors, Copeland and his henchmen figured out a new plan. They brought in two hot shot producer brothers that had just finished producing Clapton’s latest album.

In Amsterdam, they came to watch us perform and we got word that we better go meet them at their hotel one afternoon. I went by myself because no one was interested. The band hung around the hotel shooting the shit, drinking and smoking hash. On the other hand, I thought this was an important meeting.
So I sat in their hotel room and listened to these two fuck heads tear the album apart…just ripped it.

Darryl Way and me:
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And to my face, they told me my bass playing sucked. They said the vocals sucked. They said the arrangements sucked. They said the violin playing sucked. They said the guitar playing was out of place. Holy Bat Shit!

I raced back to our hotel and with my eyes as big as saucers and my heart beating hard. I told the band we were in big trouble. They just laughed at me while drinking and smoking dope.

The plan was to re-record the album but something needed to be fixed. A meeting was called for the band to attend with the new producers. Guess who wasn’t invited?

The two camps blamed each other for the album failure. And guess what? Yep. I got the phone call. I was gone.

Actually, the call was from Ian Copeland; the middle brother who owned the biggest booking agency in England. He asked if he could come over? Now I lived in the suburb of Edgeware. About 30 minutes outside of London. Why would he come all the way out here and not summon me to his office. I got scared and called Sonja.

I pestered and pestered until she calmly told me I was out. When I asked why she only said Ian will explain.
When he got there, his face was long and pale. We sat in my living room and he made small talk. This was killing him because he liked me and knew what he was about to do was wrong.

So I jumped in told him about my call with Sonja. I couldn’t let him fester because I knew this wasn’t his idea and probably fought for me.
So here it was…I was the least of the problems for the lousy album; but it seemed fair that I was the cause of all the problems. Bastardos!

They hired a session bassist to fill in the tracks. But when I listened to the finished album, I heard my bass playing on 75% of the tracks. So I wasn’t the problem. They stole my bass lines.

The new album had no soul and was listless and sterile. No excitement, no verve. And the reviewers tore it to shreds calling it the worst Curved Air album ever. That made me feel a little better.

There I was, stranded in England, without a gig. It was so humiliating when the musical mags and rags started reporting that I had left the band because of differences inside the band. But I called these rags and told them the truth and they printed it.

Miles called me and gave me a tongue lashing for doing that…followed by the PR guy and others in management. I told them to go fuck themselves. They had already denied me any severance pay so I was stuck there with no dough.

Fortunately, the roadies gathered a truck load of equipment from the Copeland warehouse and brought it out to Edgeware. I was flabbergasted. They told me I could sell all of it so I could live. They did this in the knowing that they could be fired…but they weren’t. They were the core of the BTM roadies. Miles didn’t dare fire them.

I spent another 6 months playing with several well-known English bands but it just didn’t click with me and I decided to come home with my tail between my legs.

The upside? I still get player royalties. Woo Hoo. Fuckers.

Me and little Jennifer critiquing the Curved Air “Live” album:
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