Menage A Trois by Alec Bradley | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Honduran Sumatra
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Columbian, Nicaraguan, and Honduran
Size: 5 X 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $7.60

Today we take a look at the Menage A Trois by Alec Bradley for Havana Lounge & Cigar (Milwaukee, WI).
My buddy, Tyler Jeffery at Havana Cigars, brought this blend to my attention. It is only made for my local B&M. If you are interested, you will have to call them to place an order. They do have a web site but do not sell cigars online. 414-258-8219.

Note: Regardless of the outcome of the review, it needs being stated that I paid for both cigars. They were not part of some kind of gift for a good review. I am not a reviewer for Havana Lounge & Cigar and have no affiliation. Just my local place to get a good cigar and I believe that their own handmade blend deserved a chance for review. The rest is up to you to decide.

BACKGROUND:
From the Havana Lounge web site:
“After two years of hard work and extreme dedication, Havana Lounge & Cigar has completed its special blend: Menage A Trois. Alec Bradley, one of the fastest growing cigar brands in the nation, was a collaborator during the creation. Available in 6 x 60 (Morena) $9.80, 6 x 52 (Rubia) $8.75, and 5×50 (Pelirrosa) $7.60.”

DESCRIPTION:
A nicely rolled stick with a wrapper made up of the colors of flora and fauna: Hickory, walnut, and pecan.
It has tight seams and a lot of small veins permeating the wrapper; which exhibits a bit of toothiness.
The cap is so flawless that I’m guessing it has a triple cap. I’m sure it does.
I rarely mention cigar bands because after a while they all look the same. But the Menage A Trois has a beautiful classy styled band that needs a shout out.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell chocolate covered caramel, cedar, light floral notes, black licorice, barnyard, espresso, and fruit.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell dark chocolate, strong red pepper, malts, molasses, coffee, black cherry, raisins, cedar, and licorice.

The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate malt, salty pretzel, cedar, baking spices, some spiciness, black cherry, and black coffee.

FIRST THIRD:
I bought two of these based on Tyler’s recommendation. This will be my first stab at the blend so here goes nuttin’ honey…

I’ve got a small plug near the cap so out comes my PerfecDraw cigar poker and whisk the problem away with a couple pulls and tugs. (Remember: 15% off the cigar poker and cigar glue with promo: Katman).

The Menage A Trois starts off nicely. A strong black pepper element dominates the under study group of flavors: Chocolate malt, salted caramel, dried banana, espresso, cedar, molasses, very creamy, a compendium of nutty flavors, very earthy, along with some cinnamon and nutmeg…very Christmas-y. All that’s missing is the Captain Morgan’s rum.
Strength is an immediate strong medium. This will be a ball buster by the last third.

The char line is spot on. Flow of air through the tobacco tube is perfect.
It seems that Havana Lounge had some real heat to bring to the blending table. I’ve only had these sticks for two weeks and they are chompin’ at the bit to be smoked…I just had a feeling…This will be an absolute killer blend with reasonable humidor time.

An inch in, complexity ruffles its feathers and digs deep. Transitions are beginning to kick into gear. The finish was influential from the start.
The black cherry and dried fruit add a wonderful sweetness that is a perfect counterpoint to the malt, creaminess, spiciness, and espresso.

There you go…another boutique brand proving that one needs not spend double digits to provide a high premium offering. You don’t need to spend $15 on some stick with 19 leaf stats and a bunch of baloney PR. Stick with me, kids.

The cigar is packed to the gills but the draw is not impacted. Hence, the little Robusto is smoking slowly and leisurely. I’m pretty sure it will be a 90 minute smoke.

Just before the second third begins, the sweet spot kicks in with ferocity and extreme prejudice. Wow. It’s like I’m smoking a different cigar blend.

Complexity goes through the roof. Transitions are whizzing by like ferrets on a carousel. Of course, they fall off when reaching for the ring as they pass. I have no idea why I thought of that. In today’s litigious world, no carousel on the planet still has the device to allow you to pull rings from a stationary device in order to win prizes. The liability of leaning off the outside horse and trying to extend your grasp so as to nail that little ring would mean lawyers all over the country would be in pig heaven.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.

Man oh man. Now, I do like many Bradley offerings but not as much as I like the Menage A Trois. I know. That’s saying a lot and a pretty bold statement. But no Bradley cigar I’ve smoked has been ready after only two weeks of humidor time.
I’d like to know the backstory on how this came about.

Havana Lounge & Cigar did good. Excellent blending along with a reasonable price point.
Strength is medium/full on its way to “batten down the hatches.”
A long, swirling finish makes the Menage A Trois a real treat.
Not a single flavor element has diminished. Every component is accounted for.
Sweet and savory.

This is as much fun as being naked among a whole flock of sheep. Thankfully, I remembered to wear my Wellingtons.

The smoke calms down a bit allowing a sweeping smooth-osity to take over and nearly nullifying the strength of the blend.
Very nutty. And those chocolate covered malted milk balls are a day at the movies.

I saw this guy at the cigar store buy a huge Punch and right out of the cello, this guy takes deep draws and inhales every time. I can’t do that. About halfway through, he put the cigar in the ashtray and wobbled out to the parking lot. Good luck buddy. Should’ve checked the newspaper the next day…

Halfway point arrives after 50 minutes.
Big sip of water and Sweet Spot 2.0 explodes on my face like a lemon meringue pie.
A citric tartness arrives. The black cherry resumes its battle for anointment. The coffee becomes a fancy shmancy Starbuck’s drink…full of goodies and afterthoughts.

This is a great cigar! I love it.
I’m smoking a $7.60 cigar that could have easily been sold for $10-$12. My faith in humanity is restored. After I finish this review, I’m joining the Peace Corps.

We have full tilt strength with the accompanying blinding nicotine. I drop my toupee on the floor and the cat runs away with it. He thinks it makes him look sophisticated for the female cats that hang nearby fawning for his attention.

The perfect convuncular parabola of expectations from the Menage A Trois. It starts off with a bang and then climbs the north face of Everest without a safety net.
Pink Floyd. “Have a Cigar.” The perfect song is being played on the cable tv music channel.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.

I can’t find my favorite sheep, Caledonia.
The Menage A Trois slides into thinner air and we have sweet spot 2.5.

At this point, I can taste Alec Bradley’s influence. Reminds me a bit of AB Tempus Nicaragua, Fine & Rare, and Post Embargo.

Delirium from the nicotine has passed. I’m now able to type without drooling.

Flavors intensify. Spiciness rules supreme. Followed by cinnamon graham cracker, malt, espresso, licorice, citrus, nuts, dried fruit, cedar, and caramel macchiato.
I’m screaming laughter like a sea of swarming simbas. Oh my. What a wonderful cigar.

When I get my old man’s Social Security this week, I plan to go back to Havana Lounge & Cigar and go hog wild and buy a bunch of Menage A Trois. Here is a great stick to hand out to friends who are either aficionados or mooches. Both will be very pleased.

You gotta’ trust me on this my lovelies…the Menage A Trois is something you should try.
Thanks to Tyler Jeffery for being my Yoda.
Remember, to purchase this cigar, call Havana Lounge & Cigar in Milwaukee at 414-258-8219. Tell them the Katman sent you….might as well get the credit for the sudden uptick in sales.
Final smoke time is one hour 35 minutes.

RATING: 92

And now for something completely different:
1975

We were in Amsterdam looking for hash because the Paradiso Club was closed on Mondays. Damn! The band’s American lyricist….(A very nice older lady of 40.. .Ha-ha) told us where her connection was. She gave us a map. Yes, she traveled with the band. Her name was Norma. She died an untimely death from cancer. Sweet woman. And my only other Jewish comrade in London.

Stewart Copeland (The Police) and I took off on our journey. The city is peppered with canals in which they are used for both travel and are also lined with thousands of house boats.

You could always tell where to buy weed because the house boat had it growing on its roof. A not very subtle advertising gimmick. But you didn’t know its quality so you took your chances. And even though we were all on the management payroll and “rock stars,” we were still relatively poor. Magical management accounting books.

The map got us hopelessly lost. And we started knocking on doors of houseboats asking for directions. One boat invited us in and we were shocked at what we saw.

An American man in his 50’s, wearing an old English powdered wig, was sitting on an honest to God regal throne. Gathered at his feet, were half a dozen young boys in their underwear. The décor was an homage to Liberace. He kindly gave us the right directions (as we would find out) and then we did a Three Stooges shtick of trying to get out the door.

We got to the right boat. Stew knocked on the door. I impressed on Stew that he should knock instead of just announcing we were there. But nobody told Stew anything. And Stew was a big guy so he had a false sense of power. We were young.

The door opened, a fist was thrown into Stew’s face, and he crumpled like a cheap suit. I charged the big, burly man and cold cocked him with one punch to the neck.
I stepped over the slumped body and walked over to a big desk. On top was a chunk of hashish the size of a dinner plate and about 2” thick. I broke off a piece, put some Guilders down to pay for it and helped get Stew up; and lucid.

The boat owner was still out cold. We ignored him and left. Fortunately, all of us were Americans so we chose to smoke our hash in a pipe instead of that stupid method all Europeans used; they got two rolling papers laid end to end overlapping. They broke up one or two cigarettes and sprinkled the tobacco inside the rolling paper. They then heated and crumbled the hash; then sprinkled it on to the tobacco. A piece of match book was used and rolled into a tube and placed at one end of the unrolled concoction. The whole thing was then rolled into a long joint; with a cardboard mouthpiece.

None of us smoked cigarettes and that method gave us the spins. So a pipe was the way to go. At parties, we offered our pipe to the Europeans and they whined that smoking it that way got them too high. Pussies. We laughed and lit the pipe.

I got to go to a lot of cool parties now that I was someone…or so I thought. Every bloody wanker in England smoked cigarettes. Well…I didn’t. I would get dozens of offers of a fag during the length of a party til I wanted to hang myself…so I started carrying an unlit cigarette in my hand so when I was offered, I would just hold up my hand and they went away.

The unconscious guy had a roommate and he showed up as we were leaving the boat. He apologized for his friend and offered us a ride in his dinghy back to our hotel. We said of course.

The boat was the same size as the one Tom Hanks used in the movie, “Splash.”
The canal was rough from all the tourist boats. We bobbed up and down and swished from side to side. We thought we were going to die.
We got back to the hotel totally sea sick. We handed the hash to the other band members and Stew and I retired to our rooms to lie down.

We hunted down cannabis, discovered an old perv, got into a fight, almost drowned in the canal, and made it back to civilization without being killed. Just a typical day of being on the road.

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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5 replies

  1. Katdude, I do like that you always mention humi time in your reviews. As you stated the other day, others rarely do. I have a question about his tho. Several, really. How do you know when it’s needed. Always? Most times I only can buy what I can smoke. Also, do you give any credit to B&M or manufacturer’s rest time, or is day one for you always your acquisition date?
    And now for something totally different. Other than your posts I know nothing of Joe Bonamassa, but saw a billboard this week saying he’s coming here to Chattanooga Dec. 4

    Greg

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “…when it’s needed?”
      Can I assume you don’t own a humidor?
      No. Even a boxed 20 year old cigar needs some humidor time to breathe after the cello is removed. There are exceptions of course. I’ve found most boutique blends need a minimum of a few weeks rest. If they are catalog brands…usually a lot longer. I don’t care what the manufacturer says about the aging, cigars need their rest after they are naked.
      When I go into a B&M, I always pick a cigar that has no cello…better chance of it being ready to smoke.
      Bonamassa is one of the greatest guitarists of all time; and always with a group of kick ass studio musicians. He makes Clapton look like a slacker. Go on to youtube and watch and listen to some of his tunes. My wife and I own “Live at the Greek Theater” and play it all the time.
      My only bitch is that he charges an arm and a leg to see him play live. Greedy bastardo!

      • Phil, enjoying my first Bonamassa experience. Smoking a stick and listening to “Live at the Greek” on my front porch. Amazing stuff. Question: you like TedeschiTrucks Band? If so, your thoughts on Trucks guitar skills? Greg

  2. This sounds like a kickass smoke. I’m not aware of any other cigars that offer a Honduran Sumatra wrapper, so that’s another point in their favor for offering something unique.

    Even when I smoked cigarettes that European method of mixing weed or hash with tobacco got me way too dizzy. And it’s a tremendous pain in the ass to heat the hash up to get it pliable enough to drop in there. I remember being in Spain in 2003, and buying a chunk of hash for $10 and having a hell of a time finding a pipe. Eventually, my brother and I just re-purposed a beer can. Not idea, but it did the trick.

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