Alec Bradley Magic Toast | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Honduran
Binder: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Strength: Full
Price: $8.95

Today we take a look at the Alec Bradley Magic Toast.

BACKGROUND:
From Cigar Aficionado:
Alec Bradley Cigar Co. recently announced they were bringing a new cigar to the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show—but the company wouldn’t reveal its name until the first day of the show. Now curious cigar retailers can finally catch a glimpse of the mystery cigar, unveiled today as Magic Toast.

“Magic Toast has a really interesting story,” Alan Rubin, owner of Alec Bradley said. “It is a name that came to me in the middle of the night in a tobacco field in Honduras. I was staring at tobacco with a flashlight—it was an awe-inspiring experience…almost magical. I was with some of my colleagues and my business partner, Ralph Montero—we grabbed a bottle of whisky and proposed a toast to our future. That’s how I got ‘Magic Toast’. The tobaccos from that field are featured in the cigar line.”

Magic Toast is rolled with a Honduran cover leaf and contains a double binder from Nicaragua and Honduras. The filler leaves, too, hail from both countries. The new brand comes in three sizes: Robusto, at 5 inches by 52 ring gauge ($8.95); Toro, at 6 by 52 ($9.50); and Gordo, 6 by 60 ($10.25).

“I can only speak on my experience with Magic Toast, but I truly hope that consumers use their own palates to get the essence of these cigars,” Rubin said. “For me, Magic Toast is a well-balanced, rich, medium- to full-bodied cigar with a slight, natural sweetness.”

The cigars are rolled at Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L., in Danlí, Honduras.

APPEARANCE:
The wrapper is super oily. I have no idea if this is an urban myth or is put into practice…dying the wrapper. This baby looks like it was dunked in 10-40. It looks like black coffee. Lots of veins. Tight seams. The triple cap is applied in what appears to be a slap dash manner. The stick is extremely hard…there is no resistance.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Mocha java reigns supreme. Followed by dried apricot and peach, malt, cedar, black cherry, molasses, and barnyard.
Despite the cigar being hard as a rock, the draw is spot on. I put my PerfecDraw cigar poker away carefully making sure never to sit on it again.
The cold draw presents flavors of black coffee, black pepper, cedar, malt, cocoa, and dried fruit.

FIRST THIRD:
Sucking on the stick to get the cold draw experience, I noticed an abundance of black pepper; so much so that my lips are burning.

The Alec Bradley Magic Toast starts off with a big bang. As predicted, huge amounts of black pepper causing all precious bodily fluids to leak.

The black coffee kicks in and makes me feel I’m working again having one cup of coffee after another til I’m doing the Macarena like a kid with ADHD.

Big plumes of smoke fill the air.
Construction seems to be on point. The burn is even.

I smoked one last week and was impressed. I look forward to seeing if lightning strikes twice. You can tell a cigar is good when you are smoking the last cigar of the night and it flips your toupee twice in the air before landing upside down on your pate.

Due to the cigar being packed to the gills with tobacco, it is an extremely slow burner. I’m very happy I’m only reviewing the Robusto and not the Toro or Gordo. I’d be here all day trying to write my novel about the Hungarian revolution and its impact on the Dow Jones.

The Toast finds its early complexity toot suite. Strength ratchets up quickly to medium/full. The spiciness is a little too much at this point…the blend needs to calm down a bit. I expect to see that happen soon but then go for a three pointer in the last third.

Okie doke…the flavors fight to push the black pepper aside and do so by allowing the flavors of coffee, black cherry, dried fruit, malt, cedar, real earthiness, and a deep richness that is very satisfying. I like a cigar that breaks on through to the other side early on with a real kick in the arse. My kind of blend.

The Toast is a sophisticated blend heading towards experienced smokers only. It is becoming very strong with only an inch burned. Hallucinations won’t be far behind.

The experience I had the other night with the first stick was merely a preview. On a clean palate, the cigar blend is exceeding my first go around. For me, I find this stick to be one of the better A/B blends.

Years ago, I was a huge fan of Bradley blends. It seems they lost their way in innovation. They went from shiny new star to typical catalog brand in short order. What sealed it for me was the huge array of mediocre house cigars they pumped out en masse. The Toast brings them back into favor with me.

Only a couple reviews of this blend but everyone seems to like it. I’m surprised there aren’t more reviews. An absence of reviews usually means writers are staying away from the blend so as not to offend the manufacturer. But in this case, the Toast is certainly a worthy cigar to be dissected.

This is such a deeply rich blend. I expect that several months+ of humi time will turn this blend into a monster. The spiciness is still very strong which tilts the flavor profile.

Sweetness is behind the scenes with notes of vanilla milkshake, a touch of black licorice, and prune Danish.

I read in the AARP magazine that Boomers tend to only listen to classic rock and classic R&B. I look up at the TV screen as music is on and see all these great classic song titles and gulp when I see the release dates occurred when I was a teen or early 20’s.

SECOND THIRD:
I am revising an observation. Now that I’ve slobbered all over the cap of the cigar, it appears that it is a quadruple cap, not a triple version. Kudos.

This is an enjoyable cigar blend. And at $8.50, it puts to shame so many cigars at twice the price. I applaud A/B for not being greedy knowing they had a real gem on their hands.

Creaminess finally appears balancing the blend. The complexity is full tilt. Lots of transitions and a very chewy finish.
This is not a kitchen sink blend. It doesn’t possess 27 different flavors. Rather, it’s focused and deliberate to bring you some very basic elements that shine brighter than similar cigars.

A sip of water resets the palate. The finish explodes like a 15-year-old boy getting his first hand job.

This reminds me of a story I just have to spew. I was a senior in high school and began dating a junior. Our first date was the Los Altos Drive-In. We began smooching and she immediately puts her hand on my crotch. We went to the drive in a lot after that but within a couple months, I got bored. It never went further than that and the chick just wasn’t that interesting despite providing me an early sexual romp. After we broke up, one of my best buddies started dating her trying to get in on the grab the mongoose action. My buddies were at Bob’s Big Boy that Friday night when Bob showed up unexpectedly. He was supposed to be on a date with Cherie. She told him that what she did with me was wrong and he shouldn’t expect the same treatment. Young lust does have its boundaries.

Bam. The cigar goes bat shit crazy on me. It opens like a gorgeous orchid. Flavors overwhelm the ozone layer. Complexity is through the roof. The spiciness has calmed down dramatically. Strength is blinding with its potency. My vision blurs.

I know you have all tried the best that Alec Bradley has produced in their main line of blends. This Toast is a complete departure. It moves Bradly into the high premium boutique arena. If I were rich like Matt or Charles, I would be stopping the review right now so I can buy a box.

I am experiencing some minor burn issues but nothing to plotz about.
The halfway point brings the real sophistication of something special.

Coffee, coffee, coffee. Offsetting sweetness belly’s up to the bar.
The richness is incredible.
I go into ‘savor’ mode. I let the cigar rest a couple minutes between puffs. Then a sip of water and the Toast does not disappoint.
This blend can compete with any of the best boutique brand products. No shit. Except it doesn’t start at $12 a pop.

LAST THIRD:
This is a sturdy cigar with a sturdy wrapper. With the temp at only around 20 degrees and the windows open, the stick is not affected. The 10-40 must also act as a protection device with a reservoir tip.

Put 6 months of humidor time on this baby and it will be twice as good.

The output is now a kitchen sink: Coffee, malt, dried fruit, black cherry, cedar, cream, licorice, hint of dark chocolate, with smoked meat overtones.
Brilliant fucking blend.

The finish has stepped up. I sit and just smack my lips between puffs…letting it linger.
Sips of water really ups the ante on the flavors.
As potent as the Toast is, no sign of nicotine yet.

I am finding similarities to some fine boutique blends…Ezra Zion, Southern Draw, a touch of AJ’s best, Roma Craft, and BLTC. Good company.

Just got some oral sex from Charlotte. As we passed in the hallway, we both said, “Fuck you.”

I’m at the one hour 25-minute mark. A Robusto! Plenty more to go.
Ever smoke a cigar that feels like a toothpick in your hand and it smokes down in 35 minutes? Not this baby. It feels like a barbell in your sweaty palm.

The strength is in overdrive. Holy shit. I’m going blind and losing control of my pancreas.

You better be a very experienced smoker to imbibe the Alec Bradley Magic Toast. Newbies beware. It could cause hunkering in the corner of the bathroom moaning like a little girl. My best advice for survival is to eat a large meal before lighting up.

The salvation of this cigar is its lack of nicotine which would put me over the edge at this point. Yeah, I’m traversing between this world and some alternate universe due to the strength but at least I’m not hallucinating and dizzy beyond repair.
I grab a roach clip. We are going to see this through.
You are going to dig the shit out of the Alec Bradley Magic Toast.

RATING: 95

And now for something completely different:

We were on tour for 6 weeks throughout Europe. For one of those weeks, we were on the same bill as Larry Coryell (April 2,1943 – February 19, 2017) and the Eleventh House.

Most of you may not know who Larry Coryell was. He is the father of jazz fusion guitar. He changed my life with his progressive style back in 1972. Along with his cohorts of the day: Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Keith Jarret, and Mahavishnu Orchestra, and so forth.
In 1979, he formed The Guitar Trio with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia.

I was a jazzer when I auditioned for Curved Air in 1974 and won the audition hands down because this kind of playing hadn’t reached the English shores yet. All the bass players at the audition played exactly like Chris Squire of “Yes.” All chops and no soul.

We spent a week in Switzerland opening for Coryell. At the time, Switzerland had no big arenas, so we played in auditoriums that seated just a couple thousand people.
But we packed them. We were a double threat.

Swiss audiences are very reserved. Applause is minimum. There is no screaming. No girls on top of boys’ shoulders with their tops off. They just sit quietly in their seats taking it all in and really focusing on the music and performance. I liked that about them. I hated raucous audiences. No one was really listening. Now we never had a Beatles-like reception but I got the taste of what it was like not to have anyone listening, just going nuts. Of course, in those days, the Beatles had horrible sound systems and they couldn’t be heard anyway.
We had one of those systems that blew your hair back.

Now who the hell thought it was a good idea to put him on a bill with us….a progressive rock band with a violin, cutting edge synthesizers and a chick singer, Sonja Kristina, along the lines of Stevie Nicks and Janis. It was a crazy bill.

This was the band he used when we played with him in 1974:

Even though the musicians in my band were world class classically trained musicians, they didn’t know squat about this new musical movement. But I did, because I was the only American in the group. Even Stewart Copeland, (The Police), our drummer, wasn’t that familiar. I idolized Larry and his band mates so when one night, after the gig, he invited us up to his hotel room to shoot the shit and smoke cigars, we all jumped at the chance.

The worst thing you can do with a celebrity is act like a fan. Be yourself and talk about the weather.
But noooo…my bandmates fucking interviewed him. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look up from my cigar.

Curved Air has close to 20 albums under their belt so they were no slouches. And here they are mesmerized. And behaving like rank fans. The band still tours and celebrated their 50th anniversary last year.

I had been smoking cigars since I was 18. That’s because my dad smoked ‘em and so did his pop. It was DNA impregnated. My band mates smoked cigarettes and that’s it. They had no idea what was in store for them. I did; and chuckled. My gramps was best friends with Julius Newman of J.C. Newman cigars.

Larry passed around GIANT Cubans. Beer and wine were offered and Larry and I dug right in. The others watched our lead as they had never smoked cigars, including the chick singer.

I remember the bliss of that fine cigar and as my eyes met Larry’s, we smiled big and laughed out loud. From the peanut gallery, I heard coughing and choking. Again, Larry and I glanced at each other and burst into raucous laughter.

The schmucks did not want to admit they had never smoked a cigar, let alone, a strong Cuban. So, they puffed away, occasionally inhaling. They were real dumbasses. So, in a matter of minutes I had a bunch of Kermit the Frogs in the room. It’s hard being green.

But the real funny part was that they began to interview Larry again between dry gags from the cigars…they were so intimidated. Meanwhile, I settled in my hotel chair and puffed away, savoring an expensive cigar.

Larry answered the questions politely, but one at a time, each of the dip shits excused themselves to go to the bathroom where we heard projectile heaving. Larry and I never laughed so hard.

Within 30 minutes, my band had retired to their own hotel bathrooms and Larry and I spent the rest of the night, til dawn…smoking, drinking, and telling stories about the “road.” A night etched in my brain.

What a shame that Coryell died of heart failure 2 years ago at 63.
I’ve known so many people that died in their 60’s or earlier. It is a real roll of the dice when you hit 60. Studies have shown though that if you make it to 65, there is an excellent chance you will live for another 12 years. Scary when you’re 69…this February.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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8 replies

  1. Phil —

    Can’t wait to try Magic Toast — I’ve always had a taste for AB’s good blends, a delicious handful of standouts in that giant spread of nothing burgers. And if it’s that sea of metaphor-mixing weak tea that keeps the good sticks reasonably priced, well, three cheers.

    Saw Larry Coryell a couple times at Blues Alley in Washington, DC in late Eighties. Solo both times. A guy who’s heart, skill and creativity made everything else vanish when he played. And he seemed like a lovely guy — gracious to the club owner, wait staff and, of course, the audience. The only nights I can remember at that club when people barely touched their food or even whispered to one another — caught up in the playing and their respect for the man. Loved hearing your story about him.

    • Hey Tom,
      I remembered an anecdote I don’t believe I’ve written about…I think..who the fuck knows?
      Alphonse Mouzon was the drummer for The Eleventh House when we toured togehter. Alphonse got sweet on Sonja. And he wasn’t shy about showing it which pissed off her boyfriend, Stew Copeland.
      One night, we watched from the side of the stage while the keys player did a great solo. Stew, Sonja, Mouzon and I stood together and were kibitzing.

      Mouzon started to put his hands on Sonja and Stew exploded. They started pushing each other. Mouzon was a big guy in girth but Stew was tall and lanky and strong.
      Blows started being thrown while Sonja jumped on Stew’s back and I was hanging on to Mouzon by the shirt collar. I started to choke him while I was being thrown around like a rag doll.
      It gave Stew the opportunity to swing with an uppercut and caught Mouzon right under his jaw and we both went down.

      I screamed to get this 250lb guy off my 160lb body.
      Coryell made them shake hands but it wasn’t amicable and Larry warned Mouzon that if ever tried that shit again, he was off the tour.
      Needless to say, Mouzon didn’t say another word to anyone in Curved Air the rest of the short tour together.
      coryell

  2. Entered to read a cigar review and ended with rock history. Excellent on both counts.

  3. I was Alphonse’s personal trainer for a couple of years at Porter Valley Country Club in Northridge, Ca. where I am the Fitness Director. Cigars and fitness, good complementary paths.
    Al was a ultra talented dude but did not always take my direction to heart. He wanted to look like he did back in the 70’s but that was not going to happen.
    Sadly he maet his match with a rare form of cancer. Solid, guy.

    • We all met when we were kids in the mid 70’s. I only knew him the week we spent in Switzerland. And that was over 43 years ago…people change…lol.
      And besides, we were all on drugs back then. In Curved Air, we smoked hash, took acid, drank, and the chick singer was a recovering junkie. It’s hard to be on your best behavior under those circumstances.
      Funny…never once saw coke the nearly 3 years I was in the band.

  4. Dear Phil,
    The other two data Curved Air played with “The Eleventh House” were :

    23 January 1975 – Basel, Festsaal, Switzerland.
    25 January 1975 – St. Gallen, Tonhalle, Switzerland.

    Did you do some more ?

    All The Best,
    Martin
    The Netherlands

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