Monday, January 30, 2012

Alec Bradley American Classic Blend Review

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper origin: Honduras
Wrapper type: Connecticut
Filler: Nicaraguan
Length: 6.0”
Ring: 50
Cost: $4.50

Appearance (0-20): When I picked this up I thought to myself – “really? Is this an Alec product?” I am so used to AB’s beautiful appearance on the outside that this one threw me a bit. There was a pronounced vein or two, but nothing TOO terrible. Thankfully was tightly wrapped, but I found that I was pretty disappointed in the label.  Perhaps I am looking for too much with the simple and bold things they normally put out. This one just seems busy – red, white, blue, black, gold, silver – yuck. Five different fonts on one band? -  Unnecessary. It looks like someone got a little carried away here.
Score: 12

Construction (0-20): At least AB does get one thing right here – the construction is a good one. The cigar was solid where it needed to be, but more than enough looseness to draw through appropriately. After lighting this blend up, I found it kept a relatively even burn and a nice ash to it that held for quite sometime. Not perfect mind you, but still an above average build.
Score: 17

Strength (0-20): Billed as a mild-medium, I was surprised to find this hitting the medium range quite consistently. It started out in the mild spectrum, but each bit that was smoked it seemed to increase in intensity. However I will admit, you don’t get much more than a medium smoke out of this in the long run.
Score: 16

Flavor (0-20):.Smooth and creamy. I fully anticipated it to continue with that sort of flavor throughout, but damn was I surprised. As you move from one portion to the next, you find a robust variety of undertones:  pepper, cedar, espresso, nuts, etc. It’s so complex that it really took me off guard as some of those flavors are ones that I personally wouldn’t expect from a Connecticut wrapper. Well played Alec… well played.
Score: 18

Value (0-20): This particular size (the toro) was about $4.50, which to be honest isn’t a terrible price by any means. Actually for as complex as a stick as this it, I am surprised it’s not a little more. Granted, the price tag didn’t seem utterly surprising to me when I picked it up initially to take a look at it.
Score: 18

Additional Notes: Paired with chocolate milk, which I have to say, was quite delicious. The cigar was smoked at CI, my normal prowling grounds.

Overall (0-100): The moral of the story on this one could be broken down to: don’t judge a cigar by its band – but unfortunately that’s what any consumer does. I hold AB to a high standard when it comes to their design, but this one fell flat in that area. HOWEVER, the cigar’s taste and value are spectacular. Want a complex cigar that won’t put a huge hurting on your pockets? Ignore the gaudy band and pick one of these up.
Score: 81

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