Alec Bradley American Classic

Alec Bradley American Classic

Origin : Honduras
Alec BradleyFormat : Toro
Size : 6 x 50
Wrapper : Honduran Connecticut Shade
Filler : Honduras, Nicaragua
Binder : Honduras, Nicaragua
Price : $5 MSRP (street price should be considerably less)

Every now and then I come across a cigar that really grabs my attention. These choice sticks sometimes become a Joe’s Gem while other times simply an incentive to purchase a box. Right now I am giddy over a sample of the soon-to-be-released Alec Bradley American Classic Blend.

The term “American Classic Blend” is one many cigar makers have used and generally means the cigar has a Conn. Shade wrapper. But these days, some of the best tasting Conn. Shade wrappers are grown outside the US. Such is the case with the new ABC (Alec Bradley Cigars) release. It sports a Honduran grown wrapper from Conn. Shade seed…and it’s gorgeous. With a golden brown hue and leathery feel, this cigar looks like a winner. But its good looks are only the beginning of a wonderful smoking adventure…

Let’s get this party started…

Upon ignition it soon becomes clear that this is really a classic cigar. Not because its name says so, but rather by its perfect construction and wonderful flavor. Conn. Wrapper can sometimes foreshadow a cigar too mild for an experienced smoker to enjoy. In the case of the ABC-ACB (whah!), the smoker is rewarded by a complexity and taste evolution worthy of a sun-grown wrapper. What starts out light and smooth gradually becomes darker in flavor with a highly complex almost bitter undertone. This bitterness is not off-putting but rather serves to add an interesting flavor component of dark chocolate and espresso. What?! Chocolate and espresso in a Conn. Shade cigar?! That alone makes this stick unique. But with a binder-filler mix of Jalapa, Esteli, and Condega tobaccos, the source of this complexity and flavor is not a mystery. These regions of Honduras and Nicaragua are well known for their strong and flavorful tobaccos.

Alec Bradley American Classic

As we continue to smoke, the flavor gets more intense as does its strength. This cigar is billed as a mild-medium strength stick but if you smoke it as a first cigar in the day, it can seem quite strong. As we progress to its nub, the ABC-ACB gives a pretty good kick. And BTW, this cigar burns dead-on with an ash that is hard to shake off. This is one of the best-constructed cigars I’ve ever smoked.

Not just another good cigar…

As you can see, I really love this stick. But the best part of this cigar is also the least expected. If I were to guess its MSRP I would have said something north of $10. I’ve paid that much for cigars with half the character of the ABC-ACB. But to my surprise and delight, the toro I smoked had an MSRP of $5… FIVE DOLLARS! That is an astounding price for a cigar of such character. This just goes to show that indeed, cigar price has nothing whatsoever to do with quality. It will be interesting to see what the street price is for this cigar line and, if these cigars follow the usual pricing structures, boxes of these should go pretty cheap.

Alec Bradley American Classic

Final thoughts…

With the creation of the American Classic Blend, Alec Bradley has raised the bar not only for value-priced cigars but for Conn. Shade cigars in general. The flavor and construction of this cigar is worthy of a price much higher than its MSRP and hopefully, other cigar makers will take notice. Today’s cigar smokers are smarter than ever and we understand that value should not mean a compromise in quality. Now there is no looking back, the genie is out of the bottle, and a new standard for inexpensive cigars has been set. These sticks are gonna be huge.

Flavors: Cedar, nuts, cream, then espresso, dark chocolate
Factory: Plasencia (San Marcos)
X Factor: 9.5 (should increase with age)
Finish: Rich and creamy
Strength: Medium