May 3, 2011
Origin : Honduras
Format : 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…
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.
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.
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.
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
[sz]alec bradley american classic[/sz]
August 1, 2014
I will agree with JB as I also find these AB’s boring,especially the toro.Maybe robusto would be better for me but only when I want something to smoke in the stadium watching football etc…Also, where I live these cost as much as a Hoyo petit robusto Cuban or two Partagas Aristocrats (to give an example) that are definitely superior cigars imo.If these sold for $4-5 here, then I would perhaps think of having a few in the humidor for those football games.For $4-5 they are good and honest cigars.
January 1, 2014
I am using this Cigar as an introduction for my business at Sporting Clay events. Suites a wide spectrum of palates and has been very well received by customers and prospective customers as well. I am glad to spread the word of this mild yet satisfying smoke. Will continue to use them to help me build my reputation in the industry while promoting a very good smoke.
November 27, 2013
Got the robusto in a sampler and with about 5 months of age its a darn tasty Connecticut. Good enough that I paired it with a helping of lagavulin 16 year isla. Tight draw from the light but opened up. Also got a little bitter towards the middle but likely the result of overzealous puffing. Now I want to try the sun grown! If I found a deal I would buy more.
November 5, 2012
Had this one sitting in the humidor for a couple of months with a range of other single sticks I picked up for under $10 a stick. Wouldn’t say it was one of the worst, but also wouldn’t buy any more than the two I picked up. Burns well, but very bland
September 6, 2012
Tried one of these the other day (picked a couple off an auction site for $2 each), and while the contruction and draw were good, I just found it too bland for my tastes.
I then tried the American Classic Sun Grown, thinking a spicier sun grown wrapper on the same cigar is what was missing for me, and while I did like it better, still was not crazy about the flavor. I actually preferred the Famous Exclusive Alec Bradley Sun Grown as far as flavors go, though the contruction was not as good.
I’ll mark it up to palate differences. Next time I pick up an Alec Bradley, it’ll be the Black Market.
May 7, 2012
Humidor was empty, went to the local B&M for a few smokes (5buck range) and asked the guy behind the counter for a “creamy cigar.” he recommended this smoke, I bought it.
I didn’t think it was creamy, quite spicy actually, but very nice. I have a box of 20 churchills coming in the mail with a 5 pack of robustos next week. I look forward to the sticks, if this is a throwback to the early 1900’s then I see why Gramps used to smoke cigars! Well done, Alec Bradley.
May 4, 2012
This is definitely one of my favorites. Took a few on annual guys only camping trip and they were everone’s Dave by far. Didn’t have nearly enough!!
May 2, 2012
I’ve smoked a couple of the AB American Blend torpedo sticks and I think I get what is going on with these. They are a mild blend that I can see some finding too mild and less dimensional than say a regular line Padron. I believe this is the point entirely. The AM Blend is suppose to be a lighter stick and it assuredly is. Is it good? I think it is. It has nothing sharp or bitter and at the same time I’ll admit it lacks zing or spice, but it is pleasant and every so slightly tasty. The wrapper looks darker than the average Conn shade variety and the mixture is expertly rolled because it burned true, held ash well (not even an accidental dropping when I wanted to let it go to 1.5″), and didn’t get overly hot as it was nubbed. Everything is just light and mild, if that interests you then this is a bargain. I like a simpler very pleasant mild smoke on ocassion and I will repeat the AB AM Blend.
January 27, 2012
Conn. shade wrapper? Conn. seed maybe but that doesn’t look like a shade grown wrapper. I am waiting for a 10 pack. Hope they live up to all the raves.
December 19, 2011
So I bought a 5-pack of these based on all the blog hype surrounding the AB American Classic. I am def in the minority as I found these cigars absolutely boring. I found the draw was tight, smoke output was minimal, and the only taste I picked up on was smoke. I’ve smoked all 5 and each time prayed I’d get what everyone is talking about but unfortunately it never happened. This had to be my biggest disappointment of the year.
September 24, 2011
Joe, I’m smoking this bad boy right now. You pretty much hit the nail on the head, except for the chocolate (strictly my opinion). I can’t believe my tobacconist had to talk me into this one. This smoke certainly has the potential to be a daily smoke, and it pairs very well with a slightly cold Shiner Bock.
September 20, 2011
This stick is not only my first ABC-ACB (hysterical) but my first ABC. Could not have a more perfect introduction to a cigar maker and line! As I enjoy this cigar and read your review, I find your description dead-on except for one lamentable point. I live in Western New York and New York state (I’m pretty sure) has the highest gas and tobacco taxes in the nation. While the rest of the world can enjoy this smoke for ~$5, alas, I paid nearly $10 at my favorite tobacconist. Nonetheless, I am thoroughly enjoying this cigar. I’m sure I can find a box price online for significantly less per stick.
I’m at the halfway point and the smoke is becoming more flavorful so I’m going to kick back, enjoy this gorgeous day and this wonderful cigar. Thanks for a great article and review!
July 21, 2011
just picked ine up at my local cigar store,a great smoke
July 16, 2011
Emerson’s cigars has them online and is offering free shipping.
July 15, 2011
I had the opportunity yesterdy to taste an American Classic – Churchill and was extremely impressed. Everything I’ve learned to like about a good cigar is right here. After searching online to fine them with no results, I’ll be at the smoke shop today to buy a box before they sell out.
June 8, 2011
Nice pics Arthur! That’s a very strong recommendation, I will definitely be on the lookout.
June 8, 2011
I just ordered a 5 pack of these. If they are even close to as good as all the reviews I’ve read I’ll be ordering a box shortly after they arrive.
May 11, 2011
These notes caught me off guard the first time, but I loved it! I always keep some of these in my humidor; $5.00 for something this good is hard to come by.
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