Monday, December 19, 2011

My 12 Days of Christmas: Unwrapping the Humidor.

...Four Calling Birds

I come to you, my readers, bearing gifts. Twelve days of gifts to be exact. From now until Christmas, I'll be giving 12 reviews of cigars that have been in my humidor for various amounts of time. Nothing beats the gift of one's own humidor and the treasures that lay within. So, here we go.

Previous post(s):

A Partridge in a Pear Tree - 1961 Frank Llaneza
Two Turtle Doves - Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial
Three French Hens- Ashton VSG Wizard

On the fourth day of Christmas, my humidor gave to me...

An Alec Bradley Black Market torpedo
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro
Binder: Sumatran
Filler: Panamanian & Honduran
Time in my humidor: 3 months

Alec Bradley was a cigar brand founded in 1996 by Alan Rubin, who recently sold his family import business.  Rubin named the cigar company after his two sons and partnered with Ralph Montero, who is now his Executive Vice President.  He sought the advice and guidance of renowned Henke Kelner, and the brand started to come into its own.

While the company had some early success with the Occidental Reserve and the Maxx, it really caught every aficionado's attention with the herald Tempus line.  Since 2007, Rubin and his crew have cranked out 90-rated smokes like clockwork.  The Tempus is in good company with Maxx Connecticut, Select Cabinet Reserve, & Prensado.

Rubin's newest creation, Black Market, debuted at this year's IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas and has been on the shelves since early September.  I grabbed a few of them right off the bat and the torpedo, is actually only the second one I have smoked.

Leathery! Leathery! Leathery! This may become the new HO! HO! HO!  A dominant leather flavor hits me on the dry draw and the foot has a strong note of pepper.  This cigar is rich with oils and I am very excited to see what extensive age will do to this smoke. 
The ash held well on this smoke, finally falling off in the middle of the smoke.  The first third of the cigar, while dominated by leathery flavor, does have notes of chocolate, pepper, earth, and clove.  The smoke is cool and delivers a strong, yet wonderful smelling bouquet. 

The cigar lasted me about an hour and a half that never had to be re-lighted or became bitter at all.  The finish was strong and stayed for quite a while. 

I paired this particular cigar with rum and I feel that a complimentary beverage, rather than contrast, would serve this cigar best.  I have a Real Ale coffee porter in my fridge right now that I think would go perfectly with the Black Market.

My Ratings:

Appearance - 10
Pre-light taste- 9
Construction - 10
Draw - 8
Burn - 8
Aroma - 10
Flavor - 9
Balance - 9
Finish- 9

Total Rating: 9.1

Rubin's story and journey into the cigar world is one of tremendous success.  His cigar creations and blends are some of the most talked about in the industry.  He doesn't have a name like Oliva, Garcia, or Padron - but his passion and drive have jolted him toward the upper echelon of the industry.

4 down...8 to go.  There's nothing wrong with knowing you are the best.


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