Saturday, July 12, 2014

Alec Bradley's Sweet Melody*

Last night, Habanos Cigar Lounge in Pawtucket, RI became a symphony** hall for the senses. The conductor? Drinnen Thornton of Alec Bradley Cigars.

The man of the hour, Drinnen (left) and the man of all my hours, Valentino (right)
The instruments? His showcase:

Photo by Nathalie Tamer, one of my favorite people!
(Stolen from facebook without asking! Sorry, Nathalie! Can I use this picture?)
The symphony? The smell of the room's sweet smokiness; the sounds of laughter and conversation as old friends and new friends join in the camaraderie that rarely exists outside of the cigar world; the sight of the patrons' and bartenders' pleasure as they first inhaled on the new or old favorite; the taste of all the delicious cigars in their mouths and in the back of my throat; the feel of the hugs and touches of greeting and emphasis.

*By the way, extended metaphors are hard.

To the left of me, Bob smoked an Alec Bradley Black Market Toro, a medium-to-full. When I asked him if it was spicy, because that's what I thought I was sensing, he said, "Yeah, it's peppery." According to Cigars International, "This 4-country blend is jam-packed with Jamastran, Honduras and Panamanian long-fillers, capped off by a lively Sumatra binder and powerful Nicaraguan wrapper leaf. Upon first lighting, plumes of smoke fill the air as the blend burns with purpose. Unique and satisfying arrays of flavors greet your palate, as spice, pepper, and peaty undertones finish the ensemble. With a long dry finish, and slow burn, the Black Market cigar is a finger burner."

Lauren, one of the supercool bartenders, was smoking a Family Blend, which she said was medium and "leathery." Again, stealing from CI, "On the outside, a milk chocolate brown wrapper from Honduras glistens with oils and boats a smooth, silky sheen. Beneath this leaf, an aged mixture of Honduran and Nicaraguan long-fillers is secured by a zesty Indonesian binder. The result is a medium-bodied smoke layered by rich notes of toast, wood, and leather with a little bit of earthy undertones in between. Smooth and balanced throughout, this highly rated handmade is an excellent choice."

Valentino (saving the best for last, of course) had this, now one of his favorites:

The Alec Bradley Connecticut
 He said it was a mild smoke but still had a lot of flavor, but not a lot of peppery notes (hence the mild). It ranked in his top three cigars in that category. I would too. With the fuller Black Market on my left, the sweeter Connecticut created a perfect balance of smoke.  "You can tell a lot about a cigar when you suck in before you light it," he said. "It had a lot of character to it even then. I knew I was going to love it and I did." (I can attest to this; we have a lot of them waiting in the wings, aging in the humidor after last night's event.***) (I can't wait for their next reveal.) says about the Connecticut, "Mild to medium in body but rich in flavor, the recently released Connecticut explores the lighter side of Alec Bradley cigars. Notes of sweet cedar and earth leads to a smooth, creamy experience that's interesting right down to the nub."
Then, on to this:
The Alec Bradley Prensado, the 6 x 62, Double T.
He's always said the Prensado is one of his favorite cigars, and there they were on the display table in all their deliciousness.  Generally, he smokes the smaller Robusto, 50 x 5, but went for the bigger gun this time. It's 96-rated and considered a full cigar and he likes "the smoothness of it. The draw is outstanding.  In fact, it's so smooth, with lots of flavor and great construction that it doesn't get so strong that it's unsmokable in the last third, as many full-bodied cigars are for me. Not as much pepperiness, which is good because I generally prefer a more mild to medium."

Just so you know: "In addition to being named the Top Cigar of 2011, Alec Bradley Prensado received an unheard of, 96-point rating, noting, 'The Alec Bradley Prensado is as gorgeous a cigar as you’ll ever see, with a picture-perfect head and a stunning wrapper. But it is the flavor that makes it a classic smoke. The Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos come together to create leather, chocolate and spice notes, and a long, lush finish.'" [source]

***Last night's booty. No, the other kind of booty.
And shut up, I haven't figured out how to rotate photos on my new computer.

We're sitting outside, enjoying the shade (because the sun is HOT) as I write this. He's just finished the other half of last night's Prensado. I think he's tired of my incessant questions. (I know I would be!)   He looks at me, exasperated. "Sometimes I like a cigar because I like it. No need to get all uppity." Then he kisses me on the top of the head and gets me some Oreos. Roger that.

Want more information? Info that will wow people at your next cocktail party?

 **I had intended to carry this metaphor all the way through, and then I got tired just thinking about all the research involved, since I know nothing about music. No. Thing. I don't even listen to the radio when I drive.  Audiobooks, baby!! My nerdiness knows no bounds!!

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the kind words, and also for making last night's event so much fun!


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