Sunday, September 12, 2010

Alec Bradley Prensado

5x50 Robusto

The Prensado is a new, all box pressed line from the makers of the enormously successful Tempus, Alan Rubin and his company, Alec Bradley. What first catches my eye is the very attractive band. Alec Bradley sticks can definitely be easily identified by their gorgeous graphic work on the bands, often very ornate, and refined looking. I am a big fan of their visual appeal, and the Prensado is no exception. The cigar itself seems to be beautifull constructed. A little firmer than many, but that seems likely a result of the box pressing process. The wrapper is a nice dark caramel brown, with a slightly reddish, ruddy hue to it, which is very nice. It is slightly oily, and is silky smooth. I actually even have a hard time finding any veins at all, much less large or ugly veins. The cap reminds me of the slightly wrinkly, ugly wrappers that the less expensive Padrons have (not a bad thing, purely an aesthetic observation) and it seems well applied. The seams are difficult to even see they are so tight and even. There is a spicy cedar and very... Nicaraguan aroma off the foot. My understanding is that the wrapper is Honduran Corojo seed, but the filler is mostly Nicaraguan, which makes sense, and sounds delicious. The pre-light draw is smooth and woody, with a slight pepper bite to it.

Lit at 12:00am

Initially present are flavors of chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and a little wood, followed by a medium pepper on the finish. The finish at this point is not particularly long or bold. Flavors are good though.

Burning a little fast here in the first third. Ash is a dark, almost black color, very cool looking. Flavors have simplified a little to a roasted mocha type flavor, with a pretty big, long, tingling pepper finish. Very delicious. Just before getting into the second third a small tear has developed in the wrapper, from the burn line towards the head, about 1/4 of an inch long. Hopefully not an issue. We'll see.

Shortly into the second third the mocha has diminished a little, replaced by an earthy wood flavor, not a sweet airy cedar, but a heavy oaky flavor. The peppery finish remains, and continues as before. The second third remains entirely consistent the whole way. The burn is great. The small tear burned through just fine. The flavor has been impressively bold.

Getting into the final third, a small split has developed rear the shoulder line. The wrapper is the only thing torn, not the binder though. No big deal. There is a heavy, oily quality to the smoke now, it has gotten just really deep and thick. A few draws later a great sweet chocolate flavor comes back, really rich and creamy.

Ended at 1:25am, for a total burn time of one hour 25 minutes exactly. I am impressed that I didn't have any real burn issues, which I ten to get fairly often with box pressed sticks, including the box pressed Tempus. This one, however, burned flawlessly to the end. Very good. Rich flavors of cocoa and earth dominate throughout. The strength has come to a medium-full by the end. Not unpleasant, but present. Overall I think this is a really solid smoke. If it were priced better than the Tempus, I would consider it a brilliant alternative, however, as it is priced about the same, I would say it equally good as a smoke of similar profile, in the same price range.

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