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Prensado by Alec Bradley

Posted by dabyrdman33 on July 28, 2010

DaByrdman is back with another cigar review and I promise that Ray is not gonna slap anybody with a slipper, no winos will be singing, and I damn sure don’t have any Luther or Babyface playing in the background. With that being said, today’s cigar is Prensado by Alec Bradley. I had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with Alan Rubin, the man behind Alec Bradley cigars, at The Big Smoke Las Vegas back in November 2009. Incidentally that also happens to be where I got this cigar, so it has been sitting in my humidor for eight months now. During our conversation, he stressed that part of what he feels makes a “good cigar” is the experience that you have while smoking it and not just the flavors, strength, body, etc. Recalling that conversation, I decided to change up my review pattern just for this cigar and really focus on making sure that my mood and surroundings were ideal to see if it would have any effect, positive or negative, or what I got from the cigar. So with a glass of Zacapa 23 in hand and a bottle of water I commenced to enjoy Prensado.

I don’t want to bore you with the intricate details of the cigar, but if you’re interested in reading more about Prensado or other cigars by Alec Bradley click here. Here’s the skinny:

Vitola: Robusto

Size: 50 x 5″

MSRP: $9.25 + tax (approx.)

Wrapper: Trojes, Honduras Corojo 2006

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua & Trojes, Honduras

Appearance: The cigar has a pressed shape, but not the creased corners of a tight box-press. The wrapper is a really nice looking reddish-brown that is slightly oily. While there are some minor veins, they certainly do not detract from the appearance of this stick. The band is even more impressive with the gold embossed lettering and color. If you are a fan of cigar bands, this one is definitely a keeper.

Pre-light: As I held the cigar to my nose, I got a nutty aroma at the foot that transitioned to rich tobacco and a slight tinge of barnyard hay further up the cigar. After snipping the cap with my scissors, the draw was effortless and full of nutty flavors.

1st third: From the first touch of the flame to the foot, this cigar produces load of pillowy white smoke thanks to the open draw. The first few puffs did not yield any real pepper or spiciness on the tongue or through the nose on the retrohale. The flavors that immediately come to the forefront are smooth black coffee and nuts. As I progressed, the nuttiness gave way to the coffee note and a touch of peppery spice began to creep in on the retrohale. The cigar started out rather mild in both body and strength. The burn line early on was pretty much even with a solid dark gray ash. Further into the first third, the pepper on the retrohale migrated to my tongue and more a sweetness was present on the retrohale. The complexity of this cigar really began to show at this point as the body and strength both escalated to more of the medium range.

2nd third: As I moved toward to the middle of the cigar, the flavors began to dissipate somewhat. I’m still not sure if this was due to the rum, but the peppery spice basically disappeared. The coffee & walnut flavors went back and forth competing for dominance. The ash managed to continue to hold firm even with the burn going slightly wavy (no touch-up was required). The ash finally gave way just about two inches in as I neared the halfway point. The body was still in the medium range; however, the strength had fallen off somewhat to a mild-medium range. It seemed like the second third was gonna be the sleeper part of the cigar and then just below the band, POW!!! I got a blast of pepper, spice, & sweetness in one draw. Apparently, Prensado decided to make sure I didn’t underestimate it by awakening me from my mid-cigar slumber and boldly announcing its return.

Final third: Coming toward the end, I was really hoping that the blast of flavor that I got just moments prior was going to sustain until the end. It didn’t quite stay with that same intensity, but the cigar was definitely in the medium-full range in terms of body and solidly in the medium range in terms of strength. Still producing loads of smoke, the nuttiness exited for the evening and the pepper and black coffee flavors took over. The finish was really long and complex starting with the black coffee and ending in a creaminess that I can’t really put into words. The cigar never produced a real nicotine kick or “gut punch” but remained rather balanced and smooth especially during flavor transitions. As I reached the end, I got one last flavor: toasty/smoked wood.

Final thoughts: Every palate is different and unfortunately, the Prensado robusto did not resonate with me. That is not to say that it was a disappointment just that for what I am enjoying at the moment, it didn’t fit that profile. The complexity of the cigar certainly made the experience enjoyable because I really enjoy flavor transitions. The smoothness of the cigar really indicated that a good deal of aging went into this cigar before it made it to the shelves. I would have liked a little more spice and maybe another notch in the strength category for it to hit in my wheelhouse. That being said, if you are looking for a cigar that is a solid medium-bodied smoke with good complexity, this might be the one for you. While I may not purchase a box, I will definitely re-visit this cigar at some point possibly in another vitola. I would give it 3.6 out of 5 on my “scale”.

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Until next time, always fly high!

-Da Byrdman-

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2 Responses to “Prensado by Alec Bradley”

  1. HabanoHam said

    Nice Review Brother! I’ve been wanting to try these for a while now, but still haven’t made the move. The flavor profile sounds pretty good, but the almost $10 tag makes me hesitant. How would you compare this to the Tempus line?

    • Thanks for the comment. The price tag made me hesitant but anytime you get a cigar that has a limited qty. or aged wrapper you’re going to pay a premium. I actually liked the Tempus better than Prensado in the Genesis (corona) size. The Centuria (churchill) is also very good. I still need to try the other sizes in Prensado before I “write it off” completely.

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