Brand: Alec Bradley
Line: Black Market Filthy Hooligan
Size: 6″ x 50
Cost: $8 USD
I had a great night with the gentlemen of the Toronto Cigar Club down at Saint Lawrence Market. We enjoyed a few great stories, laughs and of course cigars! This particular review will be part 1 of two, since I enjoyed two great cigars that night. This is actually a really special stick. I purchased a box of AB Black market Filthy Hooligan’s before they even came to Canada, I think it was around Saint Patricks day of 2012. Nonetheless, all my cigar buddies heard of them, and I was one of the only people in the country at the time to have them.
Before I was introduced to the Hooligan I never really exposed myself to any candela wrapped cigars. Partially due to the fact that any humidor I walked into lacked any to choose from. But it seemed that Alec bradley, Rocky Patel and La Flor Dominicana kicked off this new niche trend in the cigar business again; remember, candela wrapped cigars were very popular in decades past.
Well I digress and you didn’t come to here to read incessant blathering. I took the cellophane off the stick and removed the large foot-band that stretched from the foot to the top third of the cigar. The actually band is quite small and I just happened to take that off as well. The one problem I have with Alec Bradley cigars is that their bands are glued on rather then using the modern weaker adhesive which reduces the risk of wrapper damage.
I cut the top cap off with my pair of cigar scissors which gave a nice clean cut and I lit up the foot of the cigar with my butane torch. I got notes of aged tobacco and a slightly herby note. It was somewhat reminiscent of Jagermeister herbal liquor. But lets jump into the first third!
First Third (1/3) – 20 min
The smoke volume was quite surprising since the draw had a little bit of resistance. It was not plugged my any means, it was a nice draw, but it was firmer than I am used to. Nevertheless, the cigar gave off some great aromas such as burnt wood, hay, and a fresh cut lawn smell. The taste wasn’t much different then the smell, although it did coat my mouth in a milky, somewhat grassy taste. But what was fascinating was that it had a finish which tasted like green tea, more specifically Gyokuro Imperial green tea. I really like this particular tea, and it is my favourite aside from silver needle white tea. Gyokuro has a natural milky texture when you drink it, and this cigar has a similar effect on the tongue and palette.
Second Third (2/3) – 25 min
I just realized that I was smoking the cigar a little too fast. I was having so much fun and conversation with the gents that before to long I was almost nearing the final third. However, I did make the conscious effort to take mental notes of the flavour profile. The milky sensation was gone and replaced with a more oily coating on my lips and tongue. The profile was definitely full body, but there was thankfully no strength. The notes of burnt wood and hay certainly increased and lasted longer on the finish. As the cigar crept into the final third notes of coffee, particularly espresso, started to make their way as the dominant profile on the finish.
Final Third (3/3) – 20 min
What began as a firm pack quickly started to become soft and mushy as the heat levels increased. The final third was by no means uninteresting, however, it didn’t make any noticeable transitions from the last third. This is not bad, since I did love the previous flavours, and I do like a consistent stick now and again. I did however pick up notes of the tea taste at the end of the finish, but every time I tried to focus on it the taste quickly passed on.
Total Smoke Time: 1h 5min
The Alec bradley Filthy Hooligan is not some cheap gimmick to pick the pockets of drunk patty’s. Rather, the cigar is made to the highest stands, as are all of Alec Bradley’s products. Alan Rubin has produced a fine stick that will only get better as it ages. The unique notes of green tea were a refreshing change to the typically nutty, chocolaty taste that cigars provide and the candela wrapper will definitely get the attention of your friends. Given the great construction, awesome volume of smoke and unique flavours that you will only find in a candela I give this cigar on The Leather Library’s 10-Point Stogie Scale a:
I mentioned that I was smoking the cigar too fast, and I definitely was. The total smoke time was 1h 5min but if I smoked the cigar at a slower, more considerate pace I could have easily got an addition 30-40 min out of it. I think that a cigar of this caliber is worth the time it takes, and should be given the care that it deserves.
By: Steven Umbrello
Steven Umbrello is a student of philosophy and an avid cigar and pipe smoker. He has been smoking cigars and pipes for over five years and has made it his mission to learn as much about the industry as possible. He has attended some high profile cigar events and is a leading member of the Toronto Cigar Club. You can find more from Steven at his blog The Leather Library Blog.