Such Promise! (Alec Bradley Nica Puro 1685 Robusto)

2015-09-03 19.00.56Okay, I’m going to tell you straight out; I’m really disappointed.

The Alec Bradley Nica Puro 1685 was a promising-looking cigar with a matte chocolate shaded wrapper that emanated nut and chocolate wrapper notes. It’s a 50 ring gauge and five inches in length; a fairly normal-sized robusto.  I got mine as part of the Alec Bradley Five Card Stud Sampler from Pipes & Cigars. I was somewhat concerned for the draw because it had an extremely hard pack.  But this stick came highly recommended; Cigar Aficionado gave it a 90 point rating.  I was really excited!

It was an easy, clean clip with CiGuru cigar clipper along its double-cap.  The pre-light draw was like dark chocolate with a hint of fruit; like maybe a fruit and nut bar.  Delicious!  It filled the air with its thick, delightfully pleasant smoke.

The Nica Puro 1685 is a pure Nicaraguan created by Alan Rubin.  Its oily Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper is extensively fermented.  It is highly recommended as an embodiment of Nicaraguan cigar elements; rich, flavourful, and full-bodied.  Others have said that they’ve detected notes of leather, nutmeg and raisin, so I suppose that supports my sense of its fruitiness!

I lit the Nica Puro at five after seven pm with an intention of enjoying a highly-recommended evening cigar. I found the first draws to be of nut and sweetened cocoa; very smooth, sweet, and tasty, with a spicy lip bite.  It quickly matured into something that reminded me a bit of chocolate and rice pudding; sweetness, pumpkin-pie spice, and maybe a dried fruit element.

Unfortunately it went out repeatedly.  I clipped it and re-clipped it, and the damn thing would not stay lit.  It flaked and cracked at the head enough to threaten the structural integrity of the cigar.  At 7:30 pm I gave up, more than a little cross.

This is not the first time that I have experienced considerable construction problems with a prize-winning cigar.  What gives?  After a couple of years of dedicated cigar-smoking I think I’ve figured it out, and I’ll wax rhetoric on it either later this week, or next week.

In the meantime I’m certain I have missed out on an amazing experience, and in this lady’s perspective, I can give this cigar no more than:

2 stars

You can get the 1685 at Cigars International for $33.00 USD for a five-pack and $125.99 USD for a box of twenty; Famous Smoke has then for $7 USD a single; $31.99 USD for a five-pack; $62.99 USD for a ten-pack and $125.99 USD for a box of twenty.

Fun fact: the 1685 on the label comes from the founding year of the city of Esteli, Nicaragua.

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