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:
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.