Gotham Cigars Heroes Alec Bradley
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
Back in January, I was perusing Craig Vanderslice’s always entertaining and informative Cigar Craig website, when he posted a short review of a new shop exclusive from Miami retailer Gotham Cigars. This cigar, made for them by Alec Bradley at Nestor Plasencia’s Esteli, Nicaragua factory, is a Nicaraguan puro, but the amazing thing about it is that they were offering an introductory price of $9.99 for a five pack, including shipping. Craig seemed to really like this stick, and knowing him and trusting his taste, I wasted no time in jumping on board for a fiver of these cigars. They arrived within five days, and I proceeded to stick them in my humidor for what I thought would be a decent amount of time. After a few days, however, they kept calling to me, and being the weak willed SOB that I am, went ahead and lit one up. What I experienced was quite an enjoyable cigar, and I decided that I would give it a little more time and then put up a review of it. Well, here it is.
This stick comes in a single robusto size of 5 x 50, and the price of a five pack has since gone up from $9.99 to $19.99, but as of this time, shipping is still free. Although I’m not sure why they are only being sold in five packs and not bundles, it may be just for the introductory period. Information on the website is pretty non-specific regarding the blend, and I have been unable to glean any extra insight into it from Gotham, as well as to why a store in Miami carries the moniker for New York City.
Size: Robusto 5 x 50
Price: $19.99/5 pack
Smoking time: One hour, ten minutes
Pairing: New Belgium 1554 Black Lager (ABV 5.6%)
The Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley comes draped in a medium-dark brown wrapper marked with darker areas, a few small veins, and a smooth, lightly oily feel and sheen. The tight seams lead to a nicely applied double cap. It’s well packed with just a bit of springiness and is a little soft at the foot. I’m not in love with the Halloween-like orange and black color scheme with bright gold Gotham logo on the band, but for the price of the cigar, I’m not going to complain about it, plus all of the bands on the cigars that I have smoked so far have come off without a hitch. The wrapper gives of a sweet/tart earth and barnyard scent, while the foot shows earthy natural tobacco. An easy and clean clip of the cap provides a good draw showing not much more than natural tobacco on the cold draw, but it does leave a peppery tingle on my tongue and lips, along with a very slight bit of salt.
The Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley produces a copious amount of medium bodied smoke that carries cedar, earth, and a bit of light coffee. There is little in the way of pepper on the entry and retrohale, but it can be felt on the tongue in the aftertaste. The burn has started out somewhat wavy, but it’s pretty breezy and gusty out today, so that might be affecting it. The coffee soon turns to lightly sweet cocoa, bringing along with it a hint of roasted nut, but the finish is quite short. The ash which has turned a bit flaky from a couple of minor corrections falls off at an inch.
Maintaining its medium bodied level, the Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley enters its central portion with not much change in flavor, but it has become smoother and a bit sweeter, as well as a little earthier. There is some tunneling going on, something that I hadn’t experienced with the four that I had smoked prior to this one.
Past the halfway point, the cocoa has backed off and coffee and light nuttiness have again stepped forward to join the earth and wood in the now medium-plus smoke.
The last third brings in a nice bit of sweet muskiness to the mix, as I seem to have gotten past the tunnel, although the burn continues to waver. The coffee notes have fallen back as the cigar has smoked cool down to the final inch, keeping its medium-plus character with virtually no nicotine strength, but with a slight amount of bitterness at the end.
First things first, I blame the blustery weather out today for the wildly wavering burn, as the ones I had smoked prior to this one didn’t have such a problem.
I’m always up for a cigar that brings a lot of bang for the buck to the table, and the Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley is a solid smoke with enjoyable flavors, albeit in a package without a whole lot of complexity and transitions. That should be expected in a four dollar stick, and with the overall good construction, I think this is a cigar that would be a good starting point for novices wanting to dive into the Nicaraguan sector without being overwhelmed by what can sometimes be too much of a good thing. It would also be a good choice for those looking to save a few bucks on an everyday smoke that they can just relax with and not have to concentrate too much on. The smoking time would surely have been longer had it not been as windy out as it was, and the corrections I had to make also were likely a factor. Would I buy more? Well, yes, I already have.
Our old friend, the 1554 from New Belgium Brewing, finally makes a return appearance after a rather prolonged absence. Once labeled as the “Enlightened Black Ale”, it is now simply called a black lager, but inside the bottle it remains the same. Combining a medium mouthfeel with moderate sweetness and roasty chocolate, it is smooth all the way through despite a good amount of carbonation. As Tony said in the past, it pairs exceptionally well with a great number of darker, maduro type cigars, and that holds true in this case. It’s easily obtainable and often on sale at a price that’s too good to pass up, making it a great choice to match up with a bargain priced stick like the Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley.