Alec Bradley – King David, a Mike’s Cigars Exclusive
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I had great plans of fitting in several more cigar reviews before the close of 2014, but it was not possible with the busy holiday season and year-end work responsibilities. At the end of November, I received for review several samples of the King David by Alec Bradley from our good friends at Mike’s Cigars, which I will finally be reviewing today. King David is the third Mike’s Cigars exclusive that we have reviewed here at Casas Fumando. I was rather impressed by the other shops exclusives that I had the pleasure of smoking. You can find the two other reviews below:
Produced in Honduras, the King David by Alec Bradley is available in five frontmarks: Corona Extra (4 3/4 by 45), Gran Robusto (5 by 55), Gran Toro (6 by 54), Churchill (7 by 52), and Gordo (6 by 60). The price ranges from just above $6.00 for the Corona Extra up to $12.50 for the Gordo. The prices significantly decreases for five packs and 20-count boxes. Lenin Euceda, Social Media Manager of Mike’s Cigars, provided me the following background on today’s stick:
The new King David by Alec Bradley cigars is made in Honduras under the watchful eye of Alan Rubin, president of Alec Bradley cigars. All Alec Bradley cigars are high quality and made of premium aged tobacco and the King David is no different. The cigar is finished with a silky golden roll of pure Connecticut leaf which paves the way for a perfectly light aroma that marries with the Honduras/Nicaraguan blend and the Sumatra binder. Just like other non-heavy smokes that feature light wrapper but rich and complex flavors, the King David is easy on the palate and full of tastes at the same time.
Samples Provided by Mike’s Cigars
Price: $7.85/single, $24.95/5-pack, and $94.95/20-Count Box
Vitola: Gran Robusto
Size: 5 by 55
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes
The King David is dressed in a very light tan Connecticut wrapper leaf. Small and medium-sized veins are easily seen against the light colored wrapper, as well as some bumps and color imperfections. When I first removed the cigar from its cellophane, I was met with big notes of barnyard/manure. Having the cigar outside of the cellophane for pictures, the aroma off the wrapper has significantly toned down.
There is now only faint notes of natural tobacco and cedar. I do not find much more off the unlit foot of the cigar, but feel a light spice sting in the sinuses. Upon clipping the neatly applied double cap, a just about perfect draw presents itself with notes of clove, cedar, and pickling spices.
The profile is very mild at the start with a subtle natural tobacco sweetness and some faint cedar notes. As the cigar warms, the woodsy notes come to the front of the profile and pepper is really showcased with each retrohale. A thick, eyeliner burn-line has a slight wave but behaving overly well. The ash has yet to drop as I close out the first third.
Moving into the second third, the texture of the smoke has evolved and is now much more creamy and thick in the mouth. The flavors are now in the medium range but remain very easy on the palate with the creamy feel, along with balanced notes of wood, leather, and natural tobacco sweetness. The burn has been a bit edgy through the middle third but nowhere near the point of requiring a touch-up. The second ash held half as long as the first and dropped in the middle of my keyboard.
The main flavors remain consistent with the previous two thirds. However, I am noticing some bitterness that I find on most Connecticut shade cigars, as well as a toasted quality. Lengthening the time between draws seems to minimize the bitterness. The smoke production is awesome. The smallest draw fills my mouth with the medium flavored smoke.
The King David was very different than my typical go-to cigars. I could probably count on one hand the number Connecticut shade cigars I smoked in 2014 and even less Alec Bradley cigars, if any. But I was pleasantly surprised by the King David. The mild to medium flavors were easy on the palate and the natural tobacco sweetness rounded out the profile. The performance was exceptional with a mostly even burn, firm ash, and copious amount of smoke production. The only downfall I noted was the bitterness in the final third that can be easily avoided by slowing my pace. This is a cigar I would reach for first thing in the morning as the sweetness in the cigar would compliment a black cup o’ Joe. Also, this would be a great cigar for mild cigar smokers and newbies to the cigar world.