Thursday, August 22, 2013

Alec Bradley "It's A Girl" Toro (6x50)

Wrapper: Honduran Connecticut Shade
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Body: Medium

I know I have been missing in action for awhile now but I promise it has been for good reason. Over the course of the last few months, my wife and I have been preparing for the arrival of our second child. I have remodeled a bathroom, purchased a storage building, cleaned out and entire room (and moved it's contents to the storage building), panicked over lost baby furniture hardware, and worked my tail off at work. Finally, on August the 15 our healthy baby girl came into this world. As soon as we found out the sex of the baby I knew I would have to find some cigars for the occasion. After weeks of checking out the options, I decided on the Alec Bradley Classic "It's A Girl" Toro.

I ordered two boxes so I could be  sure I had enough cigars for those who would want one. I smoked several of these before the baby was born, I wanted to taste test them before I handed them out. The first thing that caught my eye about these was the box. They are available as boy and girl and are colored accordingly. The girl version came packaged in a nice pink box with storks on the bands. I really like the picture frame on the top of the box. Inside the lid is a place to fill in the baby's birth information.  But let's get to the meat and potatoes shall we.

The Honduran Connecticut Shade wrapper had a smooth velvety texture with a but of oil. There were a few small veins but nothing that should alter the burn. The wrapper presented notes of hay with a mild sweetness and the foot had notes of barnyard with the same mild sweetness. I clipped the double cap with my trusty Xikar cutter and found a perfect draw with notes of of sweet cocoa. The body had a bit of sponginess but no soft spots or imperfections that I could find. I used my Xikar Executive to toast the foot and get things started.

The first third opened with notes of toasted nut and a touch of honey. The crisp finish it long and toasty. There is a hint of spice on the retrohale that I expect to smooth out as I progress through the burn. As I progress through the first third a few light berry notes pop in and out. They are very faint but still noticeable. At around the one inch mark the smoke takes on a warm and cozy tone. It almost compares to eating your comfort food on a dreary day. The body through the burn so far has been mild-medium and very smooth.

As I start into the second third the toasted notes have fully developed and gained some depth. There are some notes of cocoa starting to ease their way into the mix. The cocoa develops rather quickly and the toasted notes change just a bit with each draw. The resting smoke has a very pleasant aroma with a touch of sweetnesss to it. Most of the honey notes have disappeared as I near the end of the second  third.

The final third brings even more depth to the toasted nut flavors as the cocoa notes fade into the background. There are some leather and black coffee notes popping in and out and compliment the toasted nut nicely. Somewhere around the halfway mark the body kicked up a notch to about medium. 

I am very glad I chose these as my handout celebration cigar. They are flavorful and mild enough for any level cigar smoker to enjoy. The ash held strong to about an inch and a half with a dark gray color. The burn was a touch wavy but required no touchups or relights. I also purchased a box of these to age. I plan to smoke 1 out of the box every year on her birthday until the box is done. I was also able to make someone's day at the hospital with one of these cigars. Our anesthesiologist was elated that I thought to offer him a cigar. When I asked if he smoked cigars he excitedly told me he enjoyed them very much. He said in the ten and a half years he had been giving epidurals he had never been offered a birth announcement cigar by anyone. If you are planning a new arrival and want a good cigar that won't break the bank to stock up on, the Alec Bradley birth announcement cigar is worth checking out. I have seen the price on these range from 45-100 dollars. I was able to pick up 2 boxes for less than 100 bucks with some good online research. Now it's time for me to put this keyboard down and go cuddle my sweet baby girl. I hope to get back to posting regular reviews soon so stay tuned. Long ashes and happy smoking!