“Alec Bradley Spirit of Cuba”
I decided on a Saturday morning to visit my tobacconist on the open market, while looking threw his humidor I came across a cheap stick call “Spirit of Cuba ” by Alec Bradley. Not expecting much for € 2,50 I was pleasantly surprised by it. The first thing I like about the cigar is fact you have too cut the off it, I always find it a joy to be able to cut the end off your own cigar. it’s a ritual for me and adds to the joy of smoking it, a lot of the cheaper cigars can already have pre- cut ends on them. Of course this doesn’t stop me smoking them I just prefer to have my own ends to cut. The wrapper is light brown and well constructed I would say no cracks or flaws in it each leaf tightly bond as it should be I found a lot going on with this smoke. Pre – light draw was nuts, floral and sweet tobacco. First third no spice, but some tangy coffee notes, maybe some leather. The floral undertones are there like in the prelight. Burn was even, 1.5″ flaky light gray ash before it falls off. Draw was fine. wrapper is toothy and thin, very lacy veins. Decent construction. Stick is firm when cold but softens up to a leathery sponginess once warmed up. gets No nicotine buzz, but I actually prefer that. Burns surprisingly slow. Second third the tanginess moves to the front. Too much I’d say for my pallet. A touch of spiciness enters in. Floral still there. Band peels off no problem and I must admit for a lower grade cigar they made a nice band for it. Small 1cm crack in the wrapper appears where he band was. Still very even burn. No touch ups needed yet. Room note is toasted Beer-nuts (remember those?) on leather. . I gotta commend the burn. It’s perfectly straight still going into the last third. The crack has grown to a full inch now. A good cheap morning smoke on the weekdays flying solo. I’d buy again if the opportunity presents but won’t seek it out. A great Cigar however if your looking for inexpensive to fill your humidor up a little.
” Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones ”
The JdN Rosalones is a discount stick that manages not to scream “discount”. The wrapper is velvety in texture with a definite orange-red, rust-colored hue that we like. The band’s color choices and embossing might not be up to “premium” standards, but they are nice enough. The second band is completely unnecessary of course. Besides that, the presentation is fine.
Pre-light draws on the Rosalones produce a pure cigarette tobacco flavor. It’s a flavor that strongly resembles the smell of a freshly opened pack of Marlboro. Nothing else can describe it. The Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones produces a thick, wavy burn line during the first third that improves slightly over the course of the smoking experience. The cigar’s tight ash falls just before an inch and there’s a good ratio of foot/draw smoke. Speaking of the draw, resistance is great and the cigar also handles long rests between puffs well. Overall, this burn is steady and reliable. First puffs on the Rosalones are pure spice. This is not a black pepper, but a particularly hot and long-lasting capsicum that strikes the back of the tongue for long periods between puffs. The nicotine strength isn’t full, but the pepper note is very defined and a little singular at first. A bit more depth develops toward the end of the first third.
Strength picks up and matches the intense spice in the flavor core. There are occasional hints at more complex, savory undertones during the middle and final thirds. Nothing develops enough to balance the capsicum spice that takes on a dry, grittiness in the second half. For the price, it’s hard to beat the Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones. This cigar’s singular flavor does produce an interesting twist or two. There’s probably not enough going on with the Rosalones. It’s good, but it can’t really compete with the better € 5-8 sticks. But hey, it doesn’t have to.