Alec Bradley Post Embargo Cigar Review

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Today, our team of cigar connoisseurs is reviewing the Alec Bradley Post Embargo Cigar

The Alec Bradley Post Embargo celebrates the end of the Cuban embargo but really is a rallying cry for the cigar maker. Cuban cigars, long to be considered the best in the world, have been hard to obtain for the past 60 years. Bradley built the Post Embargo to say: our cigars can stand up to any around the world. The end of the Cuban embargo will help cigar makers prove theirs are just as good – if not better – than some of the long-sought after Cuban brands unavailable to most smokers.

Alec Bradley Post Embargo Cigar Review

The Alec Bradley Post Embargo is a beautifully Honduran-wrapped medium-full bodied cigar with both Nicaraguan and Honduran binder and filler. Articulately rolled at the Raices Cubana factory in Honduras, the attention to detail and the beauty of the cigar is clear when you pick it up. Always a fan of great bands, the Post Embargo boasts one of the nicest we’ve seen in a while. With it’s representation of the two women – one Cuban, one American – it catches your eye and really is the first statement you get from this power-packed stick.

The Alec Bradley Post Embargo was unveiled at IPCPR 2015, but didn’t hit the market until the middle of November 2015.  There was a bit of a delay because the line took on a new look.

Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Post Embargo
Size:  5 x 52 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Honduras (Corojo)
Binder: Nicaragua / Honduras (Dual)
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras
Strength: Medium-Full
Source: Alec Bradley

The Look: 

The cigar band almost reminds me a bit of the military is matte in finish with no embossing or use of foil. The red, beige, charcoal, and black is busy but clean. The words, “Taste The Past • Bridge The Gap • Enjoy The Future” sit below the AB logo in a circle rather than the badge we’ve come to know. The cigar itself almost feels soft pressed but this is more from the bundle shipment sent to the rep for sampling. The mocha colored wrapper has some oils visible and is heavy and firm to the touch.

Nice looking cigar. Smooth as silk in the hand. A milk chocolate colored wrapper. Nearly invisible seams. Almost no veins. Very close to being a crisp box press.
A flawless, seamless triple cap.
And the two flags: American and Cuban. Beautiful cigar band.

Alec Bradley had come up with some nice bands over the last few years.  The band on the Post Embargo follows suit.  As I mentioned above, the branding for this cigar was changed before it was released and I think it was the right call.  The original look was a little “clunky” for my taste.

The cigar itself had a real nice look and feel to it.  the construction was spot on.  The wrapper gave off some floral notes along with notes of cinnamon, hay and barnyard.  The cold draw was a bit tight (it loosened throughout the first third) and offered up notes of raisins, sweet cream and a cinnamon spice.

The Notes: 

The cold draw of the Alec Bradley Post Embargo is sweet with notes of caramel, raisin and a touch of hay, while the aroma of the foot is more along the lines of cocoa powder from inside a Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate packet with a touch of pepper and cedar.

From the shaft, I smell sweet honeysuckle, dried fruit, chocolate, coffee, licorice, red pepper, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell a green vegetal note, chocolate, coffee, strong red pepper, sweetness, golden raisins, cedar, and malt.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate, raisins, sweetness, spiciness, coffee, cedar, and cream.

Alec Bradley Post Embargo Cigar Review. Smoking the first third

Once the cigar is properly toasted and lit the initial notes of the cigar are nuts and cedar with some pepper through the nose and some added nuts. As we continue into the first third the cigar serves up some mocha/cocoa notes with a touch of licorice and wisp of cinnamon developing through the nose.

Lighting the Toro cigar, you immediately get the full-bodied experience I and many of the Las Vegas Cigar Guys enjoy. The wrapper wasn’t over oily and the cigar packed nice and tight. Lighting it was a breeze and it started a very consistent burn throughout. Earthy spice and a nutty note was noticed as soon as we lit up.

Right off the bat, my palate is assaulted by a boat load of flavor: Milk chocolate, red pepper, caramel, creaminess, coffee, black licorice, cinnamon, and cedar.

I really dislike box pressed cigars. They are such a pain to light correctly and almost impossible not to have minor runs. Gotta keep an eye on them at the start or they head for the hills. (As it turned out, this must be the first box press that I had zero issues with. Now that’s some great rolling.)

Did you know that CI requires most of their manufacturers to make a 5 x 55 box press for them exclusively? The 55 ring gauge may vary a bit but you get the idea. Just a foot note and actually has nothing to do with this cigar.

Smoke pours from the foot like a house afire.
Within just a couple of minutes, the Alec Bradley Post Embargo finds its complexity.

The malts are a big part of the flavor profile. The usual suspects you’ve read described in prior reviews.

This stick has that same kind of panache that the best Ezra Zion cigars have. In fact, it reminds me of the Blessed Leaf Doxology and the All My Ex’s. Very creamy and malty with the right touch of spice.

The Post Embargo started off with a rich profile with some sweet and spicy accents.  Notes of leather, cedar and sweet cream were balanced out by cinnamon and baking spice on the retrohale.  The flavors were strong right off the bat and held fast through the first third.  There was a little harshness on the retrohale early on, but it smoothed out after the first inch.

Alec Bradley Post Embargo Cigar Review. Smoking the second third

In the second third of the cigar the primary note becomes licorice that reaches its peak around the half way mark. The notes of licorice are complimented by some cinnamon through the nose. The finish of the cigar is short with some earth and nuts present as well.

The burn was beautiful and consistent in the second third as it was when we first lit the cigar. A few of the guys noticed some cocoa notes in this third, but for me I just really had a nice and well-balanced tobacco taste here. Others picked up some licorice and creamy notes too. This is where the cigar really hit its stride.

Damn complex. Nice balance. Lovely long finish.

I believe I prefer the Alec Bradley Post Embargo to the Doxology. One reason is that the Doxology loses its spiciness quickly. The Post Embargo doesn’t and gets stronger the more you smoke.

I’m getting a tasty salty pretzel element now. Flavors are perfectly balanced. Strength hits full body.
The creaminess and the malts are a match made in heaven. The chocolate and coffee are a perfect conglomeration. The black licorice is a nice quirky flavor.

The caramel and honeysuckle work like a team.
I reach the halfway point. Smoke time is 40 minutes. For some reason, it slowed down. The packing of the filler may be a little off kilter. That’s OK Alec Bradley Post Embargo…you slow down all you want.

The profile took on a pretty drastic change in the middle third.  The leather note remained and was joined by a smokey molasses flavor that reminded me of barbecue.  The spice on the retro transitioned from cinnamon/baking to a black pepper.  The strength even took a step forward into the medium-plus range.  This was a complete 180 from where the cigar started and I found it kind of enjoyable.

Alec Bradley Post Embargo Cigar Review. Smoking the final third.

The last third of the Post Embargo from Alec Bradley the pepper notes are visible on the palate as well as through the nose. There is some slight sweetness that borders on caramel, with a clean finish.

The end of the experience brought forth more earth and pepper as we finished out this cigar. Despite the spice, the cigar kept its creamy notes as it did in the second third. The burn was, again, amazingly consistent with a nice ash and not much flaking. The cigar remained lit from start to nub. Of the four guys I sat with to smoke the Post Embargo, all loved it and all were quick to buy another. Heck, we bought a box immediately for our LVCG locker at En Fuego Cigars & Lounge.

Flavors don’t let up. The complexity becomes more intense with each puff. The finish lasts forever. It coats my teeth like toothpaste.
I fully realize I am going to be lambasted for my opinion. But I don’t care. If you snag some, smoke your first one the day after you receive them. And then try to stop smoking one after another.
I noticed that Andrew of SBC took down the announcement for this special on all their A/B blends. I contacted him and he got right back to me. The promo code is still good.

The “tale of two thirds” came to an end in an interesting way.  The “smokey” notes subsided and allowed the rich leathery profile to return.  There was very little sweetness to be found and the black pepper spice hung on until the end.  So some notes from the first third returned while some form the second third hung on.  This left rich and leathery notes on the tongue and a nice black pepper spice on the retrohale.  The final third of the Post Embargo had a traditional Nicaraguan feel to it.

Conclusion

As I said from the get-go, we really liked the Post Embargo. The smoking experience, consistency, and savory notes made it one of our most enjoyable smokes of 2015. From the band to the taste, it’s flat-out winner. Let’s hope new relations with Cuba are as sweet and savory as the cigar.

The Alec Bradley Post Embargo doesn’t stop climbing the complexity tree. Like a squirrel, it just climbs and climbs.
Strength is muy full bodied.
I love this cigar. You will too.

The Alec Bradley Post Embargo finishes clean, no heat, no bitterness, and firm to the touch.

Final smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.

The Post Embargo was like three different cigars rolled into one.  It started off with a rich profile that I loved, transitioned into an earthy and smokey profile, and finally combined elements of the two in the final third.  There was a lot going on and it was a fun ride, but after the first third I found myself wanting those rich and sweet notes to return.

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