Ebi Nigiri Aged 1.5 Years


5 1/2×52 Box Press

The recent sale of Alec Bradley to a major offshore tobacco conglomerate has provoked a range of reactions in the cigar industry, reflecting broader concerns about the increasing influence of foreign national companies. Some lament that the profits from tobacco sales are benefitting other countries. After Alec Bradley’s sale, I received a call from Raíces Cubanas, the factory that produces Alec Bradley’s cigars. They had a shipment of unbanded cigars ready for sale that had been resting and aging. Sampling these, I found them exceptional. These cigars might have been Alec Bradley’s next major release, and it’s a pity we’ll never know their intended name. It’s especially disheartening to see Alec Bradley, once a family-owned American company, sell to an offshore corporation and witness some family members even join the new owners, a sign of shifting times in our industry.

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Wrapper: Nicaragua Jalapa
Binder: Estelí Nicaragua
Fillers: Estelí Nicaragua

Body: Florals and chocolate.
Foot: Roasted nuts dark chocolate.
Cold Draw: Chocolate and seaweed or celery.

Tasting Notes: Beginning with a strong draw and rich smoke, the cigar delights with a creamy texture and a medley of flavors. In its first third, the notes of syrupy sweetness, deep dark chocolate, and an unexpected mesquite wood-kiwi blend linger on the palate. The dominant cotton candy sweetness intertwines with chocolate and fruit notes, invoking fondue, and the retro-hale adds a mesquite woodiness.

In the second third, the cigar morphs into a flavor fiesta, with fruits, sugar, woods, chocolate, and roasted nuts taking center stage, ideal as a morning dessert with coffee. The exotic taste of soursop fruit comes to the fore, enriched by chocolate and complemented by caramel undertones and charred wood-roasted nut hints.

The final third brings more fruits and charred woods, concluding the cigar’s rich journey. Although not an everyday choice, it’s perfect for when a fruity, dessert-like smoke is desired. The retro-hale intensifies in the end, leaving a charred, tingling aftertaste.

Pairing Notes: Hazelnut dark chocolate, caramel frappuccino, chocolate fondue with mixed fruits, creamy cheeses with fig jam, roasted almonds, kiwi tart, sweet cotton candy, mesquite grilled meats, soursop smoothie, celery sticks with peanut butter, seaweed salad, artisan bread with olive tapenade, moscato wine, espresso with a hint of caramel.

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Tasting Note

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