Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Sun Grown

Alec Bradley Sun GrownSize: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Brazillian Mata Fina

Binder: Honduran

Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli & Jalapa), Columbian

Strength: Medium/Full

Price: Box of 20, $95.99

Grade: 9.0

I can’t speak from year’s past, but it seems more and more companies are lending their name and their blending to private label and house label smokes. Our review for today is a Famous Exclusive made by Alec Bradley, the Sun Grown. We’ve enjoyed some of AB’s private label smokes just as much, if not more, than their personal blends (see today’s review and the 262 Paradigm, verses the Vice, Harvest Selection, and Prensado). They are typically priced more affordably and maintain the same level of quality, which is a winning combination in our opinion.

The Sun Grown employs a great variety of tobacco, with a Brazilian wrapper, a Honduran binder, and longfiller from Nicaragua and Columbia. We were sent a Test Flight of this cigar from Famous Smoke Shop to be reviewed for Cigar Advisor. The Test Flight includes two of each available size: Robusto (5×50), Toro (6×52), and Churchill (7×48). The Test Flight is priced at $33.99 for 9 cigars and the boxes come with 20 sticks, ranging in price from $95.99-$111.99. You can view the ordering options here.

Now, let’s toast it!

Pre-light, 1.8:
The Alec Bradley Sun Grown is a great looking stick. The large, multicolored double bands really pop against the dark Brazillian Mata Fina wrapper. Upon closer inspection, the cigar is smooth with no veins, has a well constructed cap, no soft spots, and a nice weight in the palm of my hand. The pre-light aroma produces a hint of barnyard at the foot, coupled with damp earthy notes along the wrapper. The cold draw produces a hint of spice; otherwise the aroma and draw is full of tobacco.

Burn, 1.7:
Not a lot to say here. The draw is solid throughout, though the ash never holds that well, and the burn is even and never requires any touch ups or re-lights. The smoke temperature is pleasing and only heated up toward the nub of the Robusto.

Flavor, 2.7:
The first third of this smoke is full of fresh tobacco, coupled with a hint of sweetness. The second third produces a lively flavor profile that is very flavorful. I am picking up some fruity notes here and there and this is coupled with a hint of spice on the finish, though this is not consistent. The last third picks up in the spice department, but lively tobacco is the dominant profile. The entire cigar is very full on the palate, smooth, and creamy at times, which is very nice.

Overall, 2.8:
This Famous Exclusive is a nice cigar and is another excellent private label offering from Alec Bradley. Priced at just under five dollars a stick, this is a solid smoke for the money. The Test Flight offered by the guys at Famous is a good deal as well and will give you a good sampling of the multiple sizes offered in the this blend.

(Total: 9.0)

Question of the Day: Do you think cigar manufacturers can over saturate their market and eventually dilute their product?