Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Havana Sun Grown

ABSungrown_2Size: 5 1/4×52, Robusto

Wrapper: Havana/Connecticut hybrid

Binder: Connecticut

Filler: Dominican and Peruvian

Strength: Medium

Price: Around $5

Grade: 8.4

ABSungrown_1Today we have a first for you – we’ve reviewed cigars that are hard to find, cigars not distributed in the States, and cigars that have yet to be released, but this is the first time we’ve reviewed a cigar that is no longer in production! When I picked up the Havana from a local B&M, I had no idea that production and distribution had halted. In fact, I didn’t even know this until I had already reviewed it and was working on the introduction. There are a couple places online that seem to still be selling their discontinued stock, for around $3-5 a pop (here and here).

The Havana Sun Grown from Alec Bradley were made by Hendrik Kelner and were a part of Alec Bradley’s Occidental Reserve line of cigars – the stick is sometimes referred to as Occidental Havana Sun Grown, though the OR has a different wrapper than the AB monikered version. The OR version is also available at a few more places online, so I am not quite sure of the difference, but I have heard the blends are the same. However, the AB labeled cigar that we are reviewing today is in fact no longer produced.

The wrapper, a Havana/US Connecticut wrapper is apparently unique to the US. Cigarcyclopedia lists the origin as Dominican, with a Connecticut binder and filler from both the Dominican and Peru.

Now, let’s toast this cigar that no longer exists!

Pre-light, 1.7:
The light brown wrapper on the Havana Sun Grown by Alec Bradley shows some discoloration, bumps, and a couple of unruly seams along the wrapper. The cigar is firm to the touch for the most part but there is a couple of soft spots near the head of the Robusto. The pre-light aroma is of light tobacco with tea leaves at the foot, a very pleasing aroma in the nose. The cold draw is of clean tobacco with no spice, and a light airy finish on the palate.

Burn, 1.8:
The initial draw after cutting and lighting is very pleasing and it produces an adequate amount of smoke.  The medium gray ash is consistent in color, stacks well, and holds beyond an inch before I knocked it off into the tray. The draw is consistent throughout and no touch ups or re-lights are needed. At times the smoke seemed to heat up a bit but that could have been poor smoke management on my part.

Flavor, 2.5:
The first puff produces notes of pleasing tobacco with a hint of light spice. The first third follows this trend but the tobacco takes on a green attribute, which is pretty intense on the palate. There is a hint of light spice at times but it never develops enough for identification. The second third is a bit creamier as the cigar really seems to open up a bit. My only complaint about this part of the smoke is a somewhat bitter finish at times.  The last third follows the above trend but the bitterness remains and this did deter from the enjoyment of the smoke.

Overall, 2.4:
My overall impression of this smoke is average at best. There are aspects I enjoyed but at other times I felt it was rather mediocre. Though these cigars are no longer available, I think they retailed in the four to five dollar range per stick, which isn’t a bad price point, but if still available I don’t know that I would purchase more. I do enjoy most Alec Bradley smokes but this one was not on par.

(Total: 8.4)

Question of the Day: What are your plans for the Memorial Day Weekend?