BACKGROUND: I first featured the Alec Bradley Family Blend in Episode 207 on Sunday, February 7, 2010. These cigars have been resting in the Stogie Fresh humidors for 1 year and 2 months and I pulled out my last 2 samples for this review.
Alec Bradley Family Blend cigars were created by request of the fathers of the company's three principal executives. According to National Sales Director George Sosa, "Alan, Ralph, and I were constantly being begged by our Dads to make a nice medium-bodied cigar in a Robusto size with a Cuban pigtail. Finally, we decided to create a special cigar just for them. Actually, it turned out to be such a great blend, we started smoking it in the office, and decided to offer it at Alec Bradley cigar events as our promotional 'mystery' cigar. The cigars had no bands, and were so well received, we had a lot of smokers asking to buy them."
The Family Blend, which is made in Honduras, uses a Honduran wrapper leaf, an Indonesian binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan Filler. The smoke is blended to be medium-bodied, creamy-smooth, and full-flavored.
The cigar originally was made in only one size, which was a 5.5 inch x 50 ring Robusto. However, now the cigar is made in 5 sizes.
TASTING NOTES: This cigar always reminds me of eating a good steak. It is savory and smoky with barbecue flavor in every puff. In fact, from experience I can tell you that this cigar would go quite well with Italian sausage.
I find the Family Blend to be medium in body and full in flavor. This is really the way I like my cigars. I don't like to be knocked over with fullness in body or strength, but I do like a cigar to have big flavor. And this cigar has it in spades.
The only downside to this cigar is the inconsistency in construction that I have experienced too often. For example, this cigar developed a ragged and blistered burn line. And, in both of the samples that I smoked for this review, the cigars developed tunnels. And I say, tunnels (plural) because there were numerous small tunnels. The ash ended up looking like a chunk of Swiss cheese. And this was not just a cosmetic problem. With tunnels you introduce a lot of oxygen into the pockets of air in the cigar with each puff. That not only makes the cigar burn hot, but it also changes the flavor characteristics that I love so much about these cigars. The flavors become a tad bitter. I'm talking charcoal bitter. Like that.
And, I'm going to go further and say that I don't think that aging these cigars will bring many, if any, beneficial effects. I couldn't see any part of my experience with these cigars that could be attributed to the extra year of aging.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Alec Bradley Family Blend is a cigar that I like. When it's good, it's great. It has a flavor profile that is smoky, savory and sweet. It is medium in body, but explodes with flavor. I will also say that this stick would pair well with many different libations including coffee, port, bourbon, rum, craft beer and red wine. It is a versatile and enjoyable cigar, when it is constructed properly. The bottom line is that, I wouldn't stop buying these cigars. But, I wouldn't buy a bunch to lay down for extended aging. This cigar is what it is: a tasty smoke that's ready to smoke and enjoy when it's young, and all at a fair price.
These cigars have been resting in my Vanderburgh custom desktop humidor for a little over 5 months. The desktop keeps a very stable environment of 68%RH and 65-70 degrees F.
I featured this cigar on my Stogie Fresh 5 podcast on February 7, 2010. This is the second and final review of this batch of cigars, which have been resting in my humidor for 1 year, 2 months.
Cigar Info Page » for Alec Bradley, Family Blend