What makes something a classic?
Many things can become classics. From movies and television, to automobiles, clothing, music, and of course, a whole bevy of foods and libations. We search out a classic style when pursuing the good life. One of my favorite classics is the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich smothered with plenty of Cheese Whiz and onions – NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A CLASSIC! I could create a couple of other websites that would only focus on reviewing the finer points of what defines something as an instant standard, but I choose to focus my reviews on cigars and how they can become overnight sensations.
When it comes to cigars, manufacturers really need to work hard to break the mold. Every cigar is compared with each and every other cigar that is produced. Then to top off all the rigorous examinations of the tasty leaf, there are the inevitable comparisons to the Cuban cigar. So to become a classic in the cigar world is a very daunting challenge, if somewhat impossible. However, I can say without a doubt that the very limited and highly sought after Habano, the “Fine & Rare” from Alec Bradley, is destined to become an instant classic.
The Fine & Rare Story –
Now that is a very bold statement – Fine & Rare = Classic. Many stogies can instantaneously become a flagship for a cigar company, and then the hype overtakes them. Not this beauty. Alan Rubin from Alec Bradley has brought together ten different tobaccos to make up this marvelous smoke: a Honduran wrapper, a double binder combination of Honduran and Nicaraguan leaf, and seven other undisclosed tobaccos that make up one very complex filler. The cornucopia of tobaccos that is used in this cigar is from very limited harvests and will probably never be seen or used again. Limiting the production to only 1,000 sticks and then releasing them on November 11, 2011, adds to the impression that this is a truly rare find in the cigar world.
Name: Fine & Rare
Produced by: Alec Bradley Cigar Co.
Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.
Binder: Honduras and Nicaragua
Ring Gauge: 52
Length: 6 Inches
I have read reports that, because of the crafting of a special display box that the cigars are shipped in, there has been damage to the foot and wrapper of some of the cigars. I am happy to report that the one that I smoked for this review is without traveling issues. Also, there is an oversized cigar band that contains the date the particular cigar was rolled and the signatures of the rollers who rolled it. To complete this extra special personalization, the band also boasts the signatures of the factory supervisor, Alan Rubin, and Rafael Montero from Alec Bradley.
This Toro is a deep dark crimson brown and gives off a luscious sweet aroma. I would guess that only the very best-of-the-best wrappers were chosen for this cigar, because I could find no imperfections at all. Even the triple cap was of flawless quality and did not flare off at all as I clipped it.
With the exception of the very end of the smoking, the burn was one word – flawless. The ash was well-defined, but not overly abundant; whereas the smoke was pleasant and very minimal.
Next to the Humo Jaguar from Miami Cigars, this is one of the most complex cigars made in 2011. The taste is sublime and develops smoothly as this cigar is smoked. From the very creamy smoothness of the beginning, to the wide range of woodsy overtones of the middle, one can’t help but be put into a smoker’s coma. I was jarred awake at the end with an explosion of spice and an abundance of leather. I almost wept when there was no more to smoke. The flavor is the most satisfying of all the cigars that I have smoked in the past year.
The one modest letdown that I experienced with this smoke was that the head of the cigar came loose and frayed at the end. Maybe it was because I was trying to suck the juices out of this cigar like a hungry vampire when the end of my smoke came near, or because it just broke down after the hour and a half it took to smoke it. Who’s to say? The cigar is/was a classic in every sense of the word. Its beauty is a monument to the handcrafting that is characteristic of the cigar world today. I don’t understand why more companies don’t take the time, as Alec Bradley has done in the last couple of years, to produce more phenomenal works of art. Not only would I enjoy smoking better cigars, but the industry would be better for it.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States.