By Russ Ouellette
In recent years, the Alec Bradley line of cigars has carved out a solid niche in the market, starting with the Maxx and Tempus series and building through the Family Blend, SCR and American. They now have an intriguing new entry called the Black Market.
The cigars are visually striking in their packaging and in the appearance of the vitolas themselves. The lower half of the cigar is covered with a printed paper band, which partially covers a secondary band. When the lower sleeve is slipped off, a thin band surrounding the center is exposed. The wrapper itself is dark, silky and attractive, looking nearly seamless with minimal veins, and feeling firm and consistent in the hand.
An earthy barnyard aroma is evident on the pre-light, and the draw prior to lighting up revealed elements of coffee and nuts. After toasting the foot and lighting, I was surprised with the initial flavor. It reminded me of a nice black medium-roast coffee, like a Costa Rican blend- slightly sweet in an almost herbal way with an underlying spice that is more like Italian-type flavors than pepper.