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Behind the Scenes: Testing the New Kensington Blends

Testing out blends for a new exclusive brand can be a blessing or a curse (see our previous blog on taking one for the team), but sometimes it really pays off. Today we a bunch of us here at BestCigarPrices were lucky enough to sample the new blends for both Kensington and Kensington Maduro by Alec Bradley, both of which have been completely reformulated. Due to the scarce availability of one of the tobaccos in the old blend, we were forced to completely reblend the cigars. We’re hoping to deliver an even better product than before, and I can tell you in all honesty that the response from everybody who smoked them (including myself) was unanimously positive. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for the new blend.

Anyway, the Kensington blend is now fitted with a Honduran Connecticut shade wrapper from the Talanga Valley, and it looks and tastes fantastic. I had the 5 ½ x 46 ring gauge Chateau size, and I rarely get such a great draw from such a slim cigar. The burn stayed perfectly straight the whole smoke and the ash held on for a good inch and a half at a time. The smoke was creamy and smooth and had a recognizable hint of honey sweetness on the draw, which meshed well with the black pepper undertones from the Talanga wrapper.

Kensington Maduro now features a Criollo ’98 wrapper, which is a bit of a contrast from the Mexican San Andres Maduro that was on the previous blend. One thing I noticed about the new blend is that the draw was a lot easier than it was on the earlier Kensington Maduros. The wrapper leaf also looked way thicker than the San Andres and had a bit more chocolate character with a mellower spice level. I’d tell you more about the specifics of the new Kensington blends, but they’re so new that we don’t even know exactly what’s in them yet.

A couple of us also test smoked a new potential exclusive brand, which was also a triumph, but I can’t tell you too much about those until we figure out some more details. What I can tell you is that it features a beautiful wrapper leaf from Honduras and is definitely one of the top five smoothest cigars I have ever smoked. The construction was nothing short of brilliant—Scott, our customer service lead, smoked the Robusto size, and the ash held on for an unbelievable three inches before it dropped onto his shirt.

The whole experience of smoking three cigars in a row at work made me realize how much I love my job (and also gave me a pretty bangin’ nicotine buzz). Not only was I smoking cigars on the clock, but smoking these cigars directly pertained to my job description. It’s pretty exciting to be so heavily involved in the quality control aspect of cigar making, and I hope that you like these new blends as much as we all did.

You may notice that all Kensington and Kensington Maduro sizes are currently marked as “out of stock” on our website; that’s because we’re currently waiting for the brand new shipment to arrive. We’re expecting the first shipment to get here in April, so you can still pre-order your box today and it’ll be sent out as soon as it arrives.

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