The Alec Bradley New York line was released in the wake of an enormous New York State tax increase on tobacco. The cigars will only be sold through New York vendors, so no matter where you get them from, they were originally bought from a New York tobacconist. While Alan Rubin, Alec Bradley’s president, was born and raised in Florida, his roots are in the Empire State—his mother is from Queens and his father is from Brooklyn.
Anyway, onto the cigar—today I smoked the Alec Bradley New York Six Two Robusto, and this thing had the nicest wrapper leaf I’ve ever seen, hands down. It’s a Criollo 98, and is dark brown with a very visible red tint to it. Once I brought it outside in the sunlight, the red really stood out. The veins were few and the roll was nearly seamless. Pre-light, I got pepper, pepper, and pepper—I knew right away I was in for a pretty intense smoke.
The cigar lit with very little effort, despite the 23-degree weather, and before I knew it I was puffing away. The first few draws were very peppery with a little bit of malty sweetness on the roof of the mouth. I had a giant cup of coffee with this cigar and the combination was really nice, even though the coffee was honestly pretty bad, as gas station coffee tends to be. It sort of reminded me of a crappy cup of coffee that I’d get while walking around Manhattan so I guess it was actually pretty fitting.
Around halfway through the cigar the burn got a bit crooked, probably due to the cold breeze outside, but once I touched it up with a triple torch lighter it straightened out nicely. It was at that point that I started getting a little bit of dry cocoa. It wasn’t the usual syrupy-sweet chocolate flavor I get from a lot of darker cigars, though. Just as the cocoa taste came in, along came some pleasant leathery notes.
Not much changed after that—the pepper came back in, and this time it was pretty angry red pepper. I personally like my cigars to be a bit angry, so for me, this was a plus, but those with sensitive taste buds need not smoke the Alec Bradley New York, unless you’re feeling adventurous. Overall I enjoyed the cigar, and I’d definitely like to smoke one with a little more age on it.
I’m really glad that a company as big as Alec Bradley is looking out for New York business owners. It goes without saying that a 46-percent tax increase has turned a lot of smokers away from their usual cigar shops, so it’s nice to know that this release is directly supporting New York tobacconists, despite the ridiculous demands from the state. In other words, thanks, Alec Bradley!