The Alec Bradley Cigar Company has a long-standing relationship with the Raices Cubanas cigar factory in Danli, Honduras. Alongside highly-rated brands like Illusione and Viaje, the majority of Alec Bradley‘s cigars are produced there, including the acclaimed Prensado and Tempus lines, so it was only fitting that they release a cigar that pays tribute to the factory that has been home to some of their greatest blends. Raices Cubanas 1941 was blended by the fine folks at Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. with a little help from the Alec Bradley crew, and is comprised of Honduran and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos beneath a Nicaraguan binder and Honduran wrapper leaf. For today’s review I pulled out a sample of the Toro (6×54.)
The stick was looking mighty tasty, decked out in a dark caramel brown wrapper with a lot of dark spots and a good amount of “tooth” to it. Construction on this cigar was extra-solid, an attribute I’ve come to associate with stogies made at the Raices factory. Pre-light tastes were sweet and rich with a touch of fresh cedar.
After lighting up, right away a smooth symphony of flavors went t work on my palate. Leading notes were of a nutmeg-like spice, white pepper, and a cedary sweetness. A strong cream note joined the fold about a half-inch in. Something about the creamy, full, and slightly sweet finish reminded me of cigars from a certain forbidden island that I had sampled in the past. At the end of the first third the burn line had gone slightly awry but nothing too outlandish, and each draw was producing plenty of thick smoke.
In the 2nd third I began picking up added notes of black pepper and cocoa, and a syrupy honey sweetness had drizzled into the mix. A two inch ash was holding on firmly and the cigar continued to burn pretty clean and draw easily. The cream component, while still present, was now less pronounced, and the spice level had increased from the first third. An unexpected lemony citrus note suddenly became apparent here, adding to the cigar’s depth of complexity.
Right toward the end of the 2nd third the Raices Cubanas seemed to really hit its peak, and its profile exhibited near-perfect balance going into the final portion. Less singular flavors stood out here, instead it read as one harmonious taste influenced by all the notes mentioned previously. Despite its deep and layered flavors, this stick was smoking insanely smooth, and continued on like this until the last puff.
The Raices Cubanas 1941 surprised me by having a flavor profile that really stands out from all other cigars that originate at the Raices factory. The range of strength and flavors the Toro conveyed were impressive to say the least. I can’t think of another cigar that has a profile quite like this one, though during the course of the smoke some of the notes that popped up reminded me of winning flavors I had encountered in various other sticks, as if the Raices Cubanas was comprised of just the best bits of other blends. While that might sound like a “Frankenstein’s Monster” of a cigar, this stick combines its mish-mash of tasty flavors with a great smoothness that seamlessly ties the whole package together with fantastic results. It’s safe to say that this was one of the smoothest cigars I’ve ever smoked. That, along with its remarkable complexity made the Raices Cubanas 1941 Toro a very memorable review and I give it an A grade. If you’re the type of smoker who’s always looking to try out the latest and greatest, you need to smoke this one.