As I debated what to smoke on one sunny Sunday afternoon recently I asked my good friend Cliff Coen, the GM of Fox Cigar Bar, if he had anything special for me to try. He thought for a second and then being the gentleman that he is he gave me an Alec Bradley SCR (Select Cabinet Reserve) to smoke.
My first experience with Alec Bradley was their Occidental Reserve many years ago and I have been an avid fan ever since! Some companies produce cigars in the lower wrung of the pricing range and come up with nothing, but Alec Bradley usually strikes gold, and such is the case with the SCR. It has a modest six to seven dollar price tag considering the bold medium body flavor it produces from the first puff to the last satisfying exhalation.
Construction: Tight. That is the word that describes the construction of the Alec Bradley Select Cabinet Reserve. The triple cap is an exemplar of strong and yet pliable cap design when it comes to a surface for punching a cigar. The wrapper is smooth with minimal veins and has a tight filler pack, that would typically make me hesitant, but I am proud to report that even with its tight construction it allowed for great air flow through the cigar. This cigar is truly a world traveler in its construction having a Honduran wrapper which hugs the Indonesian binder, that tightly cradles the Honduran and Nicaraguan filler.
Draw: As mentioned above the cigar construction is tight so there is some resistance on the draw, but it does allow for great air flow and ample smoke to come billowing out through the channels.
Burn: The burn of the Alec Bradley SCR is even and consistent. From start to finish it never burns too hot and consistently creates a genuinely pleasant smoking experience. Another great tribute to its construction is the ash which is a solid light grey ash that does not dust off until one is ready to do so. In fact I actually had to hit it hard to shake the ash loose because it had such a tenacious grip on the cigar!
Flavor: The flavor of the SCR is the unique and distinguishing factor that sets this cigar apart from others. At first puff it starts with some gentle spice notes that gives away eventually to the rest of the flavors which are complex and wonderful until the conclusion. The SCR interchanges between three flavors throughout the experience: sweet, leathery, and coffee notes. In smoking the SCR the leather taste is never overpowering and reminds one of the pleasant smell of fine leather products. When the SCR takes on the coffee notes it is the notes of a rich roast that would gently greet you in the morning, and the sweet is like a floral bouquet that gently kisses the palate! Trying to describe the sweet factor is difficult, but when you smoke it you will definitely enjoy it and realize it is akin to freshly cut roses.
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto (5 x 50)