This is my review of the Alec Bradley Black Market in the Robusto vitola.
The Black Market has an interesting nose to it. Careful consideration revealed pepper and a light underpinning of raw nuts.
This is the Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto. It measures 5 1/4x52. It has a dark brown wrapper that is smooth throughout with no imperfections. What stood out is the 'Black Market' label that adorns about 50% of the length of this cigar.
My initial impression was a blast of creamy pepper. I've had many sticks previously that started out with a big pepper kick but I can't recall one that was both pepper and sweet creaminess approaching honey. The spice is stronger than the creamy flavor but not significantly. As I settle into the first a wonderful strong, clean and raw nutty flavor started to come through, I settled on hazelnuts. The nutty flavor is just slightly less intense as the pepper. About halfway into the first some lingering earthy notes come through.
The spice eases up in the middle third to the strength of the sweetness in the first. The sweetness and nut notes drop in intensity as well. This third introduced some leather along with the earth that was present as an afterthought in the first. The earth strength increases to the same intensity as the pepper here. The sweetness that initially fell at the beginning comes back to match the intensity of the spice. As I proceeded the nut flavor developed from the raw flavor to toasted nuts.
As with the middle, the spice continues to drop, falling to background note levels here. I found the last third to be a combination of toasted nuts and a strong flavor of heavy espresso or french roast coffee. There's a significant after taste of leather. The earth present int he middle gained intensity here as well matching the toasted nuts.
The Black Market toasted evenly and had a persistent burn from start to finish with no issues to report. Smoking time was approximately an hour and a half.
The Black Market Robusto ranges around $6-$7 per single, a 5-pack around $32 and a wide range of pricing on the boxes between $107 and $150. The single pricing and the inexpensive end of box pricing makes these an excellent value for the flavor it delivers.
I enjoy quite a few different cigars from Alec Bradley, and the Black Market certainly positions itself as one of the leaders in my book. The flavor pairings in each third are interesting, and I enjoyed how the spice dropped off as the nutty flavors developed in complexity until the very end. With the well positioned pricing on these, I'd highly recommend that you pick a few up to try for yourself.