Review: Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli

Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli

Size: 5 x 52

Vitola: Robusto

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder: Nicaragua / Honduras

Filler: Nicaragua

MSRP: $6.80

Factory: Plasencia

Cigar for review provided by: Alec Bradley Cigar Company

Cigars smoked for review: 1

Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system


With solid construction throughout, this cigar sports a finely toothed wrapper and generous amounts of oil which give an inviting sheen. The cold draw is dominated by rich earth and cedar, while the Wrapper leaves behind a peppery bite that lingers on the lips.

First Third:

Led by an impressive production of both smoke and flavor, I'm immediately greeted with intense red pepper, most prominent in the retrohale, and the same rich earthy notes I picked up from the cold draw. The thick, oily smoke leaves a sweet leathery room note which would certain pair well with your finest mahogany! As is often common with cigars boasting copious amounts of oil, this cigar coats the palette quite readily with lingering notes of raisins and cacao.

Second Third:

The second third introduces more pronounced flavors of earth and a developing creaminess as the intensity of the pepper begins to round itself out and take a back seat. The clean burn and slight resistance on the draw make for an easy smoking experience. As the cigar warms up, flavors of baking spices ease into the palette and remain through to the next draw.

Final Third:

Coming into the final third, the thick and heavy clouds of smoke still dominate the room with flavors of cream and cacao continuing to develop and intensify. The strength has also become more noticeable, and is markedly sweet and complex. The spice on the retrohale certainly hasn't faded and is now followed by black pepper, cedar, and vanilla.

Final Thoughts:

With enough complexity and strength to keep even the most discerning palette engaged, this cigar is an exciting addition to the Black Market family and pays homage to the many fine tobaccos to come out of Esteli. Fans of Nicaraguan tobacco will absolutely not be disappointed. Solid construction, easy burn, and reasonable price make this cigar a no-frills smoke for any occasion.

This cigar will pair nicely with a medium bodied bourbon or glass of pinot noir.

Total smoking time was about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Denis' rating: 90 (AKA a “Box Split”)

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