Debuted at the 2014 IPCPR, the Alec Bradley was a much anticipated cigar. But not much was known then other than packaging and it too near 11 months before it was released. Well, fast forward another year and I finally happen upon some. I smoked this cigar as I usually do, with absolutely no idea of what to think or what's in it. But after looking up the details, I was surprised by the tobaccos used, but it also explained some of the profile.
Sanctum by Alec Bradley
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Binder: Costa Rican
Filler: Colombian, Honduran, and Nicaraguan
Factory: Tabacos de Oriente (Honduras)
Cigars smoked for review: 1
Cigar for review provided by a fellow BOTL
Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system.
Prelight: The wrapper has an aroma of spicy cedar with a nice creamy note. There is also a little hint of red or white pepper in there. The foot has a much deeper aroma, best described as a molasses soaked wood/tobacco scent.
Beginning: The Alec Bradley Sanctum starts off with those slightly creamy and somewhat spicy woody notes. But they are quickly replaced by a mild, creamy nuttiness. All of this eventually melds into a mild, cedar and nut flavor. And the creaminess is more like a powdered milk, leaving a long, dry and smokey finish, with a touch of black pepper. The ash forms very solid looking, but it breaks up and off very easily and the burn is mostly in line.
Middle: The black pepper notes come into the forefront, though still not that strong, they are definitely more pronounced. The nutty notes are still present and some baking spices seem to be fading in and out as well. But wood notes and black pepper are the main notes here.
End: The final third of the Sanctum started by going out for no apparent reason, but a relight was easy with no side effects otherwise. It is decidedly very woody now, with a smooth yet spicy cedar retrohale. A red pepper note also introduces itself here and it’s a very nice flavor. I also noticed that my mouth was tingling just a bit from the spice of the red pepper, which was enjoyable.
Final Thoughts: The Alec Bradley Sanctum delivers a very unique profile, which is not unexpected giving the tobaccos used. Not too many cigars that I smoke contain Costa Rican or Colombian tobaccos. The burn was 90% on point, not counting the relights (I had two in the final third), but the ash was very flaky. It never got bitter or sour though, and the flavors were always at their best. I’d say it’s medium bodied but a solid medium-plus in strength. There was just something about the profile that never hit me dead on, not counting the red pepper, which I loved. Not a bad cigar, just nothing to bring me back to it personally.
Rating: 84 AKA - "If I was in a shop, I would pick up one or two"