Back in 2019, Alec Bradley launched a series known as the Experimental Series, a series of cigars that would see the company “experiment” or work with tobaccos they have not worked with all that much. 2022 would see Alec Bradley introduce a line to the market known as the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf. The name Broadleaf implies the use of Broadleaf tobacco in the blend – which is something that Alec Bradley had not worked with all that much. The name Double Broadleaf implies precisely what it means – namely, there are two components of Broadleaf used. In this case, Broadleaf is being used as the wrapper and binder. However, while this is experimental to Alec Bradley, there is one more twist – the Broadleaf wrapper is grown in Honduras. This is not only experimental for Alec Bradley but for the cigar industry. This would be the last major regular production release from Alec Bradley before the company was sold to Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG). Today we look closer at the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf in the Gran Corona size.
The story of the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf traces back to when Alec Bradley founder Alan Rubin asked a premium cigar industry friend for some seeds of Connecticut Broadleaf to plant in Honduras. After several years of testing and going through some crop iterations, the tobacco was deemed ready to use. That is when Rubin worked with his sons Alec and Bradley Rubin to create a blend with it – and thus, the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf was born.
Let’s break down the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The blend of the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf consists of a combination of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. As mentioned, the cigar utilizes the Honduran-grown Broadleaf for both the wrapper and one of the binders. There is also another leaf grown in Nicaragua used as a second binder. The fillers also feature a combination of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos of undisclosed origin. The Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf production comes out of the Tabacos de Oriente factory in Honduras.
Wrapper: Honduran Broadleaf
Binder: Honduran Broadleaf, Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Tabacos de Oriente
The Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf is available in five regular production sizes. Each is presented in 24-count boxes.
Chunk: 4 x 60
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 60
Gran Corona: 7 x 46
The 7 x 46 Gran Corona can be described in two ways – a slightly thinner-sized Churchill or a somewhat longer Corona Gorda. I find this to be an intriguing size. The Honduran Broadleaf wrapper of the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona was aesthetically pleasing. It had an espresso-bean color, yet you can still see a slight amount of mottling upon closer examination. There also was a small amount of toothiness on this wrapper. The wrapper also had a subtle sheen of oil on it. There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams on the surface.
Before lighting up the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was detached, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw experience. Overall the pre-light draw delivered a combination of coffee and earth notes. In the end, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was toast up the Alec Bradley Gran Corona and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
The Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona opened up with mocha, earth, mixed pepper, cedar, and vegetal notes. The mocha and earth notes moved into the forefront early on. When I refer to “mocha” in reviews, I usually refer to this as a fusion of chocolate and coffee notes. As the cigar burned through the first third, the coffee component became more prominent on the mocha note. Meanwhile, the retro-hale delivered another layer of red pepper.
By the second third of the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona, the mocha note had transformed into a coffee note. The coffee and earth notes remained grounded in the forefront. In the background, the pepper, cedar, and vegetal notes remained – where some citrus notes joined them. During this segment of the smoking experience, the pepper and cedar notes increased in intensity.
The pepper and cedar notes joined the coffee and earth notes by the last third. There was some muddling in the flavors that took place during this stage. In the background, there still were vegetal and citrus notes. This is the way the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona finished up. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona had a relatively straight burn line and a relatively straight burn path, this cigar still required multiple touch-ups. The touch-ups did their job, but more were needed than I preferred. The resulting ash was firm. This was an ash that was medium gray with some darker spots. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
While normally I like a little resistance on my draw, there were a few cases where the resistance on the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona was more than I prefer. There wasn’t a case where the cigar got plugged or needed a re-light, but I did have to work this draw a little harder to derive flavor from this cigar.
Strength and Body
The Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona started as a medium-strength, medium-bodied cigar. Just past the midway point, the intensity levels of both the strength and body crossed into medium to full territory – where things would remain in that range for the duration of the smoking experience. Both the strength and body balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
If you look at the other two installments of the Experimental Series, the Project 40 and Project 40 Maduro, both have very contemporary styled banding and packaging. The Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf does not have that style. It has a slightly retro vibe and is very reminiscent of the banding and packaging of the Alec Bradley Coyol. Green is a trendy color in cigar banding and packaging. In the case of the Double Broadleaf, green is very well used in the design.
For me, the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Gran Corona delivered a satisfactory experience. In terms of flavor, it was a little short on the wow factor, but it still satisfies me overall. I’m curious to see how the Honduran Broadleaf will work on some other blends. Given the “experimental” nature of this blend, that was to be somewhat expected, but at the same time, this does not translate to a 90+ score. Ultimately, I’m still inclined to recommend this cigar – more to a seasoned cigar enthusiast, but I would not discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, it’s a cigar that I would buy and smoke again.
I’m curious to see the future of this blend now that Alec Bradley has been acquired by STG. Will this mean they will continue to back this project? Will they expand the resources of the Honduran Broadleaf or move on to something else? Time will tell.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Berry, Wood, White Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Experimental Series to Launch at the 2022 PCA Trade Show
Brand Reference: Alec Bradley
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on July 23, 2023 @ 8:17 am