Alec Bradley has always been a mystery to me. I’ve smoked a few and have yet to have any negative experiences, but despite monster ratings in CA, I can’t say I’ve ever gone in the humidor specifically looking for Alec Bradley. I’m not sure why either, from everything I can tell, Alan Rubin couldn’t be doing things much better. Today’s review is of the dual-banded Tempus, the cigar that introduced me to Alec Bradley. Here’s to yet another Raíces Cubanas Lancero.
- Name: Alec Bradley Tempus Creo
- Vitola: Lancero
- Size: 7 1/2 x 41
- Wrapper: Honduran Criollo ’98
- Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 & Indonesian Embetunada
- Filler: Honduran & Nicaraguan
- Country: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- MSRP: $8.75 (Box of 20, $175.00)
- Source: Cigar Fox
- Time in Humidor: 10 Months
- Cut: Wolf V-Cutter
- Light: Colibri Boss II
- Beverage: Coke
- Smoking Time: 2 Hours
Alan Rubin is the head of Alec Bradley. So why “Alec Bradley?” Simple, it’s the name of his two sons. The story from Rubin goes as follow:
ALEC BRADLEY TEMPUS……….. latin meaning Time. Time is one of the most important factors when creating a great cigar; Time for the tobaccos to mature in the fields; for perfect fermentation, aging time, and time for the rich tobacco flavors to meld into one. In our industry and in our lives, time is the one component that is always in demand. Alec Bradley Tempus is created to enjoy most of what we have least….TIME
The Tempus line was introduced in 2008, the first line that bared the Alec Bradley name. Of note, these are a bit different than most of the popular brands of Raíces Cubanas, which mainly feature the famed Nicaraguan AGANORSA leaf, instead these are mainly Honduras. Info reads:
We use select tobacco from a farm in the Trojes region of Honduras, just north of the border of Nicaragua, and some of the finest tobacco from Jalapa, Nicaragua.
The Honduran Criollo ’98 wrapper is dark with a great red shade. Veins are heavy, but I like the overall look of the Alec Bradley, just maybe not the foot band. I don’t really get much more than cedar, not really a huge shock given the lack of cellophane. Packing isn’t anything beyond average, but the Tempus Lancero is fairly hard to the touch. Foot is full with fruits, wine, coffee and spice.
V-Cuts and pigtails, what more can I say. Aroma from the removed portion of the cap is sweet leather and fruits with a bit of pepper; medium-full. Cold draw is quite loose with a full flavor comprising of a layered leather and dried cedar. Toasting the slightly thick foot produces a toasty note over some notes of oak and sweetness, but mainly just the classic toastiness to the North Carolina air. Initial draws of the Alec Bradley Tempus Creo aren’t anything to rave about, not a whole lot of smoke, but a decent hickory and toasty note transitioning into cedar. The relatively short finish adds meaty and earthiness, still around medium.
Cedars and leather up front, oak and spice on the back; medium-plus. The Alec Bradley finishes much the same way, cedar, leather and a bit of pepper with some interesting cocoa notes creeping in and out, about average in length. Draw is medium, a tad tight, creating above average smoke production. Aroma is that similar toastiness, bits of oak coming through. Strength is medium, maybe medium-plus, but that might be a stretch for the Tempus.
Delicacies pick up with aged tobacco, floral notes and a bitter dark chocolate. The core for the most part is still cedar, a bit more textured than before, still around medium-plus, now creeping into medium-full. Finish from the Raíces Cubanas creation is significantly more interesting: leather, cedar, tobacco and some meatiness, a bit longer than the first third. Strength is medium-plus, body around there as well. Smoke production still leaves a bit to be desired, but the medium ash holds on nicely for about an inch and a half.
The Creo brings out much more leather, along with a noticeable amount of pepper. In addition, the medium-full flavor has some walnuts and a more generic woodiness. Balance is easily the best it’s been, but the harshness creeps up pretty quick. Finish limits itself to solely leather, which isn’t all bad. Strength seems to taper down a bit, mediumish, but with the harshness in the mix, body is towards the fuller in as smoke thickness improves. The Tempus seems to be good until about an inch and a half left, at that point the harshness just makes it not worth the time.
For the Novice
No is my initial answer, and it’s much firmer than what it might appear after reading this review. I really do not believe that there is much to debate about here. Strength and body might just seem to be ever-so-slightly too much, but the reality is the Alec Bradley Tempus Creo is just not something I would give to a novice.
In the End
I’ve got another five or so of these in my humidor. Truth is, they probably are going to sit there for a while. My mind still hasn’t lead me to say I was close to being Barry Stein blown away, but there’s a time and a place. The Alec Bradley Tempus Creo is a solid cigar, not trying to do too much, but nothing that overwhelmingly stands out. I’ll probably regret not smoking these, but at some point I have a feeling time will pay off, hopefully.
82. Not a whole lot to complain about, perhaps time will help.