In 2013, Alec Bradley placed 30 of its new cigars in a capsule and attached it to a weather balloon. Company personnel then ventured to the top of the Palms Casino Resort with the balloon and let it fly about 18 miles up into the stratosphere.
It was a marketing stunt to the extreme and many, including yours truly, sort of chuckled at the we launchd a cigar into space excitement. Four years later, here I am talking about it, so I guess in that regard, mission accomplished.
The cigars attached were the Alec Bradley Mundial, a new-five size line that saw the cigars have a traditional rounded cap, yet perfecto style feet. As for the blend, it used a wrapper from Trojes, Honduras; Honduran and Nicaraguan binders and four filler leaves from those same countries.
I reviewed the smallest size shortly after its debut in late 2013 and was not impressed:
After three samples, I just do not get it. Mundial was not a very good cigar, it was a frustrating cigar with good qualities. Even without the tar, there was still an intense harshness that was present on the cigar throughout almost all of the Punta Lanza No. 4, oftentimes overpowering what were developed notes on the front of the palate and through the nose. In the hypothetical world without the harshness and tar, this was a cigar with developed notes, never particularly complex, but ever-changing and full with great construction. In the real world that was the three cigars I smoked, I have little desire to spend $12, $14 or even $16 on the other cigars in this line.
I was rummaging around a personal humidor and spotted one of the Short Story-sized cigars that was inevitably leftover from the time of the review. While I remembered that I didn’t particularly enjoy the first cigar I smoked, it had been a while since I’d smoked an Alec Bradley and I forgot that Patrick Lagreid was reviewing another cigar from the brand on Sunday, so I decided to see what nearly four years in the humidor had done to the little $10 perfecto.
- Cigar Reviewed: Alec Bradley Mundial Punta Lanza No. 4
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
- Wrapper: Honduras (Trojes)
- Binder: Honduras & Nicaragua
- Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
- Length: 4 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $9.95 (Boxes of 20, $199.00)
- Release Date: October 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
This cigar came out before the industry had gone bonkers with putting as many large bands on a cigar as possible, but it’s still somewhat challenging to find a big enough place to smell something other than paper as only about an inch and a half of the cigar is not covered by the band. There’s some soggy oatmeal, touches of canned cranberry sauce, some acidity and a lot of sweetness. The foot is similar, but more balanced between the oatmeal and cranberry flavors, as well as a semi-sweet chocolate. The cold draw is great with a nuttiness, popcorn, some creamy oranges and touches of a chili garlic paste. While the flavor is medium-full, it’s a bit challenging to pick up the flavors because they are really short and there’s a lot of them.
While the cold draw was excellent, the cigar tightens up a lot once lit. Flavor-wise, it’s a great start with popcorn over some nuttiness, a floral bouquet and some barbecue sauce. I can tell this is an aged cigar, but also one that was once quite strong. The first third develops to a nice cherrywood, some nuttiness, popcorn, an underlying generic sweetness and just a touch of pepper. The flavor and body are both full, while the strength is medium-plus. By the middle portion, the cigar gets a bit of a familiar core, but is now joined by a lot of pink salt and toastiness. On the finish, I get a unique nori flavor, something that probably has more to do with the saltiness than anything else. The final third sees the Alec Bradley trail off a bit in terms of its precision and smoothness. There’s toastiness, walnut and the saltiness, with the latter almost becoming too much particularly without pairing the cigar. A black pepper moves from the back of the throat to now coating the entire bottom of the mouth.
Construction-wise, there aren’t any flaws. The draw tightened as the Alec Bradley Mundial Punta Lanza No. 4 moved through the nipple portion of the foot, but opened up pretty quickly. I tried to keep the cigar from burning as fast as it wanted to be for the opening inch, but it wanted to move at a quicker pace than I did. By the middle portions, it naturally slowed down and I ended up taking an hour and 20 minutes to get through the relatively short cigar. Strength picked up in the second third to medium-full, but dropped to medium shortly after the halfway point.
At some point along the way, Alec Bradley decided to release the Mundial as a regular production cigar and I'm intrigued enough to go buy two. If it's anything like the cigar I smoked as a redux, I'll buy more. Unfortunately, it really shouldn't taste like the one I smoked today. But, I'll take a cigar and stick it in my humidor for four years and hope it turns into the cigar I smoked today, because this one was fantastic.