Alliance Cigar Co. has one of the more unique limited edition series on the market. The New York-based distributor sells a lot of cigars, including a few made exclusively for the distributor under the DeSocio name. DeSocio is the last name of Alliance’s owner’s maternal grandmother.
The company has gotten exclusive sizes of three of the last four non-Cuban cigars to win Cigar Aficionado’s cigar of the year. The 2011 winner was the Alec Bradley Prensado and two years later Alliance took deliver of the Prensado DeSocio, a 5 1/2 x 56 belicoso version of the blend.
Here’s what I said about the cigar in January 2014:
I have never been the Prensados biggest cheerleader. The Churchill did not do it for me, the Corona Gorda did not do it for me and the TAA Figurado didn’t last more than an inch in my hands. And yet, I got pretty far into nubbing the DeSocio. It is not the most complex cigar I’ve smoked this month, but it was without a lot of the harshness that have plagued previous Alec Bradley reviews, it was elementary, but good.
- Cigar Reviewed: Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
- Wrapper: Honduran Trojes
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Vitola: Belicoso
- MSRP: $9 (Boxes of 20, $180)
- Release Date: December 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
After nearly two more years in the cabinet, I open up to find more than a half box of Prensado DeSocios. I had sort of forgotten the weird shape these were made in. Aroma off the wrapper has a fresh chocolate chip cookie smell. The foot is more acidic though there’s still chocolate, some leather and a touch of some pungent chemical flavor. The cold draw has the chocolate, but it’s now joined by salty french fries and some tomato flavor, around medium.
Things begin with some roasted nuts and a bread flavor, but that’s just about it. After a while the flavor has picked up to medium. It’s sweet with coffee, apple cider and some spices towards the back of the throat. Somewhere around the middle of the cigar, a toasty burnt buttered popcorn flavor has increased dramatically. The coffee also seems to head towards the burnt route, with an added acidity. By the final third I’m waiting for a major change, but nothing major is coming. There’s some smoked meats and a bit of burnt butter, but other than that, it’s challenging to find anything else.
Unfortunately, this particular Prensado DeSocio has a draw the is too loose. It forces a puff rate that is a bit quick for me and probably doesn’t help the combustion, which leads to regular touch-ups throughout the cigar. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium and strength is medium. Much like the rest of the cigar, these three intensity levels don’t change much throughout the cigar.
The Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio has aged gracefully. It’s a smooth mixture from start to finish with the flavors incredibly balanced throughout. At times, it’s a bit boring as things really start to mold into just one flavor, but when you dig deep, you can find the intricacies. Unfortunately, the draw on this sample was too loose and served as annoyance throughout, something that impacted the cigar as a whole. While this one particular cigar had its issues, I’m glad I have a half box left as with just a slightly tighter draw, it’s a very good cigar.