Tom Sullivan’s DeSocio series is getting quite populated. First, it was simply the Alec Bradley Tempus, then there was the Flor de las Antillas DeSocio, then the Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio and now, it’s another Alec Bradley.

The cigar has been a long-time in the making. In addition to growing the exclusives available for Alliance Cigar Co., the distribution company Sullivan operates, he adopted a pretty obvious goal: having exclusive cigars from lines awarded Cigar Aficionado’s cigar of the year.

Originally scheduled for 2013, the Prensado DeSocio still has not appeared on the Superior Cigars website, the online retail store run by Sullivan, but the cigar is expected it shortly. It’s the first non-parejo for the DeSocio series, a 5 1/2 x 56 “Cuban-press belicoso.”

The four DeSocio releases to date look like this:

DeSocio Cigars

  • Alec Bradley Tempus DeSocio (6 x 54) — $8.65 (Boxes of 20, $173.00) — Regular Production
  • Flor de las Antillas DeSocio (5 3/4 x 54) — $8.60 (Boxes of 20, $172.00) — 500 Boxes of 20 (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio (6 1/2 x 54) — $12.00 (Boxes of 10, $120.00) — 500 Boxes of 10 (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio (5 1/2 x 56) — $9.00 (Boxes of 20, $180.00) — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)

The boxes of the Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio look like this: 

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio Box 1

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio Box 2

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio Box 3

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio Box 4

And these are the boxes of all four DeSocio releases to date:

DeSocio Boxes

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio 1 

  • 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
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Belicoso
  • MSRP: $9.00 (Boxes of 20, $180.00)
  • Date Released: December 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 4

It’s definitely a bit shorter and thicker than your typical belicoso vitola, but I think it looks a bit thinner in person. I am not complaining that the Prensado DeSocio’s 55 ring gauge comes in the form of a non-parejo end, although with the box-press it definitely feels smaller than it probably is. There are few veins on the Honduran wrapper and a nice smooth texture towards the slightly red wrapper. Aroma-wise, there’s sweet cedar and hay from the outside of the cigar, although it’s relatively typical. From the foot there’s green pepper, a sweet cedar and a touch of the spicy chocolate I pick up from a lot of AGANORSA tobaccos. The cold draw presents some light cedar and hay underneath a big sweetness.

The first draws of the Prensado DeSocio begin with some sweet cedar, charred cocoa and a finish of vanilla with a slight tingle of harshness. It’s slightly tight, but by the third puff is right where it needs to be as far as I’m concerned. As the profile develops, there’s a great smoothness to the flavor which becomes admittedly woody with some cherry and the familiar vanilla over charred notes. I get some crisper toast through the nose, still very smooth. The Prensado does need a few touch-ups, but the ash builds nicely and holds for quite a while.

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio 2

As the second third develops, the DeSocio is showing a lot more pepper on the back of the throat, a concentrated vanilla sweetness on the top of the mouth and a familiar smooth cedar. Through the nose, there’s minor grassiness and a more pronounced leather, a great addition to the profile, but both fade in and out. Smoke production can be large at times, but it usually comes at the expense of a faster smoking rate, which quickly leads to harshness. Once again, I still need the lighter, but that’s my only real place to pick at the construction. Strength is building from a medium to a medium-plus. It’s not medium-full, but there’s a noticeable edginess.

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio 3

The grassiness picks up as the Prensado continues to progress. It’s an enjoyable in this instance as it begins to battle with the cedar and sweetness for the dominant note in the cigar, which adds a bit of excitement to the cigar. I manage to get fairly far down the tip of the belicoso, but eventually, the smoke production begins to die and the draw tightens up, which makes for an extremely obvious stopping point.

Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio 4

Final Notes:

  • Alliance Cigar Co. is a whole distributor based in the northeast. It sells products directly to retailers. 
  • As is often the case in winter, one sample I smoked was very dry and split midway through. I did not find this to be the issue with the other three samples.
  • For those wondering about the DeSocio name:

DeSocio is Sullivan’s maternal grandfather’s last name. His mother is the only living DeSocio family member so Sullivan decided to use his cigar business to keep the name alive.
“The stories I’d hear all the time from my aunt and uncle, particularly when I started in the cigar business, ‘oh, he’d be proud of you,’” said Sullivan. Sullivan’s grandfather, an Italian immigrant, was a cigar smoker.

  • Speaking of bands, I wonder if Fuente was responsible for putting these on. While there was not a massive amount of glue on the wrapper, the cover leaf visibly was lifted off its seams when trying to remove the bands as they were glued solidly on the cigar.
  • From my research, this is the second exclusive cigar made using the Prensado name, the other being the TAA Figurado made for members of the Tobacconists Association of America.
  • I really like the soft cap on the belicoso.
  • Strength was medium plus, about typical for my other Prensado experiences.
  • Strength was medium plus, about typical for my other Prensado experiences.
  • Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by site sponsor Superior Cigars.
  • This is not a cigar where you need to slow down, but if you start to push the Prensado, it gets harsh quick. I averaged one hour and 40 minutes.
  • You can purchase the Prensado DeSocio from site sponsor Superior Cigars.
We are giving away a five-pack of Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocios.
Leave a comment to enter. Contest rules are here.

Contest closes February 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST.

Update (Jan. 31): The original version of this review stated the cigar had not been released, it in fact has been for sale since Dec. 2013.

88 Overall Score

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.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.