While 2016 was formally an extremely quiet year for new Alec Bradley products, behind-the-scenes it was anything but. From August 2016 to May 2017, we reported on over 15 new lines from Alec Bradley that were shipped to stores as part of the company’s efforts to get new brands into the market before the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) premium cigar regulations went into effect.
Two of those cigars—Black Market Estelí and Prensado Lost Art—got their formal release at last year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. Prensado Lost Art is a take on the company’s popular Prensado line, with the blend described as “tweaked.” Based on the blend components, the only change on paper is that this cigar features two binders—one from Honduras and another from Nicaragua—while the original line only has the one from Nicaragua.
It’s offered in five sizes.
- Prensado Lost Art Churchill (7 x 50) – $12.50 (Boxes of 20, $250)
- Prensado Lost Art Double T (6 x 60) – $12.85 (Boxes of 20, $257)
- Prensado Lost Art Gran Toro (6 1/4 x 52) – $10.95 (Boxes of 20, $219)
- Prensado Lost Art Robusto (5 x 52) – $9.90 (Boxes of 20, $198)
- Prensado Lost Art Torpedo (6 1/2 x 52) – $12.50 (Boxes of 20, $250)
- Cigar Reviewed: Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art Gran Toro
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Honduras & Nicaragua
- Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
- Length: 6 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $10.95 (Boxes of 20, $219)
- Release Date: Oct. 5, 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between this and the original Prensado line. If I were to nitpick, this cigar features a more rectangular press compared to the Prensado, which is more square. Aroma off the Honduran wrapper has chocolate, leather and earth at the medium-plus level that reminds me more of Nicaraguan cigars of the early 2010s. The foot is dominated by sweet chocolate, raisins and spices with gingerbread and oranges behind that. It’s a bit stronger than the wrapper in terms of intensity. The cold draw is stronger and features a lot more flavors, in the plural, with chocolate ice cream and pecans leading the way. There’s some weird plastic-like flavor behind it, I can’t really describe it other than it’s chemical-like and was present in different intensities with each sample.
The Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art starts similar with nuttiness, chocolate ice cream and a burnt pecan kicking it off. There’s cedar, a lot more burnt flavors and fortunately, no plastic. As the first third progresses, earthiness and creaminess move to the forefront. There’s some floral flavors and a really crisp cedar behind that with acorns and some lemon rounding out the secondary notes. It’s medium-plus in flavor, medium-full in body and medium-plus in strength.
While I hadn’t had any issues in the first third, my lighter is being used for the second third, sometimes to correct an uneven burn and other times because the smoke production dies down. Flavor-wise, pistachio comes out of nowhere and takes the top spot before the halfway mark. By the midway point, that changes with earthiness and lemon joining the green nut. Behind that is some saltiness and a tortilla flavor. Unfortunately, the latter parts of the second third bring some herbal bitterness, which I could do without. Flavor picks up to full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-full.
Flavor-wise, there’s not a lot of positives for the final third. It’s earthy and harsh for much of it. There’s no real pepper, just some metallic and bitter flavors. With an inch left a really distinct sweetness emerges in the back of the throat—what I imagine the after effects of chugging simple syrup would be like—but it really isn’t enough. The most surprising change however is the strength, it’s now full and on two samples, leading me to believe my head is close to spinning. Touch-ups are required to keep the Alec Bradley smoking until the end, but otherwise construction is fine.
- Companies took different approaches with how to get products onto the market prior to Aug. 8, 2016, the date in which FDA regulations took effect. Anything that debuted after Aug. 8 would need FDA approval before they were allowed to be sold, as such, companies rushed a lot of cigars to market. Alec Bradley seemed to take the approach of not caring if retailers sold these products, which is why we found out about so many. With very few exceptions, most companies took a quieter approach to FDA regulations.
- Edit: Alec Bradley explains the cigar is in reference to the process of hand making goods, more specifically that while most goods that were once made by hands are now made by machine, cigars are not.
- Speaking of art, I really do like the font used for the “Lost Art”part of the packaging or on some of the cigars. There appears to be a different version of packaging with a secondary band that looks a lot better in my opinion.
- Multiple touch-ups in the second and final thirds cost this cigar some points. In addition, the final third’s flavor didn’t help things. I enjoyed this cigar a lot more than the score will likely show.
- It seemed like this would be like many Honduran and Nicaragua combinations before it, but then the final third happened. This cigar is strong, certainly the strongest cigar—at least for one third—that I’ve smoked in a few months.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was a lengthy two hours and 20 minutes on average.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigars.com, Famous Smoke Shop, JR Cigar, Serious Cigars and Thompson Cigar Co. have the Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art in stock.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story indicated the company had not stated the reasons behind the name. It has and the story has been updated to reflect that.
It’s a bit challenging to write this review without starting about how the cigar finished: strong. While the opening was not mild, the Lost Art showed no signs of getting to the headspinning levels it approached with less than two inches remaining. That final third was not the best part of the cigar, but the other two thirds and the overall progression produced a cigar that was enjoyable. This isn’t your typical Alec Bradley, but I’d gladly pay the price of admission again.