Alan Rubin founded Alec Bradley Cigar Co. in 1996, naming the company after his sons, Alec and Bradley. Since that time, the two sons have been steeped in cigar culture throughout their lives. It is only natural that they would one day decide to join their father in the family business. Alec, the older of the two, has officially been working with the company for over four years, although he’s admittedly helped in the company’s Florida-based warehouse since the age of 12. His younger brother, Bradley, took an official role with the company a little over a year ago. While the two have primarily focused on the office side of the business since joining the company, they began making monthly trips to Central America with their father and were eventually inspired to create a brand of their own.
Blind Faith is the first release from the duo in their new venture, which is a subdivision of Alec Bradley that is appropriately titled Alec & Bradley. The project is a reference to the blind faith it requires for cigar smokers and shop owners to try a new product coming from two men that grew up in the cigar industry. Alan Rubin said of his sons’ new project, “As a father and brand owner I couldn’t be more proud of my two sons. Their mother is very excited that both of the boys are joining the family business and sharing experiences with me, my father- at age 91- who still opens the office doors every morning and the rest of the Alec Bradley family!”.
Blind Faith Toro Breakdown
- Wrapper: Honduras (Trojes region)
- Binder: Honduras (Trojes region) | Nicaragua (Jalapa region)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Criollo ’98 | Corojo ’99)
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Honduras)
- Production: Small Batch
- Vitola: 6″ × 52 (Toro)
- Price: $10.00 (MSRP)
Concerning the blend itself, Blind Faith has some characteristics that you would expect in a cigar from Alec Bradley—a Trojes wrapper from Honduras, a double binder from Honduras and Nicaragua, and three separate fillers from Estelí. The cigar is produced at the Raíces Cubanas factory in Danli, a familiar manufacturing partner for Alec Bradley. Regarding the direction taken when blending, the company notes:
Unlike the Alec Bradley tradition of blending for flavor first and strength levels later- Alec and Bradley focused on taking bolder tobaccos and blending them for strength with great flavor and balance.
When regarding the term blind faith, some may picture a religious zeal, maybe a rock band briefly formed in the late ’60s; I personally envision the amount of faith it takes for any individual to read a word I write, or the bravery it takes for Cigar Dojo to post my nonsensical rants. Nevertheless, it’s a good starting point for the cigar-smoking journey I am about to embark on, as I cut and light this offering that feels both new, yet familiar at the same time.
The Blind Faith Toro features a distressed TV screen (scrambled, like all the best channels from your youth) with the words “Blind Faith” overlaying the static imagery. This is underscored by “A&B” and finished with a shiny, holographic-like trim. It has a real “Video Killed the Radio Star” vibe. The box displays a businessman’s head, which has been replaced with a vintage-style television (complete with SMPTE colored bars). This is a reference to society’s over-saturation with media and technology and, according to Alec & Bradley, “[…] to truly enjoy ‘Blind Faith’, you need to clear your head from any and all influence that technology has had on your day. If you saw something on the news that made you sad/angry, turn off your television or cellphone and pick up a ‘Blind Faith’!”
The cigar has some slight veins in its exterior but nothing that looks out of place. The wrapper has a little toothiness to it and almost feels sandy—a bit of satin to the touch. There is an oily quality that appears shiny when held to the light. It smells of cedar and the foot takes me back to an aging room in a Central American factory, having woodsy aromas and a hint of ammonia. The pre-light draw is tight, with a barnyard hay taste and a bit of anise.
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The first few puffs bring a lighter body with medium strength; the draw is a little tight but I get a nice white pepper on the retrohale. Right off the bat, there is a zesty spice, almost like wasabi through the nostrils. This cigar is loaded with cabinet spices and there is a dash of nutmeg on the finish. It has some spice to it but is not necessarily full-bodied at this point, which is refreshing. Smooth smoke is pouring out on each puff and I am impressed by how silky and refined this cigar starts. The ash is dark grey and almost Cubanesque in appearance (I’m not saying the cigar tastes Cuban, but I feel like you, the reader, could file this away for future consideration), usually a sign of rich minerals in the soil.
There is a chai tea flavor as the cigar develops; it’s this sweet-ish spice that reminds me of warm tea. I have had to do a couple of touchups and the draw is just a tad under what I would consider to be ideal. The burn is slightly wonky, but the peppery, cabinet spice flavor still appears prominently. I like that this cigar is very spice-forward and has a solid bit of strength, yet still maintains a near-medium body and some nuance and refinement. At this point, I’d still consider this a cigar that you could smoke in the morning because it doesn’t have that full-bodied punch that you find yourself seeking as the day winds down.
The draw has really loosened moving past the halfway mark. I initially got a somewhat papery flavor with a tartness on the tongue but that quickly dissipates. A roasted nut flavor with some spice starts to move to the forefront; it kind of reminds me of those cinnamon-roasted almonds that you find at a fair. I have had to relight a couple of times—construction has been less than perfect throughout but hasn’t taken away from the performance much. As I approach the band, there is a bit more bitterness; there is kind of a burnt toast quality to the final bit of this cigar. Green chili flavors rush through the retrohale, true to the spicy quality that has been prevalent throughout the cigar. It has a pretty earthy base on the palate and hasn’t had too many noticeable changes from start to finish.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I would smoke Blind Faith again, it was an interesting cigar to try out. The easy-going body (medium-ish), combined with a good amount of spice, keeps the palate interesting throughout. All around, it’s a fun smoke that you could break out any time of day.
- Blind Faith first shipped to consumers on August 31, 2018.
- I’m drinking a black coffee while I review this cigar; I think a good blonde or lighter roast work well as a pairing. Ideal pairings in my opinion would be a chai latte, an English tea, or even a session-style IPA. This cigar reminds me of a session IPA in that it has all the flavor and characteristics of a premium cigar (or beer, in my example), but with lower punching power—being easily approachable for everyday sessions.
- If I smoked this cigar blind, I don’t think I’d be able to tell you it was an Alec Bradley cigar. I think that is a good thing for Alec & Bradley, as they’ve managed to build a blend that uses a lot of the standard Alec Bradley tobaccos (double binder, Trojes tobaccos) and create something different.
- Flavor: Medium-light
- Strength: Medium-plus
- Body: Medium
- Cabinet spices
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Session IPA, English tea, Chai latte
- Purchase Recommendation: Start with one of each size (three cigars)
- Good spice
- Nice balance of flavor and body
- Smooth finish
- Draw is on the firm side
- A bit one-noted
- Construction issues