The Alec Bradley Magic Toast has an origin story that is truly unique. On a trip down to Honduras to visit the Raíces Cubanas factory (Alec Bradley’s most frequent manufacturing partner), Alan Rubin and Ralph Montero (Alec Bradley Founder and Vice President, respectively) found that their flight was severely delayed, resulting in what the duo thought would be a wasted day at the factory. Instead of traveling directly to a nearby hotel, they decided to visit one of the company’s farms, as there was just enough daylight remaining to inspect the crop. Some of the tobacco was already pulled from the aging barns and they decided to roll up some of the cured leaves and sample them on the spot. Pleased with this result, the team grabbed a bottle of Glenfiddich and made a toast. The tobaccos sampled during this magic evening eventually made their way into the company’s surprise 2018 release—Alec Bradley Magic Toast.
Upon its debut at IPCPR 2018 (the cigar industry’s annual trade show), Magic Toast made waves in the cigar industry, receiving great reviews and widespread attention from consumers and media alike. At the time, the cigars had begun to stir interest through the company’s unusual secrecy surrounding its introduction, where Alec Bradley (AB) sought to reclaim the excitement of cigar releases of yesteryear.
Company founder Alan Rubin stated:
Magic Toast Robusto Breakdown
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Honduras | Nicaragua
- Filler: Honduras | Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Honduras)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 5″ × 52 (Robusto)
- Price: $8.95 (MSRP)
The blend is a somewhat typical Alec Bradley recipe on paper—their use of Honduran tobaccos and double binders has become almost a calling card. The cigar’s Honduran wrapper covers a double binder of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos; the fillers are also Honduran and Nicaraguan.
After debuting in July of 2018, Magic Toast eventually shipped to tobacconists in October, offering a range of three sizes, priced between $9 and $10.
- Robusto: 5″ x 52 | $8.95
- Toro: 6″ x 52 | $9.50
- Gordo: 6″ x 60 | $10.25
Magic Toast’s band looks mystical; there are stars and different astronomical symbols—the type you would expect to find in a Copernicus sketchbook (or, as my fantasy-driven imagination interprets it—something out of a wizard’s reference book). The wrapper is a dark hue and it is oily to the touch. There are minor veins and the cap appears expertly applied, with no blemishes visible throughout. Magic Toast comes in a 20-count box, showing the imagery of a moth and a half-crescent moon on the exterior and interior—it’s a nice change of pace from the company’s usual style.
Aromatic notes of blue cheese from the wrapper mix with the scent of barnyard hay on the foot and green tea on the pre-light draw.
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On the first couple of puffs, Magic Toast tastes like a sour beer; it is funky and somewhat grainy. With notes of white pepper on the retrohale, I can tell there is still development to come in the flavor profile. The body is light in the first few minutes, but this is not to last. Magic Toast is malty and rich—it tastes like caramel and I get the sense that it would pair well with a rich stout. Dense smoke starts to pour out and this cigar heads to a more medium-body and medium-strength profile. It feels more like a maduro than a natural at this point, with rich, dark flavors and a sweet finish.
Magic Toast’s ash is dark and the draw has been perfect thus far; the burn is a little wonky and may warrant a touchup. There are notes of pepper and some citrus, as the flavor and body have taken a bit of a step down to a more medium-minus level. The cigar’s spice still lingers, but I detect some notes of cinnamon and nutmeg on the retrohale that have begun to replace the aforementioned character. The draw has loosened a bit and I get a very earthy profile overall, joined by some sweetness in the background. My burn is perfect—a razor sharp line across the circumference of the cigar. The smoke is deep and rich, with the same dominating notes of earth; the flavor hasn’t changed dramatically but the flavor is good.
I wanted to detect some sort of toast flavor note, but this aspect is nowhere to be found—not necessarily a criticism, but I felt like it was worth mentioning, as smokers may be anticipating such a profile. The strength has ticked up slightly but it isn’t unpleasant in any way. The malty character from the beginning has returned, along with the backing slight sweetness. A juicy taste comes off the raw tobacco on the tongue, pairing with the smoke’s profile to really linger on the sides of the tongue.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I can confidently say that I have not smoked my last Magic Toast. The earthy profile and excellent construction make it an easy call for a future purchase.
Alec Bradley Magic Toast was a well constructed cigar, as you would expect from the famed Raíces Cubanas factory. The burn was nearly perfect for me, requiring only a slight touchup. The draw was never an issue for Magic Toast—I found thick, rich smoke with every puff and the flavor was delivered in a robust fashion.
- Magic Toast was released as a “mystery cigar,” with its name and information only being released on the first day of IPCPR.
- The story of the cigar’s background (mentioned in the opening paragraph) was taken from Alan’s recollection during Cigar Dojo’s Smoke Night LIVE interview in February 2019.
What’s he doin’?
(detailing my hypothetical, idyllic smoking scenario for the cigar at hand)
I am in Napa, wearing penny loafers with an actual penny in them. I am sipping a nice Merlot; I think it’s a nice Merlot but I don’t really know, I just kind of ordered something that wasn’t the cheapest thing on the menu, but also wasn’t the most expensive. This is confirmed as the waiter says, “Good choice sir,” so I feel good about it.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Oktoberfest/Märzen-style beer | Chicory coffee | Gingerbread
- Purchase Recommendation: 5-pack
- Solid flavor profile
- Satisfying smoke output
- No dynamic changes
- Profile may be too dark for some