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Staff Reviews

Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

I’m smoking a recent addition to the Alec Bradley franchise, Double Broadleaf, in a traditional 6-by-52 Toro. This dark and succulent smoke is part of Alec Bradley’s Experimental Series and has gotten some buzz from customers and critics, so I’m excited to check it out.

Alec Bradley brand founder Alan Rubin produces a lot of great cigars, and his portfolio keeps growing now that his sons, Alec and Bradley – whom the company is named after – are involved in the family business. Early hits like the 96-rated Prensado and the 94-rated Family Blend established Alec Bradley cigars in premium smokeshops years ago, but the Rubins have never stopped innovating.

Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf is handcrafted in Danlí, Honduras, at Tabacos de Oriente, a cigar-factory owned by the Plasencia family. The Double Broadleaf blend is not a typical Connecticut Broadleaf cigar. Rather, it’s blended from Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco seeds planted in the fertile soil of Honduras and harvested for the wrapper and binder components of the cigar. The wrapper is particularly oily. Additional Nicaraguan tobaccos are sourced to complete the binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers fill out the center in a collection of popular and thicker sizes.

Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf cigars are packaged in dark green boxes and bands with orange, mint, and marigold accents. When I pull a Toro from a fresh box, its hearty aroma escapes as soon as the cigar is out of the cellophane. After I clip the cap, notes of salt, earth, and coffee come through the cold draw with peppery intensity. Double Broadleaf is well made and exhibits excellent density in my initial inspection.

When I finish toasting the foot of the Toro with my Xikar HP3 Triple Torch, it’s bold from the beginning. Strong notes of earth, pepper, and coffee command my attention. Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf is dark and malty, even imposing for a moment. After five minutes, subtle notes of cocoa bring a welcome sweetness into the equation.

When the Rubins blended Double Broadleaf, they craved the potent character of the Broadleaf tobacco, and that led them to rely on it for the binder as well as the wrapper, hence the name “Double Broadleaf.” Their decision makes the cigar powerful. Toasty notes of grain, cocoa, and cayenne meld over the cigar’s peppery foundation. Malty spices cover the palate by the time half the cigar is gone. Robust aromas of wood and espresso fill the room as I set the cigar in the ashtray for a moment. When you smoke a strong cigar like Double Broadleaf, savor it slowly and after a full meal.

After forty-five minutes, I tap the firm ash off for third or fourth time. The burn meandered in a few spots but straightened out on its own, and the draw has been impeccable. A glass of dark beer, like Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Company, is a fitting drink to sip with Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf.

By the time I take the band off and begin puffing on the nub, I’ve avoided the head spins by not smoking too fast. The final stretch of the Double Broadleaf Toro shows notes of roasted coffee bean and black pepper in even and intense draws that linger. Double Broadleaf bears some resemblance to Alec Bradley Magic Toast, but it’s definitely stronger.

If you like Alec Bradley, or Honduran cigars in general, Double Broadleaf brings something new to the table with its Connecticut-seed Honduran tobaccos and its big finish. But I’m docking point or two because there’s no actual Broadleaf tobacco in the blend despite the cigar’s name, which is a bit misleading. Buy a few singles to smoke and scoop up a box during one of our recurring Alec Bradley sales if you dig the Double Broadleaf.  


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