Alec Bradley -- Tempus
Cigars, like women, come in various shapes and sizes -- Part 2
Over the many cigar reviews I have done for Bullz-Eye, I always describe the shape and size of the cigar that I am reviewing. I have been asked questions like, “What is a Toro versus a Robusto?” In my last Bullz-Eye article, I covered the straight-sided profile, one of the two profiles in which cigars can be generally grouped. This entry will focus on the second profile, the figurado. Again, this should help the reader and cigar smoker to be more in tune with the language of the cigar world. It may also allow you to impress the boss or your favorite female co-worker at the office holiday party this year.
To review, cigars have two primary profiles when it comes to shape and size: straight-sided, which vary by length and thickness; and figurados, which are more “shapely,” and whose thickness may vary along the length of the cigar (e.g., a torpedo-shaped cigar).
The cigar industry standards, or lack thereof, provide the manufacturer a fair amount of freedom in classifying the shape and size of the smoke. However, the following descriptions attempt to provide a “rule of thumb” classification for the figurado style cigar.
Pyramid – An open-ended, tapered-head cigar between 6 and 7 inches long. The ring size at the head can be around 40, and widens along the length of the cigar to a ring size more than 50 at the foot. Standing on end, it looks similar to the shape of the Washington monument. This is not that common of a style.
Belicosa – Think of this as a short Pyramid (described above), 5 to 5½ inches long, with the same tapered head and a ring gauge maxing out at around 50 at the foot.
Torpedo – A straight-bodied cigar that tapers to a closed, pointed head. It varies in length and ring gauge.
Perfecto – A cigar that tapers down at both ends, but not to a point; the head is rounded. The body of the cigar tends to be fattest between the head and foot. Think of its shape as that of an elongated or stretched football.
Cigar rollers have invented other more exotic shapes, but the ones outlined above and in the previous article are, by far, the more common and practical.
Alec Bradley -- Tempus
Size: Torpedo – 6.1 inches in length, 52 Ring Gauge
Price: $8 to $9
The Alec Bradley brand is definitely on the upswing, as it has raised its game via two relatively new hit cigars. First, it was AB’s Maxx that caught my attention, a formidable smoke in itself. However, the Tempus line trumps it! The Alec Bradley Tempus line is a classic boutique cigar. The Habano-seed wrapper reportedly comes from a small farm located near the border of Nicaragua and Honduras, and the filler tobaccos are a blend of both Nicaragua and Honduras tobacco. The overall blend provides the best of both qualities of these two great tobacco-growing regions.
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Indonesia
- Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras
I smoked this at my favorite brick and mortar cigar shop. I did not plan on doing so initially, but upon entering the shop with a friend of mine, a patron was gushing to the proprietor about the love he has recently developed for the new Tempus cigar he was smoking at the time. The conversation, coupled with the alluring aroma of the cigar, certainly caught my interest. To be honest, I was not aware that Alec Bradley had a new cigar coming out, which seemed to be so soon after releasing the Maxx line. Given the success of Maxx, a cigar that I also thought was a nice smoke, I thought I had better see what all the fuss was about, and smoke a Tempus. My friend followed suit.
Look and feel
The first impression was the “dressing” of this cigar, compared to the basic banded Maxx. The dual bands were much more ornate and rich looking. The cigar construction behind the band certainly lived up to the expectation set up by the dressing. The wrapper looked to be of very good quality and had a somewhat unique reddish, dark brown hue. The stick was firm to the touch and uniform and balanced.
Aroma and Taste
After taking a double guillotine cutter carefully to the head of the cigar, I toasted the foot with an oversized torch that was in the small smoking lounge in the back. Soon after lighting, the Tempus’ most relevant characteristics came through. This is a full flavored cigar with earthy, dark coffee flavors that a Nicaragua and Honduras blend should have. It is an excellent smoke with an even burn. However, I did have to re-light it a couple of times and I was not really neglecting it. The patron in the shop warned of the strength that this cigar packed, but I did not really experience the nicotine kick. Nor did I experience the peppery spice as much as my friend seemed be getting. This raised some concern for me regarding the consistency of the blend, though I really enjoyed the particular Tempus I was smoking.
RATING: 9.2 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – This is a cigar that I will definitely smoke again. I want to see if I get a spicier smoke with more kick the next time. To be sure, I would recommend you smoke this on a full stomach, as the profile of the cigar is not for the rookie. Keep an eye on Alec Bradley cigars in the future – the brand seems to be on the upswing.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"The cigar must match the shape of the smoker. Round-faced people should avoid long, thin cigars and vice-versa." - Kees Van Dongen