Monday, April 7, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Alec Bradley MAXX Traditional Toro

Here's a sneak preview of a cigar that's both "old and new." Well, not all that old, but definitely new. Two years ago, when the Alec Bradley MAXX cigars bowed at the then-called "RTDA Show" (now the IPCPR), they were among the most talked-about new cigars at the convention. Retailers were practically trading blows to get to the Alec Bradley booth and scarf a free sample. I was one of the lucky ones, and eventually cited Alec Bradley MAXX as one of the best new cigar series of 2006.

The original MAXX line is composed of extra-large cigars with hip names like the "Freak" at 6 3/8" x 60, and the "Ego" at 9½" x 50. Earlier last week I smoked the 5” x 58 "Fixx," which provided a nice point of comparison for this review on the 6" x 50 "Toro," one of four frontmarks in the new Alec Bradley MAXX Traditional selection.

MAXX Traditional selection is designed to appeal to cigar smokers who want a full-flavored cigar in more "traditional" sizes; it's that simple. Note that the company came out with the diminutive 4" x 46 MAXX "Nano" last year, which may have led to the development of the Traditional series.

The cigars have the same medium to full-bodied blend as the original MAXX selection: Colombian, Nicaraguan, Mexican and Honduran longfillers bound in a Costa Rican binder, and wrapped in a dark, zesty Nicaraguan Habano leaf. Besides the sizes, the only other difference is that the cigars have a brown & gold embossed band.

The Toro lit beautifully and burned well with a firm grey ash. The smoke was smooth and creamy, dominated by rich, earthy-woody overtones laced with sweet tobacco flavors and a note of coffee bean. I paired it with a glass of Tawny Port which dovetailed nicely with the cigar's subtle complexities. Comparatively-speaking, it was just what I expected from this already proven cigar.

Personally, I happen to like large ring cigars, but if you're not a fan of jawbreakers, the Alec Bradley MAXX Traditional is just the ticket. Look for them to arrive in stores soon.

For more information on the MAXX Traditional selection, visit the Alec Bradley Cigars website.

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