In 2011, Alec Bradley Cigars launched an annual limited edition project known as Fine & Rare. It has become the company’s signature limited edition series and one of the most popular. The distinguishing thing that sets Fine & Rare apart is the fact that it incorporates ten different tobaccos into the blend. At press time, there have been four different blends that have been rotated each year with various different vitolas released. In 2018, the Fine & Rare featured a blend first released in 2015 known as JRS 10=(86). Since it’s the second release, the 2018 edition has been dubbed Alec Bradley JRS 10=(86) Second Issue. Today, we take a closer look at that cigar
For completeness, we list the annual Alec Bradley Fine & Rare releases since 2011:
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2011 (HJ10-I Blend)
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2012 (BR1213 Blend)
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2013 (Second Issue – HJ10-I Blend)
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2014 (TA-25A Blend)
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2015 (JRS 10=(86) Blend)
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2016 (Third Issue – HJ10-I Blend)
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2017 (Second Issue – BR1213 Blend)
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2018 (Second Issue – JRS 10=(86) Blend)
Since the series has been launched, there have been four blends used:
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare HJ10-I: 2011, 2013, 2015
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rate BR1213: 2012, 2017
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare TA-25A: 2014
- Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86): 2015, 2018
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue.
Blend and Origin
While Alec Bradley has not disclosed the details of the Fine & Rare blend, each release has incorporated tobaccos from both Honduras and Nicaragua. The JRS 10=(86) blend is no exception.
Wrapper: Honduras Trojes
Binder: Honduras, Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L
The Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue is once again a 6 1/2 x 56 Toro Grande – the thickest size released in the Fine & Rare Series. A total of 2,500 ten-count boxes were allotted for this year’s release.
The Honduran wrapper of the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue had a medium brown color. There was a very light sheen of oil on the wrapper. This was a wrapper with a slightly bumpy surface. There were some visible veins and any visible wrapper seams were minimal.
The band to the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare RS 10=(86) Second Issue features almost a parchment-like background with bronze trim. The band has perforated edges giving it a “stamp” like effect. The design of the band is in landscape mode with a shield design at the top and bottom – along with partial wheel like designs on the lower portion. The center of the band contains a white, blue, and red design resembling a factory label. Some of the items on that label design include:
- Name of the Company: ALEC BRADLEY CIGAR COMPANY (with the red Alec Bradley badge logo to the left)
- Name of the Cigar and blend: FINE & RARE JRS 10=(86) Second Issue
- Production and Year 2500 boxes / 2018
- Roll Date: July 30 – August 5, 2017
- Release Date: October 24, 2018
- Weekly Production: 696
- Size: 56 x 6 1/2
- Names of the Rollers
- Signature of the Production Supervisors and Approvers (Alan Rubin and Ralph Montero)
- A blue and white Fine & Rare logo surrounded by red trim
The cigar experience of the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue began by placing a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco, dusty earth, and a slight amount of fruit sweetness. This was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
The start of the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue started out with notes of earth, natural tobacco, nut, and mixed pepper. Early on the natural tobacco took over as the primary note. The natural tobacco had a rich flavor with a nougat-like sweetness to it. Meanwhile, the nut, earth and pepper settled in the background. Occasionally the earth notes popped into the forefront during this time. The retro-hale started out as a dull red pepper note, but as the cigar progressed the pepper got sharper and some natural tobacco sweetness mixed in.
As the Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) moved into the second third, there was a slight increase in the pepper and earth notes. The earth notes continued to float into the forefront from time to time. At the same time, the nut flavors also made an occasional guest appearance in the forefront. Meanwhile, the pepper notes remained grounded in the background
The last third of the Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue saw the earth notes move into the forefront. The natural tobacco notes now floated between the forefront and the background. By this point, the nougat sweetness associated with the natural tobacco had dissipated. The nut and pepper notes remained in the background. This is the way the Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but slightly soft to the touch.
The Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue maintained a relatively straight burn line and burn path during the early stages. The burn did start to slightly meander as the cigar reached the middle stages. This was remedied with some touch-ups. The resulting ash had a darker charcoal color. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t loose or flaky either. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue performed quite well. This cigar maintained a very nice balance of openness versus resistance. In the end, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
Overall the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue was a cigar that fell right in the middle of the spectrum when it came to strength and body. This was a cigar that delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. The intensity levels remained relatively constant. Both the strength and the body of the Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
One important point about the Fine & Rare series, the ten tobaccos are not going to necessarily translate to a blend that is exponentially high in complexity. What it does allow is for more tobaccos to marry and fuse resulting in some different flavor combinations. That is exactly the case with the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue. It’s not over the top in complexity, but it does deliver a unique flavor profile. I’m curious to see what this cigar will do over a longer period of aging. The Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) cigar assessed here had five months of age on it since being procured in early November 2018.
The Alec Bradley Fine & Rare JRS 10=(86) Second Issue is a cigar that can be enjoyed by the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. Priced nearly at $22.00, this cigar falls into the ultra-premium category. While it’s not an inexpensive cigar, it’s certainly worthy of picking one up and smoking as it will deliver a nice experience.
Key Flavors: Earth, Natural Tobacco, Nougat, Nut, Pepper,
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News Alec Bradley Fine & Rare RS 10=(86) Second Issue Heads to Stores
Source: Alec Bradley and Purchased
Brand Reference: Alec Bradley
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop