Back in 1996, Alan Rubin founded Alec Bradley Cigar Company, naming it after his two sons, Alec and Bradley. While Alan never pushed his boys into the company, both sons expressed an interest in joining their father in the cigar business. After playing a role in some of the operations of the company, the Rubin brothers wanted to take the next step in terms of developing their own blends. Alan gave his blessing for the project, but this is something the Rubin brothers would do on their own – everything from the blend, to the packaging, to funding the project as a subsidiary under Alec Bradley. That subsidiary would become known as Alec & Bradley. In 2018, the first project under Alec & Bradley would hit the market – and that would be Blind Faith. Today we take a closer look at the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith in the Toro size.
Regarding the name Blind Faith, Bradley Rubin commented in a press release at the time the cigar came out, “The reason Alec and I named our first project ‘Blind Faith’ is because it is our first attempt at launching our own cigar line. From the company, to tobacconists, to cigar enthusiasts- people need to have blind faith that, having grown up around the cigar industry, we can make our own cigar line.”
As we will see, the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith is a very different cigar than what Alec Bradley has delivered over the years. Without further ado, let’s break down the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Alec & Bradley Blind Faith consists of a Honduran wrapper from the Trojes region of Honduras. There is also a dual binder with leaves from the Trojes region of Honduras and the Jalapa region of Nicaragua. The fillers are all-Nicaraguan. The Trojes wrapper and dual binder are staples of many Alec Bradley blends. Production is handled at Alec Bradley’s long-time manufacturing partner, the Raices Cubanas company in Nicaragua. The cigar itself is a limited production blend.
Wrapper: Honduran (Trojes)
Binder: Honduran (Trojes) and Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí – Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98)
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L
Alec & Bradley Blind Faith is available in three sizes – each presented in 20-count boxes
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 60
The Trojes wrapper of the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith had a dark Colorado tint to it. There was a light sheen of oil on the surface. There also were some thin veins and thin visible wrapper seams. This was also a well-packed cigar in terms of the arrangements of the tobacco.
While we describe the cigar band in our assessments, we don’t score it. However if we did score it, the Blind Faith band would be rated the best-designed band released in 2018. The band had a charcoal gray background with chrome trim. The center of the band has an image of a television set with static on it. Over that image is the text “Blind Faith” in white font. Two gray television “test patterns” surround the television to the left and right. Below the television are the initials “A” and “B” in white font with a gray “&” in-between the letters. The far right has a white circle with the text “A&B” in charcoal font.
The retro-TV theme is also is used on the actual boxes – along with a splash of color.
There is a secondary band on the footer with the text “ALEC & BRADLEY” in dark font. The “&” is surrounded by a slightly shaded circle with dark trim. The edges of the band also have slightly shaded trim.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Toro. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered a mix of leather, cocoa, and natural tobacco. Overall, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the Blind Faith Toro, light up the cigar and move on to the actual smoking experience.
The Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Toto started out with a blast of exotic pepper spices. The pepper spices subsided quickly and gave way to notes of cocoa, natural tobacco, and mineral. The cocoa and natural tobacco became the primary notes while the mineral and exotic spices settled in the background. There was an underlying creamy texture to the Blind Faith throughout the smoking experience. Meanwhile on the retro-hale, there was a layer of pepper, but this had more of a black pepper varietal.
During the second third, the natural tobacco and cocoa remained primary. There was a gradual increase of the mineral notes. The pepper notes increased and were more prominent at the back of the throat. By the end of the second third, the mineral notes displaced the natural tobacco and cocoa as the primary note.
The last third of the Blind Faith Toro saw the mineral notes as the primary note. The flavor profile was rounded out by the secondary notes of cocoa, natural tobacco, and pepper. The creaminess present earlier on was now gone. This is the way the Blind Faith Toro finished up. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
There was a slight amount of jaggedness and meandering of the burn of the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Toro. This resulted in some additional touch-ups which helped keep the burn from completely going off track. The resulting ash had a medium gray color with some darker spots. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t a loose or flakey ash. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Toro had a slight amount of resistance to it. This wasn’t unexpected because of the tighter pack of the cigar. In the end, this didn’t prove to be a negative because the resistance level was ideal in my book. At the same time, deriving the flavors from this cigar was a low maintenance task.
Strength and Body
One thing that is different about the Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Toro. compared to most Alec Bradley offerings is that it is a much bolder cigar. Strength-wise, this is a cigar that started out medium to full and just before the final third moved into full strength territory. This was a case where the strength really sneaks up on you.
Meanwhile the body of the Blind Faith Toro started out medium. There was a slight increase in the intensity of the body and by the midway point, the Blind Faith Toro moved into medium to full, While the body continued to increase in intensity, it was never close to moving into full territory.
In terms of strength versus body, the strength had the edge throughout the smoking experience. This was not at the expense of the cigar’s flavor.
As I mentioned, Alec & Bradley Blind Faith is a different cigar than anything in the Alec Bradley portfolio. This is a bolder cigar and it’s something that fills a gap in the portfolio in that Alec Bradley needed a cigar of that type. This cigar just isn’t different with strength and body, but it’s also a very different one flavor-wise. With the Blind Faith Toro, the Rubin brothers have succeeded in delivering not only a change of pace cigar for Alec Bradley but an excellent cigar in its own right. It’s a cigar that excels in the most important category – flavor. At the same time, this is a cigar that will not only keep long-time Alec Bradley fans happy, but one that will attract the cigar enthusiast looking for a bold cigar who might not have considered Alec Bradley in the past.
Given the Blind Faith Toro is a stronger, bolder cigar, I would still recommend this to a seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is one I would smoke again – and it’s one that I would smoke again and buy multiples of for my humidor.
Key Flavors: Cocoa, Natural Tobacco, Mineral, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Strength: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
News Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Set to Hit Retail Shelves
Source: Alec Bradley and Purchased
Brand Reference: Alec Bradley
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted