Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Alec Bradley Magic Toast Box Pressed Gran Toro, an exclusive cigar for attendees of the 2021 Premium Cigar Association Trade Show. This is a cigar previously assessed back in November 2018 in the Robusto size.
Binder: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L.
Box Pressed Gran Toro: 6 x 54
For several years, many companies have been offering exclusive cigars to those retailers that attend the annual IPCPR/PCA Trade Show and place an order. In 2021, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) made an attempt to somewhat formalize these trade show releases into an exclusive series. There were 17 cigars that were announced as a part of the 2021 PCA Exclusive Series. One cigar was a box-pressed Gran Toro in Alec Bradley’s Magic Toast line. Today that is the cigar we take a closer look at.
The following are the list of the 2021 PCA Exclusive Series:
- 7-20-4 Hustler Five & Dime
- Ace Prime The Sergeant
- Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Toro
- Alec Bradley Magic Toast Box Pressed Gran Toro
- CLE Cigar Company Asylum PCA Exclusive
- CLE Cigar Company Eiroa PCA Exclusive
- Crowned Heads Le Pâtissier
- Crux Cigars Limitada – The Show 2021
- Espinosa Cigars 601 Black
- Illusione ~cg:4~ Candela
- La Palina Goldie Prominente
- My Father Garcia y Garcia Robusto Deluxe
- Padrón Family Reserve No. 95 Natural
- Padrón Family Reserve No. 95 Maduro
- Platinum Nova Leo 11
- Rocky Patel ALR ALR Second Edition
- Tatuaje T110 Habano
The name Magic Toast traces back to when Alan Rubin and his partner Ralph Montero were down in Honduras at a tobacco field in the middle of the night. As they were looking at the area with a flashlight, Rubin noted how the experience was almost “magical.” Montero suggested they grab a bottle of whisky and propose a toast, thus the name Magic Toast. It also turns out that some of the tobaccos from that field would be incorporated into the Magic Toast cigar line.
The Alec Bradley Magic Toast is highlighted by the dark Honduran wrapper. As with many Alec Bradley cigars, the Magic Toast utilizes two binders – one from Honduras and one from Nicaragua. The fillers used are also from Honduras and Nicaragua. Production is handled at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras. At press time, the 6 x 54 Box-Pressed Gran Toro is the only box-pressed offering in the Magic Toast.
The Alec Bradley Magic Toast Box Pressed Gran Toro delivered notes of coffee, earth, bing cherry, chocolate, and a combination of red and white pepper. The coffee and earth notes became primary. The cherry and pepper notes became secondary notes. As the cigar experienced progressed, the coffee and earth notes remained primary. The bing cherry notes developed a sour component. By the second third, the chocolate notes could only occasionally be detected and the bing cherry morphed into a citrus component. There was a slight increase in the pepper in the second third, and another slight increase in the final third. The cigar finished up with the coffee and earth primary with the citrus and pepper a close secondary note.
In terms of strength and body, the Gran Toro was a little more dialed back than the experience with the Robusto. The flavors were medium-bodied with the strength also at a medium level. The body had a slight edge in the flavor profile.
The burn of the Alec Bradley Magic Toast Box Pressed Gran Toro performed very well, requiring minimal touch-ups. The draw was as close to perfect as I’ve seen on a box press – delivering a touch of resistance that was right on the spot and earning an “exceptional” ranking for this category.
I had an enjoyable smoking experience with the Alec Bradley Magic Toast Box Pressed Gran Toro. The Magic Toast blend translated nicely to a box-pressed cigar. At the same time, I still would consider the Magic Toast Robusto to be the vitola to deliver the better overall experience. Coming in at 90 points, the Magic Toast Box Pressed Gran Toro earns a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation. At the same time, it’s a nice addition that Alec Bradley made to the PCA Exclusive and it’s one I hope returns. It’s a cigar I would smoke again and buy multiples to keep in my humidor.
Key Flavors: Earth, Coffee, Chocolate, Bing Cherry, Citrus, Pepper
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Photo/Video Credits: Cigar Coop