The Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill was declared the Top Cigar of the Year (for 2011) by Cigar Aficionado magazine—so naturally I was pretty stoked that I got to try one! The cigar debuted at IPCPR back in ’09 and comes in four other sizes: Corona Gorda, Robusto, Gran Toro, and Torpedo. The silky smooth Honduran ’06 Corojo wrapper encloses Nicaraguan and Honduran binder and filler leaves. This potent, full strength cigar has a sweet pre-light aroma and has a slightly firm but good draw. The cigar produces a good amount of dense smoke. Burn is a little uneven at first but quickly evens out as you smoke.
The initial flavors of the Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill include sweet wood and rich coffee with a nutty aftertaste. The flavors progress into toasty, dark-roasted cedar notes mixed with leather. After a while the nutty aftertaste can easily be identified as toasty almonds. Burn stays even through the rest of the smoke. Flavors stay smooth; while this is a strong cigar it never crosses the line into overpowering or harsh. It retains its subtle character from start to finish.
It’s pretty hard to say any one cigar is the “best” of the year, but I can definitely understand why Cigar Aficionado picked this one in 2009. The flavors are as silky smooth as the beautiful wrapper, and the delightful experience of this premium cigar matches its elegant presentation. At about $9.00 a stick, this isn’t a cheap cigar, but it’s quite a good price when you consider how excellent the smoke is. Alec Bradley may not be the oldest name in the cigar industry, but this is definitely a top notch manufacturer with a long and glorious future ahead.