With its glistening mahogany-colored Corojo wrapper (grown in Trojes, Honduras), its slight box-press and its triple cap, Alec Bradley's Prensado is definitely a looker! The blend consists of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos and the binder is Nicaraguan Jalapa. Alan Rubin, Alec Bradley's founder and president, calls Prensado his strongest blend to date. Look for the medium to full-bodied cigar to start with sheer power and a ton of flavor from the first puff. Panelists reported a bit of pepper through the nose but concurred it's entirely tolerable and, in fact, complimentary to the savory woody aroma. The profile develops to include a creamy caramel sweetness, a taste that remains consistent from the second third through the finish as gray, sandy ash builds off the foot. The draw is good; the cigar is smooth throughout the burn and gets creamier with each puff. Expect loads of thick, mouth-coating smoke and an imperfect burn that may require a few touch-ups to remain even. The creamy finish is long with just a touch of pepper. Named “Cigar of the Year” and given a 96 rating by Cigar Aficionado in 2011, the Prensado makes a great pairing with a Stone Russian Imperial Stout or your favorite Russian Imperial Stout.
Honduras has been a tobacco growing and cigar manufacturing area for hundreds of years, but it was the Communist revolution in Cuba that really put Honduras on the map. In the 1960s, many Cuban cigar makers fled their homeland and arrived in Honduras to re-establish their way of life. The immigrants took advantage of the climate, soil, and geography, which were well-suited to tobacco growing, and began producing high quality cigars. The center of the Honduran cigar industry is the city of Danli and the nearby Jamastran Valley. The majority of the world’s pure Corojo tobacco is grown here, now that Cuba has stopped production of this iconic, spicy, and rich variety in favor of Corojo hybrids. Other important areas of Honduran cigar production include the Talanga Valley, Copan, and Trojes.
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