Team Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Medalist Toro

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Cigar Details: Alec Bradley Medalist Toro

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Wrapper: Honduras
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos de Oriente
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $6.50
  • Release Date: April 2018
  • Source: Alec Bradley

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a light golden brown that has a few decent sized raised veins. The seams are easily visible due to vein placement and being slightly raised in some areas. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. The band has the fairly traditional company design but with a color combination of cream and burgundy. The line name is just below the company logo. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of leather and hay while the foot brings wood, tobacco sweetness and white pepper. The pre-light draw is a mix of all of the aromas plus some creaminess. The white pepper adds a little tingle to my lips as well.

Pre-light Experience

The Alec Bradley Medalist Toro is massive in hand and comes with a shade grown wrapper that comes off as Ecuadorian Connecticut. It’s not. There are a lot of veins throughout, medium in size and is smooth in texture. The aroma on the wrapper is of leather, tobacco and earth while the foot it showing qualities of hay, tobacco, spices and raisins.

Pre-light Experience

The Alec Bradley Medalist Toro has a caramel wrapper shade. Seams are tight, veins well pressed, bunch and roll uniform and head finished off with a well adhered thick cap. Aromas from the wrapper give wet barnyard, hay and cedar. Aromas from the foot tell white pepper, ripe plums and rich nuttiness. Cold draw gives airy cedar, bread and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with wood, creaminess and black pepper. At a half inch in, the black pepper has picked up to take a slight lead in the profile and also has a long lingering finish. At an inch in, the wood, cream and pepper are back to equal levels. The retrohale has creamy wood up front with a faint black pepper in the background. As the third comes to a close, the cream becomes quite faint and is pretty even in the background with the pepper while the wood note is the primary component. The strength was mild-medium.

First Third

The first third starts out with a lot of pepper spice. It is a little overboard on the black pepper in my opinion. There are some earthy qualities present as well, and with that is some cedar, cashews and cereal notes. Most of the notes are subtle and in the background and are overshadowed by the black pepper dominance.

First Third

The first third’s flavor profile is made up of a sharper cedar, bread and a slightly over charred coffee. Retrohaling brings a sharpness in minerals reminiscent of pencil lead and black pepper. The finish has the black pepper towards the rear palate, soft cedar and light bread. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood gains some char while the cream and black pepper are still faint in the background. At a quarter inch in, some mustiness joins the profile as the cream and black pepper are no longer present. At three quarters of an inch in, the wood is more defined as oak and still carries some char while the mustiness is right behind it. At an inch and a quarter, the char is now very faint. The retrohale brings musty oak. As the third comes to a close, some hay has joined in with the musty oak. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly below medium.

Second Third

When I get into the second third of the cigar, I find it opening up. There are some creamy aspects present now and with that is some vanilla bean and caramel. There are still peppery spice characteristics, but not what they once were. The finish is that of cedar and cereal, and it is a nice second third.

Second Third

The second third shows more bread/toast in the profile as well as an accentuated pencil lead like minerality. The charred coffee note is gone while the cedar note still remains. Strength and body continues to be medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the hay note is even with the musty oak and the profile is fairly dry. At a half inch in, the retrohale has the hay slightly ahead of the musty oak. At an inch in, a slight char rejoins the musty oak along with the hay and the profile is still dry. At an inch and a half, some cream joins the profile which slightly eases up the dryness. As the cigar comes to a close, the oak gains a young/green note to go along with the mustiness, hay and cream. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Final Third

As I enter the final third, I find a transitioning from the second third and a slight return from the first. There are some cedar and hay qualities present, but the vanilla and caramel notes have faded. The finish is that of cream and black pepper spice and it is an interesting combination.

Final Third

A couple of things go on within the last third that’s noteworthy. First, a hint of wood bitterness takes over the profile giving it a casting effect. Second, the strength all of a sudden shifts to medium-full (body still medium). The other notes of pencil lead minerals, cedar and bread/toast are still noticeable.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy at times, but pretty straight most of the way. The ash held on in two inch increments.

Burn

The burn on the Medalist was solid from start to finish. A well constructed cigar that was packed with tobacco. It was a nearly even burn line from start to finish and with that was a light charcoal ash that held on firmly throughout. I tapped the ash off from time to time, but it could have held on longer.

Burn

The burn was excellent less some ash flakiness. Other than that, cool burn, even burn and ample smoke production.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with wood, cream and black pepper. As it progressed the wood became more defined as oak and gained some char and mustiness. Later, some hay joined in. Construction was great and strength built up to medium. With the wrapper being listed as Honduran, the cigar smoked like a pretty typical Connecticut shade offering with the wood, hay and mustiness. The strength level was typical of the same profile although it did build up some. The price point is quite attractive for this vitola and I could see it being a draw for that point and is a good value for the experience. The market for this type of cigar is fairly large in regards to smokers and also other cigars that fill the same void. I’m not sure I’d choose this over other Connecticut shade offerings, but I wouldn’t have a problem smoking more of them.

Draw

The draw was a little snug on my offering, and while I did not find a problem with that, some might find it too snug. I thought it offered for the cigar to smoke really slow, and with a 6″ by 54 ring gauge Toro, you can imagine how long the review took.

Overall

With primarily Honduran tobacco cigars you either succeed or fail in my book; there is no middle ground. The latter is the case for the Alec Bradley Medalist Toro. It had a nice second third but the first and final third were underwhelming. There was some transitioning throughout, but the complexity was lacking and it had no depth. I don’t know what the goal of the cigar was, but it appears to be that Alec Bradley wanted to go back to their roots which are “Honduran.” If that is the case, they missed the boat in delivering a complex and truly enjoyable Honduran cigar. The wrapper didn’t pop off of the larger ring gauge offering and the filler blend was lacking. A major miss in my opinion.

Draw

The draw was perfect, having the ideal resistance and air flow.

Overall

This is a solid offering from Alec Bradley. When I review AB cigars, I sometimes find it funny because I think that I have “graduated” from this brand. I used to think this brand was for the new cigar smokers. But reviewing the Medalist and previously Blind Faith, that is the wrong thinking. In terms of what I think about the Alec Bradley Medalist Toro, the profile was a good representation on a less heavy smoking experience with notes of pencil lead minerality, cedar, bread/toast and slightly over charred coffee. This is worth a shot, especially at the low price of $6.50 MSRP per cigar.

Aaron
Seth
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
AveragePre
Light
Very Good
GoodFirst
Third
SubparFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdGoodSecond ThirdGood
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnVery Good
AmazingDrawGoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallSubparOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$1.15

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

4.98

Cost/Point

$1.30

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$0.97

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Medalist Toro
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Medalist Toro

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13 comments

Join the conversation
  • max - February 20, 2019 reply

    As always great review! Looking forward to trying this one myself.

  • Graham Huselton - February 20, 2019 reply

    Great review! Love Alec Bradley!

  • Dave - February 20, 2019 reply

    this is a solid smoke. great reviews.

  • Matthew Nasser - February 20, 2019 reply

    Great reviews! Always look forward to a nice Alec Bradley

  • Keith Ebersole - February 20, 2019 reply

    Great review guys!

  • Jeff Ketcham - February 20, 2019 reply

    Thanks for the reviews and the contest.

  • David Roberts - February 21, 2019 reply

    Thanks for the review gentlemen!

  • Kevin E - February 24, 2019 reply

    Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  • Bob Langmaid - February 28, 2019 reply

    Great review, thanks for the giveaway!!

  • Chris Male Dougherty - March 5, 2019 reply

    thank you for the chance

  • Steve Christopher - March 5, 2019 reply

    Thanks for the great stuff you all do

  • P. M. - March 5, 2019 reply

    thanks for the well written review. I’ll place this blend on my cigar bucket list.

  • Aaron Loomis - March 6, 2019 reply

    Kevin P., Gary B. and Dave Y. were the selected winners and have been emailed. They have 72 hours to respond or we will pick new winners. Congratulations!

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