Photo provided by Luke of aspiringgentleman.com
I’ve touched on Alec Bradley cigars before and touched on its history in a previous review. To recap, Alec Bradley was founded in 1997 by Alan Rubin, who named the company after his two sons. Previously, Alan had been an importer who had made enough money to start a business in something he truly enjoyed: cigars. His first two cigar lines, Bogies Stogies and Gourmet Dessert Cigars, weren’t too successful. However, once he met with Davidoff’s Hendrik Kelner, things started to turn around. He created the Occidental line and things started taking off. From there he would produce the Trilogy, Havana Sungrown, Pryme Gold, and Maxx to name a few. In this review, I’ll be going over a cigar from the Maxx line.
The Maxx line was created for those of us who like something big and bold. The smallest cigar in the Maxx line is the Nano, which is aptly named in comparison to its brethren, and measures in at 4×48. Then there is the Ego, measuring in at 9×50, and the cigar I reviewed, the Fix, measuring in at 5×58. Those are the “smallest regular sized” cigars of the line. There was little exaggeration to the “big and bold” claim to this line, and that includes flavor.
The Fix is a fat robusto sized cigar with a smooth dark brown Nicaraguan wrapper. It uses Costa Rican tobacco for its binder and a blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran, Mexican, and Columbian leaves for its filler. The wrapper itself has light veins, and is smooth and soft to the touch like silk. It has very little tooth to it and a mildly oily sheen. It’s described as “rich and toasty with some earth, charcoal and licorice flavors punctuated by some sweet notes.” Well, it certainly does have some of those characteristics, and how they come together is quite nice and pleasant.
Cutting is amazingly smooth and simple considering the sheer thickness of the cigar. My Xikar cutter made easy work of the cap without tearing or cracking the wrapper. Lighting, however, took a little patience due to the sheer thickness of the cigar. However, that patience paid off, and in a short amount of time the foot was well toasted and lit, smoldering a nice red and ready to smoke. The initial flavors are sweet, nutty, earthy, hints of caramelized sugar and wood. After a quarter inch those flavors flesh out more and become something very enjoyable.
I start to pick up notes of cocoa and coffee in the beginning now. There is a toasty background with that charred sugar taste that carries through from start to finish. Cashews and almonds come to mind mingling with cedar. Finally it finishes with more coffee and cocoa. All those flavors take on some of the toasty and charred sugar notes, giving an almost smokey tone to the entire cigar, but in a very good way. As the cigar progresses, the flavors intensify and sharpen, never getting harsh, simply more bold and focused. It lives up to its claim as a big and bold cigar without going over the top.
I’ve always enjoyed the Maxx series. I’ve smoked the Freak, the Culture, and the Fix, and my favorite is always the Fix. It’s a cigar that’s big, bold, but still reasonable for those of us who prefer something more in the traditional sizes. Granted, a 58 ring gauge is anything but traditional, but it’s still manageable, and easily lasts me two hours. I can find these cigars ranging from anywhere between $4-5, depending on where you look. I’ve only found them in two local shops, running at $5.50 and $6.00 respectively. Even at $6.00 for one cigar, I get two hours out of it that I enjoy with a flavor profile that offers some nice complexity while still coming together harmoniously. My only regret with this cigar is that I hadn’t stocked up on more when I was able to.