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Alec Bradley Fine and Rare 2012 Torpedo Cigar Review

by Bryan Glynn, May 28, 2013
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Alec Bradley Fine and Rare 2012 Torpedo Cigar Review

This 6×52 stick features a dark chocolate mottled wrapper with a very firm pack, oily slightly toothy feel, minimal veins, tight invisible seams and rich sweet cocoa and hay aroma. First light reveals a perfect draw with medium-full smoke output showing flavors of a zesty pepper and spice on a smooth earth and tobacco core with a long oily finish. The first third shows much the same profile with just the sweetness taking on a bit of anise. Burn isn’t great, going wonky with a very thick wrapper and binder, needing a touchup. Hitting the 1/2 way point 30 minutes in burn continued to be a problem, requiring a lot of attention and double puffs to keep it lit semi-well. Flavors remain the same. Ending at 1:10 where the last bit got hot and squishy, the end stayed consistent. Thank you very much to viewer Terence Glynn for sending this in for review!

  • rockjock

    I have four of these I got last year with the box. Pretty nice presentation. Haven’t had any yet. Lot of other guys boo hoo’d the F&R from previous years. Someday I will get one out and try it for myself. The flavor palette sounded good.

    Your youtube video could be trimmed at the end to cut out the black screen.

  • TimB

    I have seen these for sometime but never had one.It’s listed on Cigar Aficionado #21 of 2012 and sounds like the wrapper and heavy pack( supposedly 10 leaves) maybe why the burn was so off.Like to give it a try.

  • Greg Bellante

    As far as lighters go I’ve got a Vertigo Terminator Quad torch and it’s got a huge fuel tank and lights up the biggest of ring gauge cigars in a matter of seconds and it never fails. I don’t care for the natural flame because the toasting takes to long and i always end up charring the wrapper lol.

  • ghoudy

    Thanks for keeping us updated on the Xikar saga Bryan. I’m a little disappointed with their lack of response!

    • Kalven

      Agreed. If they don’t take care of a prominent blogger……

  • AngSolo

    I had a couple of Jetline torch lighters that didn’t last too long. Thats why I got a Xikar because of the warranty. Now I’m a bit concerned….but so far so good.

    • Craig

      The Jetline’s (for the price; $3.98 at Wal-mart) are pretty darn good lighters. My Xikar’s don’t come out until company comes around. Kinda like the fancy eatin’ plates! ha ha ha

      • AngSolo

        I’ve gone through three Jetlines in less than a year. The electrode actually fell out of one of them. $5 each so I figured I’d get a $25 Xikar and never have to worry about it again. Now I know this isn’t the top of the line Xikar but the warranty is the same. Hope it lasts I don’t want to upgrade I just want a lighter that works.

  • garlar10

    NIce work getting your hands on one of these, I know they are hard to find. I believe this was on CA top 25 of 2012 although your review doesn’t make it seem like anything special. Great review Bryan!

    • Thank Terence 🙂

      You’ll soon find the CA ‘top’ list has nothing to do with quality.

      • gtclark

        Sad, but true…I still remember the first time I went out of my way to get a CA top 10 cigar only to walk away scratching my head and trying to figure out why the cigar was just “ok”. After doing that a few times I started to realize something wasn’t quite right…

      • smokethis

        I dunno..i think CA makes some pretty damn good picks.

        • gtclark

          That’s true – many of the cigars on their list are great cigars, and I don’t believe CA has ever placed a “dog rocket” on the list. However, quality does not seem to be the sole determining factor in a cigar’s appearance or placement on the list. Many of the very best cigars never make it, while other serviceable (but not great) cigars somehow achieve high marks (Brick House, anyone?).

          The CA list certainly sells cigars. That the list actually represents the very best cigars of any given year is debatable.

          • garlar10

            I am with you gtclark. Sometimes I wonder if the CA list is equal parts review and marketing scam. I think back to the year they ranked a Casa Magna ahead of the Padron 80 year

  • JJO

    Whoa, is it cicada season? It’s too bad that the burn is so screwy for such an expensive stick.

    I’ve been using a $2.78 torch from Hong Kong for the past two years with absolutely no problems. If it dies on me, or if I lose it, I have more of them to take its place. No warranty, no problem.

    Thanks for the review.

  • GurkhaMan

    I bought a triple torch lighter at a liquor store about a few months back. It’s been my favorite lighter thus far, and it was $5! Goes to show I guess.

  • yosef5

    Thanks for another good review

  • Texvet

    Good review – I liked the out of format chat about the industry, burn issues etc.. Very good passive aggressive comments about Xikar, I bet you hear from them today.

  • phaedron

    Last fall, my local B&M up here in the frozen tundra had a box of these and I always wanted to pick one up to try, but never did. Next thing I knew, they were out. Suddenly, this cigar became something of a grail quest. I finally found some on a recent trip down to Naples, FL at the Marcus Daniels Tobacconist. I picked up two, brought them home, let ’em rest for a couple of weeks, and then lit one up. My result, much like Bryan’s, was a resounding “meh.” Oh, well!

  • seanking4

    I’ve been looking for one of these, it sounds good. Hopefully the burn issue isn’t with all of them. I’ve been wondering about the double puff, I have a habit of doing it. I have to knock it off and see if it makes a difference.

  • vscarpine

    I like the band of this cigar looks nice hope for no burn problems on the one I have in my humidor

  • Jason Isbaner

    Not to sure about this cigar but for thr right price I would try it.

  • mufdvr6976

    ive seen this stick…..also on discount makes you wonder! thx for review bryan

  • sanchoinatree

    i bought one of these a year ago and smoked it last month, the inital flavors were great but the constant touch ups and double puffing runined the cigar the experince for me. AB needs to re-think the amount of tobacco they use for this cigar. not worth the price untill they tweek it.

  • wcfennell

    Don’t think I’d pay what they’re asking if you had to work so hard to keep it going.

  • BCamara

    The flavors sound good but I can’t stand having to babysit a burn. I dont mind a touch up or two but more than that gets annoying. I like to torch it and forget it. But I’ll always try a cigar at least twice if the first is a fail.

  • rgmenke

    I like the fact that you don’t edit out segments like “I lost my train of thought” from the videos.

    As for Xikar, in the age of good really cheap lighters, I doubt is anyone is standing in line to buy their products! So, really stupid move on their part.

  • cigarraider

    Don’t need to apologize for “blabbing”. Felt like I was kicking back at a smoke lounge with a cigar insider. Other review sites blabber on with repetitive nonsense. I find your info about the cigar business, construction, history, etc. fascinating. In fact, your videos are a tad too short in my opinion. Blab away!

  • Tommz81

    Wow. With a name like that I was expecting more.

  • eric.hanson

    All the infrmation you gave has made me very nervous for if I ever have problems with my Xikar lighter. I haven’t had any bad Alec Bradleys yet, but based on the problems you had with this one, I think I’ll pass on trying it and keep it that way 😉

  • Whickster77

    Brian, hate to hear of your difficulty with Xikar, if you do get a chance to speak to someone and can make a request about your replacement torch I would recommend there Escalade model.its duel flame and it’s about the same size as your crossover and available in similar finishes. It has a lid over the burner that opens as you depress the igniter and it has a large fuel reserve with a fuel window. I abused mine for over three years before it gave up the ghost and Xikar replaced it promptly for me. Good luck

  • dbfr181

    Nice review haven’t had this AB yet.

  • USA2ndAmendment

    Outside of the wonky burning, this sounds like a good cigar that I’d like to try. I’ll have to keep my eye out for it.

  • jpculp57

    Every Alec Bradley I’ve had in the last 6 months have been TERRIBLE burners. I used to love their line, but I stopped buying them because of the burn issues. It’s the only manufacturer that I have problems with in my humidor. I know it’s not just me because I use a cigar app and we had Alec Bradley night this winter and I would say more than 50% of the people had burn issues.

  • ctigers15

    I really want to try one of those but can’t get my hands on one. Thats unfortunate about the cigar that you got.

  • mikemagri

    very pricey at my b&m. band reminds me of the gurkha cellar reserve. will wait for a deal to try.

  • Pokesfan

    Too bad about the burn. Seemed like a good stick though…

  • puffrey

    AB is one of my favorite manufacturers and I had this stick toward the end of last year.
    I too experienced some minor burn issues, touching on what you said Bryan about different leaves burning differently. The fact that they did a 10 tobacco blend on this left them open to burn issues of which Ive heard from most others that have had it. None the less, I thought the stick was enjoyable.
    I would say to those on the fence on this one, if you are looking for a mindblowing stick at the price point these are at, you may want to look elsewhere. It is good but at $14ish per stick most will be underwhelmed.

  • Andrew

    Byan, I just got a XIKAR EX Lighter and your comment about customer service concerns me. I only paid what I did because of the lifetime warranty. Have you (or anyone else out there) had problems with XIKAR’s customer service before?

  • Joseph Szeremet

    This was a great video Bryan. I realized that a lot of my favorite sticks must utilize thicker leaved in there production. I have noticed that many of my favorites do have some burn issues, however this is a mild inconvenience when you are truly enjoying the flavor of a good cigar.

  • Dirk

    I did try one of these sticks. I was inside a garage watching one of your videos enjoying it so much I neglected to keep an eye on the burn.. I sadly found it to have severe burn issues as well.. and just as you mentioned.. had to give it a major touch up.. got that ashtray taste. It was a great tasting stick prior to the touch up and attribute the subsequent taste to “pilot error” Not going to have that happen again.. Oh well, live and learn.

  • smokethis

    I’ve noticed lately it seems like many of the AB’s i’ve smoked have had some burn issues or staying lit issues, not sure what’s up with that? 🙁
    Thanks for review.

  • I’m going to defend Xikar a bit. They sent me a new lighter to replace my old one. I haven’t had problems with them. But I realize each situation is different.
    I had previously thought that people just kept fine and rares around and didnt smoke them. I might have to get one now.

    • MaxDuo

      Bryan’s issue is more of that there was no communication though. He was pretty positive and happy when he first got the replacement… but they never asked him or informed him about the type of replacement. He just had a new one show up and wasn’t pleased with what he received.

      Can’t complain too much since they don’t make the old model…. is just a small annoyance. Shame they never said anything back to him. I’d have sent 4-5 emails to them by this point probably!

      And I’m not saying any of this against them – I’ll get a nice natural flame from them someday. But for now I have to be cheap. Just responding to your comment 🙂

    • JJO

      I may ruffle a few feathers here, but I say the best warranty is the one you never have to use. The large amount of commentary alluding to the use of the warranty seems to point to quality problems, and having to constantly send product in for replacement is to me, a problem in itself, no matter what it does or doesn’t cost.

  • garlar10

    I gotta laugh Bryan seeing these longer videos. You have gotten really good at keeping them short and sweet so I know a good rant is coming whenever I see longer video. Keep up the good work!

  • weimerad

    Interesting there was such a burn problem with that cigar. I loved the one I smoked

    • MaxDuo

      It could also just be the climate fitting the cigar differently, too. There is no absolute perfect % or temp for all cigars… just one that fits you best in the area you’re in. Your storage conditions and/or area may also just fit it better? 🙂

  • samgiroux42

    I had the same experience with this cigar when I smoked it. You really need to baby it or it will go out on you pretty quick, I had to touch it up once and relight it twice when I smoked one last night. This is the 2nd one I have had and had issues with the first one as well. Very tight draw and seemed to be a very dense pack.

    • gholmes9

      I agree with you on the burn issue. It definitely requires constant attention or it will go out. Also i have tried a few of the AB line and honestly for the price I think the stick is overrated. The flavors it exhibited were good so if you have money to burn, then pick yourself up one! Give me a 5 Vegas AAA or 601 blue instead!

  • stevenknisley

    this cigar is a dissapointment

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