The Alec Bradley Maxx is a cigar I am already familiar with as it was one I gravitated to even before I knew what I was doing in regards to cigars. Its big bold design and construction commands attention and declares "yes, this is a CIGAR." This one I believe was the toro gordo.
This is a description paraphrased from Cigars International: wrapper is a "dark Nicaraguan maduro leaf" while the tobacco is a blend of Columbian, Honduran, Mexican and Nicaraguan varieties along with binder from Costa Rica.
Before lighting, I get a VERY chocolately taste; much more so than I've experienced so far in my limited cigar smoking life. Just a hint of fresh leather comes through as well.
I smoked this around 2pm on New Year's Eve, meaning it was light outside. I always have trouble telling where the flame of my torch lighter ends during the day, so I've botched the toast a few times in the past and scorched the hell out my stick. I was careful on this one and did a pretty decent job, although I did have a problem getting the tip completely lit. A touch-up with my stand-by low-level torch took care of it.
The initial tastes are deep and smooth cedars and dark woods along with chocolates and coffee. Very nice! The draw is a medium/easy.
Once I manage to get this guy fully lit I start getting the black pepper and toast. The burn settles in nicely so it appears my torch-job was successful!
As I get into this, the tastes are all leathers and woods with a medium pepper background. I find this smoke is fairly temperature resistant, but it really does well for a full minute rest in between puffs. With patience I am rewarded with amarettos and chocolate cake; both with a dash of pepper.
The pepper fades after about an inch into the stick and the taste becomes milder - now catching some dark rum.
I started smoking this with ice water, but for some reason I decided to get a small glass of brandy my wife had given me as a gift. Somehow I reasoned it would go nicely with this delightful rummy stick. Boy was I WRONG. The brandy completely destroyed my palate and after the first sip, I could barely tell I was smoking anything. Back to ice water it was...
The burn on this guy was fantastic. Big, strong ash with beautiful striations.
Additional flavors through the middle included the occasional cinnamon burst, medium strength woods, cedar, light leather, and some curious angel food cake on the retrohale. I have to say the retro on the Maxx was very mild compared to most cigars. First puffs upon picking up are woodsy with a follow-up more peppery. Is that a Hostess Ho-Ho in there? Yes, I think it was!
In comparing this to the La Sirena, I found this much "dryer". The La Sirena made me feel like I was in a dark, old world forest, while the Maxx had me visualizing a tall stand of great redwood trees. T
The Maxx finishes out with all woods and leathers with occasional forays into semi-sweet baked goods. Really a delicious and enjoyable smoke. It had been in the humidor for exactly 2 weeks after having been purchased at the La Habra Tobacconist. I dry boxed it overnight as I keep my sticks just a tad wet.
Overall I give this a 4.3/5. I cant really find anything wrong with it. It was smooth, it was tasty, it didn't make me nauseous, what's not to love? I will definitely be picking more of these up for long term storage!!
Cigar Reviews, Recalibrated
I decided to archive my own reviews online as I find 90% of all cigar reviews to be as useful as a bottle of Jack at a Mormon wedding.