It is a nice day in the Stogie Press lounge this Saturday. We are all moved in to our new home and the lounge is all but finished and it is time to relax and enjoy the first day of the rest of my life in my home. Looking through the humidor I decide to select an Alec Bradley MAAX for this celebration. I received this fine-looking cigar at the IPCPR this year and have been looking forward to sampling since July.
Having rested in my humidor now for almost 2 months it was ready to be smoked. This 6×54 Costa Rican wrapped cigar is a beauty to look at. Dark brown with decent weight in the hand it has an enticing pepper and bread pre-light scent to it.
The band of the MAXX departs from the standard Alec Bradley bands. It is bold in design, white with the word MAXX in white on a black background with the last X in red. This cigar pops on a humidor shelf.
The MAXX comes in 4 vitolas:
- Culture 6 x 54
- Nano 46 x 4
- Fixx 58 x 5
- Freak 6 x 6.375
- Super Freak 60 x 8.5
Today I am sampling the Culture.
The Alec Bradley website describes the MAXX as:
Select tobaccos from Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico have been hand crafted to create this medium to full-bodied cigar. The Costa Rican binder adds a layer of complexity in this rich yet affordable offering
After clipping the cap the dry-draw offers up black pepper. The pepper was fairly intense as bits of cut leaf hit my throat on the dry-draw. I decide to puff a little more before firing it up and enjoy the pepper as it intensifies on the lips and tongue. I notice that the barrel has a slight barnyard aroma to it.
After puffing on the unlit MAXX culture I decided to fire it up using one of the cedar spills from Cigar Reserve to toast it just right. There is a mild pepper on the early puffs as it settles into a delicious coffee note. The ash develops into a toothy salt and pepper color and looks to be holding on tight through the smoking experience. I like how the vein-less Costa Rican wrapper feels between my lips.
As the MAXX Culture approaches the 1 inch mark a chocolate note enter the mix as the coffee fades to the background. A sweet butter cream compliments the chocolate along with some wood notes with a walnut aroma developing. The wrapper develops a slight sheen around the near perfect char line.
As it burns into the end of the 1st third there is a gentle bitterness that presents itself, it is delightful, like the bitter in a dark chocolate. The ash eventually fell after two inches revealing a perfect burn cone and the smoke is very smooth and delightful so far.
I decide to cue up some Dire Straights on the turntable and lean back on the couch to continue to enjoy the Culture. The MAXX is medium strength as this point delivering full volumes of palate filling smoke.
The bitterness is showing up more as a citrus in the second half and begins to blend well with the chocolate and woody flavors. The well blended flavor continues into the final third where the flavor shifts to a tasty cedar that comes in on the top through the remainder of the cigar.
Overall the Alec Bradley MAXX Culture is a wonderful smoking experience. The construction is solid with a tight ash that held on for a good inch or more after falling after the first 2 inches. The flavors transitioned well and I would say it was as solid medium strength cigar but perhaps more fuller strength for the occasional smoker. The MAXX can be found in most shops that carry Alec Bradley cigars and on many online sites also.