Back in 1998, Alan Rubin, owner of Alec Bradley, with the help of Henke Kelner, the master blender behind many Davidoff and Avo blockbusters, entered the premium cigar market with Occidental Reserve, a value priced smooth and mild Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf wrapped cigar. Over the two plus decades of experimentation and innovation, Alec Bradley has become one of the best known cigar brands in the world.
As Rubin found his path through the premium cigar market, his company matured and became more known for their award winning medium to full bodied releases, which appeal to many cigar enthusiasts. Meanwhile, Occidental fell by the wayside and is no longer produced. However, despite the robust market for the company’s stronger cigars, milder Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars appeal to more occasional smokers and continue to lead sales volumes in most areas of the country.
In 2018, twenty years after the company’s first release, Rubin introduced a new milder blend named Alec Bradley Medalist, as a nod to the category that launched the company two decades earlier.
While the original Occidental was a value priced bundle cigar, Medalist is a more premium blend, with much more complexity and refinement. According the Rubin, Medalist is meant to be a “People Pleaser”, equally attractive to occasional smokers looking for a smooth, complex cigar and aficionados, looking for a worthy chance of pace to their typical medium and full bodied go to’s. It’s my belief that Alec Bradley fulfills these twin purposes extremely well.
Alec Bradley’s Medalist is a mild to medium bodied cigar with smooth, naturally sweet and complex flavors. The cigar has a warm and toasty profile, complemented by notes of soft cedar, baking spice and a hint of graham cracker and white pepper. It’s very comparable to Ashton’s Cabinet blend.
WRAPPER: Honduran Connecticut Shade
FILLER: Honduran & Nicaraguan
BODY: Mild to Medium
While Medalist comes in four sizes, Robusto, Toro, Churchill and Gordo, we currently carry just the 6×54 Toro and the 6×60 Gordo (we can have Robustos and Churchills in hand within a day or two if you’d like those sizes).
One of the best features of Medalist is the price. As of Fall 2022, the most expensive of the four sizes (Gordo) is priced under $9, with Maryland tobacco tax included, which makes this cigar a superb addition to just about everyone’s humidor.