Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan – Cigar Review
The Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan is the latest limited edition release from Alec Bradley. Only one size is being made (A 6 x 50 toro), and only 2,000 22-count boxes are being produced (44,000 total cigars). The Filthy Hooligan features the binder and fillers from the core line Black Market with a candela wrapper and was released just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day 2013.
The project was originally planned to be called the “Dirty Hooligan”, but Alan Rubin (owner of Alec Bradley) changed the name to Filthy Hooligan when he was contacted by Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate. Jonathan considers the “Dirty” name a key component to his brands.
Size: 6 x 50
Filler: Panamanian, Honduran
Strength: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Construction and Appearance: The Filthy Hooligan features two bands, the bottom one is a very long band which runs from the foot of the cigar to the top band which is placed at about the half way point of the cigar. This is similar in style to the regular black market, but the design is a bit different. On the Filthy Hooligan the bottom band is gray with the Alec Bradley Logo in black on top, Black Market written sideways in black, and Filthy Hooligan written in green around a shamrock. The top band is partially covered by the bottom sleeve, it is black on top and gray on bottom. The top part says Alec Bradley in white, the bottom Black Market in black. In the middle of this band there is a white shamrock in a green circle.
The wrapper of the Filthy Hooligan is a fairly light green color and shows little to no mottling. The wrapper has some light veins and is silky smooth to the touch. The construction is quite seamless, and there is only one small soft spot near the foot of the cigar.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Filthy Hooligan has notes of sweet grass, hay, and a little wood. The foot has the scent of earth, grass, hay, wood, and a little bit of a spice. To prepare smoking the Filthy Hooligan I use a straight cut. The cold draw yields flavors of sweet grass, cream, hay, wood, and just a touch of earth.
Smoking Characteristics: The Filthy Hooligan lights up with a bit of spice, pepper, cream, and sweet grass. The first few draws feel a little loose, but provide an extremely full body of rich, cool, smooth smoke. After the first quarter inch or so the Filthy Hooligan’s draw evens out perfectly with ample smoke production. Now, a bit of earth and wood have joined the blend, and the pepper is fading into the background. Early on I can tell this cigar won’t be a pushover when it comes to strength, it starts off in the medium range with a nice buzz setting in early on.
Into the second third of the Filthy Hooligan, I’ve noticed the cigar has become just a little soft. The smoke is still cool, the draw perfect, and the smoke production is excellent, but it now has a bit of give to it while held in hand. The flavors remain wonderful, the pepper has now mostly faded from the profile and only lingers on the palate lightly with a little wood spice. The core flavor is made up of cream, sweet grass, earth, spice, wood, hay, and a light citrus tone. The strength in this third is definitely picking up into the medium to full range. The ash holds firmly, well past the inch point, but the burn has needed a touch up to remain even.
During the final third of the Filthy Hooligan, a bit of the pepper returns to the blend. There are still notes of cream, sweet grass, earth, wood, and hay. The spice has increased a bit, and the citrus tone has faded from the profile. The blend is quite intense, rich, and bold. The draw remains excellent, easily providing an extremely full body of smoke. The strength remains in the medium to full range, giving me quite the nice mellow buzz. During this third, the burn remains a bit wavy, but doesn’t require a touch up. The Filthy Hooligan smokes cool to the nub, remaining slightly soft.
Conclusion: The Filthy Hooligan was an enjoyable cigar that works well for the season. It is a pretty powerful smoke which is being made for a day full of powerful drinks. The flavors are very bold, rich, and have a nice evolution. For a candela, the Filthy Hooligan certainly packs a bit of a punch and lives up to its name. The only complaint I have is the burn was a little wayward in the second and final third. Overall I’m sure I’ll be reaching for this one again.