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Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan

Punch and Draw show their Irish and burn a Black Market Filthy Hooligan from Alec Bradley.

Draw: Green. Like my Irish Grandmother or the scum on the surface of a pond. This is a uniquely green cigar. The Filthy Hooligan 6x50 is packaged with a paper sleeve from the foot to the band, leaving the closer half exposed. It’s a flat, almost olive drab finish. Mine has a prominent vein, and because of the bright, matte finish, the seams are quite visible. An offset double-cap is remarkable due to the top cap being a brighter green leaf than the under-cap.

Punch: Grassy, with a slight green tea aroma (possibly psychological due to it looking like a green tea leaf). Mine also had a few prominent veins. And, this one has a bonus: a 1‑inch soft spot a third down from the foot, plus a few other smaller ones. And, I’ve a beautiful, complementary split running through the head, about a half-inch down, through the cap and all.

D: I notice when I slipped the sleeve off, the exposed wrapper was significantly faded compared to the wrapper that had been covered. By the way, my grandmother is Scottish. I’m just saying…

P: Time to punch and draw. This has a very loose draw.

D: Cold-draw? I’m getting a mild, salty shrimp flavor. The draw itself – I wouldn’t say “very”, but – I would agree that it’s loose. Toasting the foot reveals a definite tea-taste. On lighting, it charred quickly but took a few seconds extra work to get all the bundles glowing.

P: First lit impressions: slight pepper finish, mild woodiness, and some charcoal.

D: I’m having trouble finding the flavor. At a half-an-inch in, the best I can identify is wood smoke. It’s about like a campfire. You know, where you know enough to sit up wind. For all that, it’s not unpleasant. I’d say it is sweet like a moscato, but not nearly that intense. Maybe a hickory or mesquite? Hickory for the wood smoke.

P: Yes, a difficult to identify flavor profile — partly because there isn’t a lot of flavor to describe, and partly because what flavor is there is difficult for me to identify. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; I do like it! Filthy, filthy hooligan.

D: Yes. There is no discernible attack, yet. The middle is mild sweet wood smoke, and there’s no distinct finish. The aftertaste is simple, mild sweet. Maybe, if I stretch it… green tea with sugar. I notice it smokes significantly from the foot post-draw, but quickly quiets down.

P: Well, I’m officially invested in BitCoin. I transferred some funds to a BitCoin exchange a month ago. I have been waiting for the price to drop to a predetermined low buy-in point, and my buy order finally executed this weekend. Now I just have to ride it up and get out before it peaks. I’ll let you know how it does. I’ve picked a sell point and put in a sell order to automatically execute if/when the price reaches that point. I just have to hope that someone is willing to buy at that time. If that happens in the next month or so I’ll have some nice profits to help pay for my trip to the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival (RMCF) in Boulder, Colorado in August.

D: And, while you’ve been putting money into virtual BitCoin, I’ve been withdrawing my savings as hard gold coin — “gold” dollars as it is. The money the Treasury Department said would be “so convenient” that banks LOVE to get rid of it — and so do vendors. But, I’ll be spending rolls of coin as we travel to the RMCF.

It looks like a lot of fun, to be in a cigar-friendly community for an entire afternoon. Many of the makers of the leading brands will be there.

P: I reached the soft spot in my cigar that I mentioned earlier, and really had to nurse this thing through it. It almost went out twice before getting past it.

I just popped open a Kirkland Pale Ale.

D: I’ve been sipping a Negra Modelo since we started.

I’m somewhere near the middle of this Filthy Hooligan. The flavor remains fairly mild. When I draw right after a swig of Modelo, I get a walnut flavor, black walnut. I hate black walnut, but as a cigar flavor goes, this is very nice. A few more draws, and a creaminess returns, and a hint of some kind of pepper on the finish.

Also, my wrapper has started to peel, maybe “lift” is a better term, halfway between the head and the burn line. My burn line has been ridiculously ragged – sometimes nearly a half inch different – but no real peninsulas, and it has maintained itself within this ragged edge the whole way.

P: I just got a flash of cumin.

D: Dope! I did some movie-going last weekend. Great Gatsby, and Star Trek. Just sayin…

P: Into the last third, I picked up some cedar and I am getting pepper on the finish a little more.

D: Me, too. The last two inches are becoming quite strong. I let mine go out while narrating my comments earlier. After the re-light, the creamy walnut is much more prevalent, and the wood-smoke is going more cedar: less of the hickory sweetness, more astringent cedar. At this short distance from my nose, I find it hard to keep the smoke from the foot from infiltrating my nasal cavity. Also, there’s a distinct physical hotness on the attack from the cherry proximity.

P: Letting it die at an inch and a half. Not much change toward the end, just increasing cedar. After two hours, I’m content.

D: Mine went out again while idling. It’s late here, dew point and all. I don’t think I’m going to go to the fuss of lighting it and stoking it, for all of the inch and a half that remains. Put another way, I think I’ve gotten all the flavor I expect from this cigar.

Burn it or Spurn it?

P: Hmmm… Well… Uhh… It was okay. I’m thinking this Filthy Hooligan is not really worth $8.50. I certainly didn’t hate it, but I’m not motivated to go hunting for another one, especially since I understand it was a run limited to 2,000, 22-count boxes. Let’s see: move the decimal over 3 places… that’s 44 thousand.

D: This is released as a St. Patricks Day novelty. There’s nothing particularly objectionable about this cigar, but nothing to bring me back to it, either – except the novelty. If they do it again, I won’t mind showing my green with this stick next holiday, but I’ll certainly be content to wait until March.

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