I’ve long been a fan of Alec Bradley Tempus. This 94-rated stud is damn tasty and always well-made. Especially the Quadrum size, which sits heavy in the hand and comes jam-packed with delicious tobaccos. I just received a Tempus Maduro in this very same size: 5.5”x55 Quadrum. It looks and smells amazing, offering a sweet tobacco pre-light aroma and a bready pre-light flavor that’s making my mouth water. I’m expecting good things here....and decided to write a review to let you know how my first experience with this new blend unfolds.
Side note: I was shocked to see I did not write a review on the original Tempus. I be slackin’, yo!
As I said before, the pre-light characteristics of this cigar really captured my attention. Upon inspecting the foot, I notice a modest mix of darker, ligero-esque tobaccos throughout the blend – foreshadowing of some strength ahead.
The smoke begins with a warm, roasted flavor. Almost like dark roast coffee, with a dry but toasty backbone of dark tobacco flavors beneath. This initial bouquet fills the palate with thick, creamy smoke. The exhale through the nose is surprisingly smooth. However, this all changes after an inch, as red pepper enters the fray....this pepper coats the back of the palate in smooth fashion and becomes a dominate flavor through the nose shortly thereafter. Interestingly enough, I am also picking up a slightly sweet touch of – what seems to be – caramel on the finish....just on the front of the palate. I don’t notice this new intricacy with every puff, but it’s certainly there.
I am midway through, and the power behind those darker tobaccos I mentioned earlier are shining through. This cigar is meaty. Rich, toasty to the core with dark tobacco flavors and a dash of pepper....the caramel is gone as the strength reaches my gut. I wouldn’t call this a full-bodied cigar (not yet, at least), but it is certainly satisfying on many levels with two thirds remaining.
The final stretch is pure maduro. A bold display of strong, but properly cared for tobaccos dishing out impressive flavors that linger long on the palate. Even the aroma has intensified. It was toasty and charcoal-like at first, but has now evolved into a zesty, somewhat oily aroma.
Wow. The darker side of Tempus has many faces. All of which are presented in balanced fashion despite their contrasting attributes. From spicy to sweet, dry to rich, the Alec Bradley Tempus kept me on my toes from start to finish.