The Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan has been a yearly limited edition since 2013 when it was released for the first time. The yearly release which comes out in time for St. Patrick’s Day has undergone a change this year, instituting a barber pole for the first time.
With Candela wrappers being such a hit or miss, I decided to crack open a box and review the 2016 edition, which is limited to 2,000 boxes of 22 cigars. Here are those thoughts.
Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan
Size: 6 x 50 (Toro)
Wrapper: Candela / Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Panama
The Look: The barber pole Filthy Hooligan from Alec Bradley comes packaged in a box of 22 that looks like a shipping crate. Exquisitely rolled the wrapper has a few raised veins present. Utilizing a dual band system the first band denotes Black Market which the blend is based on and the primary band is a cartoon like drawing of a barber pole with the brand (Filthy Hooligan) and company (Alec Bradley) featured as the focal points. The foot appears to be well packed and the cigar has no soft spots.
The Notes: The cold draw off the Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan is grassy with a hint of sweetness to it which is very typical of a candela cigar. Off the foot of the cigar the aroma serves up hints of chocolate and cedar. Taking one more pull off the cold draw before lighting it up a hint of licorice is detected as well.
After toasting and light the cigar with my Vertigo Cyclone lighter the cigar serves up some subtle pepper notes off the initial light. As we progress further into tho the first third notes of mocha and gingerbread begin to develop over a base of grass and hay. Looking at the cigar as we move through the first third of the smoke the sweetness is more evident if more of the Jalapa wrapper is burning, the grassy notes are more evident if the candela is burning at a higher ratio.
In the second third the cigar definitely slides into the classic candela profile, regardless of where the burn on the wrapper is. There is a grassy note that is dominant with hint of wheat and carrots. The finish of the cigar though has hints of vanilla in the background and the retrohale is floral with a touch of pepper.
The last third sees the Filthy Hooligan transfer back over to the flavor profile of a more traditional cigar. There is some hints of nuts and mocha, with a dark earthy finish. On the retrohale the cigar takes on Candela characteristics with a vegetal component and grass mixed in with some pepper.
The Burn: In the past I have had bad experiences with barber pole cigars with an uneven burn. It’s difficult to get two wrappers with different characteristics to burn at the same rate. This is not the case with the Filthy Hooligan that has a near perfect burn. The combustion line is a little thicker than one would like to see, but the cigar burns true revealing a medium color ash that holds for more than a third at a time.
The Finish: It’s hard to classify this cigar as a Candela because of the darker wrapper leaf from Jalapa. There are three pure Candela cigars that have come out over the years that I would classify as a Candela that is worth the price of admission. If you’ve never had a Candela before this might be a good entry as it offers some elements of the green wrapper without being overpowering. Regardless, the flavor profile is complex and enjoyable and the 2016 Filthy Hooligan is worthy of real estate in your humidor.