Alec Bradley Tempus Novo Terra

What really surprised me is how quickly I was able to get my hands on the Tempus. It could be that I heard about them late, but within a couple days of being told there was a new Alec Bradley cigar out there, I found them at a local shop. (Some people I’ve spoken to still can’t find these in their area!) But wouldn’t you know it, after such a lucky find, I promptly lost them in the aromatic mess I call a humidor. (They were unearthed this weekend in a small cigar avalanche.)

In case you don’t already know, Tempus is latin for “time” and I believe Novo Terra means either “new land”, or “new earth”. Something new, anyways. According to the Alec Bradley website, Alan Rubin discovered a small farm on the border between Nicaragua and Honduras back in 2001 that produced a great tobacco, but in small quantities. After years of investment of time and resources, the tobacco was ready for production.

The word I’ve heard so far on the Tempus has all been positive. People have been calling it “Alec Bradley’s new hit.” And of course, Cigar Insider gave the Centuria vitola a 94 rating, which is pretty impressive. And Alec Bradley stands firmly behind this cigar, declaring it their flagship smoke. Can it really be that good? Will it live up to the hype? I plan to find out.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50 (robusto)
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo 1998
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hour
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$7.00

The Pre-Smoke
Let’s just begin with this being one very attractive smoke. It come wrapped in two very ornate bands, a larger one near the head and a smaller foot band bearing the name of the cigar. The wrapper is rustic reddish brown in color, and generally smooth looking. It’s appearance says quality.

Taking a closer look at the cigar, I noticed it does have a few veins and is not quite as smooth to the touch as appears to be. I didn’t notice any flaws in the wrapper of either cigar I smoked for this review and both were rock solid to the touch. These cigars were definitely well packed.

The scent of the wrapper was a pungent, tangy compost. And in the cold taste, I got a sweet, dried fruit flavor.

The Burn
I was a little disappointed in the burn of the cigar photographed for this review. The burn line was rarely even and while the ash appeared solid, it seemed to drop a little too often. The ash also seemed to be a little discolored, sometimes lighter, sometimes much darker.

In stark contrast the second cigar’s burn was almost always even, the ash was lighter and more sturdy. The only thing the two burn experiences had in common was both cigars required a relight in the second third. (The burn-challenged one also required relighting in the final third.)

I should note here that the day I smoked the cigar with the burn problems, the ambient humidity was high enough that my computer’s mouse pad was wet to the touch. (Seriously. The hygrometer I have on the wall read 90%.) I didn’t leave the cigar out in those conditions, but I have to wonder if all that additional humidity wouldn’t mess with the burn a little bit.

The Flavor
Man was this one sweet cigar. From the first puff, down to nearly the end I was surprised with how sweet the flavors were. I’m not talking about the fake sweetness of an infused or flavored cigar, it was more like the sweetness you get from dried fruit.

In the first third cocoa, chocolate and a little bit of cedar joined the almost syrupy dried fruit sweetness. I did get a little bit of spice in this third, but it was in the finish and was gone by the beginning the second third.

The second third saw the sweetness go from being fruity to being more like cedar. Lots and lots of sweet cedar in this third. I did get a little bit of chocolate and coffee here and there.

Around the end of the second third I did start to pick up a little leather, which became more prominent in the final third. The cedar was still present in th final third, but it wasn’t quite as sweet.

The Price
I have no complaints about the price paid.

The Verdict
I’m not going to beat around the bush, I thought this was a fantastic cigar. Very nice work Alec Bradley, you were absolutely right to make this your flagship cigar. Even when I was having burn problems, I couldn’t get over how much I enjoyed the cigar’s flavors.

Aside from the burn issues, I did noticed around the second third that this cigar did beat up on the roof of my mouth and throat a bit. But that didn’t faze me either. Right around the time I was starting to feel slightly raw, a pleasant buzz started to set in. And did I mention how tasty this cigar was? The Tempus is definitely in the running for my favorite new cigar of the year.

One piece of advice. As I’ve read a number of places this cigar will sneak up on you. I wouldn’t advise smoking it on empty stomach. And it also may be a little much for new cigar smokers.

Liked It: Yes, very much
Buy It Again: Yes, as soon as I have room for a box.
Recommend It: Absolutely

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.