Alec Bradley’s green cigar is returning to shops for 2014 with an aged wrapper.
The Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan is much the same as last year’s release: a candela cigar with filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama and a double binder of Honduran and Nicaraguan origins.
The major difference this year is that the Nicaraguan candela wrapper has a year of age on it, which company founder Alan Rubin says changes the flavor profile.
There’s a high level of sweetness to it,” Rubin told Cigar Aficionado, “and what happens over time is that off flavors like grassiness go away. So I think it’s a sweeter, less grassy flavor than last year.”
Rubin already wanted to bring back the candela, and he says he heard a lot of requests from others that wanted it back too. “A lot of people, they were asking for it to be carried throughout the year. Almost every event I do, I get someone asking ‘when you gonna bring back Hooligan?’ It became what a cigar is, which is a talking piece—a bonding piece.”
The grass-green color of a candela wrapper is achieved by a 72-hour heat-curing process that fixes the chlorophyll content of the wrapper while it’s still in the barn. After the leaf and stems have been thoroughly cured and the chlorophyll locked in, the green leaf then gets re-humidified. The intense heat curing eliminates the need for fermentation and aging, cutting months and even years off the typical process.
As with many candelas that come to market, the Filthy Hooligan was a limited release project for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. It debuted last year in a limited production of just 3,000 boxes and came in just one size: a 6 inch by 50 ring Toro.
This year’s release still comes in green boxes of 22 cigars that carry a suggested retail price of $8. The 3,000-box batch will ship the week of February 17th.