Alpha Cigar Absinthe Infused: First Remarks
I received two 5 x 46, Connecticut, Absinthe Infused cigars from Alpha Cigar Company. I smoked one 10 days after it’s arrival and another at 25 days in my humidor. I will add, I kept it separated from all other non-infused cigars in my humidor. Their website indicates that they also have a San Andres Claro and San Andres Maduro options in the infused series.
From their website: “Alpha Cigar Company, founded in Hong Kong, has been a cigar educator and purveyor of fine cigars in the Asia Pacific region since 2012. Created in dedication to the lifestyle of premium cigar smoking, Alpha is constantly striving to give its customers the premium quality, construction, and consistency they deserve. In new and daring ways, Alpha has pushed the boundaries of premium cigar aging, blending, and infusion.”
Check out our brief 10 Round Interview with Alpha Cigar Co:
Just a bit of history on absinthe. Historically, absinthe was vilified as a hallucinogen and banned from the U.S. In 1915. As recently as 1990, a resurgent fondness for absinthe occurred. Alpha Cigar Company uses premium French absinthe in the infusion process of their binder leaves. The French distilleries supplying the absinthe are centuries old, providing a refined profile enjoyed by Hemingway and Picasso.
Alpha Cigar Absinthe Infused: Pre-light
With a smooth wrapper, nearly invisible seams and a flawless triple cap, this cigar is announcing quality construction right out of the gate. The wrapper feels dry to the touch. The feel of the cigar is firm, but not tight, suggesting that it’s packed perfectly. Two bands provide indentification of both the brand and specific cigar as pictured above.
The wrapper smells of floral notes and a hint of pine. It’s a unique smell. After a clean punch, the draw is effortless and tastes of dry hay and pine. A hint of sweet, citrusy mint is evident too. I am intrigued by these flavors. I’ve not experienced them before and can only attribute the uniqueness to the absinthe infusion process.
Alpha Absinthe Infused: First Third
Earth, Pine, Anise, Mint
I toast the foot and get the heat rolling on this cigar with peaked expectations following the cold draw. The initial smoke is cool on the palate. Earthy notes, pine, and anise are most evident. The flavors linger nicely, not finishing too quickly.
The retrohale is pleasant and there is a minty cooling effect in the sinuses. It equates to a milder menthol feel. The burn line is a bit wavy but not alarming. The ash is dark gray and solid. Easy puffs on the cigar produce ample amounts of smooth, cool smoke. I’ve reached the end of the first third and the ash is still diligently holding firm.
Alpha Cigar Infused: Middle Third
Pine, Mint, Floral notes, Absinthe, Cream, Walnut
With the cool sensation still lingering on my palate, I begin the second third. Pine flavor is dominant with some floral notes following. The same minty coolness is present in the retrohale, offering virtually no sinus heat. The ash falls as it nears the bottom band and I remove the band to progress towards the final third of this cigar.
An easy draw after the ash falls produces a creaminess that’s new to the mix. It’s wonderful and coats my tongue lightly. I place the cigar in the cigar stand to jot a few notes and a steady whisp of smoke continues to float off the ash. The foot smoke is very pleasant and heavy with a wood scent.
Towards the end of this third I start to taste some walnut in the smoke. It’s having a drying effect on my mouth so I keep sipping some water to clear mitigate the feeling. The walnut flavor is welcome but not being parched. The very back of my tongue is lightly tingling as well, I’m guessing the absinthe and mint combination is creating that sensation?
Alpha Cigar Infused: Final Third
Pine, Absinthe, Anise, Mint, Cream, Floral Notes
Removing the upper band to get this final third on the way, I’m realizing that I’ve failed to offer many comments regarding the burn or construction up to this point. The burn started wavy but is now very even and maintenance free. The ash is solid and has fallen only twice. My first pull into the final third finds that the draw has tightened up slightly. It’s not concerning, only noticeable.
Pine, absinthe and mild anise are clearly guiding the profile. A creamy smoothness is still apparent and is really making this cigar enjoyable for me. My sinuses detect a little more heat in this third but the mint remains, calming everything down again. Flavors linger and the smoke is still churning. Even as I near the end of this cigar, there is no sponginess, indicating my initial impressions of quality construction were accurate.
Unique Infused Offering