Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli Cigar Review

The Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli is a full-bodied and full-flavored cigar that is a sheer delight to smoke. Even Cigar Aficionado rated it highly, giving it a 93 out of 100, calling it a wonderfully honed variation of the popular Black Market cigar of this brand. This has a flavor profile that includes mocha, chocolate, leather, earth, pepper, and spice.

Wrapper Origin: NicaraguanShape: Robusto
Length: 5Ring: 52
Wrapper: Not AvailableList Price: $211.20 (Box of 24)
Origin: NicaraguaStrength: Full

Appearance of Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli

The Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli cigar features a very large band that needs to be taken off straight away. The cigar has a very nice wrapper with no visible seams, a few small and large veins, and is pretty oily. It is also firmly packed.

The band is in color off-white with accents of black and yellow. The word “Alec Bradley” is written in all caps in color white font and placed at the very top of the band, circling throughout.

The brand’s typical “AB” logo is in the upper middle with a crown on top. Below it, the word “Black Market” is written in all caps and in black font and placed as a slant. The word “Esteli” is placed inside a mustard yellow placard, written in all caps as well and in black font.

Smoking Experience

The Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli cigar features a peppery, dark chocolate aroma in the head and a spicy, earthy aroma in the foot. When I initially lit the Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli cigar, the pepper flavor and a lot of body, although not quite a full body, came through. Additionally, there are subtle but noticeable spice overtones, and it already packs a punch. There is a moderate amount of earthy flavor with a touch of spice on the retro-hale.

Upon finishing the first third, I found the flavors to be incredibly satisfying. It had full-bodied notes of mocha, chocolate, coffee, leather, earthy, pepper, and the spice was still present. Pepper has taken the place of the spice that was once in the retro-hale. There was also a faint citrusy note.  In comparison to the typical Alec Bradley Black Market cigar, it will undoubtedly be different.

The flavor increased dramatically from the first third of my smoking to the second. All of the flavors are present, but they are much stronger. Chocolate is present at the palate’s front, and earth is present at its back. I also detected a faint sweetness on the wrapper, and the citrus flavor has vanished. However, it needed to be touched up because of the burn. Its draw has been moderately tight the entire time. The cigar is doing nicely thus far.

The flavors of mocha, chocolate, coffee, and leather have gotten much richer and deeper during my final third. I also noticed that the burn, structure, and ash holding have all improved significantly ever since I touched it up. Furthermore, the draw started to loosen up, which is completely different from the draw I encountered throughout the first two thirds. On this part, the cigar also got creamier, and the pepper intensity increased on the throat and retro-hale.


The Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli cigar is fantastic all over. The entire smoke includes a variety of flavor changes and complexity. Its burn and draw are the only negative aspects. Again, I have to touch it up during the second third, and it wasn’t until the third that the draw started to loosen.

For the flavor profile, it consists of mocha, chocolate, earth, leather, with pepper and spice present on the retro-hale as well. In terms of strength, this cigar has a full body and  is not for people who prefer mild cigars to smoke. This is a strong cigar, therefore I could only suggest it to people who enjoy smoking medium to full-bodied cigars.

Other Cigars Reviews

Other Alec Bradley Cigar Reviews

Alec Bradley Blind Faith Gordo

Alec Bradley Blind Faith Gordo is the #1 ranked cigar on our list of top cigars. Blind Faith Gordo cigars serve as the follow-up to the popular line of Gatekeeper cigars. These cigars are created in the Raíces Cubanas factory in Honduras. It is a mix of the best Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The cigars are wrapped up in a beautiful dark brown Honduran paper and shine with oil. Alec & Bradley Blind Faith Gordo is full-bodied, and it gives the bold yet smooth flavors of pepper, cocoa, roasted nuts, and earth. It could give you a spicy yet suave finish.

Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Robusto

The Alec & Bradley brand, established independently by Alan Rubin’s sons, sought to replicate the success of their father’s renowned Alec Bradley cigars. One of their prominent offerings, the Gatekeeper Robusto, boasts a quality Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a full-bodied strength profile from the Dominican Republic. Despite its unremarkable band design, the cigar compensates with a robust flavor profile of chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, and subtle notes of pepper and sweetness. The smoking experience is marked by consistency in these flavors across the thirds, although some richness diminishes, particularly the sweetness, as the cigar progresses. Its construction receives high marks for draw, burn, and ash quality, but it may disappoint enthusiasts who prefer ample smoke output. While ideal for dark, full-bodied cigar lovers, the Gatekeeper Robusto might not be suitable for beginners or those seeking a more dynamic flavor journey. Nonetheless, it’s consistent performance and dark flavor profile might still attract those who appreciate such characteristics in a cigar, making this review of Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Robusto a potential future purchase for specific palettes.

Other Nicaraguan Cigar Reviews

Punch Knuckle Buster Natural Toro

The Knuckle Buster Natural Toro by Punch is an eye-catching cigar, housed in a vivid blue box with striking graphics. Its deep brown wrapper boasts a rich sheen, giving it a notably attractive appearance. The cigar offers an array of flavors ranging from cedar, graham cracker, roasted nuts, and a subtle peppery note. While some variations in the burn can be attributed to its oily wrapper, the smoke remains consistent throughout the session. Priced at an affordable $5.49, it delivers a satisfactory smoking experience, suitable for both novices and seasoned cigar enthusiasts. Awarding it a score of 83, this review of Punch Knuckle Buster Natural Toro reveals it as a budget-friendly yet pleasurable choice for cigar lovers.

Oliva Baptiste Robusto Maduro

The Oliva Baptiste Robusto Maduro is an exemplary example of the craft and passion that goes into creating fine cigars, a testament to the rich history and dedication of the Oliva Cigar Co. With its full-bodied flavor profile, expert construction and intense smoke output, this Nicaraguan-made cigar deserves a 92-point score and a place in the humidor of any cigar aficionado. The dark, rugged appearance of the cigar gives way to a complex and balanced blend of flavors, including earthiness, cedar, black pepper, espresso, and a subtle sweetness that dances on the palate. This review of Oliva Baptiste Robusto Maduro solidifies its standing as a top choice for those seeking quality, flavorful smoke at an affordable price.

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Maria Morales

Maria Morales