Two guys walk in to a bar . . . and the end result turns out to be a really unique and bad-ass cigar company.
Alpha Cigar Company was founded in 2015 by Justin Hansen and Tim “TJ” Cavenagh. The two Chicagoans met in a Changsha, China bar while they were working overseas at the time; Hansen as a wine and spirits distributor and Cavenagh as a distributor for Rocky Patel. After a short time, two passions came together and Alpha Cigar Company was conceived.
Alpha Cigar Company has created a cigar called the Alpha Absinthe Infused Limited Edition. We acquired the Alpha Absinthe Infused after speaking to Justin Hansen about Alpha Cigar Company. This cigar is the first Absinthe infused cigar in the world, and it is turning the heads of cigar aficionados and spirit enthusiasts all across the world.
The Alpha Absinthe Infused Limited Edition is infused with some of the best Absinthe in the world. The Alpha Cigar Company explains how their tobacco is infused:
“For our infused lines, our tobacco leaves are delicately infused in a specially designed misting room using premium absinthe from a centuries-old distillery in Pontarlier, France. French-style absinthes use the “holy trinity” of herbs that form the flavor profile that artists such as Hemingway and Picasso enjoyed: Wormwood, Anise, and Fennel. Secondary flavor profiles from the natural plant oils suspended in the absinthe may also produce pine/evergreen, floral, mint, and even citrus tastes.
Traditionally, absinthes were colorless after distillation, and it was only in the late 1800’s, when herbs were added in a secondary maceration process after primary distillation, that green absinthe became popular. The green coloration in a traditional absinthe is 100% from plant chlorophyll, unlike many modern day absinthes. Alpha Cigar Company only chooses the best, traditionally made absinthe for its infusion process.”
Size: 5 x 46
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder & Filler: Dominican Republic
Origin: Dominican Republic
Retail Price: $11-$13
Box Contains 20 Cigars
The Alpha Absinthe Infused Limited Edition Corona features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with very minimal veins. The cigar is light in color and very smooth to the touch, and the cigar seems to be packed perfectly. This smoke is triple-capped, and the seams appear flawless. It is held together by a a double cigar band. The top band is a black band with white and gold in-lay featuring a three headed dog (Cerberus), the Alpha logo, and the words ‘Alpha’ printed underneath the logo. The bottom band is a black band with gold trim and ‘Absinthe Infused’ printed in white letters. This cigar looks almost perfect and flawless.
The smell off the wrapper leaf is very mild with a small hint of pine. I use a punch to cut into the cap. The dry draw presents with flavors of wood, pine, a hint of mint, and has the perfect amount of resistance.
Upon toasting and lighting the Alpha Absinthe Infused Limited Edition, it starts off with mild earthy notes; hay, pine wood, and a hint of almond are all present on the palate. I can taste a hint of absinthe flavor, and a small amount of mint as well. The flavors all seem very natural, and they all complement each other on the palate. The draw on this cigar is almost perfect, the smoke caresses the tongue with a small cooling sensation, and the cigar is letting off a mild stream of white smoke. The burn line is even with a growing dark gray ash and the construction is holding up very well.
In the beginning of the second portion of this smoke, the ash is still holding up very well and the draw is perfect. I am still picking up earthy notes, such as hay and pine wood, but the almond flavor has almost ceased to exist. A creamy profile has began to make an appearance as well as a hint of licorice and coffee, and this balances out the cigar quite well. Absinthe flavor with a slight taste of mint is present and creates a slight cooling sensation on the back of the throat. I find this enjoyable and enhancing to the senses. Towards the end of the second third, I removed the first cigar band and I ash for the first time. The ash remained dark gray and strong until that time. The cigar is still letting off a steady stream of white smoke.
The start of the final third has the hay and pine still predominantly featured. The mint, licorice, and coffee flavors are coming together and create a cool draw. The retro-hale is very smooth with a slight burn cooled by the mint. The flavors caress the palate long after the exhale, but the aftertaste is enjoyable. The ash is growing and still presents with a dark gray color. I have removed the second cigar band. The burn line is almost perfectly even, and the draw is still perfect. As the cigar burns down closer to the end, the ash is still holding on strongly to the foot. The flavors are still hay and pine wood in the forefront, with the absinthe, mint, and licorice notes in the background. The final ash fell just before those final draws were made.
The Alpha Absinthe Infused Limited Edition was a very enjoyable experience. The flavors and body were very well balanced and the cigar was very well constructed. There were no touch-ups to the burn line needed during this experience, and I found no imperfections during the smoke. The beautiful dark gray ash held strong on the foot, and the draw was almost perfect. The flavors that this cigar presented all complemented each other and perfected the smoking experience. I thoroughly enjoyed smoking this cigar, I would definitely smoke it again, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great smoke. I give the Alpha Cigar Company’s Alpha Absinthe Infused Limited Edition a score of 93.
Be On the Look-out!
In July 2016, Alpha Cigar Company will release three new blends under the Absinthe Infused line, as well as three non-infused, small batch limited releases at IPCPR 2016 in Las Vegas.