Cigar Review 

Cigar Review: The Candela Series Part 1: Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan

Today we are starting a series of three candela cigar reviews.  These cigars had pretty much all but gone away until a recent resurgence around this time of year, yes the day of everything green, St. Patrick’s Day.  At one time the candela was the cigar of choice for American smokers, it was even dubbed the American Market Select.


What is a candela?  Well, candela makes reference to the wrapper used.  The wrappers are green, sometimes pale green, sometimes darker green.  This is all caused by the curing process that allows the chlorophyll in the leaf to remain intact.  As we all learned from biology 101, chlorophyll is what makes plants green, the tobacco plant is no exception.  These wrappers are usually cured very fast so that the color remains.  This is just a down and dirty version of the process as I am neither a biologist or tobacco farmer.  Let us get into what we all care the most about, the cigars.




The first cigar we are going to look at in our series is the Black Market Filthy Hooligan from Alec Bradley.  In 2013 Alec Bradley announced the release of the Black Market Filthy Hooligan, a candela wrapped cigar based on their popular Black Market line. The line was released just ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, as are all things green. Initially the cigar was going to be named the “Dirty Hooligan” but the name struck a bit of concern from another manufacturer who is fond of the name “Dirty.”  The Hooligan personally seems like a better fit to tie in the St Paddys theme here, really makes me think of some beer drinking, “football” loving, Irish.  They cigar has been re-released with a wrapper featuring additional aging, although for todays review I will be smoking a 2013 release that has aged comfortably in my humidor.


Vitolas: The Filthy Hooligan is only offered in one vitola, a 6×50 Toro.


Blend: Wrapper: Nicaraguan Candela

Binder: Nicaraguan and Honduran

Filler: Nicaraguan and Panamanian


Appearance: It is no doubt that this cigar stands out, it is very green.  The cigar itself seems very well constructed, I can find no faults on any of them that I have.  The cigar features the standard Black Market large outer band with a bit of Irish flair to it, the smaller secondary band is much the same.


Pre-Light: On the nose the Hooligan give a clean, floral note from the wrapper with sweet, floral notes from the foot.  The cold draw produces some spice and sweet earth.


1st Third: The Filthy Hooligan opens up with just a bit of white pepper spice that is quickly ushered out by some typical candela grass notes.  The grassy flavors begin to intermingle with soft floral notes and make for a very clean flavor on the palate.


2nd Third:  In the second third the Filthy Hooligan pretty much stays the same as the 1st, the only really change in the flavors is a nice bit of black pepper spice at about the midway point of the cigar.


Last Third:  The last third of the Filthy Hooligan begins to show off some sweetness but then quickly becomes harsh.  The cigar never really burned too hot, but the harsh notes just wouldn’t go away.


Construction: I have smoked quite a few of the Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan and this one had the best construction of any of them by far.  Most of them had wrappers that cracked or the cigar pretty much exploded at some point.  This cigar on the other hand had awesome construction, no issues noted at all.


Burn:  The burn on the Filthy Hooligan was pretty good, I had no issues with an uneven burn or any rate of burn problems.  The cigar never burned hot at the nub and produced a nice amount of smoke throughout the entire cigar.


Final Assessment:  Overall I think the Black Market Filthy Hooligan is an ok candela offering.  I would love to see this cigar in a smaller size, maybe a Punk Hooligan?  I think that the cigar has aged to its potential, but was just lacking something to make it pop.  This is one of those smoke you are just going to have to try for yourself and see.

-Brandon K.

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