Six years after Alec Bradley’s classic Prensado Churchill received Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year, the Prensado has made a return with the new Lost Art series. If you enjoyed the original Prensado, you’ll enjoy the new one. According to Alan Rubin, owner of Alec Bradley, Prensado Lost Art was created to compliment the original Prensado line, with a “natural succession” through introducing “unique variations that still live up to their original namesake.”
Prensado Lost Art is produced in Honduras at the well-regarded Raices Cubanas factory, which has produced other brands such as 7-20-4, Illusione, Viaje, La Palina, Padilla, and Casa Fernandez. Lost Art is produced in five vitolas, all of which are box pressed, including Robusto (5”x 52), Gran Toro (6¼” x 52), Churchill (7”x 50), Torpedo (6½” x 52), and Double T (6”x 60). For this vertical tasting, the Churchill, Gran Toro, and Robusto vitolas were sampled.
The tobaccos used for the Prensado Lost Art include a flawless, smooth, oily Honduran Corojo wrapper, double binders using Nicaragua and Honduras tobaccos, and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras. The constructed is immaculate, with double caps, tight seams that are virtually invisible, and some occasional small veins that have been rolled flat. To the touch, the cigars feel just right, with a bit of spongy give when pressed between two fingers. When smoked, they have a medium draw that provide a good amount of smoke.
The Prensado Lost Art Churchill initially offers earthy notes and flavors of toasted bread, a touch of citrus, salt, and spicy pepper, leaving a dry, medium finish on the palate. About an inch and a half into the cigar, the flavors became less earthy and more rich, rounded, and complex, with notes of cream, charred cedar, and toasted walnuts. Midway into the cigar, it becomes more refined and remains complex, with notes of cedar and spicy pepper in the front and a long finish (you can taste the cigar in the mouth long after exhaling). For the final third , the strength and flavor complexity intensifies, with a lovely touch of mustiness (like that found in some Davidoff and Avo cigars) and vanilla in the background.
This Churchill was an impressive start to the vertical tasting. According to Matthias Clark’s Fine Tobacco NYC Blog the Prensado Lost Art Churchill, “is full of charisma and is, dare I say it, a bit of a show off. The flavors come and go, playing off of each other wonderfully, making this a worthy follow up to the original Prensado line.” I concur.
The Gran Toro initially offers rich, complex smoke containing flavors of cocoa, cappuccino, and a touch of cedar and hazelnut in the background. The cigar is medium bodied and finish is medium in length. The flavors remain well balanced and complex in the middle third of the cigar, with more prominent notes of cedar and an exquisite sweet creaminess. The last third is nutty, with some somewhat harsh notes that appear in the background on a few draws (the only shortcoming of any of the Lost Art cigars tasted).
The Robusto started off with an impressive, complex blend of flavors, including black pepper, cedar, bittersweet chocolate, and espresso. It’s the richest of the three cigars sampled. The flavors and body are medium-to-full and have a short finish. The second third of the cigar become more creamy and nutty, with the spiciness moving to the background with a touch of wood. The smoke is smooth and quite enjoyable. Woody notes stand out in the final third, with creamy and nutty notes in the background.
All three of the vitolas sampled burned quite well, with either a sharp edge or slightly wavy (never varying by much more than a quarter-inch). The cigars did not require any relighting or touching up. The ashes were flaky and light whitish-gray color that fell off after about an inch.
Cigar Aficionado's recent tasting of four of the vitolas in the Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art series awarded the cigars an average of 90 points and the Churchill size received a score of 93 points from the Fine Tobacco NYC Blog.
Overall, the Prensado Lost Art Churchill, Gran Toro and Robusto are damn good cigars worthy of being deemed natural successors of the original classic Prensado. They’re easily some of the best recent releases on the market and worth every cent.