At 7 inches long and a 50 ring gauge, this churchill is actually a double corona. It’s a big feller alright, but it smokes well. The Costa Rican wrapper is oily and somewhat rough, and imparts a maple tinged sweetness to this medium bodied cigar. The construction of this stick is very good, burning evenly and leaving a nice gray ring with every draw, like a beautiful pint of draught Guinness. (Which now that I think of it would be a great companion to the Medalist.)
These are made in Danli, Honduras with a Connecticut broadleaf binder and filler from three regions: Jalapa, Nicaragua; Esteli, Nicaragua; and the Jamastran valley in Honduras. Those areas are all pretty close to each other geographically, but they produce distinct types of tobacco that great blenders use like painters use color. To my palate, the blend here is dominated by the wrapper and the binder to create a fine and mellow maduro cigar.
By the midway point the sweetness has ceded to light cedar and the body has grown from a fairly light to a solid medium in body. The finish is lengthy and pleasant with an aftertaste of anisette. The aroma is laced with floral elements, and the ash is a wavy light and dark gray on the outside with a dirty yellowish filling.
The Alec Bradley Medalists first appeared on the market in 2005 and are also available in a robusto format. The churchills smoke a little smoother, I think, but it’s not everyday that you can devote an hour to a double corona. But that great sweet Costa Rican flavor comes through quite well in the robusto size as well.
Famous Smoke has been running sales on these recently, so keep your eyes peeled. The churchills are packaged 10 to a box, and if you time it right you can snag these for under four bucks a stick. That’s a pretty good deal if you’re hankering for a well constructed and flavorful maduro to chomp on for an hour.