Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan Barber Pole

Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan Barber Pole






“Filthy is more satisfying” is what they will be saying about Alec Bradley Cigars 2016 release of their limited edition, Black Market Filthy Hooligan, when they arrive in retail cigar stores on March 17th. 

With only 2,000 boxes made, this year they’ve gone full-tilt with a new barber pole wrapper and a more full-flavored blend than the 2015 edition. Released annually on St. Patrick’s Day since it was introduced in 2013, fans of the brand may not recognize it at first.

Using the traditional candela wrapper and swirling it around a three nation filler & binder core with a dark Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper, the result is a stunning new taste experience at every level.

“This year, I wanted to create a totally different version of the Filthy Hooligan,” said Alec Bradley President, Alan Rubin. “The 2016 blend will have a much wider appeal, and those who loved the two previous versions will not be disappointed; this is no ordinary candela.”


Filthy Hooligan


Made in one size only, a 6” x 50 Toro, the Black Market Filthy Hooligan 2016 uses a blend of Honduran and Panamanian long-fillers with a Sumatra binder, entwined in a mild, fern-green Candela wrapper, contrasted by a richer tasting, chocolatey-dark Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper. The medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke explodes on the palate with sweet tobacco flavors countered by the brawnier core leaves, like a good Irish Stout.







Striking in appearance the candela wrapper makes up one part of barber pole interwoven to cig-art perfection! The Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper adds a nice contrast with the lighter shades of the green wrapper, with notable tooth, veins and seam.

The primary label on the vitola resembles the color of the green wrapper reading “Filthy Hooligan” in solid embossed font. A green barber pole straight outta Dublin is placed in the middle of the motif with a white sash reading “Alec Bradley” with four letters of A-B and M-B at the bottom left.

The secondary label in matte black with green highlights reads “Black Market”. The vitola has a rounded cap and an open foot, pre light aroma had notes of sweet hay and grass with hints of barnyard. The cold draw produced a flavor of cedar and earth.




Upon first light there is a bitter taste of grassy hay mixed in with a sweet taste of dark chocolate. Leather, damp earth and cedar are background flavors. Into the first inch I’m getting very distinct flavors from the two wrappers!

The candela is producing bitter flavors of sweet hay and hints of creamy grassy flavors,

while the Nicaraguan Jalapa is producing flavors of rich dark chocolate and coffee, the distinct contrast of the two wrappers are producing creamy sweet bitter flavors on the palate with the aroma of fresh cut grass. The retro is producing a black pepper finish.




Into cruise control burn it’s a battle of the wrappers! Each seem to be waiting for the other to burn off to take center stage.

The Jalapa wrapper is producing more of a coffee and chocolate flavor, but not far behind the candela wrapper is producing bitter creamy grassy notes.

Mixed with the fillers of the Filthy Hooligan the cigar has an array of flavors consistent in the MEDIUM bodied range. The black pepper on the retro has decreased slightly but still adding a spicy addition to the aforementioned flavors.

When removing the secondary label use extra caution as the candela wrapper is extremely fragile and thin, upon removing it caused a slight crack but nothing major as to ruin the integrity of the wrapper.




Into the final duration of the Filthy Hooligan the candela wrapper is coming loose at the burn line but still producing flavors of creamy bitter grassy hay balancing in with the dark chocolate and coffee flavors of the Jalapa.

Background flavors of leather, earth and cedar have been consistent. The aftertaste reminds me of a wheatgrass shot from Jamba Juice chased with a Cuban espresso!

Mixed in with the pepper of the retro that was significantly decreased but leaving a spicy flavor in between draws on the palate producing a creamy bitter sweet and spicy finish.




Well tomorrow is St Patty’s day and the Filthy Hooligan is just gimmick enough to break out and impress your friends. Beautiful in appearance, it lacked on construction as the candela wrapper peeled away just before the burn line on all three examples.

The ash was jagged but held past the inch point and the draw had the perfect amount of resistance that produced copious amounts of dissimilar colored smoke due to the contrast in wrappers.

The strength of the Filthy Hooligan was in the straight MEDIUM bodied range that produced some pleasant creamy flavors during the hour and a half smoke time.

These have been in perfect humidification for a little over 3 weeks but as with many barber poles the integrity of the wrapper seems to have issues especially with candela wrappers that are thinner and touchier than most.

So enjoy on St Patty’s day! Alec Bradley gave us both gimmick and good with the Filthy Hooligan.



  • Sweet Hay
  • Creamy Grass
  • Dark Chocolate 
  • Coffee
  • Black Pepper On Retro



Cigars for review: Purchased

Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Cigar Smoke Rate: 8.8/10

Size: 6 x 50 Toro

Wrapper: Honduran Candela, Nicaraguan Jalapa

Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Filler: Panama, Honduran

Additional Photo Credit: Alec Bradley Cigars

Toar Campbell

Toar Campbell

Love of all things cigars, craft beer, Stouts, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untappd @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder
Toar Campbell

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