Cigar Review – Filthy Hooligan Shamrock by Alec Bradley

Imagine that, a Saint Patrick’s Day cigar that requires a drink! Well played, Alec Bradley, well played…

For well over a decade now, Alec Bradley has been releasing their Filthy Hooligan line of cigars to commemorate the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday. The TNCC reviewed that cigar way back in March of 2016. Flash forward a few years and the company announced a new variation of the Filthy Hooligan called the Shamrock, a tri-colored offering that I had not previously smoked… until now.

Brand ambassador Bradley Rubin had this to say in a press release:
“Anticipation continues to build each year for the release of Filthy Hooligan and Filthy Hooligan Shamrock. With their bright green wrappers and fresh herbal notes, these candela smokes offer a great change of pace at a time when spring’s on everyone’s mind. The blends have become part of the cigar community’s annual ritual and we’re pleased that we have once again been able to source the perfect aged candela wrapper to make this year’s release a reality.”



Size: 6 x 50 (toro)
Wrapper: Honduran candela, Nicaraguan habano oscuro, Nicaraguan habano claro
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Honduras & Panama
Price: $15.09 (while these cigars were submitted to the TNCC for review, you can head over to Famous Smoke Shop right now and get $20 off your $100 order of Filthy Hooligan cigars by using promo code TNCC20)

When gently squeezed, the Filthy Hooligan Shamrock is a tad spongey overall but there are no glaring soft spots found along the body. Aromas of damp earth and wet grass are detected off the tri-colored wrapper. The Shamrock’s cold draw reveals an unpleasant mustiness that borderlines on sour. It’s not an enjoyable cold draw, duh, so the sooner I light this sonofabitch on fire the better.

Upon torching the foot, a very mild pepper spice presents itself through the nose and it’s backed by a small touch of must and graphite. Meanwhile downstairs, the draw is slow to reveal a mostly floral profile joined by an unsweetened ice tea note.The lead/graphite aspect of the retrohale quickly overtakes what little spice there was to begin with.

A dull orange zest soon arrives on the retro. Is “dull zest” an oxymoron? Well, I feel like an oxymoron here early on as I struggle to make sense of this cigar. Dried flowers and tea continue to dominate the draw. The Shamrock is exhibiting very good construction with a smooth draw, copious smoke production, and a straight burn line.

As a world-renowned cigar pairing expert, I’m racking my brain hard to think up a beverage to saddle the Shamrock with and the best I can conjure up is a hot glass of green tea with honey or maybe a super-hoppy, citrus-forward double IPA. Yeah, that’s the ticket. As the cigar approaches the halfway mark, the retrohale once again shifts to primarily must although the pepper spice is making a slow reemergence in the background.

Dried flowers and a muted leather note now comprise the draw’s profile, kicking the tea component to the curb. I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for barber pole cigars but… perhaps three distinct wrappers here is a bit too many chefs in the kitchen? I’m honestly not sure, because while I’m not loving the Shamrock’s unique smoking experience I’m not hating it either. It’s worth mentioning that the cigar’s ash falls off unannounced fairly frequently so keep an eye on it and your lap will thank you. The Shamrock’s final third has my lips tingling as the must, pepper, dried flowers, and faint leather are all far more pronounced than ever before. It appears as though the Shamrock has finally found some semblance of rhythm, but it’s not a beat I’d choose to dance to on the regular unless I was drunk.




Those of you who watch or listen to the Tuesday Night Cigar Club podcast regularly (you’re a badass!) or read my solo reviews here on the website (thanks!) know that the thing we hate most around here is a boring cigar. And for all of its flavor quirks, the Filthy Hooligan Shamrock toro is anything but a boring cigar.

A crazy cigar does not necessarily equate to a great cigar. The well-constructed Shamrock smokes extremely dry, especially in the second half, and could greatly benefit from one of the beverage pairings mentioned above. Imagine that, a Saint Patrick’s Day cigar that requires a drink! Well played, Alec Bradley, well played… If nothing else, the Shamrock isn’t a cigar that I’ll be forgetting about anytime soon.

*Total Smoking Time = 85 minutes

Beyond The Pod

Brother of the Leaf, Filmmaker, Prophet, former Mr. South Dakota 1996. I was a bouncer on the child beauty pageant circuit until one too many juice boxes went missing and somebody had to take the fall. I was set up. Ok, I was thirsty. All that hairspray in the air dries out your throat like a motherfu... I apologize to no man. Now I host the Tuesday Night Cigar Club podcast.