Alec Bradley Cigars have a long standing history in the industry and have received much acclaim, including their Prensado Churchill claiming the top spot on the 2011 Cigar Aficionado top 25 cigars of the year. Alan Rubin named the company after his sons Alec and Bradley. In 2018 the sons began their own project with the company, under the name “Alec & Bradley”. The Kintsugi marks the third release under the Alec & Bradley line. According to the Alec Bradley website, “Alec & Bradley Kintsugi pays homage to the ancient Japanese artform of joining together ceramics with gold lacquer-making them even more beautiful. Cigars, like the gold lacquer, are a bonding agent- bringing people from all walks of life together.”
Alec Bradley Cigars are one of those companies that I have always been aware of and smoked when I first got into the hobby. However, as my passion grew, along with my interest in exploring more “boutique” brands, my attraction to their cigars dwindled. Interestingly, the releases I have smoked in recent years, the Magic Toast and Project 40, both hit my palate well, yet I still found myself passing over Alec Bradley and Alec & Bradley. However, since its release, I have heard great things about the Kintsugi and I decided that I needed to get over whatever mental block has kept me from this company. Let’s see if the Kintsugi can help me over this hurdle.
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Fabrica de Tobacos Raices Cubanas
Wrapper: Honduras (Trojes)
Binder: Honduras & Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Vitola: 5 x 50 Robusto
Price: $8.50 MSRP
Link to Purchase: Guitars & Cigars Farm
Release Date: December 2020
Company Website: www.alecbradley.com
As this is my first Alec & Bradley blend, I don’t really have a sense of their blending style. I also have heard good overall remarks of this cigar, but I have not read specifics, so I don’t have those notes to lean on. I’m guessing it'll be medium-full in body and flavor and based on the tobaccos there may be some floral notes, wood, sweetness, some pepper, and earth. For some reason I’m anticipating honey but I don’t have a good reason for that expectation.
The primary band is quite large and ties in nicely with the secondary band. I like the color combination and the design for the most part. The wrapper has a lot of character - some discoloration, distinct vein structure, and noticeable seams. The cigar is firm and fairly dense. The cold draw is like an artificially flavored fruit gummy snack or maybe a fruit punch. It smells like cedar and barnyard.
This cigar kicks off with full bodied smoke and medium flavors of wood, bread, and a syrupy sweetness. There’s some spices in there as well. The finish is super long with that syrupy sweetness and the spices. This is starting off quite nice. The retrohale is creamy with vanilla sweetness and some pepper bite on the finish. About a half inch in the flavor is coming up to medium full. The draw flavors are holding true, maybe with the only difference being the sweetness becoming brighter than syrup but not quite honey. The performance was perfect throughout this third and the draw is a nice level of resistance.
Moving into the second third the bread is becoming more toasty. Other than that, the flavors are the same. It’s rolling along nicely. Approaching halfway the flavors are still some wood, toasted bread, lots of almost honey-like sweetness, and some spices. The performance has been flawless still. It’s worth noting that the wrapper split about an inch up from the burn line at about halfway. The profile is starting to see some earthiness join in and the sweetness is like a burnt sugar sweetness. These flavors carry through the remainder of this third.
The final third sees a nice citrus join in. The breadiness has taken a backseat to the wood. The retrohale is showing a very nice toastiness with a bit of earth and citric sweetness as well. Midway through the final third the sweetness is subsiding and the wood and earth are more primary. There’s still a little citrus on the retrohale. Coming to an end at full body, full flavor, and medium strength, the flavors remained the same with the exception of a slight pepper build. The cigar continued to perform perfectly till the end.
I found this to be a very enjoyable cigar. The profile was fairly linear with the only big shift being in the final third. However, what it did offer in the first two thirds was a wonderfully balanced flavor profile that of wood, bread, syrupy sweetness, vanilla, and spices. The final third was a nice change of pace as it turned towards more earth, wood, pepper, and some citrus. The cigar performed great throughout. The only exception was the small wrapper split, but it posed no problems. The final burn time was a fairly lengthy 1 hour and 45 minutes. Overall, I was quite impressed with the blend and will gladly smoke this cigar again. I also am impressed with the price point of this cigar, which makes it an easy recommendation.
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