Fort Lauderdale, FL – July 9, 2021. Alec Bradley Cigar Company announced today that they have moved production of the Cigar Aficionado #7 "Cigar of the Year," Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper, from Ernesto Perez-Carrillo's (EPC) Tabacalera La Alianza in Santiago, Dominican Republic to Tobacos De Oriente in Danli, Honduras. The hard, yet mutually beneficial decision came soon after Perez-Carrillo's EPC Pledge Prequel received Cigar Aficionado #1 "Cigar of the Year" concurrently with Gatekeeper's #7 accolade.
With production at a premium, due not only to the two cigars' impressive rating, but also due to the "Covid-19 Cigar Boom," Alec Bradley and EPC agreed that moving Gatekeeper's production, while keeping the exact blend, would protect Gatekeeper's integrity and allow for expedited delivery to the marketplace.
"Bradley and I want to assure our brand advocates that absolutely nothing has changed with the Gatekeeper blend," said second generation cigarmaker Alec Rubin. "Our relationship with Ernesto is everlasting and he will still be very much involved in the process, ensuring only the highest quality standards."
"This was a very tough decision for all of us," said Bradley Rubin. "My brother Alec and I had an amazing journey working with Ernesto to create the Gatekeeper blend! Changing factories doesn't at all negate our experience and relationship with Ernesto. The name, after all, is an homage to Ernesto opening the gates to us, allowing us to expand our tobacco knowledge."
"I believe we've alleviated a bunch of headaches for everybody," said Perez-Carrillo. "Juggling our needs with Alec & Bradley's needs was a challenge. I value my relationship with everyone at Alec Bradley and am very proud of what Alec, Bradley and I have achieved. Those young men have a bright future and I'm honored to continue being a part of the process!"