Kintsugi 金継ぎ – known as the Golden Joinery, it is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold. The legend of the Japanese art-form Kintsugi states that a 15th century Japanese Shogun dropped his favorite vase, shattering it to pieces. He then ordered artisans to reconstruct it with gold or silver lacquer- making it even more beautiful. It is also a metaphor for embracing your flaws and imperfections.
Naming their release ‘Kintsugi’, the Rubin brothers are relaying an allegory- applying it to the current state of the Premium Cigar Industry.
Bradley Rubin notes:
“Unfortunately, the cigar industry seems to be a bit fractured right now. We are all fighting to reduce or eliminate regulation, but there is little consensus on how to achieve this. We can all learn from the Kintsugi story. We are all better together. The passion behind premium cigars is the gold lacquer that binds.”
The Alec & Bradley ‘Kintsugi‘ are presented in 24-count boxes, adorned with a golden filled-in crack pattern, mimicking that of the Shogun’s vase. The bands and inside box labels take styling cues from traditional Japanese themes and artwork.
‘Kintsugi‘ is being produced at Alec Bradley’s critically acclaimed Raices Cubanas Factory in Danli, Honduras. ‘Kintsugi’ will be offered is currently expressed in three vitolas:
- Robusto (5 x 50) – MSRP $7.95
- Corona Gorda (5 5/8 × 46) – MSRP $7.25
- Toro (6 x 52) – MSRP $8.80
- Gordo (6 x 60) – MSRP $9.85
The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Habano maduro
- Binder – Double Binder – Honduran and Nicaraguan
- Filler – Honduran and Nicaraguan
For this review, I sampled 3 Kintsugi robustos which I received from the company for review on Stogie Press.
The Alec & Bradley Kintsugi is a fine looking cigar with a shiny medium brown wrapper that is light on veins and solid to the touch from head to foot. A well applied triple cap finishes the head perfectly.
There are two bands that adorn the cigar, though it may look like one initially. They use a bold blue and gold motif that pops on the background of the wrapper. The name “KINTSUGI” is proudly presented in the center of the primary band. The secondary band declarers this as an Alec & Bradley cigar and when removed, you will see a “V” notch in the band that is used the place the “&” at the bottom of the primary band. Very cool design.
Running the KINTSUGI along the nose, I picked up cedar and natural sweetness off the foot but not much along the barrel.
Once I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder, I gave it some cold draw puffs that were spot on with restriction and awoke the palate with notes of
mild peppery spice. A few more cold draws brought in some natural sweetness.
With the pre-light much to my liking, I moved on to warm the foot with my double flame torch bringing the foot to an even orange glow as I drew in the first puffs of light spice and dry fruit. Follow along as I burn the KINTSUGI to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial draw offers notes light spice with a nuance of dried fruit
- Mild cinnamon notes evolve
- An enticing nut aroma wafts of the foot
- Beautiful solid white ash forms on top of a slightly wavy medium char line
- Smoke is thick, creamy, and full in volume
- Prominent cedar notes make their way into the mix
- Aroma morphs into a vanilla note
- Ash fell revealing a well formed burn cone
- Sweetness builds moving through the second third
- Super smooth smoke at this point
- Cocoa notes join the profile deep in second third
- Buttered toast nuances break in moving into the final third
- The journey ends much like it started with mild spice and dry fruit
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 25 minutes
Overall, the Alec & Bradley Kintsugi Robusto offered a pleasant journey from foot to nub. This medium strength cigar started with mild spice and dry fruit an enticed the palates with shifting and evolving flavors and aromas and brought me back where it started with the spice and dry fruit. Construction was solid through the journey with just a mild jag here and there. This box worthy and I rate this a 95.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Jag in Burn
Bonus Points: (+1) Pleasant and Consistent Experience across Multiple Samples; (+1) Box Worthy