Alec & Bradley Kintsugi | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Honduran Trojes
Binder: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.625 x 46 Corona Gorda
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $7.25


BACKGROUND:
Released: December 2020
Regular production
From the Alec Bradley website:
“Kintsugi is an elegant, multifaceted medium bodied cigar created by second generation cigar makers Alec and Bradley Rubin. 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.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
5.625 x 46 Corona Gorda $7.25
5 x 50 Robusto $7.95
6 x 52 Toro $8.80
6 x 60 Gordo $9.85

APPEARANCE:
An orange ran in front of my camera on that first photo but I’m too lazy to fix it. Generally, the wrapper does have a mottled dark brown with orange highlights even in room light. In bright light, we have the color of a 200-year-old iron bridge. Seams are relatively tight. Veinage is not off putting. The triple cap is nicely done. But the cigar feels extremely light in the hand…like a dozen toothpicks. And the wrapper is smooth as your tushy. The band is actually quite attractive. I like its design…some thought went into this.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
There is a rich brown sugar sweetness to the first at bat aromas; followed by very slight touches of milk chocolate, cedar, barnyard, espresso, and black pepper.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, hay, graham cracker, cinnamon, chocolate, cedar, and pepper.
The cigar is very easily hung from my lips. No weight and hence, the draw is like the Holland Tunnel…minus the traffic jam. Wide open. Put my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool away for another cigar.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is a little free with the air flow for my preferences. I’m guessing underfilled.
First up, is a mosh pit slam of black pepper. Causes my toupee to slide back a couple inches. Makes my eyes water.

I’ve had two of these sticks since early January…gifted to me by the one and only Calvin Kush. So, 3 months. I smoked one early and tossed it.

The spiciness calms down…but not much. The brown sugar element is in play. But other flavors are subtle and the pepper is overwhelming them.

I know fully well that this cigar has gotten some impressive reviews. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Cigar Aficionado loved it. But then they also loved the Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper and I thought it was awful.

Moments later, complex notes show up. At the moment, it is mostly a non-descript flavor profile. Nothing particularly stands out. Maybe some organic sweetness…the graham cracker with cinnamon shoves its way upfront. A little hint of cocoa, creaminess, maybe a little nutty, and a strong cedar component.
Definitely better than the Gatekeeper.

But due to it being underfilled, it is burning like a house afire. I smoked an inch in 5 minutes. Slow down big boy…

And remember, it’s a $7 knockaround cigar. I’m glad that Alec Bradley chose this tactic. Less pressure on the boys. Just come up with something that is affordable and tasty enough to bring customers back. Great idea.

Cream live at the Albert Hall in 2005. Spooge explodes from the char line.

Very pleasant blend so far. CA gave it a whopping 90. They hand out 90’s like my wife hands out oral sex. She’s 70. She refuses to take her teeth out. I told her not have them sharpened. She is evil.

At the moment, the cigar is going to need to kick some serious ass to get a 90 from me.

But other reviewers gave this blend similar ratings and higher. Alan Rubin holds some serious sway in the cigar industry. A few years ago, I was on their reviewer’s list, but they kept changing out cigar reps every 3 months and I would have to contact the new guy to remind him to send me sticks for review. It was like a clown car with 50 red nosed guys. I finally got tired of begging. And said, fuck it.

The cinnamon meshes with some nice creaminess. Very Danish-like. I haven’t had my breakfast of grits and Alpo yet.

The complexity isn’t in much of a hurry.

Oh God, “The Last Waltz”…And The Staple Singers are heading up “The Weight.” Love Mavis. My high school drummer friend, Stephen Hodges has been touring with Mavis for several years. There is a doc out on HBO called “Mavis.” You can see my grey-haired friend playing drums. Very proud of that boy.

The leap occurs and the complexity hits my G Spot. It is accelerating. Well, dayum. Flavors emerge with bold slap to the face: malt, cedar, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, creaminess, very buttery on the lips, cinnamon is going strong, and graham cracker.
The Kintsugi has found its place in the evolution of man. So far, a pretty good inexpensive stick. I wish it wasn’t burning so quickly.

SECOND THIRD:
Took less than 15 minutes to get here.
The balance is a little wonky; like me trying to hit the center of the commode when I pee. I generally wear a Hazmat suit.

Pandora is kicking arse this morning. A good sign. Live version of Joe Cocker doing “Feelin’ Alright.”

The nuances break free of their restraints and go for the palate’s jugular. Big booming components now. The shyness part of the cigar is behind me.

Nothing spectacular going on in exotic flavors…you’ve tasted them all before. But for a $7 stick, I’m beginning to be impressed.

Strength is straight ahead medium. Nice morning cigar.
The flavor profile morphs into a spinning mariachi band. The finish makes its debut with a nice oily, spicy, sweet element.

Transitions are inconsequential as the cigar isn’t finding new avenues of expressing itself, but rather, the right elements are in place and they move together in lockstep. Nuttin’ wrong with that, honey.

The creaminess anchors the whole experience. Everything else is more or less ancillary…contributing but not shouting.

The spiciness is a little strong for my tastes. That black pepper is hanging on to dear life in the back of my throat. If would just calm the fuck down, the smooth nature of this blend would shine a little brighter.
I find myself involuntarily smacking my lips to accentuate the flavors.
Sip of water…no explosions, but a nice brightness appears. Like playing notes in the soprano range.

I read a couple reviews and see how they got their palates excited. A nice variety of flavors from these guys. I don’t taste them all, but I do taste some of them. Consistency. The Kintsugi has that going for it.

The halfway point gives the complexity a step up. It feels complete now. Leaves working together in harmony. You don’t need to taste the separate flavors in this stick. It’s not going for flavor bomb…it is going for the optimum: a good cigar.

I would definitely be interested in buying a fiver now. But the cigars do need their humi rest. ROTT will have you cursing like Mother Theresa. I met her in Sweden and what a mouth on her.

Still medium in strength. I guess the last third will see an uprising.

I could list the flavors again, but I don’t want to. I’d be nit picking and you don’t care. You just want to know if its worth purchasing and I’m saying, right before the last third begins… yes, it is worth purchasing.
Honestly, after the Gatekeeper, I expected my typical go for the nuts review. I’m happily surprised.

The black pepper seems to have planted its flag and is going nowhere.
The cigar band is so attractive, that I wanted to take a nice photo. But the damn thing is glued to itself with Gorilla Glue and I tear it.

LAST THIRD:
The other reviewers found some impressive flavor points. You can read them to see what they thought. Once I find myself smoking a good cigar whose flavors are working together to create a nice presentation, the individual flavors don’t seem that important to me.

And now we have medium/full. Nicotine kicks in. My anus is flapping in rhythm. 5/4 time, of course.

I’d advise getting this stick in the bigger sizes. My Corona Gorda is burning fast. I would like to have seen how a bigger stick fleshed out. At this rate, the cigar will be a 40-minute smoke…a little light in the loafers. But then perfect for a quick smoke.

I had an aunt who only dated and married Jewish mob figures. 5 times. She was a gun moll. Good looking chick. When I was 15, she dropped by the house with a knock dead gorgeous blonde. Both in their late 20’s. I was smitten. They invited me to go somewhere with them and I agreed. As we left the house, the blonde looked at me and saw my bare feet. This is what she said: “Phil, you have pretty feet.” If anything can make a boner go away faster, I’d like to know what it is.

The black pepper never relents which is the main criticism I can muster. Otherwise, a very pleasant experience.
The savory v. sweet balance is on point. The nicotine relents and my vision returns and my anus stops doing the Macarena.

Boston. “Peace of Mind.” Fucking great.

Ooh…with a little over an inch to go, harshness appears. Not enough tobacco in the stick. It becomes hot. My mouth does not like it.

Eric Clapton. “Sweet Home Chicago.” Way to go Pandora.

As this is a regular production cigar, we will see later in the year specials on this blend. Get what you can. But even in the $7 price range, it is comfortably not numb.
I need to stop as the airiness is causing the harshness to de-fun the experience.
Not bad at all.

RATING: 89

And now for something almost completely different:

My band, Curved Air, was scheduled to tour Ireland back in 1975. The relationship between the British government and the IRA in those days was beyond brutal. The winter of 1974 saw indiscriminate bombings in downtown London every day for 14 days during the Christmas holiday. It was the scariest thing possible.

Bombs were placed in waist high trash bins, on main drags, and if you happened to walk by one when it went off, well…bye-bye. I remember two photos in the newspaper after one bombing. It showed a Bobby bending over to look at a package on the street. Next photo showed him blown apart about 30 feet away.

This following incident will stick with me til the day I die.
I had been fired from Curved Air. This guy, Andy Morris, contacted me telling me he was associated with Ringo Starr and he was putting a band together and they would rehearse in L.A. Ringo wanted me as his bassist. I was thrilled so I called and told all my friends back in SoCal.

The guy’s name was very familiar. But I just couldn’t place it.

Our first meeting was to take place at the London Hilton lobby at 1pm on a Monday. We met, had coffee and discussed details. He even asked me to join him as he had an appointment with his lawyer. I thought I’d be invited in on the discussion. Instead, I sat in the lobby cooling my heels for an hour. This was the first red flag.

Exactly 24 hours later, almost to the minute, a huge bomb went off in the Hilton lobby killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds. I was in shock. For the grace of God, I could have been there.

A week passed and this guy was giving me excuses about meeting with Ringo.
He told me that he was an original member of the English band, “Badfinger.” These guys were big for a while but had broken up before this guy contacted me. The Beatles discovered them and even wrote a hit song for them.

I needed to check out his story.
I went to record stores trying to find Badfinger records, but they were out of print. I couldn’t verify this guy.

So, I made a bold move and called Apple Records and asked to speak to Derek Taylor. He was The Beatles’ press agent. He was their guy for the entire time the Beatles were together. Everyone knew who this guy was. I was thrilled just to talk to him, but I had business to discuss with him.

Derek took my call, because I was in Curved Air, and I asked about this guy. Derek said this guy was never in Badfinger. And then we chatted. He told me some inside Beatles stories and I was on Cloud 9. He confirmed to me the names of some of the famous musicians that played on their albums but were never given credit.

I now realized I had been had by this Andy Morris.
I got on the phone with the guy and called him a fraud and it was the last time we spoke.

A month later, I was listening to records at my Edgeware home (a suburb of London), and I grabbed a CA album that I played on. On the back of the Curved Air “Live” album, I noticed something. Down at the bottom were credits. And here was this guy’s name as a production assistant. The fucking fraud! A music assistant’s duties were merely being a go-fer. He got us tea and coffee. And if necessary, cleaned the toilets.

I had bragged to all my friends about this project. I was about to live a dream come true: play with a Beatle.

I did, for a moment, run into a Beatle while in London. The only big guitar shop was on Tottenham Court Road called the Fender Sound House.
I was leaving when I grabbed the glass door to open it. On the other side was McCartney grabbing his side of the handle. I was in shock. He rattled the handle a couple times motioning to let him in, but I was frozen in time.

I finally let go and he entered and as he passed, he said, “Thanks mate.” I wanted to go back in and talk to him, but I was too sheepish.

My final analysis of the music business is everything you imagine it is. Corrupt and full of bullshit artists. Being naïve is the death knell for any musician. Especially, young ones.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

6 replies

  1. Hey Kat, Always enjoy your reviews and Curved Air histronomy. Sorry I don’t respond or communicate more, but always keep up and have followed up on your reviews and checking out some smokes. Your reviews, tastes, and preferences really mesh with mine, a plus. Keep it up.

  2. Not a big AB fan, too much like Rocky Patel but this sounds like it’s worth a try.

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