Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Alec Bradley Gatekeeper is not a "high end" release. It is a boutique-minded sub-brand under the Alec Bradley Cigar Company umbrella with Alec and Bradley Rubin manning the helm. Gatekeeper has shown that the company can offer a fresh mindset uncommon from their normal releases. Gamekeeper is also rolled in the Dominican Republic where other brand cigars are made in Honduras. Gatekeeper caught my eye on-line with its band. It is simple, elegant, and eye catching. Then I started to keep an ear out with the cigar community and heard tons of great reviews on every aspect of this cigar. Put all that together and we have a solid reason to purchase one.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Length: 5 1/8
Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
Pricing: (Box of 20) - $157.99
(per stick) - $7.90
As stated before the band caught my eye. I am a sucker for a great design. A modern version of the sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini Perseus with the Head of Medusa. That with gold tones and a black background make a perfect yet simple band which can catch they eye. The cigar is well rolled and you can feel it. It has a great weight to it and a fabulous aroma once taken out of the wrapper.
For the Gatekeeper I allowed it to rest in the humidor for three weeks. To be honest I was only planning on a one week rest, but life is busy so it got some extra time. I then used my select draw cigar cutter and placed 13 holes in the cap followed by 10 around the cap. I took my pre-smoke draw and it was heavenly. I was very sure that what was to follow would be pleasant.
Lighting, Draw, and Burn:
I felt that this cigar took some extra toasting to get it where I wanted it. That is not a problem but I felt it should be noted. Once lit it stayed lit throughout. The draw was smooth and tight with a huge cloud of smoke on exhale. I did find myself going for a double draw at times to take it all in. The draw was flavorful though. The correct cut on this cigar produced wonders. This cigar burned great while smoking our sitting on the stand. It did burn slightly uneven and stayed that way. Again, this is nothing to worry about but should be noted as well.
There was a lot of flavor going on with this one. The initial light up gave strong flavors of dark spices. It is complimented with the flavor of golden brown toast, cinnamon, and a lighter spice which I could not identify. Before the first quarter is through you can taste hints of sweetness. The second third kept the spice tone and added the flavor of hickory and some very faint leather. The sweetness becomes more intense. As we get past the halfway mark you can also get a taste of roasted nuts with the sweetness maintaining. There was also an amazing taste of butter which fit perfect and was rather enjoyable. Finishing this one out the nutter and spices remained while the sweetness ranged form strong to moderate. Smoking down to the nub this stick never becomes harsh or unpleasant.
I have to say that there are several options in this price range. There as also been many amazing smokes to go with it. I have to say that I enjoyed the Gatekeeper very much. It is definitely in the top of my list for an everyday smoke with luxury qualities. I would recommend trying this, but grab yourself a 5 pack. You will definitely be going back for another try.