Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#nowsmoking: Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Robusto

Reading Time: 3 minutes

#nowsmoking: Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Robusto Cigar Review 

#nowsmoking: Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Cigar Review – Robusto

Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza – Santiago, Dominican Republic 
Size: 5×50 
Strength: Medium – Full  
WrapperEcuador Habano 
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
MSRP: $10.50 cigar (at press time) 

#nowsmoking May 20 2020 Alec Bradley Gatekeeper cigar review at Famous Smoke Shop

What’s the cigar’s back story. . 

Gatekeeper cigars mark the second release for second generation cigar makers, Alec and Bradley Rubin. A subsidiary of Alec Bradley Cigar Co.Alec & Bradley Cigars was founded by the brothers in 2018. That same year they released their first cigar, Alec & Bradley Blind Faith. 

After the success of Blind Faith – which was closer in blend to several Alec Bradley cigars – they stepped outside the box by working with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo of EPC Cigars on the Gatekeeper project. With Perez-Carrillos guidance, the brothers set out to create a project that was built on Dominican tobaccos, something completely different from the Alec Bradley stable, and very much to their advantage. And according to a press release, working with Perez-Carrillo waa rite of passage.”  

Working with Ernesto opened up new doors for Bradley and me, said Alec Rubin. “Ernesto is a gatekeeper to new opportunities and experiences for usthus, the name Gatekeeper.” 

We are a part of the next generation of the premium cigar business, added Bradley. “Ernesto is a legend and we are humbled to be able to work with him. 

#nowsmoking May 20 2020 Alec Bradley Gatekeeper cigar review Robusto close up
#nowsmoking @famoussmokeshop: The Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Robusto offers a full-flavored smoke teeming with well-balanced notes of cedar, leather, nuts, and sweet spice, including some impressive change-ups.  

Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper cigars are presented in 20 count boxes in the following sizes:  

  • Corona (51/8 x42) 
  • Robusto (5×50) 
  • Toro (6×52) 
  • Gordo (6×60)  

How well is the cigar made?  

Flawlessly. The band is pretty striking, too. Borrowing artwork taken from Benvenuto Cellini’s 1554 bronze sculpture, Perseus with the Head of Medusa, it features an ash grey image of the snake-headed Medusa against a black background with very precisely-placed gold accents that really pop. (Watch the video to learn more about those.) The cigar was solidly packed top to bottom and exhibited some of the most seamless rolling I’ve ever seen – I’m talking practically invisible. Finished with an equally well-applied cap, once clipped, the draw was perfect revealing flavors of light salt, leather, sweet tobacco, and cedar.  

How does the cigar smoke?

Like a $10 cigar should. The smoke is especially creamy, toasty and wastes no time getting right down to business. The initial flavors are consistent with the pre-light flavors – cedar, leather, and some light saltiness complemented by a peppery finish. By the first inch, the Gatekeeper Robusto settles down to a rich, medium-bodied smoke with well-balanced flavors of cedar, leather, roasted cashew, and plenty of sweet spice. Retrohales revealed more defined flavors of nuts and wood with a thin slice of pepper.  

#nowsmoking May 20 2020 Alec Bradley Gatekeeper cigar review by Gary Korb

The burn was even all the way to Nubsville, exposing tap-resistant, greyblack ashes. By the second act, the Robusto had some crafty change-ups between the woody and spicy flavors. By Act 3, a hint of coffee entered the fray as the body turned the corner becoming more full-bodied in strength, while remaining very smooth, balanced, and enjoyable. 

What is the cigar’s flavor profile?  

Medium to full with a mostly woody, toasty, and sweet spicy character. If I had to slap a label on the strength, I’d have to go with medium-plus. The cigar also exhibited a fair amount of complexity, in that, there were some excellent contrasts as flavors combined or overlapped at various intervals. 

What drink can I pair with this cigar besides coffee?  

Seems like the Rubin boys like Bourbons. I also paired my Gatekeeper Robusto with Gentleman Jack, which complemented the cigar perfectly. Alec and Bradley also pointed out Gatekeeper’s versatility, noting how well it pairs with just about anything you throw at it.   

#nowsmoking May 20 2020 Alec Bradley Gatekeeper cigar pairing with Jack Daniels

(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.) 

Should I buy this cigar? 

Yes. For one, it’s a very well-blended and handcrafted cigar that offers a boatload oflavor and plenty of bang for your buck. The Gatekeeper Robusto is also well-suited for cigar smokers ranging from the newly initiated to full-flavor pros. I also have a sneaky suspicion that Ernesto was as impressed with Alec and Bradley‘s dedication to the craft as I was, and he made sure they had something they could proudly put their names on. Gatekeepereven more so than their previous Blind Faith selection, has a flavor profile that draws a clear distinction between Alec & Bradley cigars and Alec Bradley cigars. 


#cigaradvisor #cigar #cigars #cigarlife #cigarlifestyle #cigarsociety #cigarporn #cigarreviews #cigarphotography #botl #sotl #nowsmoking #menwhosmoke #thecigarculture #relax #luxury #ultimateluxury #luxurylifestyle #luxury #gooddeal #smokeability #famous80, #alec&bradleycigar, #gatekeepercigar 

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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