When he founded Alec Bradley Cigar Co. in 1996, Alan Rubin named the company after his two sons. Now he’s releasing a new cigar made in honor of his father, David, who died last year at the age of 91.
The Rubins worked together for 36 years. After college, Alan joined his father’s company, which imported fasteners for cabinet companies, and after they sold that business Alan founded Alec Bradley. His father was a fixture at the cigar company since the day it opened.
“My dad and I worked together since 1982. Every day,” Rubin tells Cigar Aficionado. Alec Bradley officially opens each morning at 9:30, but David Rubin would come in at 7:30. “Every day,” said Rubin. “He would go through the mail, separate the bills from the checks, handwrite the deposit slips. He got everything prepared for the day, for everyone in the company.”
His father’s face will appear on the band of the commemorative cigar, the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare HOF/506. This is the newest incarnation of Fine & Rare, a limited-edition project that dates back to 2011. The shapes and blends change, but what stays the same is the use of 10 tobaccos—a rarity in the cigar world—and its limited production.
The new Fine & Rare measures 6 1/4 inches long by 54 ring gauge and is made with a mix of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos, including a wrapper leaf from the Trojes region of Honduras. The cigars are rolled at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras and only two rollers made the cigar.
Production is being limited to 25,000 cigars (2,500 boxes, each containing 10 cigars), which will be shipped globally starting in November. The cigars will have a suggested retail price of $21.90.
Alec Bradley Fine & Rare cigars have generally scored well in Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider blind tastings. The JRS 10=(86) version scored 91 points in the March/April Cigar Aficionado, and other than one 86 (in 2015) the others have all scored between 89 and 91 points.
The bands on Fine & Rare cigars are extra large, with edges that are perforated, reminiscent of the edge of old-fashioned stamps. Each band is an encyclopedia of information about the cigar, showing the roll date, the release date and quantities produced. This newest one has the signature of David Rubin, along with his photograph.
This new cigar is box pressed, a first for Fine & Rare, and it’s another nod to David Rubin. “My father always told me business was like a squared circle: you have to buy the product correctly, you have to be able to sell it, bill it and collect your money. And you have to do it again,” said Rubin. “It was a lesson he always taught me.”
In a statement, Rubin said: “The 2019 release is the most important of the Fine & Rare releases since its inception. This is an homage and dedication to David Rubin, my father, who inspired me to always work hard and never give up—so we strive to be the best. My true commemorative piece in honor of my father David Rubin. We love and miss you.”
The new cigar is scheduled to ship on November 15, a year to the day after David Rubin died.