Production of the Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper is going from Ernesto Perez-Carrillo in the Dominican Republic to Nestor Plasencia in Honduras. The decision to transfer production was made for logistical reasons, as the general increase in demand for cigars across the United States has strained Perez-Carrillo’s La Alianza factory.
“I believe we’ve alleviated a bunch of headaches for everybody,” said veteran cigarmaker Perez-Carrillo in a release. “Juggling our needs with Alec & Bradley’s needs was a challenge. I value my relationship with everyone at Alec Bradley and am very proud of what Alec, Bradley and I have achieved.”
Released in 2019 as a collaboration between Perez-Carrillo and Rubin brothers Alec and Bradley of Alec Bradley Cigar Co., the Gatekeeper Robusto was named the No. 7 cigar on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 list for 2020. At the same time, Perez-Carrillo’s EPC Pledge Prequel was named 2020’s Cigar of the Year. Both were made at the La Alianza factory, and both accolades naturally led to an increase in demand. But when compounded by the current boom in premium cigar sales across the United States, both parties realized that the former production arrangement at La Alianza was no longer tenable.
Gatekeeper will now be made in Honduras at Nestor Plasencia’s Tabacos de Oriente factory in Danlí. Despite the geographical change in where the cigars are rolled, the Rubins insist that the blend will remain exactly the same.
“Bradley and I want to assure our brand advocates that absolutely nothing has changed with the Gatekeeper blend,” says second generation cigarmaker Alec Rubin. “Our relationship with Ernesto is everlasting and he will still be very much involved in the process, ensuring only the highest quality standards.”