Inspired by an ancient Japanese art form, Rubin brothers Alec and Bradley created Kintsugi, a new Honduran cigar brand heading to retailers this fall, and available for sale to retailers during the Traveling Road Show beginning this month.
Kintsugi (pronounced kin-tsu-gee) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer and highlighting the cracks in gold, resulting in a new form thought to be more beautiful than the original piece before it shattered. The artistic method dates back to the late fifteenth century, but the upcoming Kintsugi cigars are also meant to serve as a metaphor for the cigar industry, which the Rubin brothers feel is currently fragmented.
“Unfortunately, the cigar industry seems to be a bit fractured right now,” said Bradley Rubin. “We are all fighting to reduce or eliminate regulation, but there is little consensus on how to achieve this. We can all learn from the Kintsugi story. We are all better together.”
The cigars are made with Honduran wrapper from the Trojes region, two binders (Honduran and Nicaraguan) and filler from Honduras and Nicaragua. Packaged in 24-count boxes, they’ll be available in four sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 inches by 50 ring gauge ($7.95); Corona Gorda, at 5 5/8 by 46 ($7.25); Toro, 6 by 52 ($8.80) and Gordo, 6 by 60 ($9.85). The brand is produced in Honduras at the Raices Cubanas factory where many Alec Bradley cigars are rolled.
In the spirit of the Kintsugi aesthetic, the boxes and bands are designed with motifs that resemble cracked and gilded pottery.
Kintsugi was supposed to ship to retailers between mid-May and early June, but production was delayed due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Alec Bradley also helped out its employees during the pandemic by offering food and house supplies.
“I think when we were originally coming up with the story, the cigar is the gold lacquer that brings us together,” Bradley Rubin told Cigar Aficionado. “But with Covid-19 happening, and our outlets becoming virtual herfs and live streams, that was what [brought] us together during these times.”
For a vertical brand tasting of the Kintsugi, see a future issue of Cigar Insider.
(Correction: This story incorrectly stated that Kintsugi would be shipping this month. It will actually be heading to stores this fall.)