November 2023

Following the initial shipments of the Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Diamond Press, Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) discovered that the cigars did not meet their expectations concerning the diamond-press shape. As a result, the company has taken the decision to halt all shipments and cease further sales of the cigars.

The Alec & Bradley Gatekeeper Diamond Press is a box-pressed toro measuring 6 1/4 x 54. However, instead of the typical box press that results in a rectangular appearance, the Diamond Press creates a rhombus shape. This unique style of pressing had been employed in previous Alec Bradley releases, such as the Nica Puro Diamond Rough Cut and the Black Market Estelí Diamond. Like the other cigars in the Gatekeeper line, the Diamond Press features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. It was priced at $12.75 per cigar and was intended to be a limited edition, with 1,500 boxes of 16 cigars produced by Tabacos de Oriente in Honduras.

The vitola made its debut at the 2023 Total Product Expo (TPE) in late February and was initially expected to start shipping in late April. However, this release date came and went without the cigars being made available. The Gatekeeper Diamond Press was eventually released in early October, with a small number of shipments sent to retailers. During these initial shipments, it was discovered that the cigars did not meet the company’s expectations regarding their diamond shape. A spokesperson for STG clarified that the issue pertained solely to the shape of the cigars and not their overall quality.

About a week after the initial shipments, the company decided to pause shipments to assess the situation and determine the next steps for the Gatekeeper Diamond Press. Ultimately, the decision was made to cease sales of the cigars due to the issues with their diamond-press shape.

STG has stated that only a small number of retailers received the product, and its sales team has been in contact with these stores to discuss the way forward. However, the company has not provided guidance on what consumers should do if they find that the cigars do not meet the promised diamond shape. Additionally, it remains unclear whether the company plans to rework the cigars and release them in the future.

Alec Bradley cigars are distributed by Forged Cigar Co., a division of STG, which acquired the brand in February.

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