This entry is part of our “The Story Behind” (TSB) feature that gives you an inside look into some of your favorite cigars. The year was 1996, and Alan Rubin was looking for something significant to do, and he had the money to do it!  He had recently sold the family’s very successful hardware supplies import business called All Points Screw Company because, like all good businessmen, he knew the goal was to sell high. He did just that. Rubin had long been an aficionado of premium cigars, and the cigar boom was going full throttle. With money to invest in a startup and the business acumen to make it work, Rubin launched Alec Bradley Cigars. The name? It’s a combination of his sons’ names, Alec and Bradley. Rubin knew what he wanted – a cigar that would provide a uniquely outstanding experience for the smoker that was consistently superior from cigar to cigar. Knowing the key to success was to find a niche and fill it, Rubin’s Alec Bradley Cigars first made sticks to market to golf courses and resorts – house labels of sorts. If at First You Don’t Succeed Bogie Stogies turned out to be a double-bogie of a business idea. Rubin related in a 2011 interview that part of the problem was that he was being ripped off by the Honduran cigar manufacturer he had contracted to produce cigars. In addition, after the 1992 boom, the years 1996-1998 were a bust in the industry – a correction that helped ensure that only the toughest and most intuitive new companies would survive. Understanding the second key to success – perseverance – Rubin then turned to producing labels for cigar retailers, and that strategy led to moderate success. What Rubin needed was a sharp businessman with experience in the cigar industry. Enter Ralph Montero, a cigar industry pro who brought years of experience to the table. The year 2000 was time for a direction shift, and the men hatched a plan to create a cigar retailers would want to stock. With the help and guidance of Davidoff chief blender Henke Kelner, Occidental Reserve Cigars were produced. This was Alec Bradley’s last stand – and it worked. That label was followed by a unique triangle-pressed cigar, the Trilogy. Perseverance paid off in a big way in 2007 with Alec Bradley’s first full-bodied line, the Tempus. These tasty cigars brought the brand to the attention of a more discriminating consumer looking for top quality and flavor. Rubin and Montero rolled out several other quality lines that are enjoyed by a loyal and growing clientele – Black Market, Maxx, Pryme and Nica Puro to name a few. Prensado Takes Alec Bradley to the Top However, it was the release of the Alec Bradley Prensado cigar that took the company from good to great. This full-flavored stick with strong body to back it up was named the #1 cigar by Cigar Aficionado in 2011. The Honduran and Nicaraguan filler combine with a Honduran wrapper and Nicaraguan binder to produce on lush smoke packed with big notes of leather, spices and chocolate. Cigars Direct carries a fantastic variety of Alec Bradley cigars are the best prices in the industry. We invite you to try any or all of these award-winning cigars!