Alec Bradley Project 40 05.50 Robusto. Earlier this year, Alec Bradley released Project 40. Alan Rubin, owner and founder of the cigar brand, found inspiration in science. “Project 40 is a generally accepted concept in multiple industries with the end goal to find how a service or product can have a positive impact on the mind and body. Since cigars bring people together, cause for relaxation and create positive experiences, I asked myself why this concept should not be applied to premium cigars. This was my inspiration for Alec Bradley Project 40,” Rubin said. Rubin is a firm believer that cigars have a calming effect. And that belief is backed by several scientific research projects. It is a science-based fact that if people relax and wind down, the stress levels drop. And lower stress means a lower risk of cardiac arrest and other illnesses. And smoking cigars forces you to slow down and relax. Therefore a cigar is stress-reducing.
To make the cigars, Alec Bradley went to Nicaragua. But not to their regular address in Nicaragua, Plasencia Cigars. Instead, they picked J. Fuego to roll the Project 40 blend. The blend is made with Nicaraguan fillers and a Nicaraguan wrapper. The binder is a Brazilian Habano leaf. The cigars are named after the sizes. All are straight cigars, parejo. There is a 5×50 version called 05.50. Then there are a 06.25, a 07.50 and a 06.60. I reviewed the 05.50 robusto, a cigar Bradley Rubin gave us at the Intertabac trade show.
The Colorado colored wrapper has a big vein in the front of the cigar. The ring should have been placed differently so that the vein would be on the back, making it a more appealing cigar. The secondary ring is metallic sky blue with the words experimental series. The main ring is white with gold and a big Project 40 logo. On the backside, the whole idea behind project 40 is explained. The construction feels good. The cigar has an aroma of hay and the aroma is medium strong.
The cold draw is great. Flavors from the cold draw are raisin, wood, and raw tobacco. After lighting the first flavors are harsh, almost like medicinal cough medicine. There is some sweetness, some leather, some spices, earth, and wood. But it’s not a great start, to say the least. The harshness gets a little less strong, some cinnamon comes through. But the cigar still remains unbalanced. After a centimeter, the flavors are sweet and fresh, young wood with some pepper and spice. It slowly evolves to sweetness with wood, soil, leather, toast, pepper, and grass. Unbalanced, unrefined. After a third, it’s coffee with earthiness and sweetness, yet still, with that unrefined, slightly harsh, finish. The cigar then picks up in sweetness, pepper, and oak. The other flavors are gone. In the final third, the cigar gets more refined with sweetness, pepper, wood, and vegetal flavors. It turns to sweetness and cedar, with a hint of pepper. The cigar feels more balanced now, and even a tad creamy. The retrohale is pleasant now.
The draw is great. The ash is white and quite firm. The burn is good, not perfect but good. And the cigar produces a nice amount of white smoke. It’s a medium-bodied, medium flavored cigar. But it’s harsh, unrefined and unbalanced.
Would I buy this cigar again? Nope.