In October of 2020, Alec Bradley Cigars added an an extension to the Experimental Series Project 40 line – this time with a maduro wrapper. The project 40 Maduro continues to represent Alec Bradley founder, Alan Rubin’s belief that cigars create a positive impact on both mind and body. ‘Project 40’ is the name for a scientific concept used to help determine and influence a person’s mindfulness and happiness. The calming effects of premium cigars are rewarding to aficionados and lead to relaxation and the feeling of being in control.
In the press release Alan Rubin stated;
“The dark and rich Project 40 Maduro is another opportunity for Alec Bradley to enhance a positive experience through the tradition of cigar smoking. Premium cigar enthusiasts truly accepted the original Project 40 cigar line and the underlying concept that it demonstrates. Project 40 Maduro is the next chapter of the story.”
Project 40 Maduro was blended using curated tobaccos from San Andreas, Nicaragua and Brazil. If you are familiar with the original you will note the blend is similar with the exception of the wrapper:
- Wrapper – San Andreas
- Binder – Brazilian Habano
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Project 40 Maduro is presented in handsome white, maroon and gold, 24 -count boxes featuring the ‘Alec Bradley’ and ‘Project 40 Maduro’ logos.
The company names each of the three vitolas in the line after the dimensions of the cigar:
The vitolas are named after their dimensions:
- 05.50 (MSRP $5.75 per cigar)
- 06.52 (MSRP $6.25 per cigar)
- 06.60 (MSRP $6.50 per cigar)
For this review I sampled three of the 05.50 (robusto) vitolas that I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Alec Bradley Project 40 Maduro is a gritty (toothy) medium to dark brown vitola that has a few veins running through the barre and has a light oily sheen. It is solidly packed with no discernable soft spots and is neatly finished with a simple cap.
Like the original project 40, two bands adorn the cigar. They use the same design as the original Project 40 except the color motif changed to brown and gold and the bottom of the primary band denotes it as the maduro. The secondary band notes that it is the Experimental Series.
From a pre-light perspective, the Project 40 Maduro offered a light pungent earth aroma along the barrel and foot.
I sliced the cap staright across the shoulder of the cigar and gave it some cold draw puffs that I would say was spot on with restriction and delivered notes of light pepper, that grows as you puff it, along with a hint of fruit and earth.
With the pre-light much to my liking, I warmed the foot and drew on the first peppery blast of smoke. Follow along as I burn the Project 40 Maduro to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper blast right off the first puff
- Burns hot to touch
- Decent volume of smoke fills the palate
- Solid white ash forms on top of a lightly wavy burn line
- Caramel notes join the mix as the pepper pulls back
- Sweet aroma wafts off the foot
- Cedar notes enter as the smoke really starts to smooth out
- Growing sweetness near the end of the first third
- Ash fell in a solid chunk revealing a slightly off centered burn cone
- Cocoa powder greets the palate in the second third
- Aroma shifts to more of a syrupy and nut
- Slight off burn develops but does not require a touch up
- Dry fruit notes add to the pleasure near the end of the second third
- Spice enters and builds moving through the final
- Cream and coffee notes finish the journey
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
Overall, the Alec Bradley Project 40 Maduro was a very pleasant experience that started with heavy pepper notes that slowly receded through a half inch of burn giving way to a flavor packed journey down to the final. The construction was decent with just a slight jag in the burn and small off burn that did not require a touch-up. This is certainly one of the best value priced cigars I have smoked so far this year and even enjoyed one in the morning with my cup of Joe. Pick up a fiver of these and let me know what you think. I rate this a 92.
Point Deductions: (-1) Slight Jag in Burn; (-1) Small Off Burn; (-1) Off centered Burn cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Pleasurable Experience Across Multiple Samples