HBTC Review: Alec Bradley Project 40 5.50

A few years ago, Alec Bradley released a new line called Project 40, and it has become a very popular line with many cigar smokers. This is the first entry in an experimental series from Alec Bradley. We were able to learn more about this cigar on a couple of different episodes of HBTC Live. First, Alan Rubin discussed it when he was our guest on Episode 41. Alec and Bradley Rubin also talked a little about it on Episode 99. Here is Matt’s review of the Project 40 5.50.

This cigar is currently also available in a 6 x 52, 6 x 60, and a 7 x 50.

Alec Bradley Project 40 5.50
MSRP: $5.50
Size: 5 x 50
Origin: J. Fuego Cigar Co. de Nicaragua
Wrapper: Colorado (Nicaragua)
Binder: Habano (Brazil)
Filler: Nicaragua

The Project 40 has a nice reddish-brown color to the wrapper, and is very nicely rolled. There are a few minor striations in the color, but it is mostly even. It does feel a bit light for its size, but does not feel overly soft or underfilled. The wrapper has a nice mild tobacco aroma, and the foot has some aromas of dark coffee and a very mild pepper.

Act I
There is a nice mild sweetness in the smoke when this cigar starts out. It’s almost like a cake sort of flavor, in that the sweetness is augmented by a kind of bready quality. As it warms up, some creamy textures and a very mild spice note comes in to the profile. As those spice aromas mix with the cake sweetness, that reminds me of a spice cake. A few darker notes are just barely present, but don’t quite reveal themselves yet. There is a very mild spice on the retrohale.

Act II
The dark notes that I could not quite identify earlier definitely become more clear in the middle of this cigar. It’s like somebody added raisins to the spice cake, and that is not a bad thing. It creates a depth to the overall flavor. Some heavier notes appear, but not so heavy that they overwhelm the palate. Notes like bitter cocoa or coffee, cream, and a slight increase in spice. The retrohale does have a hint of that dark coffee, but is still rounded by sweetness.

The end of the cigar stays relatively consistent with the middle, with just a couple of augmentations. A few light citrus notes join the party and that goes nicely with the sweet/spice combo. There are also a few fleeting aromas that remind me of leather, or maybe mustiness. There is still a hint of a creamy texture, but the spice definitely ramps up at the end. Even with more spice, the retrohale is still sweet with a spice cake quality to it.

Sometimes a review of a cigar is almost effortless, and this is just that sort of cigar. The flavors were notable and discernable all the way through. The flavors also worked properly in conjunction with one another. As we sometimes mention, we want the story of the flavors to make sense. This cigar tells a very good story. If you like milder flavor profiles that just scratch the surface of some spice and coffee notes, this is a nice choice. It’s also at a price point that makes it accessible to everyone.

Alec Bradley Project 40 5.50 – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A Box?
Overall Score: 92
PAD: +2.5 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Cake-like sweetness, Coffee, Cocoa, Cream, Mild Spice, Raisin
Strength Assessment: Mild-plus
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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