Review: Alec Bradley Project 40

Photo via

What makes you happy?  I know for me a nice cigar, a good glass of scotch and a Sox game on TV sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time.  Well Alan Rubin, the founder of the Alec Bradley Cigar Company, wanted to find “a deeper understanding as to why cigars have a positive cognitive impact on the mind and body.” This led to Project 40, which is based on the concept that 50% percent of your happiness comes from genetics, 10% is based on circumstance, and the remaining 40% all depends on your outlook and mindset.  The idea being that the 40% is the only thing you have real control over, so how can they max out that happiness?  Well Alan’s approach is to make a cigar that is both premium and affordable, with the full retail price being under $6 per cigar.  The cold draw features notes of cream and nuts while the aroma is similar but very faint.  I wet the cap and used a punch cut and then lightly toasted the cigar with my torch lighter before fully lighting.  The draw was very easy, and produced an average smoke.

First Third: The cream and nuttiness from the cold draw is very present in the first few puffs.  There is some slight spice that sticks around on the tongue, but it is not a strong flavor at all.  The cigar lit evenly and easily and kept even throughout.

Second Third: The spice is almost completely gone and the cream and nuts take a backseat to a new main flavor, raisins.  It was a little unexpected as there was no indication of raisins on the cold draw, but it came on very strong in the second third for me.  The ash was a little weak, but not so much that it became an issue.  There were definitely no long ashes on this cigar, which seems to fit as the cigar doesn’t appear to be rolled or packed too tightly. 

Final Third: The raisins still stuck around for the final third, but now they are more of a secondary note to the creaminess again.  There is a very nice smooth finish to this cigar and I was eager to burn it all the way down to the nub.  The pepper came back a little bit at the end as well, but again it was a very minor note compared to the strong cream and secondary raisin flavors.

What makes you happy?  I know for me a nice cigar, a good glass of scotch and a Sox game on TV sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time.

I had paired this cigar with a glass of Monkey Shoulder blended scotch whisky.  This is actually one of my favorite blended scotches and paired great with the smoothness of this cigar.  The Project 40 would go great with any floral or sweet liquors and beers, and even be great with your morning coffee if you’re a morning smoker.

I’m not sure if this specific cigar increased my happiness more than any other, but it was a nice, smooth smoke at a very affordable price.  Alec Bradley puts out some very high quality and award winning cigars and while I wouldn’t put this cigar on par with those, it’s a wonderful addition to their line and something I would be happy to smoke again.

Mfr: Alec Bradley

Length: 5 inch

Origin: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium

Product: Project 40

Gauge: 50

Filler: Nicaraguan

Sweet: No

Shape: Robusto

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

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