Alec Bradley continues the Experimental Series by asking the scientific question: how much Broadleaf is too much Broadleaf? So far, the Experimental Series has been a big hit with cigar smokers, producing well-received cigars at economical price points. After experimenting with company founder, Alan Rubin’s, theory for the “pursuit of happiness” in debut blends Project 40 and Project 40 Maduro, the series takes its first detour in 2022 with the Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf.
With this project, the Rubin family took Connecticut Broadleaf seeds and cultivated the tobacco in the rich soil of Honduras. The result, after years of working the tobacco, was a proprietary leaf so enticing that it was used not only for the wrapper, but as one of two binder components as well.
“Alec, Bradley and I wanted to create a cigar spotlighting the beautiful Broadleaf wrapper we grew,” Alan said. “As we blended though, we all craved more of that bold, rich flavor that Broadleaf imparts, so we doubled-down and added a Broadleaf binder leaf to the blend- which also led to the name: Double Broadleaf.”
Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf Robusto Breakdown
Wrapper: Honduran Broadleaf
Binder: Honduran Broadleaf | Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua | Honduras
Factory: Tobacos de Oriente S.A. (Honduras)
Production: Regular Production
Vitola: 5? × 50 (Robusto)
Price: $9.85 (MSRP)
With this blend, the Rubins wanted to create a full-bodied experience. In addition, they wanted to go outside the flavor profile of Alec Bradley’s current portfolio. Lastly, they wanted to push the limits of the flavor they could have in one cigar experience. The Double Broadleaf has, of course, a Broadleaf wrapper, and the double binder (as seen in many AB cigars) uses both a Nicaraguan leaf and the same Honduran-grown Broadleaf. The additional tobaccos for the filler are from Honduras and Nicaragua. The cigar is produced in Danlí, Honduras, unlike former Experimental Series releases to date.
The Double Broadleaf debuted at PCA 2022 with a good amount of buzz around the project. The cigars—which are expected to ship in the coming weeks—will be packaged in 24-count boxes. A total of five sizes will be offered for this release, three of which are similar to the other Experimental Series, as well as two new sizes: Robusto (5? x 50); Chunk (4? x 60); Gran Corona (7? x 46); Toro (6? x 52); Gordo (6? x 60).
The cigars are priced from $9.85 to $12.75 MSRP.
The 24-count boxes sport a dual green color that is unique and reminds me of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. It has the classic Alec Bradley seal that is identical to the label on the cigar. Even though it’s in the Experimental Series, the Double Broadleaf appears to differentiate itself from the former two cigars, fitting more closely with AB’s standard collection than the aforementioned two.
The robusto has a dark mahogany color that is smooth to the touch, with an ever so slight oily feel to it. Where the Project 40 cigars displayed “Experimental Series” across the sub-band, the Double Broadleaf opts for the classic Alec Bradley seal (with “Experimental Series” written in the bottom of the primary label). The secondary band instead states “Double Broadleaf,” perhaps hinting at an easier transition between future additions to the collection.
The wrapper hue matches well with the color of the label, catching the eye rather nicely. The smell of the cigar is that of dark malt and cedar. And the foot of the robusto has charcoal and espresso bean aromas to it.
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The Double Broadleaf definitely comes on strong with flavor right out of the gate. Cold draws bring sweet cocoa with hints of red pepper on the tip of the tongue. Just toasting, you get the smell of walking into a coffee roaster as the aroma fills the air around you. Getting into the cigar right away, the flavor is dark, salty, and earthy, with dry black coffee through the finish. There are notes of rye bread and oak flavors that tie in with this intense start to the Double Broadleaf. The retrohale has coffee and notes of black pepper.
These flavors start to pick up and stimulate salivation. Midway through, the Double Broadleaf continues the themes of rich, salty earth with black coffee, adding a more toasted version of the former rye bread flavor. The retrohale is now simple black pepper, but not overwhelming. Overall, the combined flavors remind me of a well-made classic porter beer, with the mixture of flavors creating the coffee, malt, and rye notes I associate with a dark porter beer.
Finishing out the Double Broadleaf, there is now added richness to the porter beer flavor and toasted rye bread (the salty earth and coffee have lessened). The retrohale pulls back, and is now just light black pepper. Coating the palate with a strong mouthfeel, the smoking experience has intense coffee, malt, barley, and toasted rye flavors from start to finish.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
This was a great smoke! I would smoke this again and feel it is box worthy. The price is higher than the other Project 40 cigars (understandable, with the heavy Broadleaf influence), but still very reasonable for the amount of flavor and on-point experience. The draw during the entire smoke was perfect for me, with just a slight resistance to it, which I really loved. The cigar was well constructed, and felt good in the hand. For me, this raised the bar for the Experimental Series from Alec Bradley.
Body: Medium-Full / Full
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Porter beer | Cappuccino | Rye whiskey | Root beer
Purchase Recommendation: Box (and more)
Rich, strong-flavored smokeSalty earthy, coffee, porter goodnessUnique within the AB portfolio
Full-bodied smoke may be too much for the novice smokerThis might lead to even less Broadleaf in the world of premium tobacco
Originally posted on September 14, 2022 @ 5:17 am