I was recently given this sample of the Project 805 Cubra Maduro from Ventura Cigar by Barry Bennett, Northeast Sales Manager. Unbanded, and now with a maduro wrapper, it will be one of the new releases showcased next month at the IPCPR convention in Las Vegas. Normally, I would not review a pre-release cigar, but in the original Project 805 that was released last year, I thought that there was something missing and adding a little sweetness by changing the wrapper was exactly what I thought it needed when I smoked it last summer.
The new Project 805 Cubra Maduro uses a Maduro wrapper called Cubra. It’s a hybridized Habano Criollo 98 seed and is sun grown in the Bahia region of Brazil – hence the name Cubra, an amalgam of Cuba and Brazil. The Project 805 Cubra Maduro will be released in three sizes for shipment in late August or early September 2014. The Project 805 Cubra Maduro sizes will be 805R: 5 x 50, 805T: 6 x 50, and 805C: 7 x 50
Project 805 was released last year with a shade-grown Criollo 98 wrapper and includes Andullo tobacco which is very robust and aromatic. Andullo, never being disclosed as a component of a cigar previously, creates such a different flavor that Ventura coined the Project 805 as “The Interruption.” It is produced in the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic, and ironically, was a blend that La Aurora passed on distributing themselves. Ventura Cigar, operated by Phillips & King in California liked the blend enough to introduce it with their successful PSyKo Seven cigar in the fall of 2013. The 805 in the name is in reference to the area code where Ventura Cigar is headquartered in California.
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Brazilian Habano Criollo 98 Maduro Hybrid
Binder: Dominican Olor
Filler: Dominican, Andullo
Strength: Medium (Full in final third)
Flavor: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: The wrapper of the Project 805 Cubra Maduro is a chestnut brown with a slightly mottled coloring. The veins are thin, but the wrapper is rough from thick veins of the binder. The wrapper is relatively seamless, considering the mottled color. It has a triple cap that is solidly constructed and has visibly contrasting fillers when looking at the open foot.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Project 805 Cubra Maduro Toro has notes of sweet wood, molasses, and natural tobacco. The foot has the scent of earth, wood, leather, and a bit of sweetness of deep molasses. To prepare smoking, I use a straight cut on the cap, the cold draw has flavors of natural tobacco, molasses, wood, and a bit of earth.
Smoking Characteristics: The initial draw begins with a bit of spice, and pepper on the front of the palate. Retrohaling after a draw reveals medium to full strength and a pleasant, tangy, aromatic finish. The smoke production is adequate with a finish much drier than would be anticipated by the molasses flavors detected before lighting. After each draw a bit of wood, and spice lingers on the palate providing a nice finish. The strength in this first third is a solid medium, and the flavor is medium to full.
In the second third, the spice continues to build, and a molasses sweetness almost predictably joins the profile. The sweetness becomes a bit more defined and a distinct sharpness and dry finish develop to provide a unique complexity.
During the final third, the spice and sweetness both intesify and the strength moves up to full. The cigar finishes to the nub with no souring and, I should add, immense satisfaction.
Conclusion: The Project 805 Cubra Maduro is going to be a great sequel to the original Project 805. The maduro sweetness paired with the rich, robust aromatic flavor of the Andullo tobacco will make this cigar a great medium flavored, full strength smoke. Watch for this cigar in your favorite shop this fall!