I picked up this cigar from Cigars International. I've heard some buzz about Ramon Bueso and his offering 'Genesis The Project'. It seems Mr. Bueso has been in the cigar industry since he started as a roller at the age of 15. He is said to have worked for and learned from the likes of Padron and Frank Llaneza. I've heard his cigar acumen has played a role in brands we all know and love. With that said, it sounds like Ramon Bueso knows his shit.
Now that we know of Mr. Bueso, let us move onward to the cigar. Titled, 'Genesis The Project', there is a lot of meaning stuffed in those three words.
Genesis: Suggesting a meaningful starting point for the Bueso brand; a powerful statement of the beginning.
The Project: Suggests that Bueso has put a lot of time into developing a cigar he is happy representing his name and brand.
I've got my hands on two of these 'Projects'; both 5"x 50 ring robustos. The cigar is a calculated mixture of tobacco and I'm interested to see how these stogies fare.
The cigar is well-made. It is firm, with a fresh feel to the squeeze. Tobacco throughout, there are no weak or empty spots. The wrapper leaf is marbled in appearance and has a pretty sheen of oil. There are no noticeable veins and is toothy (slightly bumpy in a good way). The leaf is dark like most Broadleafs, and the color varies just slightly (see picture above) from foot to cap with the cap
The filler is a mixture of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco; some Esteli Viso(Nicaraguan) , Condega Viso(Nicaraguan), La Entrada Viso(Honduran) and Talanga Ligero (Honduran).
The binder is a Honduran leaf from the Jamastran Valley, which is up and coming with its production of cigar tobacco.
Last, and most certainly important, the wrapper. The wrapper is a triple-fermented Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. That makes me happy. I love a lot of Broadleaf wrapped cigars, so I'm interested to try this one out.
As with all marketing/branding/product aesthetic, nothing is just arbitrary. Ramon Bueso and company didn't just put a bunch of potential cigar bands on a dart board and start throwing darts. The look and style are designed and picked for very specific reasons. The Project band looks very similar to the band sported by one of my favorite brands, Liga Privada. If this cigar is 3/4 as good as Liga Privadas, we've got a nice smoke here.
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So, she looks good, feels good and smells good. Lets see if she is good. I light this one up on my roof top chill area; overlooking downtown Baltimore. Its a beautiful day and I've got a little glass of Balvenie keeping me company.
The cigar lights with ease and provides a wind-tunnel of smoke. The first few minutes of smoking are tasty and full bodied. Its nutty flavored and has tastes of fermented tobacco. Surprisingly, this Broadleaf Maduro isn't as sweet as my expected, but I'm not very far into the smoke. One thing that catches my eye is the resting smoke. Not that this means anything, but the resting smoke a bluish look to it. I've noticed that I like cigars that have this type of resting smoke.
The first third of the cigar was good but unremarkable. It seems like a little age could help brighten the flavor profile or add to it. Shortly after the first third things start to get interesting. While the first third left me wanting more, I start to get some more flavors to compliment the to the full body. The nuttiness and strong tobacco remains the prominent flavors, but I taste some complexity showing up, but I can't quite identify the flavor. It seems to be developing as it goes. Early on I was concerned this would be a one-trick-pony, but the cigar is gaining momentum and my attention
Final Third and Overall Thoughts: As the 2nd third of the cigar starts to burn away, the flavor profile opens up and I taste a lot of your stereotypical Broadleaf flavors. These flavors really start to prevail and the nuttiness begins to fade. I taste some roasted coffee and smoky cocoa. Also, the smoke starts to sweeten up. The final third is very enjoyable. It never burns hot and it burns smooth until the end. I smoke the cigar to the nub and I find the final half the most enjoyable. I think that Genesis - The Project could use a little seasoning before it reaches it true potential, but it is still an enjoyable smoke. With such a complex blend (4 types of filler leaves), you expect a complex flavor profile and The Project gives you that. I'd take a cigar that changes flavor over a single flavored smoke any day. It seems like this cigar needs just a little more rest, then those four fillers, eclectic binder and desirable wrapper will ferment more, mix juices and result in a hell of a smoke. At 4$-6$ a cigar, this smoke has a lot of value.
The cigar is well-made and I see the potential for it to be a great smoke. Ramon Bueso chose the tobaccos he did for a reason and I think this will be one of those value cigars that will be hard to get your hands on once people catch wind of how good they are. You heard it hear first. 6 months from now, Genesis-The Project will be regular 'Out of Stock' cigar.
I have another one of these waiting in the wings and will revisit it in a few months to see if my prediction comes true. In the mean time, get your hands on some. As it stands this is a complex cigar with an evolving flavor profile. Its full-bodied without being over the top. At a 'can't be beat' pricepoint, this cigar is a buy for any type of smoker. Its an everyday stick for a guy who smokes a lot and can't afford $15 a day for cigars and it is a great cigar for a beginner to intermediate smoker that is looking to step up their game without breaking the bank.
To be revisited in about 3 months