“MATASA best known brand is Quesada, Casa Magna, Heisenberg & Fonseca line of cigars. Its current president and owner is Manuel “Manolo” Quesada, Jr. The company produced approximately 15 million cigars in the year 2000.
“Manolo Quesada assembled a new management team around him which included general manager Julio Fajardo, Manolo’s brother Alvaro, who as vice president was in charge of the company’s farms and fledgling cigarette operation, and his nephew Alvarito. Unfortunately, in April 2002 a plane crash took the lives of all three, leaving Manolo to run the company.
“Today Manolo Quesada works with two daughters — Patricia and Raquel, niece Esther and nephews Hostos & Terence.” From Wikipedia.
Quesada Press Release:
“March 11, 2014 — The 5th generation of the Quesada family is proud to announce the upcoming release of five different vitolas this spring in honor of Manuel Quesada’s 40 years of producing premium cigars. Created by Patricia and Raquel Quesada as a tribute to their father, the Quesada 40th combines secos, visos and ligeros of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers with a Dominican binder, and will be draped in a wrapper cultivated in the San Andres Valley in Mexico.
“Three core line sizes consisting of a 5×52 robusto, 6×54 Toro, and 6×65 Toro Gordo will be accompanied by two limited edition sizes: a 6×49 box pressed Toro and a revolutionary new size called a Salomon Press.
“This exciting new vitola is a Salomon that has been box-pressed only in the center, creating a long valley in the middle of the cigar. The shape symbolizes the geography of the fertile Cibao Valley of the Dominican Republic, which lies between the mountain ranges of the Cordillera Septentrional and the Cordillera Central on the north and south respectively. The region represents the heart of the Dominican cigar industry.
“The Salomon Press was previewed at the Quesada factory dinner during Procigar. In addition to these five sizes, there will also be a 6.5 x 46 Corona Clasica of a different blend crafted by Manuel himself which will be available only to a select few retailers.”
And one of those retailers is Small Batch Cigar.
The sizes for the regular production 40th Anniversary:
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 54
Toro Real: 6 x 65
Toro Press: 6 x 49
Salomon Press: 6 3/4 x 50/33 ($13.00 MSRP) The other sizes run from $9-$11.
The Salomon Press has made a big splash because of its box pressed shape. To me, it looks like an upright bass or a cello or a bar bell. And with the ends being 50 ring gauge and the middle being only 33, I wonder how fragile this stick is. It seems like if you hung it from your mouth, there is a good chance it might break off.
The regular 40th Anniversary has different leaf stats of a Mexican San Andres wrapper, a Dominican binder, and a Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. Thus a much darker cigar than the Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Clasica.
Smokers either love Quesada cigars or…just aren’t excited by them. I am in the latter group. But best friend Skip H., since 4th grade, made a bunch of purchases from Small Batch Cigar and this tickled his fancy. So he got some for me.
The Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Clasica is only available in this size and only in 50 count boxes. Small Batch Cigars saves you $25 if you buy the 50 count box and sells a 5 pack for the same $9 as the box price.
At $475 ($450 at SBC) is a stiff amount of dough to whip out of your wallet. There are very few cigars that I would want a 50 stick supply of. But if you have a huge walk in humidor, why not?
What was the brain surgeon approach to offer a massive box that most smokers can’t afford? Who knows? Thank goodness, SBC offers them in fivers. I can just see the look on some bucks up cigar smoker who buys the 450 count box without smoking even one and then discovers he doesn’t like them. Holy shit. You better have a lot of moocher friends.
The wrapper is just shy of being translucent. It is a very light caramel color. It has the same double band as the regular production 40th but has a paper sheath covering the stick from the foot to underneath the bands.
The wrapper is more of a matte finish with little or no oil. The wrapper is smooth as silk. Seams are invisible and there are few veins but I notice little dings in the wrapper. Clearly, the undisclosed wrapper leaf is very thin and fragile. I hesitate to guess what it is because the MATASA farms have huge access to leaves of all types not to mention those grown that are a secret.
The triple cap just borders on being sloppy. The stick feels very light in the hand and has too much give. It is very soft. But that varies from stick to stick. Skip gave me a fiver and one is jam packed and one is smooshy.
I used the same dry boxing technique as I did with the Eiroa CBT Maduro that I received at the same time from Skip. And it worked beautifully so I repeated it for this stick. I lit one up last night and a little bit of magic happened and was ready to smoke.
I clip the cap and find aromas of earthy, rich tobacco. As well as spice. There is a giant hot cocoa aroma is drooling material. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled so much chocolate on such a light wrapper. The chocolate is so overpowering, I cannot smell anything further.
I choose a really packed stick to smoke. But the inconsistency disturbs me. Such an important cigar for the Quesada family and the sticks waiver from loosely packed to jam packed. That shouldn’t be and shame on Quality Control; which in this case is Quesada himself as he is the one producing the special Corona Clasica.
Time to light up.
The draw is great but the flavor profile is light and airy. There is a bit of sweetness that includes some caramel elements. A slowly building black pepper is nice. The strength begins at mild bodied.
With the cigar smelling so wonderful from the abundance of chocolate aromas, I expected an onslaught of cocoa flavors. The cocoa is there but very much in the background.
Cinnamon pops up. But the main flavor is the rich earthiness.
The char line is a bit wavy. But I expect that from the real lack of time I gave it in my humidor, or should I say, on top of my humidor.
The ash is very fragile and delicate which always occurs in cigars that should have been more densely packed.
I get a nice lemon peel flavor. Nice counterpart to the sweetness. Sweet and tangy.
As 1-1/2” have burned, the flavor profile opens up and blossoms like a rose. Or my high school prom date.
As the wrapper looks like a Connecticut, I fully expected a mild/medium body smoke but as I write this, the strength moves to a tad bit higher than classic medium. Seems we will be swinging for the fences, dear readers.
But the cigar is burning a little too fast. It’s taken me 15-20 minutes to smoke 2”. Granted, the ring gauge is small but the lack of a sufficient amount of tobacco plays a large part in this issue.
I begin the second third.
The red pepper is screaming laughter now. Wow. It is pumping out tongue numbing power. And the strength hits medium/full. The lemon citrus looms large all of a sudden. What an unusual blend.
Moments later, the creaminess explodes and I do believe dear readers that we have a flavor bomb.
For some reason, in both cigars I smoked, the char line insisted on being wavy. No touch ups were required but I would assume that cigars rolled by the master himself would have been better constructed; as far as the char line anyway. Everything else is just dandy.
The creaminess brings a huge amount of cocoa with it. I grab a Diet Coke because this is most definitely a NYC egg cream treat. (From Wikipedia: “An egg cream is a beverage consisting of milk and soda water as well as vanilla or chocolate syrup, and is especially associated with Brooklyn, home of its alleged inventor, late 19th-century candy store owner Louis Auster. Most modern versions of the drink contain neither eggs nor cream.”)
This is now a killer cigar. And from the beginning, I never would have guessed that it would become such a monster of flavor, character, balance and finish.
A bit of nougat takes its place in line along with some nuttiness that includes peanuts.
Fruitiness joins the circus of flavors. Most likely black cherry. This is just wonderful. I have been lucky with the last couple reviews being outstanding: Eiroa CBT Maduro and the Emilio Draig K. Both extremely flavorful and unique.
I begin the last third. I have had to clip the cap a couple of times because the very lightly colored wrapper really accentuates my drool on the cap and no one wants to see that.
Another flavor shows itself…charred meat. This cigar is like reaching into a box of Cracker Jack. One surprise after another.
Here is the last list of flavors: Creaminess, earthiness, spice, citrus, cocoa, black cherry, salted nuts, charred meat, graham cracker, wood, and cinnamon.
The price point. Because of the uniqueness, of the blend…worth every dime. And if you go to Small Batch Cigar and get yourself a fiver, not only is the cigar cheaper than anywhere else around, but after applying the coupon code for 10% off, brings the price down to $8.10. Remember, the code is leafenthusiast. Add on to that free shipping and you have a real bargain.
SBC only carries the Corona Clasica, the Toro, and the Robusto.
The last 1-1/2” is an absolute joy to smoke. The flavor profile is singing to me. There isn’t a hint of harshness or heat. The bane of small ring gauged cigars. But not here.
I’ve been very lucky with the last three cigars and my dry box method of getting the sticks to market quickly.
Yes, I highly recommend this cigar. It is the best product to come out of the Matasa factory.
And now for something completely different:
I had my MRI yesterday. And short of the Spanish Inquisition, I can’t think of a more Medieval torture device. I’ve had plenty of MRI’s and either this one was re-manufactured from old designs the Nazis had, or my back is much worse than I thought.
I drugged myself with tranquilizers so I was a pretty loopy when I went in to lie on the table.
I called the assholes the day before and was assured they had headsets hooked up to something like Sirius radio and I could pick a radio station because those damn machines are LOUD!
A bunch of hens were working when I went in. Last week when I made an appointment, they were all standing around gossiping. And this time, same thing.
No one helped me up on the tall table and I screamed like I was hit by a bulldozer. Any contact between my back and a pillow or something harder sends frightening shock waves of pain up and down my spine.
As I fell backwards, I heard a bunch of women enter the room asking the chick that was supposed to be helping me, “What did you do?”
“I didn’t do nuttin’”
I immediately began to scream as they slid me into the contraption that holds me from moving. Tears were streaming down my face and they told me to stop screaming.
I asked where my headset was and they told me I don’t get one for this procedure. I got spongy ear plugs instead.
They shoved the table all the way into the torpedo tube and as they did that, the sides moved in on me, mechanically, causing me to scream like a banshee. It was crushing me.
I kept getting, “Are you all right, Phil?
“Fuck NO!!! I’m not all right.”
They told me to stop screaming or they’d call off the test. So I closed my eyes as tight as possible and screamed like a girl on the inside.
I spent 90 very long minutes in that tube listening to what sounded like 50 cal rounds exploding in each ear from the machine.
Any tranquilizers were a total waste of time.
About an hour in, they kept squeezing me and I finally passed out from pain in the middle of screaming. It was only a minute or two. But a few minutes later, it happened again. Out cold.
When they pulled me out, they helped me down. I was a mess. Hunched over, crying, and screaming in pain as my feet touched the ground.
One woman pointed to where the lockers were so I could change and go home. Did they help me? Of course not.
The women went back to gossiping.
And I have no idea when my doc is getting back to me. The MRI people said the report would be ready by the end of the day.
I called my doc and they closed 5 minutes early so I left a message.
As I write this, I have never felt so much pain in my life except for the 30-60 minutes after my skydiving accident when the adrenaline wore off.
The whole thing was 10 times the night mare I thought it would be.
And on the Charlotte front, no call from the doctor yet. And she is beside herself with worry. We changed her bandage last night and I wasn’t ready to see what I saw. It was horrifying.
Getting’ old ain’t for sissies. Even though I cried like one on that MRI table.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS