- How it Burned
- Flavor & Complexity
Many like to think of the American market as being the dominant outlet for cigar enthusiasts. In many respects this is true, but to think the American market is the only healthy cigar market is a bit myopic. Cigars are enjoyed the world over and there are a few markets, especially in Europe, that really enjoy cigars. One such market is the Spanish market where today’s cigar was originally intended.
The Quesada Espana was designed for the Spanish market in two ways: price structure and more importantly size. When the cigar hit the market in Spain it commanded a slightly higher price point than most Americans cared to spend and the cigars ware being sold in three traditional cuban sizes that don’t typically find as much popularity in the American market. Retailers, however were able to try some of these cigars earlier last year and then petitioned Quesada to release their cigar, at least in limited quantities, to the US. Quesada relinquished and the Quesada Espana landed on US shores around March of last year and has been in limited supply since. The sizes that the Espana come in are corona, robusto, and petite robusto. Of those three sizes I have smoked the robusto and corona multiple times over and will be focusing on the robusto today.
Admiration is a word that comes to mind when I think of the Espana, for the chief reason of it being in a few of my favorite formats. Finding a true corona size is a bit elusive these days and a lot of manufacturers are turning to larger styled robustos as well. Hence, my excitement when I got to smoke these beauties in a traditional format I love. Construction is definitely executed well and the Espana enjoys a firm pack, a gorgeous toothy Ecuadorian Arapiraca wrapper with a foot that gives off a smell of sweet cedar and barnyard aromas.
Lighting the cigar revealed a clean draw with just the right measure of resistance. As I began to smoke the cigar in earnest the notes proceed to unfold and I find a sweet hickory that almost borders on a raisin like sweetness. The first quarter also reveals a slight birch wood note that was definitely subdued in the robusto format, but more poignantly noticed in the corona vitola. Towards the middle of the cigar notes change from a sweet raisin to more of a floral and cinnamon note. This carries on throughout the midpoint with a dominance leaning towards the floral and sets the stage for the final third of the cigar. In the final act of the Espana the notes from the middle of sweet floral carry over and intermingle with birch wood. The finish is that of mostly birch wood.
The Quesada Espana is an interesting cigar that should be tried if one comes across it on the shelves of their local humidor. It is a rare treat to be sure and a release that will not be mass produced for the American market. Smoking the Espana was an enjoyable experience through and through and is a medium bodied cigar that would appeal to a wide variety of cigar enthusiasts. The only tiny criticism I can make is that the cigar needed to be puffed on more often than not, or one would find themselves relighting more than they would probably care too. But overall it is not much of an issue and does not really detract from the experience, so if you are looking for a traditional small format cigar with big flavor and great construction overall, then check out the Quesada Espana today.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Arapiraca
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
MSRP: $7-8.xx (depending on your local market)