It’s been an interesting year for marketing choices in the cigar community. Much hullabaloo has been given to dissenting and defending ideas about what is appropriate or in good taste when it comes to naming and marketing a new cigar. Whatever side one takes is really irrelevant in that the mission had been accomplished, i.e. you were talking about their cigar. The latest in the lineup of conversation inspiring cigars is the new Quesada stick the Q d’etat Molotov.
Quesada is set to release the Molotov in January and it will be the first in a three-line specialty series that is meant to inspire the cigar community to rise up and fight the tyranny that is cigar bans. Each box of the new Molotov line comes with a Cigar Rights of America (CRA) application inside so that you can join the battle in fighting for your rights as a cigar smoker. While the Molotov image may be incendiary for its current affiliation with insurgents and pictures of the Arab Spring, the true heart of Quesada was to get at the underlying message of the Molotov, which was the David and Goliath picture of the Winter War between the Finnish and the Russians.
Being outmatched and out resourced the Finn’s were forced to improvise and be clever when it came to fighting their much larger and better financed enemy. Out of this conflict the Molotov was born as a way to attack tanks and fortified positions. In essence the message of the Molotov is one of grassroots ingenuity and the never give up mentality. This is what Quesada presumably wants their message to be, a message of hope that even though the cigar industry is the little guy in this fight, they can step up and fight the FDA and governmental bans if the people get motivated to be involved.
So the call has been sent and the cigar has been put out as a tasty reminder of our precious rights as cigar smokers. The question now at hand is how does the Molotov taste?
Not long ago I received some samples from my local tobacconist and was excited to try them out. The Molotov cigar itself is somewhat shaped like what a Molotov cocktail might look like in that it is a longer necked cigar that tapers into a bulbous bottom body. The cap itself is more of a nob too and that is also fairly reminiscent of how many Molotov’s actually look then and now. So does form meet function in this unique cigar body? I would have to say yes. After cutting the cap and checking the draw I was happy to find it firm but easy. The resistance was slight and after smoking it for a few minutes the cigar tended to open up quite a bit more. As far as the rest of the inspection went I found the foot to give off an aroma of barnyard and sweet cedar.
Upon lighting the cigar I was welcomed by notes of nutmeg, floral sweetness, and some notes of bitterness. These bitter notes tended to mute the floral and sweet ones from time to time, but overall it was not terribly unpleasant. My hunch is that the cigars I had were a little fresh and young and this is why I experienced some rougher elements throughout. The midpoint revealed to me a spicy note and the cigar burned a tad bit hot, but by the back half of the midpoint the notes became more wood like and it lead into a solid finish of floral, nutmeg, and some accents of leather. For my money the last third was really the best part of the cigar. Everything comes into balance there and in both my samples I found no undesirable traits in the last third.
Overall the Molotov was an interesting cigar from concept to production. While I enjoyed the Molotov, I did find issues in both of my samples, but once again I really feel it was an age factor versus an overall construction issue. My colleagues over at Casa Fumado and the Examiner’s Phoenix Cigar Guy seemed to not run into the same issues I found, so you can see some other excellent opinions there. I’m definitely excited to try the production version out when it hits shelves and definitely think this is a cigar worth trying. So if you are a fan of Quesada or medium body cigars with a fair amount of complexity, sweetness, and spice, then embrace your inner rebel and pick up the Molotov today and fight for your cigar rights!