Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 4 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Arapiraca
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Price : $7.00-$7.95 each
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Manuel Quesada has been on a roll this year with absolute fantastic releases. I would probably go out on a limb and call him the cigar maker of the year so far for 2011. MATASA released the “Seleccion Espana” exclusively for B&M in Spain. Why only Spain and not the U.S.? I have no idea. Apparently they didn’t think this would be a hit here at home. But the few stores that had the privilege of getting these sticks here in the United States got to see them fly off the shelves. Will they ever be released eventually in the U.S., time will tell.
This review has been a long time coming. I bought a ten count box of these, and instead of writing a review when I got them I smoked almost all of them. So here goes,…
The Seleccion Espana is covered in a beauty of a wrapper leaf. The dark tan Arapiraca wrapper is minimally veined and has a nice oily sheen. The cigar is packed tightly and is perfectly cylindrical with no bumps along its outside. It has a traditional Cuban triple cap and smells of faint leather and graham crackers. I really like the banding on Quesadas, and this cigar is no different.
The Quesada cuts clean with no unraveling. The draw has a nice resistance to it. It lit quite easily with my single jet Xikar lighter. From there, it was cruise control. No touch ups. Burned it to the nub. Out of the 10 I smoked, only 1-2 needed any kind of touch up. Grey ashes held on for 2-3 inch chunks.
No pepper, no spice, just everything nice. The Seleccion Espana started off with great honeyed flavor with a nutty backbone. The smoke is dry, but reminds me a lot of Montecristos from Cuba. The retrohale is where this stick shines though. The only drawback noticed is an acrid aftertaste on the smoke.
In the second third, the Quesada continues to be an easy smoking experience with its smooth profile and clean burn. The body of the cigar is a solid medium. Graham and nuts tend to characterize this point in the cigar. A touch of leather can be tasted as well. The very noticeable cubanesque flavors from the 1st third of the cigar have been dialed back several notches.
Continuing into the last third, things started to ramp up. The flavor profile is more “in your face” now with touches of menthol, leather, grass, and a hint of marzipan. Body remains medium, but flavor is full. Total smoking time was surprisingly long taking into consideration the short stature of this vitola.
Boxes of 10 were being sold around $65 to $80 dollars for this vitola. In my opinion, the ten count box was a perfect release format not requiring people to make a huge commitment if it wasn’t their cup of tea. The long smoking time made the price of this cigar easier to swallow making it a hit in my book.
Overall Rating : (4.25)
The first and last thirds of this cigar were definitely the highlights of the Quesada Espana experience. It was elegant from the start and transitioned flavors flawlessly, rolling its sleeves up and showing a little bit of muscle in the end to let everyone know this cigar is serious. The Seleccion Espana is simply a well rounded stick with great balance and a little of that “twang” that makes Cuban cigars so desirable. Hopefully everyone will have a chance to try this cigar someday. In the mean time, grab a brewski and smoke an Oktoberfest by Quesada! Cheers and beers everyone, ‘til next time,…