October 27, 2011
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
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,…
Appearance : [rating:5/5]
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.
Construction : [rating:5/5]
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.
Flavor : [rating:4/5]
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.
Value : [rating:4/5]
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 : [rating:4.25/5] (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,…
April 8, 2014
Just fuming a Quesda Espana robusto, great smoke…and then there’s the rest of us who are flavor-thymic – or whatever the Latin word it’s there for it! – who have the palate but cannot name the notes! and I am more or less in that category but really appreciate reading reviews to expand on my vocabulary.
To add to the complexity, the rate one smokes as well as the stick’s humidity also greatly affects the taste.
Not to mention that focusing on the flavors, is a very meditative and mindful practice.
May 5, 2012
Went to a Quesada event here in Houston last night and Mr. Quesada had brought a few boxes of these with him. I agree that these great smokes and brought a few home with me. Great review by the way.
In response to John Tidyman’s comments, I have to say, really?? Do you ever take the time to try to identify all the different aromas and tastes present in your cigars? If not, that’s okay. Enjoy them however you want. But please don’t try to criticize those of us who do. I pick up notes of leather and grass/hay very often in my cigars and I love it. It’s a shame that you don’t.
March 13, 2012
Leather tastes like leather and grass (the dry kind) tastes like grass. What else would it taste like. Yes I have chewed leather and yes I have tasted dry hay and grass. You don’t have to go as far as me to build a palate though, you can just go by the aroma and flavors you pick up through retrohaling. I’m sorry but taste is not just a sensory picked up by the tongue, but mostly by the nose. And the nose can decipher thousands of difference aromas and flavors. This is not BS but medical fact, I would know since I work within the medical field. Next time in a middle of a nasty cold/flu, smoke a cigar and tell me what you taste. It’s almost nothing, cause your sinuses are flooded with mucus and swollen. This is because you can’t taste without the ability to smell. Every cigar reviewer worth his salt will tell you the exact thing. It’s no different if you are a wine reviewer or connoisseur. Menthol is only menthol because of it’s oily aroma, it hardly has flavor, that’s why it penetrates the sinuses, why do you think people use it for colds. Whether you just taste bitter and sweet and nothing else, you don’t see me criticizing you. You smoke what you like and like what you smoke. I liked the Quesada Espana, how did you like it? Or did you even smoke it before criticizing my flavor spectrum?
March 13, 2012
“menthol, leather, grass, and a hint of marzipan.” Really? Menthol and marzipan? While we’re at it, what do leather and grass taste like?
October 29, 2011
I think they chose Spain because, as far as I remember, it’s the biggest cigar market in Europe. I bet the cost there is closer to 8-9 EUR though…
October 28, 2011
These are great little NCs. The coronas are even better. I wish more NC manufacturers could come up with complex cigars with a medium profile such as these.
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