In July 2009 Jorge Armenteros (President – Tobacconist University) posted what he called a “heads up” about an excellent new cigar that was going to be released in the Fall, the Quesada 35th Anniversary from Matasa. Well when Jorge speaks about cigars, I listen and I went straight to my premium brick & mortar tobacconist and ordered them. The 35 is not only the latest from Matasa, but a rather unique offering from them as well. It commemorates the 35th anniversary of Matasa and was actually created by the fifth-generation of the Quesada family to be in the cigar business, who family patriarch Manolo Quesada calls, “the young ones”. It is also their first, I believe, to bear the family name.
The Quesada 35 is made with an Equadorian arapiraca wrapper; a Cuban seed, criollo-98 binder from their 2008 crop grown in the Dominican Republic; and an interesting filler consisting of one leaf of the aforementioned 2008 crop blended with Havana Vuelta arriba ligeros from the Navarrete region of the Dominican Republic, and some ligeros from the Esteli region of Nicaragua. It is being released in a 6 x 49 box pressed Toro vitolla in a limited edition of only 1000 boxes with 20 cigars each.
The first thing I noticed was the attractive triple banding, which was black, silver, and gold, and complimented the wrapper perfectly. The wrapper itself was a beautiful oily, maduro color with no noticeable flaws. The body was smooth, very firm (indicating a well packed cigar), and had no indentations or soft spots. The pre-light aroma was distinctly smooth and sweet and was more pronounced at the foot. I made a straight cut with scissors and tested the draw, which was smooth with a nice, moderate resistance (another indication of being well packed), which also revealed a pleasant ‘woody’ taste on the lips.
After lighting, the Quesada 35 presented a remarkably smooth start and as it began to warm developed an exceptionally smooth draw. It produced copious amounts of light grey smoke and left a similar colored, soft ash with dark highlights. At about ¼ inch in it began to develop a slight spicy tingle on the tip of the tongue along with what were perhaps mild coffee notes. Retro-exhalation was relatively smooth with a spicy sensation all the way at the back of the sinuses and at about 1½ inches in it began to present notes of slightly bitter chocolate or unsweetened cocoa. In the middle-third the spice began to pick up subtly and could be felt around and even under the tongue. In the final-third the spice began to mellow but remained at the tip of the tongue and the unsweetened cocoa flavor intensified.
The Quesada 35th Anniversary is definitely a very good cigar. It is medium to full in body with balance and some complexity. The only thing I didn’t like was that I had a heck of a time keeping it lit and actually used up my lighter by the time I reached the end. Of course this doesn’t take away from all the fine qualities I mentioned above, but this sort of thing can be a distraction when trying to enjoy a cigar. Keep in mind that this certainly could have been an individual fluke, others have said theirs burned flawlessly. Give it a try and enjoy it for yourself.
“Smoking is an enchanting experience that can instantly bring you back to a favorite moment or a fond memory. It is something that only those who love cigars can appreciate and understand.”
- Patricia QuesadaOne of “the young ones”