Bite Size Review: Quesada 1974 Robusto
One thing we’ve come to appreciate over the years is this: enjoying a Quesada cigar is typically a worry-free experience. Notice I say “enjoying,” which is to underscore their unique, flavorful blends. But when it comes to quality and consistency, there are few who can also match Quesada Cigars in construction. I’ve smoked a good number of Quesada’s cigars over the years and have yet to recall much in the way of negatives. We’ve previously reviewed four of their brands including Casa Magna, Oktoberfest, Fonseca Nicaragua and the Quesada 70 and gushed over them like fan boys.
Quesada offers a well-rounded portfolio generously stocked with regular production lines, limited editions and tributos. Their newest line,1974, pays tribute to the year the family of tobacco brokers evolved to become cigar makers. The new cigar was launched in early 2019 at the Procigar festival in Santiago, Dominican Republic and is available in 4 vitolas highlighted by an elegant corona and sleek lancero. Initially, the cigar was debuted in Spain, the Quesada’s ancestral home, in off-market vitolas, but soon found its way to the US market.
One hallmark trait of the Quesada “doctrine” in producing cigars is that Manuel Quesada has been cagey about blend details of his cigars, choosing instead to encourage focus on the overall enjoyment factor. It’s not that he believes the blend isn’t critical to engaging the pleasure centers of your brain, but the time spent with one of his creations shouldn’t be relegated to analysis. Obviously as reviewers, that’s a notion in direct conflict with who we are and what we do, but I will point out we’re not immune to having our socks blown off. And a couple of his cigars have done just that.
Underneath an understated, but elegant, red, black and gold foil band, the caramel hue of our robusto emerges with an oily sheen, visible seams and a rough-to-the-touch exterior. Displaying a little tooth, the cigar also features two prominent veins and is nicely firm throughout its length. The Ecuadorian skin emits a heavy, acrid barnyard aroma, but the contrasting rich graham cracker fragrance from the foot is a nice equalizer. The cold draw of this cigar is effortless but with just enough resistance to not make it feel as though you could shove it in a milkshake and drink from it. Dominant flavors on the cold draw are sweet chocolate and almonds.
The opening rush of cinnamon, crème and graham cracker is rich and mesmerizing. There are also some hints of baking spices on the retro and oak flavors on the palate. This is followed by a savory finish of wood and nuts complemented by a bready texture. Sweet chocolate notes slowly merge into the finish as well. During the first transition, for a minute or so, there is an unpleasant brine, peat-like aftertaste that does dissipate and fortunately, doesn’t return. Transitions are equally tantalizing featuring sweet and spicy draws, more robust wood cores and nuanced flavors like pretzel, salted caramel, hickory, nougat and hardy oats.
Once again that Quesada quality is on full display, from the flawless draw and great smoke production, to the superb combustion and sturdy ash. This level of complexity and nuance is not what you would typically find in a Quesada cigar; however, given the important homage represented, it makes perfect sense. Quesada’s focus has always been about enjoyment, the moments and celebrations and the 1974 has this in spades. In 1974 inflation was out of control, Richard Nixon resigned from office, Ali defeats Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle” and Manuel Quesada and family began the makings of a legacy. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: In 1974 the Quesada family emerged as cigar manufacturers after many years in the tobacco industry as leaf brokers.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length / Ring: 5.0″ X 50
- Purchased: Online
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
- Production: Quesada Cigar
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price:$8.50 [Box (10) $85 & (20) $170]
- Humidor Age: 5 mo.
- Box: 10 & 20
- Other Vitolas: Short Robusto [4″x50], Corona [6″x43], Lancero [7″x38]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:06
Construction: Toothy; oily; caramel hue; 2 big veins; mostly firm throughout; visible seams; rough to the touch; good smoke producer; holds 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Heavy barnyard
- Foot – Graham Cracker
- Cold Draw – Chocolate & almonds
- Initial: Lush draw; floating wood nucleus; dominant notes of cinnamon, cream and graham cracker on the retro; notes of baking spice follow; hints of oak on palate and retro; savory finish with bready texture and notes of wood and nuts; develops sweet chocolate overtones near finish.
- Transition: Develops unpleasant, temporary brine and peat flavor on finish; woody core; draw remains rich with hardy oats; intonations of cocoa, brown sugar and hickory. finishes more toasty; light spice.
- Transition: Sweet and savory draw; more body and strength but retains nuances; wood dominant; pretzel and salted caramel notes on retro; finish goes from bread crust and wood to one more defined of cedar and black coffee; intermittent back channel of nougat and chocolate intonations;
Touch ups: 1
Weaknesses: Bad aftertaste in middle transition – temporary
Recommendation scale: Boxworthy
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]