Last year, Quesada introduced one of its most ambitious products to date, the Reserva Privada.
The cigar was marketed as a more premium offering from Quesada containing one very special leaf of tobacco that spanned three generations. One filler leaf was planted as part of the 1997 harvest while the late Manuel Quesada Sr. was still alive. The cigar was then created by his son—Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr.—alone with his children and other members of Quesada’s fifth generation.
This year, the company announced a new release that would use some of that same Dominican criollo tobacco from 1997, the Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro.
It keeps much of the same packaging and uses a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over fillers from the Dominican Republic and Pennsylvania. The vintage 1997 criollo is used as a binder.
Three sizes were produced, each limited to 1,400 boxes. A Toro (5 5/8 x 54, $13.95) and Double Corona (6 1/2 x 46, $12.95) are being offered to accounts nationwide, while a Robusto (4 3/4 x 52, $12.95) is an exclusive size for members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA).
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Double Corona
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Quesada Cigars
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Dominican Criollo
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Pennsylvania
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona Extra
- MSRP: $12.95 (Boxes of 10, $129.50)
- Release Date: May 18, 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,400 Boxes of 10 Cigars (14,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
For whatever it’s worth, our box arrived a bit scuffed up. The cigars themselves were fine, however, with the Connecticut broadleaf showing a variety of colors across the 10 individual sticks. I pick up some fairly typical broadleaf hints from the wrapper with some mint chocolate chip ice cream, bark and white pepper from the foot. The cold draw keeps some of the mint around along with nuttiness, cocoa and some mild spices on the tongue.
The Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro starts with some toasted flavors, peanut butter, woodiness and some mint. To varying degrees, all three cigars that I smoke for this review start off with some issues being lit, this despite using a triple flame torch lighter and spending a good minute on the process. Flavor-wise, there’s some toastiness, peanut butter and a decent amount of jalapeño pepper on the tongue–making it quite spicy for a Quesada. The retrohales show a good bit of citrus with both sweetness and acidity showing themselves. At certain points I’m able to pick up both orange and pineapple. As for the construction, one burns great but there are struggles on the other two, as they show signs of going out and force me to begin using my lighter simply to make sure the cigar continues to burn.
As the second third gets going, the roasted flavors begin to take over the profile. The citrus has transformed more into lemon and the peanut butter is gone. On one sample, the pepper is completely missing, but it sticks around on the other two samples. The pepper barely sticks around for the finish, but there’s quite a bit of paprika on the tongue. Burn woes have now become an issue on all three cigars as the Reserva Privada Oscuro just doesn’t seem to want to stay lit. Two of the cigars are in the medium-full range strength-wise, while one is noticeably much fuller.
There’s an added toastiness in the final third along with some saw dust, though the flavor profile of the Reserva Privada Oscuro has turned mostly to nuttiness. While there’s no pepper, about 30 seconds into the finish I get a nice blend of spices. Otherwise, the flavor profile is much the same as the second third of the Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro. Construction-wise, the burn issues remain and the draw tightens on two of the three cigars.
- These cigars spent two weeks in a humidor that is kept at 62 percent relative humidity before I smoked them. Prior to that they were in a humidor that stays at 65. I’m not sure what more I could have done to prevent them from constantly going out.
- On one sample, the burn was spectacular for the first two inches, holding a huge chunk of ash even with me casually trying to knock it off after the first inch. However, a half inch later it nearly went out and the rest of the cigar needed regular relighting.
- All three samples had incredibly firm ash, perhaps the firmest on any cigar I’ve smoked in the last year.
- I prefer the flavor of the Reserva Privada Osucro to the regular Reserva Privada, but with these construction issues it’s a toss up.
- Strength is medium-full, certainly stronger than a typical Quesada.
- Quesada advertises on halfwheel.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Quesada.
- Even with me puffing at quicker than a minute, final smoking time ended up over three hours, likely due to the inability to stay lit.
- Site sponsor STOGIES World Class Cigars (713.783.5100) carries the Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro.
This cigar reminds me of another that Quesada produced, the España Ninfa. Much like that cigar, the flavor here is dynamic, enjoyable and somewhat different from most Quesadas I smoke. Unfortunately, both cigars gave my lighter a workout. At some point during each of the three samples I smoked, the cigar either went out or almost went out and after that, despite purging, faster puff rates and dry boxing, there was really no way to keep the cigar lit in an acceptable manner for longer than 15 minute periods. The Reserva Privada Oscuro Double Corona was very good flavor-wise, but struggled to stay lit despite my best attempts at dry boxing. I’m curious to smoke the other two sizes, but am ultimately fairly frustrated at construction issues destroying what otherwise was a very good cigar.