In December of 2011, Quesada announced the Q d’etat line, a series of limited editions meant to bring attention to unfair taxation and overall mistreatment of the cigar industry by the government.
Says the original press release:
The brand is intended to create awareness of the dangers increased government regulation and taxation will produce, specifically the FDA’s desire to regulate premium cigars. There will be three sizes, released at different dates, of 1,000 ten-count boxes. Each box will contain a form to register for membership in Cigar Rights of America.
SAG Imports, the distribution arm of the Quesada family’s cigar operations, announced each vitola separately with the final version being shown off at IPCPR 2012. While the first two releases were Dominican puros, Quesada decided to change the blend for the final release, due to issues with how the first blend held up in the unique vitola of the Daga.
Says Terence Reilly:
We changed the blend because we found the original blend to be very flat in this size. The Howitzer and the Molotov had very distinct, straightforward flavors that were missing in the Daga for some reason. We really wanted to use that size, so we looked at other blends we had available and the 35th blend came up. At first we tried the 35th blend with the same wrapper as the Howitzer and Molotov, but that didn’t work either. Finally we thought the original 35th blend would be interesting in that shape so we used that entire original blend, albeit with an Arapiraca wrapper from a different priming than the original 35th.
The three vitolas of the Quesada Q d’etat line are:
- Quesada Q d’etat Molotov (5 x 38/58/44) — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — February 2012
- Quesada Q d’etat Howitzer (6 x 60) — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — May 2012
- Quesada Q d’etat Daga (7 x 44/50/54) — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — September 2012
But enough of that, lets get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Q d’etat Daga
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: The Quesada Factory
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Arapiraca
- Binder: Criollo ’98
- Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 44/50/54
- Vitola: Salomon
- MSRP: $9.75 (Boxes of 10, $97.50)
- Date Released: September 18, 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
The Quesada Q d’etat Daga is an interesting looking cigar right off the bat, a somewhat slimmer than normal Salomon with a pointed cap, something that becomes far more noticeable when you run your finger along the top. The wrapper is a very nice reddened mocha color that is smooth to the touch and devoid of almost any oil. It is a tad spongy when squeezed, but not enough that I think it is going to be a major issue. The aroma coming off of the wrapper is a combination of dark chocolate, spicy wood, pepper and a bit of leather.
The first third of the Q d’etat starts off with distinct notes of hay, slightly bitter espresso, and earth. Smoke production is way above normal, and the burn and draw are perfect through the first third. The profile is dense and rich, but not overly complex at this point, and I can already tell the finish is excellent. There is just a bit of pepper on the retrohale, but none in the mouth or on the lips, at least not yet. The overall strength starts out at a surprisingly high level, a solid medium and seems to be getting stronger from there.
Coming into the second third of the Quesada Q d’etat Daga, and the profile shifts a bit with flavors of mocha chocolate, creamy cedar, earth and leather all vying for dominance. There is a nice sweetness underneath all of the other flavors — almost like a brown sugar — but it is not as strong as I would like. The finish remains wonderful, as does the construction, and there is a bit more pepper on the retrohale compared to the first third. The strength does not increase as much as I thought it would, and is only slightly higher than medium by the end of the second third.
The final third of the Daga features a combination of the flavors from the first two thirds with notes of espresso, hay, mocha chocolate, earth and cedar all noticeable. The profile is still quite rich, and the construction remains almost flawless. The sweetness from the second third is still noticeable, but sadly has not increased noticeably. There is even more pepper on the retrohale than in the second third, but it is balanced nicely with the other flavors, and only adds to the profile. The strength ends almost exactly where it began the final third, at a slightly stronger than medium.
- At seven inches, this is the longest of the three Q d’etat releases by far, although the Howitzer has it beat on ring gauge, if there are prizes for size.
- Like the Molotovs, the ten Daga cigars are arranged in alternating fashion in their boxes: five with the caps up and five with the foot up. This helps to better accommodate the large bulbed foot.
- Unlike the first two releases, the bottom of each box of Q d’etat Dagas has the following written on it: “Contains 10 Dominican Republic hand made cigars intended to remind you we must defend our rights or risk losing them. Freedom isn’t free.” (Photo courtesy Just for Him)
- The name Daga is Spanish for Dagger, and refers to it being somewhat shaped like a dagger. In fact, there are two daggers printed on the secondary band with the name, hilt down. Interestingly, all of the Q d’etat releases are named after various weapons, the more so to drive home the point that we must fight for our rights.
- Having said the above, I doubt very seriously that anyone at Quesada cigars would approve of anyone using an actual Molotov Cocktail to make a point.
- The size of the Salomon used for the Daga is interesting, in that it is a bit thinner than most other Salomons that are being produced. “We wanted to make the cigar look as much like a dagger as possible and a slightly thinner ring helped with that. We feel it improved the taste as well,” says Reilly.
- The first two Q d’etat releases were both Dominican puros, but the Daga is not, using quite a few different tobaccos from different countries.
- The smoke production is amazing, dense and white and smells quite wood-like.
- The original Quesada 35th blend was the first cigar entirely made by the fifth generation of the Quesada family.
- As mentioned above, each box of Dagas, like the prior two Q d’etat releases, comes with a signup card to join the the Cigar Rights of America (CRA).
- The samples smoked for this review were sent to us by site sponsor Quesada cigars.
- The final smoking time averaged just under two hours for all samples smoked.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Quesada Q d’etat Dagas, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar (1.800.877.7787) should have all three Q d’etats in stock, although only the first two are currently offered for sale online.
The Bottom Line: When I heard that the final installment of the Q d’etat series was changing blends, I was thrilled. I love the purpose and the passion behind the releases, but the first two cigars in the series were, frankly, easily forgettable. However, I have always been a fan of Quesada’s 35th blend, and this cigar did not disappoint. Despite the fact that the vitola is quite a bit larger than my normal vitola, the blend holds up quite well to the size, the construction was fabulous for all samples, and is balanced and complex enough to keep my attention for the entire smoke. I will definitely have some more on hand,for when I want a cigar that lasts longer than my normal smoke.
Final Score: 88
If you would like to win three Quesada Q d’etat, leave a comment.
Contest ends one week from post. Rules here.