Towards the end of last year it was announced that Quesada Cigars would be releasing three new sizes in the Casa Magna Domus Magnus II line. Last year we saw line extensions named Tiberius and Caligula, of which the Caligula placed 21st in our top 25 for 2014. This year Quesada continues the naming with three more Roman emperor names – Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius.
Since the two previous cigars released were named after emperors that were generally known as some of the cruelest in Roman history, this time the three emperor names were chosen from a list of better rulers, and nicknamed “The Three Good Emperors.” The Trajan is the first size of the new three to be released, and features a very unique pressed shape, making it look like the “D” in it’s namesake. It’s also the only one of the new sizes to be limited.
- Cigar Reviewed: Casa Magna Domus Magnus II Trajan
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Sun Grown
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Trajan
- MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 10, $85)
- Date Released: Jan. 5, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The first thing I notice about the Trajan is its beautiful wrapper and of course its very unique shape. A beautiful rich brown, the wrapper is applied very well, with only a couple of small wrinkles from the “D” shaped press marring the look. It’s very smooth and has a luxurious, oily feel to it. The shape is unique, and while you might immediately think the band looks off center, when you think about it in terms of it being in a “D” shape, the band would then be on the top. There isn’t much aroma off the wrapper, only a little barnyard, cocoa and a slight touch of nuttiness. The cold draw is a bit more flavorful, with and overall sweetness that belies the immediate turn into a spicy peppery bite on my lips and tongue. There’s also a touch of the earlier cocoa and nuttiness, but mainly the spice overwhelms anything else.
Starting off the first third there is a ton of spiciness, way past your usual black pepper bite. It’s a complex mix of jalapeño, chili peppers and black pepper that really punches the profile right off the bat. Luckily there’s a sweetness to it that balances the spicy mix a little, though it’s only a touch of sweetness. The shape of the cigar is very noticeable as soon as you put it in your mouth, as the only comfortable way to hold it is with the flat part against your top or bottom teeth. The burn starting off is quite nice, almost razor sharp and very even. Only a half an inch in and the smorgasbord of spiciness has faded, turning into a much more mellow profile. Fresh cut wood, a bit of sweetness, some cocoa and a little remaining black pepper make up the milder profile, which while not as overwhelmingly spicy, seems almost a touch dull afterwards. After getting used to the new profile, it’s actually quite a pleasant combination of flavors, meshing nicely with just enough kick to keep it interesting.
Moving into the second third the Trajan continues with more of the same wood, cocoa, black pepper and a bit of sweetness. Unfortunately the burn has started to seriously lag behind on part of the cigar where the curve meets the flat side, so I’m not sure if it has to do with the way it was pressed or not. A quick touch-up brings everything back to even however. Smoke production is interesting, as it seems to produce only a medium amount from the draw, with a hefty dose coming off the foot afterwards but only for a quick second, then immediately drops down to so little that it almost looks like it went out. Towards the end of the second third the pepper has grown again, but is still meshing with the wood, cocoa and sweetness without really taking over the profile.
In the final third I don’t see much change in the Trajan’s profile, with more of the same pepper, wood and cocoa, though the sweetness has died down to almost nothing. The burn is requiring a couple more touch ups, but is for the most part fairly even. Without any change to the profile, the cigar finishes nicely without any harsh notes.
- Trajan’s reign lasted from 98 AD to 117 AD and ended when he died of natural causes.
- Before you think that the first two cigars in the line, Optimus and Primus, are named after the Transformer Autobot’s leader, they are actually Latin for “best” and “first”, respectively.
- Two of the samples I smoked were very similar in all aspects, while the third had some serious burn issues in the final third, going out and needing touched up often enough that I gave up with about an inch and a half left.
- Using the same blend as the rest of the Domus Magnus II line, there were some adjustments made to the ratios to make the profile a little different.
- The cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Quesada Cigars, who is an advertiser.
- Final smoking time averaged right around two hours.
- While many of our site sponsors carry the Casa Magna and Domus Magnus lines, all seem to be out of the Trajan at the moment.
Quesada Cigars isn’t a stranger to creating unique shaped cigars, and the Trajan’s “D” shape is quite unique, setting it apart by shape alone right off the bat. The wrapper is quite impressive and is one of the smoothest, soft and oily feeling wrappers I remember in any recent cigars I’ve smoked. The profile started out quite interesting, with a ton of complex pepper notes that unfortunately didn’t seem to last long. Fortunately, the remaining profile was a good enough mix that I didn’t mind overly much. There were a few constructions issues that were frustrating, but past the one sample’s final third, the burn issues didn’t seem to affect the cigar that much. Since these are reasonably-priced I don’t think that they’ll be on the shelves long, so go grab them while you can.