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Since 2014, the online cigar community and blog Cigar Dojo has been partnering with a number of cigar makers to create a series of co-branded cigars. Some have been extensions to existing lines—such as the Undercrown Dogma from Drew Estate, while others have been stand-alone projects like the Viaje Throw Down and Sensei’s Sensational Sarsaparilla.

For the sixth release in the series, Cigar Dojo turned to Quesada for the Quesada Dojo de Luxe, a 5 3/4 x 52 perfecto that was said to be created with the intention of making “the most Cubanesque smoke you can fathom.” To attempt to deliver on to this claim, the blend featured an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over a Dominican binder and filler.

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It was a blend based off the Quesada 40th Corona Clasica, a cigar blended by Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr. as part of the company’s 40th anniversary in 2014. It was also one that differed from the previous Cigar Dojo releases.

 

“After creating several special releases that feature maduro tobacco (such as the Undercrown Dogma), we were eager to explore something different, something classic and Cubanesque,” said Eric Guttormson, owner of Cigar Dojo, via a press release. “We knew that Quesada Cigars would be the perfect company to create exactly what we were looking for. The blend, the vitola, everything about the Dojo de Luxe pays homage to an era gone by.”

Each of the 500 boxes of 10 cigars released for the Quesada Dojo de Luxe featured the same branding as the Quesada 40th line, as well as Manolo Quesada’s signature and the Cigar Dojo logo.

Here’s what I said about the Quesada Dojo de Luxe when I reviewed it in March 2017:

First and foremost, I’m incredibly struck by the consistency of the three samples that I smoked; if there is one thing that truly sticks out, it is that. As for the flavor, it’s is a bit of a journey, albeit a bit of a routine one that features a rather high but all to fleeting peak. A delayed start gets quickly rewarded with creaminess and white pepper, building up to a peak of complexity that as Charlie Minato noted in his review of the Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Clasica, captures the more subtle and delicate notes of tobacco that doesn’t come from Nicaragua while still packing a fair amount of body and nicotine. If only the rest of the cigar performed a bit closer to that peak.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Dojo de Luxe
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Quesada Cigars
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 5 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: $9.99 (Box of 10, $99.95)
  • Release Date: March 3, 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

The Quesada Dojo de Luxe still has the lightly tanned Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that I both remember from my original review and that became associated with a handful of Quesada releases over the years. It has a bit of mottling, the veins are very small and thin, and there’s still a slightly oily feel for the fingers. The shape of the cigar is also appealing; the foot of the perfecto seems to have flattened a bit in the humidor—or due to my handling of it along the way—but other than that, it’s a solid-looking shape, finished with a cap that drapes over the head like, almost like a bottle cap. I’d be remiss not to mention how well the bands complement the shade of the wrapper. It’s one of those things that I think gets planned for but ultimately needs some luck to truly happen, and in this case, it does. The cigar is still quite firm, almost hard in spots, but generally consistent. The wrapper offers a subtle aroma of lightly buttered popcorn, while the foot adds a bit of body to the smoke and a slightly heavier smell, without changing the core smell much. Even with a small head and foot, air flows freely and without issue, carrying a flavor and texture of white bread, soft and easy on the tongue with little in the way of pepper or sweetness.

The cigar starts on the milder end of the spectrum but with just a bit of bite, something I find surprising given its age. For much of the first third, there’s a fairly innocuous flavor that leans on popcorn, white bread, some creaminess and just a bit of light pepper for something seemingly suited to a morning cigar with a latte. The burn, draw and smoke production are all good in the early goings, and the bright white ash holds on quite well. Once it departs, the flavor opens up as white pepper becomes more vibrant, while whatever was driving the bite that the cigar had is beginning to fade. Most welcomed is a filling out of the smoke’s body, which has gone from fairly thin to solidly medium in the first half. At the midway point, the cigars offers creaminess, white pepper, white toast, while retrohales are bright with white pepper and backed by just a touch of the other two components.

While the Quesada Dojo de Luxe has largely shaken off any funky flavors, there is one spot where it tastes like the creaminess had spoiled and the wood was also getting a bit funky. A quick resting of the cigar and cleansing of the palate seemed to resolve the issue, though has me a bit apprehensive about what awaits in the remainder of the second half. What has yet to develop—at least by my definition—is much that makes me think of the term Cubanesque, a term I generally avoid using. The final third brings about more dry wood to the profile, a taste that has been present throughout the cigar but now stands more front and center. Pepper has settled down a bit, though it still contributing, while creaminess seems to have stepped away almost completely. As a result, the final third is marked by a much drier profile and one that loses its relative smoothness with each successive puff. While the flavor has sharpened up, retrohales have softened as the white pepper is much tamer, clearing the way for about as hearty or frequent of a retrohale as I want. The draw, burn and smoke production all stay good, with flavor finishing around medium, while body and strength are both closer to medium minus. Final smoking time is about one hour and 35 minutes.

82 Overall Score

I’d be hard-pressed to say that the Quesada Dojo de Luxe has gotten appreciably better in the three-plus years that it has been since I smoked it originally. The flavor starts off thin and does an admirable job building up to an enjoyable second third, but the final third sees it all fade away fairly quickly, leaving a dry and slightly irritating profile on my palate driven largely by a singular note of lumber. The construction is still great and the cigar is still both smokeable and somewhat enjoyable, but unless a few more years will revive things, I’d suggest smoking what you might have left of these sooner than later, lest you find yourself with a shell that it is a skeleton of its former self.

Original Score (March 2017)
87
Redux Score (August 2020)
82

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.