For its sixth branded cigar, the online cigar community Cigar Dojo turned to a company that has a pretty good relationship with social media and the online cigar life: Quesada Cigars.
The Quesada Dojo de Luxe was created with the intention of being “the most Cubanesque smoke you can fathom,” a goal attempted with a blend of Dominican binder and fillers, wrapped in an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. The Dojo de Luxe comes in a single 5 3/4 x 52 perfecto vitola packed in to 10-count boxes, with 500 boxes produced.
The cigar was designed to be a departure from the previous blends that Cigar Dojo has been involved with and is based off of the Quesada 40th Corona Clasica, a cigar that was blended by Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr. as a limited edition that is part of the company’s 40th Anniversary line that was released in 2014. “It’s a cigar that brings intense flavors to the palate yet remains smooth and balanced enough to be enjoyed as the first cigar of the day,” said Terence Reilly of Quesada Cigars.
“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.”
The cigar is being offered exclusively through a prominent retailer in the online space, Smoke Inn.
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Dojo de Luxe
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Quesada Cigars
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $9.99 (Boxes 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 Review: 3
A thin and fairly veiny wrapper leaf covers the cigar, golden and tanned in some spots, mottled and a bit brown in others, while one sample had a small green spot right on the wrapper’s cut line that certainly evokes the word Cubanesque. The roll quality is generally solid, with close inspection of the visible seams revealing the few spots where the cut isn’t quite straight. It’s a firm cigar, and when giving it a slightly squeeze it becomes readily apparent that this is a thin wrapper leaf. Both the foot and wrapper are guarded with their aromas, as I get so little from either that I’d be lobbing guesses if I were to suggest anything too particular. Air moves well on the cold draw, with a heavy corn flake flavor and just a touch of sweetness as the offering.
It seems to take mere seconds to toast the foot of the Quesada Dojo de Luxe by way of single jet torch lighter, and the burn line does a good job embracing the curve of the perfecto. While the tobacco gets burning quickly, there’s a bit more hesitation from the flavors, as there’s a subtle creaminess with hints of cereal grains, but otherwise a slight delay for the flavors to jump out. It takes several puffs to get a bit of white pepper to develop on the palate, and that gets followed by some chalk and quickly separated, with the former going more towards the nose and the latter towards the front third of the tongue. Once the burn line crosses into the main cylinder of the cigar, the smoke production picks up quite a bit and the flavor does a quick rev of its engine, bringing about a bit more pepper before backing away and developing notes of sweet corn flakes and a slight bit of mint on the finish both on the palate and in the nose. The nearly white ash keeps it grip through the first inch; once it is gone the pepper develops a bit more and I get lightly toasted white bread and a bit more body from the cigar.
I must say that the Quesada Dojo de Luxe does a good job of helping Cigar Dojo move away from the heavier, maduro-prevalent cigars that it has previously released, as the smoke at the start of the second third is still fairly light and easy on the palate, though a bit of dry wood has come along and when working with the pepper leaves an enjoyable tingle on the tongue. The flavor ratchets up another tick or two in intensity approaching the midline while its components are holding steady. The section that comes right before the second band and right underneath it, hits a high note in terms of flavor, and yes, does get a bit Cubanesque in its profile. Like any peak it is hard to maintain a prolonged presence at it, and the cigar picks up a bit of sourness before moving towards a profile that is part chalk and part light earth, which has its own enjoyability and familiarity. The pepper also gets a bit more direct and picks up some heat, resulting in a more stinging sensation in the nose.
By the transition from its second to final third, the Dojo de Luxe seems to have firmly entrenched itself in its flavor and strength profiles, keeping pepper at the forefront and backing it with dry toast and a bit of wood. The only thing that does seem to be changing is the burn rate, which feels like it has slowed down a good bit in this section. Just as the ring gauge of the cigar begins to taper back down, the pepper gets a bit more intense and even a touch hot at times, but I still find myself retrohaling quite frequently as the duality between the smoke through the nose and on the palate is rather engaging if a bit disconnected. A relight or two helps get the cigar to a fairly small nub, though with the flavor having unwound itself quite a bit from its highpoint in the second third, there’s a bit less desire to get every last puff out of this cigar, especially if it comes with the risk of tainting an otherwise good memory.
- When Charlie Minato received these cigars at the office, he noticed a distinct smell of paint. I can’t say I noticed it—at least not as explicitly—on the samples I smoked for this review.
- Living in Arizona, which is sometimes referred to as the Copper State, I liked the color of the secondary bands quite a bit. That said, it is a clash with the gold on the primary band, which goes against a piece of fashion advice I believe in: don’t mix your metals.
- In December 2016, Manuel “Manolo” Quesada did a Reddit AMA, with the assistance of his nephew, Hostos Fernandez Quesada. He also has his own Instagram account, in addition to the company’s account, which is run by another nephew, Terence Reilly.
- The Quesada Dojo de Luxe was first seen on Feb. 17, 2017 at during Smoke Inn’s Great Smoke event in Boynton Beach, Fla. It was part of the pre-event dinner.
- Charlie Minato reviewed the Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Classica, which the Dojo de Luxe is based off of, while Brian Burt reviewed the Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press and Brooks Whittington reviewed the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica and the Quesada 40th Anniversary Short Robusto.
- While it’s been a while since I’ve smoked the Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Classica, the Dojo de Luxe falls quite a bit short of my memories of that cigar, save for a sweet spot in the second third.
- Each of the three cigars had some sort of issue with the wrapper, generally a small crack that develops during either the second or final thirds. None were detrimental to the cigar, but it is a reminder of just how delicate this wrapper is.
- The consistency of the three samples in both flavor and progression was quite impressive.
- Final smoking time was just under two hours on average.
- Both Quesada and Smoke Inn advertise on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The only place to get the Quesada Dojo Deluxe is Smoke Inn.
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.