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After blending the Oktoberfest to be paired with beer, Quesada is at it again, this time releasing a new blend in a somewhat unconventional packing in commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day.

The Quesada Keg Edition is a 6 x 50 toro that incorporates Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and filler, and is covered in a broadleaf wrapper from Pennsylvania. Rolled at Plasencia Cigars S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua, the new release retails for $7.95 each and is limited to 250 kegs of 21.

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According to Quesada, the cigar is blended specifically to be paired with an Irish stout, similar to how its Oktoberfest line is made to be paired with the Märzen style German beer that is enjoyed during Oktoberfest.

Quesada Keg Edition Keg 1

Quesada Keg Keg 2.jpg

“Being half Irish I have always wanted to work on a project for St. Patrick’s day,” said Terence Reilly, gm of Quesada Cigars, said in a press release. “Success with our Oktoberfest brand pairing cigars with beer got me excited to do something for St. Patricks.”

Quesada Keg Edition 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Keg Edition
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $7.95 (Kegs of 21, $166.95)
  • Date Released: Jan. 21 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 250 Kegs of 21 Cigars (5,250 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Covered in a dark chocolate brown wrapper, the Quesada Keg Edition is exceedingly toothy to the touch, and features minimum visible veins. The cigar is a bit harder then I would like when squeezed and there is very little oil present. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet oak, leather, earth, manure and coffee grounds, while the cold draw brings flavors of sweet oak, leather, dark fruit and raisons.

A very distinct oaky sweetness is the first flavor that I notice in the profile of the Quesada Keg Edition, which combines nicely with other notes of dark cocoa, gritty earth, leather and anise that come and go. There is a nice raison sweetness on the the retrohale, along with a very slight black pepper that does not seem to be getting any stronger as the first third burns down. Both the burn and draw are wonderful so far, and the smoke production is well above average. The strength is nearly nonexistent so far, and struggles to reach a point between mild and medium by the time the first third burns down.

Quesada Keg Edition 2

The raisin sweetness from the first third increases dramatically during the second third of the Quesada Keg Edition, hitting its high right after the halfway point. Other flavors of leather, bitter espresso, day cocoa, black licorice, hay and peanuts flit in and out, and the black pepper note has increased slightly as well. The smoke production coming from the foot remains fairly constant, and both the draw and burn continue to impress. Strength-wise, the Keg Edition has increased noticeably by the end of the second third, but still does not reach the medium mark.

Quesada Keg Edition 3

Coming into the final third of the Keg Edition, the sweetness has decreased noticeably, but has also morphed a bit into more of a vanilla note. The black pepper has also decreased, but is still strong enough to effect the overall profile, while other the other flavors that are present include dark chocolate, coffee, oak and barnyard. Smoke production as decrease slightly from its high, but the burn and draw remain excellent until the end of the cigar. The overall strength finally hits the medium mark right before I put the nub down with a little less than an inch left.

Quesada Keg Edition 4

Final Notes:

  • There is no nice way to say this, but the band is ugly. In conversations I have had with Reilly, I understand why they made it this way, but the fact remains. With that in mind, there is no doubt that anyone seeing this band for the first time will know three things immediately: It is a cigar made by Quesada, it has something to do with a Keg, and either the owner is Irish or it was made for St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Having said that, the keg the cigars come in is pretty cool and looks great as a showpiece, which is a good thing, since it is too large to fit in many humidors.
  • I find it refreshing that there is a St. Patrick’s Day release that does not try and pigeon-hole a blend into a candela wrapper whether it belongs there or not.
  • Having just reviewed the La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein, I have to say, I am loving the unique ideas for packaging that have been coming out for cigars lately.
  • While Quesada has a long history of working with the Plasencia family, it notes this is the first time the Quesada name has appeared on a cigar not made by the family in the Dominican Republic.
  • I do find it interesting that a cigar made for a specific holiday—in this case, St. Patrick’s Day which is on March 17 this year—was released more than a month before the actual day it is meant to commemorate.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples of the Quesada Keg averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Quesada Cigars advertises on halfwheel.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Quesada Keg cigars, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Emerson’s Cigars and Serious Cigars have them in stock.

While completely different blends, I find quite a few similarities in the Quesada Oktoberfest and the new Keg Edition. After all, both are produced for specific holidays and both are meant to be paired with specific styles of beer. Like the Oktoberfest, I find the Keg Edition to be a very enjoyable cigar, but featuring a profile lacking in complexity. There are flashes of brilliance within the blend, and they truly turn the profile into something amazing when they show up, but they are few and far between. Overall, a good cigar that is well constructed, and one that is easy to recommend, especially at the price.

85 Overall Score

While completely different blends, I find quite a few similarities in the Quesada Oktoberfest and the new Keg Edition. After all, both are produced for specific holidays and both are meant to be paired with specific styles of beer. Like the Oktoberfest, I find the Keg Edition to be a very enjoyable cigar, but featuring a profile lacking in complexity. There are flashes of brilliance within the blend, and they truly turn the profile into something amazing when they show up, but they are few and far between. Overall, a good cigar that is well constructed, and one that is easy to recommend, especially at the price.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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