Two years ago Quesada released a special project, one that used some well aged tobacco combined with more recent vintages and called it the Reserva Privada. The blend was based around Dominican criollo tobacco harvested in 1997 and was finished off with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. Last year, Quesada again brought a new blend to the market using that same Dominican criollo, this time featuring a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.

This year it was announced that Federal Cigar had landed an exclusive cigar from Quesada along with a pair of lonsdales using each of the Reserva Privada blends. This brought the number of sizes in the original blend to six, while the Oscuro blend now has four.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Lonsdale
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Quesada Cigars
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Dominican Criollo
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Pennsylvania
  • Length: 6 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $10.60 (Bundles of 20, $212)
  • Release Date: March 4, 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: 20 Bundles of 20 Cigars (400 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro is a good looking cigar, but upon closer inspection it isn’t going to be winning any beauty contests. A larger vein runs along one side and while it isn’t rough, it’s certainly not overly soft or oily either. There is also a bit of uneven give when squeezed, falling short of what I would call soft spots. The aroma coming off the wrapper is a distinct and pleasant note of chocolate pudding, followed by caramel and some sweet fruit. On the cold draw is more sweet fruits—specifically dried apricots and raisins—alongside some light cocoa and a touch of spice.

Starting into the first third of the Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Lonsdale there is a touch of sweetness and some spice, but mostly I’m inundated by a blast of black pepper. Thankfully that dies down quickly enough, allowing new notes to pop up of orange zest, almonds and hazelnuts. I wouldn’t say the burn is exactly even to begin with, but it seems to be staying enough within reason to not need a touch up. The ash is quite dense, with only a couple of random wisps of ash wanting to fly away, all holding on easily to around the inch mark. The hazelnut and almonds have grown joining the sweet spice up front, while the orange zest in the background is joined by some smoky cedar. The black pepper that started out so strong is all but gone now, allowing the rich, sweet profile to flourish.

The second third continues with much the same profile, though the profile has somewhat melded together creating a more generic spice, fruit and nut blend that gives it an almost dessert-like quality. The burn line has started to be uncooperative, with almost a full three fourths of the cigar not really wanting to stay lit. A quick touch-up gets the show back on track, and the sweet aroma of smoke surrounds me once again. Unfortunately, less than an inch later, the burn line has already gone haywire again requiring another touch up.

Shifting into the final third, the sweetness that has dominated the majority of the cigar has died down a bit, allowing the cedar to come back into the Reserva Privada Oscuro Lonsdale. Spice, fruits and nuts are still more general notes instead of the distinct ones from earlier, though overall it’s still an enjoyable profile. A slight harshness has developed too, probably due to the multiple touch ups that have been required to keep the burn line in check in the final couple of inches. Thankfully it’s not too bad, and the Reserva Privada ends on a relatively good note.

Final Notes

  • The smoke that filled the area around me was wonderfully aromatic, with much more of the sweet spice, nuts and a general tobacco note that gave the Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro one more positive mark in the overall experience.
  • I did get to try the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped version and it was also quite a good cigar. Less sweet or fruity than the Oscuro, it was seemingly smoother, but still suffered from harshness and relights in the final third much like the Oscuro did.
  • I love the way the name sounds: it’s just really fun to say. Quesada. Reserva. Privada. Oscuro. I’m sure there’s a term for it, but my English courses are too far in the past to remember it.
  • Currently there are no plans to release the lonsdale size anywhere else.
  • Quesada advertises on halfwheel.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged around an hour and fifty minutes.
86 Overall Score

The Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Lonsdale started out with wonderfully rich notes before it was even lit up, and continued to produce exquisitely enjoyable notes throughout the first and second third of the cigar. Even with the melding of the distinctive notes in the second third, the overall dessert effect continued to please my palate with the sweet profile. The down sides to the cigar are certainly the constant touch ups that the second and final third required—and while the final third’s flavor wasn’t bad—it just wasn’t up to par with the first two thirds. While these are a very limited release and potentially already long sold out, they would be an easy suggestion to seek out. I certainly enjoyed each sample despite a few shortcomings and I’m sure it’s something most fans of Quesada will want to try.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.