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For the past three years, Quesada Cigars has released a limited size of its popular Selección España line in limited fashion, selecting one retailer per month to receive a single box of the special size.

With 10 vitolas already in the line, the choice of which vitola will be used for the special size is certainly getting more and more limited, but this year, the company went with the A-, an 8 1/2 x 48 version of the typical 9 1/4 x 47 vitola known as grand corona, or oftentimes referred to as A.

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Quesada Espana A- Box 1 Quesada Espana A- Box 2

Outside of the size, the other noticeable change this year is that getting a box to yourself will be much easier. It’s not that Quesada will make more cigars, they are still only slated to release 1,200 cigars like last year, but this year the cigars are coming in 10-count boxes instead of 50- or 100-count boxes of year’s past.

Quesada Espana A Vitolas

As it has done in years past, the special España debuted at Just For Him in Springfield, Mo. Christian Hutson, one of the store’s co-owners, is credited with helping to convince Quesada to bring the line to the U.S. and his wife, Jessica Hutson, commented that he’d been asking for the size for a few years.

Quesada will announce the other retailers one at a time as the year goes on.

Quesada Espana A- 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Selección España A-
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Quesada Cigars
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Arapiraca
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 8 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Vitola: Short Gran Corona
  • MSRP: $9.99 (Boxes of 10, $99.90)
  • Release Date: January 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 120 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,200 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

All three cigars seem really soft to the touch. They’ve been sitting in a 65 percent environment for a few weeks, but I still try drybox my second and third samples, to no avail. There’s a hard spot underneath the band on two samples, something I probably wouldn’t have noticed if not for the extremely soft characteristics of the cigar in general. Aroma from the wrapper has some barnyard and not much else. I pick up graham cracker, some generic woods and raspberries from the foot. The cold draw also the graham cracker note surrounded by some vanilla and not much else.

The first third of the Selección España A- begins with some sweet cedar, a touch of spices on the tip of the tongue and some coffee beans. Despite my concerns about how soft the cigar feels, the draw is fine and it appears to be burning fine. There’s some pretty pedestrian sweet cedar and roasted peanuts in the middle of the mouth with just a touch of black pepper. Through the nose, I pick up burnt toast and hints of chocolate chips. Unfortunately, within the first inch, I begin to find myself making small touch-ups to prevent anything from going overly awry. Otherwise, the construction of the España is fine with the ash falling off in three-quarter inch chunks, smoke production average and a decent draw.

Quesada Espana A- 2

While the cedar is still present, particularly up until the midway point, the nuttiness moves to the forefront of the profile alongside some burnt butter and oak. There’s some added harshens, but it’s minor and relatively restrained. Besides that, it’s much the same. There’s still neither very much sweetness nor can I pick up much pepper beyond a bit of black pepper towards the back. The flavor increases slightly in intensity, but it’s not much different from the medium-full place where it was in the first third. The España A- remains medium in both body and strength. A few touch-ups are needed in two of the samples, but otherwise the construction is fine.Quesada Espana A- 3

There’s an added sweetness thanks to a cappuccino-like coffee flavor. It does well joining the nuttiness, which is now more walnut, and also allows for some creaminess to break through. Most interesting is the retrohale, which went from being a pleasant, yet unremarkable experience, to something that is now extremely full with lots of grapefruit, some white pepper and some harshness. It’s significantly fuller than it was at any other point during the cigar and also much more punishing than it had been. That being said, the flavor of the España is still not beyond medium-full.

Quesada Espana A- 4

Final Notes

  • As has been the case for every España I’ve smoked, the bands aren’t centered in a normal way. It seems like the ñ in the España is made to be centered with the main band. I moved them as it looks really awkward.
  • While this sort logic of applies to any size, it seems to be so much more relevant with the gran corona size: it either works or it doesn’t. I’d put this in the latter given there’s little evidence of the profile building like it does on some other A-size cigars. It’s not that the cigar is bad, because it’s not, but does the size help to bring out the blend? No.
  • I really like the A/gran corona size. It’s my third favorite format behind the lancero and petite corona.
  • Personally, I’d like to see an España Culebra next. If not, Quesada has left the door open for a full-size salomones—otherwise, there’s not a ton of parejo shapes left.
  • Quesada Cigars advertises on halfwheel. Samples for this review were sent to halfwheel by Quesada Cigars.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 10 minutes. While it’s certainly less time than I would have guessed, I find that some gran corona-esque shapes burn really quick.
89 Overall Score

So you want a longer Quesada España. Physically-speaking, that’s what we have. What I found over the course of smoking three of them is that while it took me a bit longer to smoke than the Churchill and Lancero, it wasn’t much different, as the size burns pretty quick. As far as the flavors, they lacked the ability to build that I oftentimes find with the grand corona size. It’s not a bad cigar, but I’d much rather smoke many of the other sizes. 

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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