Tomorrow, Federal Cigar celebrates its 94th anniversary with a private party, and as so often there is a special cigar being made for the larger occasion, the Quesada Selección España Churchill (7 x 47).
It’s one of a few a cigars that will debut at Federal, but it’s the only one that’s specifically made for the anniversary. There will be 300 boxes of 10 cigars available, which will go on sale on Saturday, March 14.
This represents the eighth vitola for the line, although two more will be released later this month.
- Quesada Selección España Short Robusto (4 x 50) — $7.95 (Boxes of 20, $159) — March 2011 — Regular Production
- Quesada Selección España Robusto (5 x 52) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170) — March 2011 — Regular Production
- Quesada Selección España Corona (5 1/2 x 42) — $7.25 (Boxes of 20, $140) — March 2011 — Regular Production
- Quesada Selección España Lancero (7 x 38) — $8.50 (Cabinets of 50, $425) — January 2013 — 12 Cabinets of 50 Cigars (600 Total Cigars)
- Quesada Selección España Ninfa (7 x 33) — $12.95 (Cabinets of 50, $647.50) — January 2014 — 12 Cabinets of 50 Cigars (600 Total Cigars)
- Quesada Selección España JFH 25th Anniversary (4 3/4 x 38/58/44) — $7.95 (Boxes of 10, $79.50) — July 2014 — 150 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,500 Total Cigars)
- Quesada Selección España Petit Belicoso (4 1/2 x 40) – $7.50 (Cabinets of 100, $750) — January 2015 — 12 Cabinets of 100 Cigars (1,200 Total Cigars)
- Quesada Selección España Churchill (7 x 47) — $11 (Boxes of 10, $110) — March 2015 — 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Selección España Churchill
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Quesada Cigars
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Arapiraca
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 47
- Vitola: Churchill
- MSRP: $11 (Boxes of 10, $110)
- Date Released: March 14, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
In a moment with no surprises—the cigar looks like an España in a churchill size. Its Arapiraca wrapper also smells like a typical España: semi-sweet with mild leather and a barnyard aroma. The foot is much more pungent with lots of acidic leather, a big cocoa note and a black pepper. Unfortunately, the cold draw is also pungent with a fair bit of ammonia, some sweet nuttiness, candied sugar and hay.
A big black pepper kicks off the España Churchill, it’s not bad, but it’s also not what I expect. Behind it is muted fruitiness, some sweet cedar and a bit more pepper in the back of the throat. Fortunately, the cigar eventually calms down and settles to a very familiar earthy core surrounded by lemon, honey and a burning oak. Despite the harshness, strength is quite restrained—somewhere around medium, while the flavor is a bit above that and the body is closer to full. Smoke production is great, albeit not entirely consistent, and I do have to touch-up one sample in the first third.
The lemon flavor disappears as the second third starts, only to return shortly after the halfway mark. While it might fade in and out, there’s a constant citrus flavor throughout the España’s second third. Earthiness stays at the forefront and its added grittiness, while the peppers have decreased. Once I cross the halfway point a creaminess begins to emerge for the first time in the cigar, which is nice consider the peppers and grit. The burn fixes whatever issues took place in the first third of one sample and there’s now a thick amount of smoke pouring from the foot of the cigar for a good 15 seconds per puff before it rests.
Nuttiness and intense red pepper are at the transition point of both España Churchills I smoke. While the pepper has receded in the amount of it and how wide it coats the palate, the intensity has increased. The citrus flavors have completely faded by the final third, although a peach is picking up. The finish has finally managed to separate itself from the core flavors and it’s now my favorite part of the cigar: an unsalted potato chip flavor with a bit of oak. Unfortunately, below an inch things get a bit harsh and I eventually set the cigar down.
- Federal Cigar’s anniversary is actually on February 11.
- In recent years, there aren’t many retailers that have been as active getting anniversary exclusives than Rick Gadway at Federal Cigar, particularly for his anniversaries.
- 2011 — 90th Anniversary
- 2012 — 91st Anniversary
- 2013 — 92nd Anniversary
- 2014 — 93rd Anniversary
- The second sample I smoked made some noise for the first 10 or so minutes. This is the second time I’ve seen—or I suppose heard—a cigar do this. My guess is that it is due to the placement of the leaves. The cigar burned fine and the noise slowly went away.
- While the body was somewhat aggressive, the strength of the España Churchill is solidly medium.
- A few years ago I smoked a Quesada España that was similar to this size. It never made it to market, it wasn’t this exact size and it tasted quite different than this cigar. The one that is coming out now has a lot more life in the flavor profile than what I remember of the older prototype.
- Federal Cigar was also chosen as this month’s recipient of the España Petit Belicoso.
- In addition to the España Churchill, Federal will see the debut of the Flor de las Antillas Maduro, Tatuaje Verocu No.3 and likely the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Federal Cigar. Quesada Cigars advertises on halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was two hours.
- Federal Cigar will sell the cigar in store on Saturday, March 14. The remaining stock will be available for phone and internet orders on March 15.
This was definitely an odd España, it lacked much of the overt sweetness that I normally associate with the blend, in favor of more subtle notes. Also missing was the refinement I normally associate with the España blend, but I think that’s due to the fact most of the Españas I smoke have at least a year on them in the humidor. Still, there are traits of what is undoubtedly a signature blend from Quesada: a changing earthy core surrounded by interesting and unique flavors. For me, it’s somewhere in the middle of the España line-up at least now, but I definitely look forward to spending two hours with the España Churchill in a year or so for a redux review.