On March 3, Chicago retailer Casa de Montecristo announced they would be the exclusive retailer for not one, but two new Quesada Selección España vitolas, both of which would be released on March 26 at an event featuring Quesada head Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr. in attendance. The new sizes are the 7 x 40 Beli-Lance ($10.95) and 7 x 54 Fabulosos ($11.95), both of which are limited to just 300 boxes of 10.
“Casa de Montecristo is one of the premier retailers in the country,” said Terence Reilly, gm of Quesada Cigars, to halfwheel. “It’s an honor to work with Sam (Khalil) and his team to create not one but two exclusive vitolas for them.”
Originally released in 2011 as a Spanish market exclusive, the blend uses an Ecuadorian Arapiraca wrapper over Dominican tobacco for the binder and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco used in the filler. Like the rest of the line, the two new sizes are rolled at Quesada Cigars in the Dominican Republic.
The addition of the two new vitolas brings the total number of vitolas in the España line to 10.
- 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)
- Quesada Selección España Beli-Lance (7 x 40) — $10.95 (Boxes of 10, $109.50) — March 2015 — 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Quesada Selección España Fabulosos (7 x 54) — $11.95 (Boxes of 10, $119.50) — March 2015 — 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Selección España Fabulosos
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Quesada Cigars
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Arapiraca
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Churchill Extra
- MSRP: $11.95 (Boxes of 10, $119.50)
- Date Released: March 26, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
There is something a little odd about holding an España with the combination of long size and large ring gauge, as I am so used to smoking it in smaller ring gauges. The cinnamon brown wrapper is the same as I am used to, as is the somewhat rough feel and lack of oil. The cigar is spongy when squeezed, and are some significant bumps running up and down the length. Aroma coming from the wrapper is faint nuts, leather, cocoa and manure, while the cold draw brings flavors of peanuts, creamy leather, hay and tobacco.
The Quesada Selección España Fabulosos starts out with a overtly creamy profile, interspersed with flavors of peanuts, leather, grass and oranges. There is a touch of pepper on the retrohale, but not enough to really affect the profile in any major way, and not a hint of spice anywhere. I do pick up some slight generic sweetness on the retrohale as well, but it is just not very strong at all at this point. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent, but the burn is all over the map, forcing me to touch it up a few times to keep it from running too badly. The overall strength is quite low, hitting a point halfway between mild and medium, and it does not seem to be going very much further very fast.
The sweetness in the profile of the España Fabulosos increases noticeably in the second third—enough for me to pinpoint it as a vanilla flavor—but it is still relegated mostly to the finish. The dominant flavors of gritty earth and espresso combine with lesser notes of grass, leather and nuts, and the profile remains overtly creamy through the second third. The draw remains excellent and the burn has evened up nicely, although it is still not razor sharp. Smoke is still coming off of the foot in large amounts and the strength hits a point very close to medium by the end of the second third.
The final third of the Fabulosos features much of the same flavors as the second third, with gritty earth and espresso leading the way while hay, peanuts, cedar and leather pull up the rear. However, the vanilla sweetness from the second third has dissipated almost entirely, replaced by a mild cinnamon note that joins some white pepper that remains on the retrohale. There is still plenty of smoke production, and both the burn and draw give me no issues until the end of the cigar. The strength stalls out on the milder side of medium, and never really threatens to go any higher before I put the nub down with about an inch to go.
- The first sample I smoked had a very distinct aroma of ammonia on the foot, but it did not seem to impact the overall profile all that much, as both cigars were pretty consistent with each other.
- Interestingly, the last three releases of the España blend—the Churchill, Fabulosos and the Beli-Lance—all had a total release of only 3,000 cigars. In addition, while all three have different ring gauges, they are also all seven inches long.
- I have said it before many times, and it is doubly true with this vitola: if you are not retrohaling with this cigar, you are wasting your time and money.
- As is customary with the line, the main and secondary bands are noticeably off center.
- Both samples I smoked featured a first third that had to be touched up multiple times, but both samples also got significantly better after that point.
- Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr. talks about both of the new sizes in the España blend in a video here.
- Cigar Cove in Broussard, La. has been slated to receive the April cabinet of Quesada Selección España Petit Belicosos.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Quesada Cigars advertises on halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for both samples I smoked averaged one hour and 55 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Quesada Selección España Fabulosos, the only place you can find them is Casa de Montecristo.
The problem is not that the Quesada Selección Españas Fabulosos is a bad cigar—it is not—or even boring one. The problem is that having smoked more of the blend in Corona, Lancero and Ninfa vitolas than I care to admit, I was constantly comparing it to those superior sizes. Yes, the Fabulosos is a bit smoother, and perhaps even a bit more creamy overall, but the large ring gauge really impacted both the distinctness and the nuance of the flavors that I have come to love in the blend over the years. The profile of the largest vitola in the line was actually fairly enjoyable if you took it as a single cigar, but why anyone would smoke one of these when you can get more complexity, better construction and a better overall experience in the multitude of smaller ring gauges that are available is beyond me.