In March Quesada Cigars officially announced its latest line, the Quesada 40th Anniversary, which celebrates Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr.’s 40 years in the cigar business. The cigars were shown off at the annual Procigar festival the previous month, however Quesada did not release much info about the cigars at that time. The 40th Anniversary announcement comes close on the heels of the news of their name change, with both the distribution company SAG Imports and the new Matasa factory to be known as Quesada Cigars.

The 40th Anniversary line consists of six sizes – three regular production and three limited editions, five sizes of which are the same blend and the Corona Clasica featuring a “special Manolo” blend.

Quesada Q40 40th Anniversary

  • Quesada 40th Anniversary Robusto (5 x 52) — $8.95 (Boxes of 20, $179.00) — Regular Production
  • Quesada 40th Anniversary Toro (6 x 54) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190.00) — Regular Production
  • Quesada 40th Anniversary Toro Real (6 x 65) — $9.95 (Boxes of 20, $199.00) — Regular Production
  • Quesada 40th Anniversary Toro Press (6 x 49) — $10.95 (Boxes of 10, $109.50) — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press (6 3/4 x 50/33) — $12.95 (Boxes of 10, $129.50) — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Clasica (6 1/2 x 46) — $9.25 (Boxes of 50, $462.50) — Limited Production

The Corona Clasica is offered only at Q40 launch events. At the events, the cigars are given out in five-packs, after the events the retailers have the opportunity to purchase the boxes of 50.

Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Quesada Cigars
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50/33
  • Vitola: Salomon Press
  • MSRP: $12.95 (Boxes of 10, $129.50)
  • Date Released: April 30, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

The salomon press shape is so incredibly unique it’s obviously the first thing that catches my eye. It almost looks like a kayak paddle from one side and the other side is smooth enough it almost tricks my eye into seeing a regular salomon-shaped cigar. The wrapper is slightly rough with a nice oily feel to it. While there aren’t any soft spots, I do notice a slight crack in the wrapper at the box press crease. The aroma’s earthy smell reminds me more of a zoo than a barnyard, just a little more exotic, very fresh, and very dominant. Earth, leather, manure, hay all make up the wrapper’s aroma. The cold draw is a distinctly different profile, with more cocoa, cinnamon and a slight grassy note.

Starting out the first third the first few draws continue the cold draw’s earthiness, along with a bit of pepper, some cocoa, cinnamon and the slightest bit of citrus. Right off the bat the thing that surprises me is the ability to retrohale almost the entire draw; while there is definitely pepper and more of a kick on the retrohale, it is still quite smooth. For such an interesting shape you would almost expect draw problems from either the tapered ends or the box-pressed middle, however, the draw is quite ideal. The marbled dark and light gray ash doesn’t drop until about three quarters of an inch in. Despite the salomon bulge, which can definitely cause problems, the burn line on here is almost perfectly even. The earth, cocoa and cinnamon continue at about the same levels, though the pepper has increased enough to make the retrohale a little too overwhelming.

Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press 2

The second third is much the same profile, though a minor chlorine note has developed. Interestingly enough, in the middle of the box-pressed area the burn line has gone completely haywire with an entire side of the cigar lagging significantly behind. A quick touch up fixes it, but I thought this would be the part of the cigar that would be smooth sailing burn-wise. The ash is a little flaky, though it still holds somewhere between half and three quarters of an inch. A few more touch-ups are needed, though it doesn’t seem to be affecting the profile much, if at all. The chlorine note has disappeared thankfully, though with it gone I can tell the profile is much different now. The pepper and earth remain, though they’re slightly muted, and a salt and spice note have joined it, giving the cigar a slightly meaty flavor.

Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press 3

The final third continues with the savory profile or salt, spice, pepper and meatiness. The last little bit of the pressed middle has expanded and loosened up quite a bit before the second bulge, causing a few burn issues. Once the burn line hits the bulge the issues are mostly resolved. The final bit of the cigar smokes cool and smoothly, allowing the enjoyable profile to shine through until the end.

Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press 4

Final Notes

  • It should not be surprising that the cigar is nicknamed Q40.
  • This isn’t Quesada’s first 40th anniversary cigar, although the one released last year wasn’t for their anniversary. It was the TP40Q based off their Heisenberg blend and was made for Tobacco Plaza’s 40th anniversary.
  • Patricia and Raquel Quesada are credited for creating the 40th Anniversary blend, while Manuel Quesada blended the Corona Classic.
  • Quesada Cigar’s press release had this to say about the Salomon Press shape:

    The shape symbolizes the geography of the fertile Cibao Valley of the Dominican Republic, which lies between the mountain ranges of the Cordillera Septentrional and the Cordillera Central on the north and south respectively. The region represents the heart of the Dominican cigar industry.

  • There have been quite a number of unique shapes coming from Quesada Cigars in the last few years, but I think this is probably the most uniquely shaped cigar meant to be smoked that I’ve ever seen.
  • The samples for this review were sent to halfwheel by site sponsor Quesada Cigars.
  • Final smoking time averaged around two hours and 15 minutes.
87 Overall Score

The Quesada 40th Annivesary Salomon Press is not only a uniquely shaped cigar created to celebrate something great, but it’s a pretty good cigar that can stand on its own merits. I didn’t get to smoke any of the rest of the 40th Annivesary line so I can’t comment on whether or not the unique shape changes the profile, but even if the shape had a negative affect on it the Salomon Press is still a very solid cigar. Construction was very good for the most part with only a few slight touch ups needed to keep the burn line straight. The profile was enjoyable and developed throughout the cigar keeping things interesting and only had a minor negative of that odd chlorine note that was thankfully brief. Overall it’s a fun cigar and a mostly enjoyable smoking experience, so I can easily suggest seeking them out.

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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.