It has been known for a while that Quesada would be releasing a blend that was only being sold in the Spanish market. Somewhat obviously called the Selección España, the blend hit Spanish shelves in February, but samples were passed around the ProCigar Festival in Dominican Republic as well.

The buzz around these samples that were handed out and smoked was overwhelmingly positive and some stores with Quesada accounts even talked the family into sending them a few boxes for their customers. Only a few dozen boxes have arrived in the U.S. to date, with perhaps a few more on the way.

There are three vitolas in the line that are being produced, each priced between $7 and $9.

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 1

  • Quesada Selección España Short Robusto (4 x 50) — $7.95
  • Quesada Selección España Robusto (5 x 52) — $8.50
  • Quesada Selección España Corona (5 1/2 x 42) — $7.25

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 2

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 3

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 4

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 5Quesada Espana Short Robusto 6

  • Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Selección España Short Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (MATASA)
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Arapiraca
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Short Robusto
  • MSRP: $7.95 (Boxes of 20, $159.00)
  • Release Date: February 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 6

The cigar itself is exceptional looking with a medium cinnamon brown wrapper that has just a bit of oil present. It is extremely firm when squeezed—just short of hard—and it is very toothy as well. The wrapper smells strongly of sweet coffee, cedar, leather and chocolate. The cold draw includes wood, raisins and a bit of pepper.

The first third starts with an ideal amount of spice on the tongue, along with flavors of sweet cedar, raisins and leather. It is a great start to a cigar, wonderful flavors and there is quite a bit of smoke coming off of it as well.

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 7

The second third retains the sweetness of the first third, but adds a wonderful creamy quality as well, along with very different flavors of chocolate, nuts and coffee. The flavors keep changing, fast enough that I have a hard time keeping track. The spice from the first third is also a constant background note that really sets off the profile.

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 8

The final third seems to combine quite a few of the flavors from the first two thirds: sweet, creamy, leather, raisins, chocolate, nuts, coffee and spice all combine into a wonderfully complex finish that has me wishing it was a longer cigar.

Quesada Espana Short Robusto 9

Final Notes

  • I smoked multiples of all three sizes, and although I loved the Short Robusto, the Corona is even better. The Robusto was definitely the worst of the three vitolas in the line in my opinion.
  • All five of the samples I smoked for this review were prereleases and as such did not have the second band, which has “España” on it.
  • I have to say, it is refreshing to see a cigar released in smaller vitolas and ring gauges these days, regardless of what market it is made for.
  • This blend seems to get better and more complex as the ring gauge decreases, due most likely to the ration of the wrapper and filler
  • The Quesada España is a solid medium in the strength department, but has a great spice to compliment the other flavors throughout the cigar.
  • There is quite a bit of smoke that is produced from these smokes, more than I would have imagined on such small cigars.
  • The draw was great for every sample, but the burn was not. It was nothing more than annoying, but worth nothing.
  • The final smoking time ranged from 50 minutes to one hour.
93 Overall Score

When I was given prerelease samples of this smoke, I was told this cigar was good. This is easily one of the best new cigars of the (admittedly short) year and it is also one of the most Cubanesque blends I have tasted in a non-Cuban cigar in quite a while. The balance, complexity and finish were astoundingly good, and definitely reminded me of a Cuban blend. The last time I thought that was when I smoked the WCD 120. Having said all of that, the major problem with this release is the fact that you most likely won't see one for quite a while, if ever. While they have been on sale in the U.S. and will be again at some point, for the foreseeable future, the amounts will be miniscule.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.