Today we’re looking at the final release celebrating Tobacco Plaza’s 40th anniversary, the Quesada TP40Q Box Press. Based on the Quesada Heisenberg line, the TP40Q is the fifth size of the blend to be released and comes in both a round and a box-pressed version. This is the third release commissioned for Tobacco Plaza’s 40th anniversary.
However, because only one release was for a single cigar, there are actually five different 40th anniversary cigars:
- Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD (Box) (6 x 58) – March 13, 2012 – 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD (Wet Pack) (6 x 58) – April 19, 2012 – 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Padrón 1926 Serie TP40 (6 1/4 x 60) – April 17, 2013 – 218 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,180 Total Cigars)
- Quesada TP40Q Round (6 x 56/65) – July 18, 2013 – 50 Boxes of 10 Cigars (500 Total Cigars)
- Quesada TP40Q Box Press (6 x 56/65) – July 18, 2013 – 50 Boxes of 10 Cigars (500 Total Cigars)
Here is what the two TP40Q shapes look like side-by-side:
With 1,000 total cigars between the two shapes, the Quesada TP40Q is the smallest anniversary release of the three. This is more than likely due to the shape and how time consuming it is to make. In the news story about the cigar back in June, Terence Reilly explained:
The fact we made this cigar is a testament to the friendship between Tobacco Plaza and the Quesada family because this is not a easy size to make. Not only is it a very difficult shape to roll, the cigars had to be made entirely by hand without molds and were wrapped in newspaper to give them their shape. It’s a much more time consuming process.
Just like the Heisenberg line, which was released earlier this year, the TP40Q’s blend is left a mystery so as to allow each individual to go into the cigar without any specific expectations or bias. Quesada’s explanation of the blend is as follows:
The Heisenberg project is named after the scientific formula of the same name that proves the fundamental limits of precision: in other words, no matter how much we know about something we will never know everything; the more we focus on one aspect, the less we know about another. The Heisenberg project has two intentions: to dispel the stereotypes that limit our ability to enjoy a cigar and remind aficionados that sometimes its best to sit back, relax, and just enjoy a smoke without over analyzing it. To put it simply, “Embrace Uncertainty!” How often do we pass on an opportunity to experience a new cigar because it’s not from a certain country, factory, or made from certain tobaccos? How often do we spend our time analyzing every flavor and nuance in a cigar rather than simply enjoying it in the moment? So with this in mind we will not be releasing any information on the Heisenberg blend, number of cigars made, or description of strength, flavor, etc. We want aficionados to smoke the Heisenberg with as few preconceived notions as possible. Just light this cigar up and smoke it wherever it is you enjoy a cigar the most; whether in solitude at home, with friends at the local cigar shop, or while taking the dog for a walk. We know this is an unusual way to release a cigar. We don’t know how it will turn out. All we can do is “Embrace Uncertainty.” We are asking you to do the same.
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Heisenberg TP40Q Box Press
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: The Quesada Factory (MATASA)
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56/65
- Vitola: Box Pressed Pyramid
- MSRP: $12.30 (Box of 10, $114.95)
- Release Date: July 18, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 50 Boxes of 10 Cigars (500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
The TP40Q Box Pressed is a very interesting shape. The box pressing exaggerates the already large Pyramid shaped foot into a shape that almost looks like a bell or a trumpet. In fact, I think this would’ve been the perfect shape for AVO to have used for their 2012 La Trompeta release, but I digress. The wrapper is extremely soft and slightly oily, and despite a couple of minor flaws here and there, it lends a nice presentation to the cigar as a whole. There isn’t a single soft spot in the cigar and it manages to be firm without being overly hard. The wrapper has an almost nonexistent aroma – only an extremely minor barnyard note presents itself. Clipping the cap, the cold draw brings a very pleasant profile of cocoa, cinnamon, mild pepper and the slightest hint of sweet dried fruit.
After lighting the cigar the first third starts out with a very similar profile to the cold draw with hints of mild pepper and rich dried fruits, though a mild spice note rounds out the profile nicely. The draw is just a little tight, but with this shape and adding the pressing on top of that, it doesn’t surprise me. The restrictive draw seems to be having an affect on the smoke production, with very little smoke being produced even on a hard draw. Lighting the odd-shaped foot was a little difficult, so the burn is slightly off, however overall it is fairly even. The light gray ash is flecked with darker spots and easily holds to an inch.
I really want to try to open up the draw, so I start out the second third by clipping a little more off the head of the cigar. It helps the draw a little but still not enough in my opinion. The flavor profile has decreased the pepper and dried fruit to almost nothing, while developing instead some salty notes and a floral profile which add nicely to the spice. While the burn has been only slightly crooked the entire cigar, I actually haven’t had to touch it up until the last part of this section.
The final third begins with more spice, a return of the dried fruit and the slightest bit of pepper. After that single touch up the Quesada has actually burned fairly straight since then. Also in the final third the cigar has warmed up and the box press shape has virtually disappeared. The draw has finally opened up to where it should be and the smoke production is now in the medium range. While the cigar has had a medium to full bodied profile throughout the cigar, even now towards the end I wouldn’t peg this as anything more than a medium strength cigar. With only a little more than an inch left there is a fascinating toffee/caramel note that has developed. While not overly sweet, it adds an interesting note to an already enjoyable profile.
- Ironically enough, I did exactly what Quesada said they wanted to avoid with this blend, spent time analyzing every flavor and nuance in the cigar, though you might say I’m doing it “blind” since the blend is still a secret so there is still that unbiased opinion towards the tobacco they were going for.
- The formula on the band is actually named the Uncertainty Principle, though it is sometimes referenced as the Heisenberg Principle, since Werner Heisenberg initially came up with the idea in 1927.
- The character Walter White in the show Breaking Bad uses Heisenberg as an alias, one speculated reason being that it was because his life was full of much uncertainty at the point when he chose it.
- Having smoked the round version for comparison, I found the cigars to be surprisingly quite different. The Box Press has a better mouthfeel, while the Round had a slightly better draw. The round version however had a much worse burn, which in turn affected the flavors negatively.
- As of the time of writing this review, Tobacco Plaza is still showing the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD wet packed version and the Padrón 1926 Serie TP40 in stock on their site. The Quesada TP40Q will go up for sale at an event on July 18th with the remaining boxes being offered for sale online on July 19th.
- The cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Tobacco Plaza. In addition, Quesada is a site sponsor.
- Final smoking time was just under two and a half hours.
I’m always hesitant when a company takes one of their lines and just ups the size. The good news is that with the Pyramid shape combined with the box press, it doesn't break your jaw when it’s in your mouth. The other good news is that the flavor profile is actually quite robust and does very well in this size. The bad news however, is that the draw problems really affected the cigar as a whole. Because I was having to draw harder and more often the cigar tended to burn a little hotter. I had to actively remember while I was smoking to slow down even more than normal to counteract it burning hot. Despite the draw issue you still have a really good cigar with an interesting and enjoyable profile. Because of that I can easily suggest seeking a few of these yourself, though the reasonable price tag might even justify a box purchase if the flavor profile sounds down your alley.