On April 10th 2022, Quesada Cigars Founder and President Manuel “Manolo” Quesada turned 75 years old. To commemorate the occasion, Quesada Cigars would release a special limited edition cigar. This cigar was dubbed the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary. In recent years, Manolo’s daughter Raquel has been playing an increasing role in the operations of Quesada Cigars, but according to Quesada Cigars the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary was a project specifically blended by Manolo himself. According to Manolo, “The Manolo Quesada 75th I blended to my palate and it’s a Cigar that has a pleasant intensity that allows to experience all the flavors and nuances the blend has to offer.” Today we take a closer look at this Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary.
The Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary had an official launch at the Premium Cigar Association Trade Show. Shortly after the trade show, the cigar would begin to ship to retailers. This is actually not the first time Manolo Quesada would release a birthday cigar. Five years ago, the Manuel Quesada 70 was released. That cigar was released in two sizes and featured a completely different blend.
For now, let’s turn our attention back to the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary is a three-country multinational blend. This includes an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Production is handled at Tabacos de Exportacíon. This is the Quesada factory which is commonly called TABADEX which is located in Licey in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacos de Exportacíon (TABADEX)
The Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary is offered in one size – a 6 3/4 x 48 parejo. This size is essentially a Short Churchill. it was a size also personally picked by Manolo Quesada as he says it is one of his go-to sizes. The cigars are presented in ten-count boxes. There was a total production of 1,200 individually numbered boxes allocated for this release.
The Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper of the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary had a roasted coffee bean color to it. There was a Colorado-red tint to the wrapper. The wrapper had some oils on the surface. Upon closer examination, some mottling can be seen on the surface. There were several visible veins on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper of the cigar was dark enough to mitigate the amount of visible wrapper seams.
Prior to lighting up the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered subtle notes of hay, cedar, and sweet raisin. This wasn’t an overly bold pre-light draw, but the subtle flavors still were more than satisfying. With the pre-light draw out of the way, it was time to toast up the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary opened up with notes of natural tobacco, date, hay, and black pepper. Early on the natural tobacco and date notes moved into the forefront. At the same time the hay, cedar, and black pepper notes settled into the background. There was some black pepper on the retro-hale, and this was joined by some wood and date notes a little later.
During the second third of the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary, the cedar notes ramped up and joined the natural tobacco notes. The date notes receded into the background and joined the hay and pepper notes. It was prior to the midway point that some unsweetened cocoa notes surfaced in the background. The cedar notes were also present on the retro-hale along with the pepper notes.
By the final third, the date notes (for the most part) morphed into an orange peel note. The orange peel increased in intensity and joined the natural tobacco and cedar in the forefront. At times the cedar did seem a little more dominant than the other flavors. Some pepper, cocoa, and hay notes were still in the background. This is the way the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Overall the burn of the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary performed extremely well. This was a cigar that required minimal touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and a relatively straight burn path. The ash had a silver-gray color. It wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose either. There was some minor flaking on the ash, but this was not problemsome. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both had ideal levels.
The draw of the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary by Quesada Cigars also performed quite well. This was a cigar that had what Ben Lee refers to as a “milkshake” draw – i.e. a draw with a touch of resistance to it. This cigar produced a decent amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
The Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary started with medium strength and medium-bodied flavors. There was a gradual increase in both attributes. By the final third, the flavors progressed into medium to full territory. Throughout the smoking experience, the body held an edge.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
The packaging of the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary is different than anything I have seen on a Quesada release before. The box and band color are set off nicely by the gold design. Perhaps the most striking feature of the band is the art-deco design. I thought this design gave the band a nice touch. The packaging (and in particular, the band) had a nice contrast up against the color of the wrapper.
I have been quite disappointed with many limited-edition cigars that have been released throughout the industry. However, there have been some standouts and one such standout is the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary cigar. TABADEX was our selection for Small/Medium factory of the year and the Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary was one of the standouts that came from the factory last year. The cigar delivers excellent flavor, excellent construction, and enough complexity to satisfy. This is a very approachable limited edition cigar for any cigar enthusiast. At $15.00, this is not an inexpensive cigar. At the same time; this is a cigar that I would not only smoke again, but it’s one that garners box-worthy consideration. Coming in at 90 points, it clinches a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
The Smoking Syndicate Review
Ben Lee and I did Smoking Syndicate Video as a part of our Quesada Corner segment where we smoked the Quesada Oktoberfest 10th Anniversary Bavarian.
Note: Due to age restrictions, you may need to click Watch on YouTube below to view.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Cedar, Date, Orange Peel, Hay, Cocoa, Pepper
Complexity: Medium to High
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Final Third)
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: Quesada Cigars Manolo Quesada 75th Anniversary to Launch at PCA 2022
Brand Reference: Quesada
Photo/Video Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on May 16, 2023 @ 6:17 pm