The 1997 crop of Dominican tobacco was a banner harvest for the Quesada Family and Manuel Quesada saved a bunch which became the Reserva Privada blend. The Quesada Family grows tobacco that are used for many other companies as well as their own lines. I’ve always enjoyed the blends which gave me a true sense of Dominican terroir. Smoking this blind the cigar looks a bit light which might make me think its mild however you just don’t know until you light up.
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Reserva Privada Toro
- Wrapper: Connecticut Ecuadorian
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican, Pennsylvanian
- Size: 5” 5/58 x 54 (Toro)
Appearance and Construction
This toro is greenish with a blemish on the wrapper. As I give the cigar a squeeze there are noticeable soft spots at the foot. There’s not much nose on the cigar as I give it a sniff and it is rather light in my hand. The look of the tobacco is anemic and lackluster.
Taste and Smoking Characteristics
I use a v-cut and take a dry draw which is airy and loose. With a torch lighter I toast the cigar and the first puff is gritty and charry. Another slow draw which comes off stale and unappealing. I take a retrohale and my sinus gets hit with spice and ginger that ends with graphite on the exhale. There’s some loose tobacco in my mouth which hinders the experience and leaves the quality suspect. The burn line is wavy and light gray ash forms on it.
Midway the toro grips me with heavy oak and a drying sensation along the sides of my mouth. There is an earthy character beginning to develop as I draw off the cigar. A retrohale is less intense than before and I pick up coffee and cocoa with burnt vanilla on the finish. Notes of nuts and hay develop with a constant chariness in the background. The finish has been continuously short with a fast burn rate. At this point the smoke is in the medium range.
On the final third there is oak and raisin being the predominate characteristics. The draw has begun to tighten up surprisingly which inhibits the flavors coming through. As I take a retrohale to coax out some tangible notes there’s raw tobacco and an earthy finish. The burn line is wavy and there’s notes of hay and earth that turns sharp and bitter. With the smoke dissipating I choose not to relight and put the cigar down as I hesitate to experience more bitterness on the end.
My experience with most of the Quesada blends and tobacco has been pleasant, giving me complex flavors from there mild to full bodied lines. The quality of the tobacco and construction has usually been spot on with whatever I’ve smoked. The Reserva Privada did not deliver the nuances I am used to with their blends and the filler tobacco was loose and lacking. The drying and bitterness was not pleasant, and the charry notes tainted my palate. Maybe there was not enough tobacco from that crop saved to deliver the flavors that were expected however I can only speculate. I will say Quesada has plenty of lines to choose from and I would recommend trying others as they produce some wonderful cigars.