Earlier this year in June, Quesada Cigars announced that a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro edition of the Quesada Reserva Privada would be shipping to retailers this Spring. The cigar will be a limited production line known as the Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro.The Reserva Privada Oscuro is offered in three sizes to Quesada retailers including a TAA Exclusive Robusto.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro features the same binder and fillers from the 1997 vintage as the original Quesada Reserva Privada. The major difference is that the shade-grown wrapper is replaced by a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. According to Quesada the Oscuro is a cigar that will have a heavier body and feature spice and leather on the finish. Like the original line, each cigar is aged for one full year after it is rolled.
The exclusive size for the TAA is a Robusto (4 3/4 x 52, SRP $12.95). Like the other two sizes, the Robusto will be packaged in ten count boxes, but with a total production of 750 boxes. This makes the third exclusive cigar that Quesada has made for the TAA. Previous releases by Quesada to the TAA include the Fonseca Signature Series (2008) and Casa Magna D. Magnus II Hadrian (2015). The new Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro was made available to TAA retailers at the annual TAA convention that took place on March 6th in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
It was back in 1997 when current company owner Manuel Quesada convinced his father Manuel Sr. and brother Alvaro to set aside a crop of 1997 San Vincente tobacco for a special project down the road. At the time, this was considered to be exceptional vintage. A few years ago, Manuel’ offered the tobacco to his daughters Patricia and Raquela for a special project – and then the wheels were put in motion for the original Reserva Privada project. The cigar comes in the following vitolas: Toro: 5 5/8 x 54, Corona Gorda: 6 1/2 x 46, Robusto: 4 3/4 x 52 (TAA Exclusive)
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Oscuro
Binder: Dominican San Vincente (1997 Crop)
Filler: Dominican San Vicente from the 1997 Vintage selected, Pennsylvania Ligero
Factory: Quesada Cigars
Blender: Manuel Quesada
Number of reviewers: 5 – Adam B. (Bushboy) Matt C. (Big Matt) Gregg (McGreggor57) Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd) Kyle (kaleehb)
Age: 1 Month
Release Date: June 2016
Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff
“A good looking stick with a chocolate brown wrapper, 3 seams and a triple cap. The cigar has a nice weight to it and has little to no give.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“The pre-light aromas from the foot of this cigar are rich and pleasant. Molasses and aged tobacco from the foot, and some barnyard and cedar on the wrapper. The cold draw has the same barnyard note, along with some cinnamon.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“This stick starts off with oak, cream, and vegetal/peaty notes. Retrohale provides bread and light pepper notes. This is a good looking stick but the burn line isn’t cooperating. Bread notes begin to appear on the exhale rounding out the profile of this cigar nicely. This is a chewy mouth feel smoke and the finish remains on the palate until you swill on your water. Overall this is a good experience and I expect the profile to grow in the final thirds.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“Cigar opened with spices of black pepper that were both sweet and savory eventually settling in to nice creamy earthy notes. Cigar kept my palate moist wanting more. Very consistent burn led to a white gray ash. Aroma had a citrus orange characteristic to it that was unique and enjoyable.” -Kyle (kaleehb)
“Second third held true to the first. The yeasty fresh bread flavor is still prevalent. Woody charred oak flavor on the finish. Still hard to get a decent pull or smoke output and is causing a rather hot burn due to excessive pulling. Aroma is extremely enjoyable and keeping me interested. Definitely not a cigar to attempt on an empty stomach.” –Adam B. (Bushboy)
“The same enjoyable flavor profile continues in the second third, with a few additions. Some charred wood and cinnamon come to the party and the strength also wakes up a notch. The retrohale is almost too much to take. Very bold and intense.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“In the final third the flavor profile remains the same as the second but there is now a rather strong mineral flavor that is undesirable. Oak from the first third replaces the cedar that made an appearance in the second. The retrohale is now a minerals, charred wood, and cream.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“A creamy leather is joined by some hay as the cedar moves to the background. I get a little harshness on the palate while the favors on the retrohale strike a nice balance.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)
“Even after using a draw tool this cigar was firmer than I prefer.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)
“The burn definitely had some issues, probably due to how insanely oily the cigar was. It did not tunnel or canoe, but the burn did require a few touch ups. I had to be very careful when touching up the burn because the oil on the wrapper could have caused the whole thing to go up in flames in a split second.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“I could see from the foot, and feel on the draw that this cigar was well built. When using such an oily wrapper, there have to be some modifications to the rolling to accommodate for that, and I don’t think those were done here. The high humidity in my location may have been a factor.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“I really enjoyed the flavors and aroma. Draw issues kept my review from being superb. Definitely would entertain a fiver to solidify my perception. Good aroma, great flavor and overall enjoyable session.” –Adam B. (Bushboy)
“This is a cigar I would happily smoke again while I was doing something different to occupy my time such as shooting skeet or at the golf driving range. The profile peaked in the second third but then fell off with the mineral flavors in the final third. I put the cigar down with a little less than 2 inches as I felt the profile wasn’t going to change. Smoke output was plentiful and stormed off the foot. I feel this cigar might improve with age and is worthy of a redux.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“A firm draw didn’t allow for much of a range of flavors to come out. The oak and cedar were nice against the slight char but I had difficulty staying engaged. The flavors were on the edge of really shining but never quite got there. I would grab another one in hopes of a better draw.” -Gregg (McGreggor57)
“I found the overall profile to be complex and enjoyable. Even with some burn issues and a bit of harshness toward the end, I found myself wanting more. That being said, I don’t think there was any “wow” in this cigar, but I would try it again.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“This was a very enjoyable cigar. If all samples show this type of consistency throughout I would not hesitate to pick some of these up to keep on hand. This would be a very good cigar for someone looking to get into the cigar smoking lifestyle.” -Kyle (kaleehb)