When it comes to the true innovators and gentlemen of the Cigar industry, Manuel Quesada is truly in the upper echelon. I’ve met Manuel on several occasions and truly have seen his passion and knowledge in action. That is why when the kind folks at Quesada Cigars reached out to me and asked me to review their latest release the Tributo, I could not wait to do so.

I received a four pack sampler containing each one of the different sizes available. Each size has a distinctive name. These names are tributes to specific people in the Quesada family who have passed away:

Alvaro 6 x 52 (Belicoso)
Alvarito 4 1/2 x 40 (Petit Corona)
Julio 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Manolin 6 1/2 x 60 (Magnum)

For my first review, I opted to go with the Robusto. When I took a close look at this cigar, it has a rich and complex appearance to it. This stems from the unique wrapper that is a hybrid of Habano, Corojo, and Sumatra. While it is textured in appearance, it also looks oily and it is very smooth to the touch. The binder is Honduran and the filler is a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. There are two attractive bands, a leaf band toward the cap and the Tributo band at the foot.

I opted to take my sampler and put it in my humidor for about four weeks to allow for them to stabilize following the shipping. I then removed the Robusto from the sampler pack, put a punch in the cap and fired it up. I had a little concern with some burn issues. The reason for this is that these cigars were shipped (and were on my doorstep in the heat) and that I have had many burn issues with the initial sticks in the Casa Magna line. However, this stick burned pretty clean and really didn’t require any touch ups.

The draw of the cigar was excellent. The stick produced a nice amount of smoke. I didn’t have to fight with this cigar to get the draw. And when a cigar is low maintenance to draw, it makes it that much more enjoyable for me.

While the appearance of the wrapper almost implied a full-bodied smoke, this was definitely more on the medium side. The Julio started out loaded with a wonderful peppery spice. While many cigars that are peppery start quickly fade, I found the Julio maintaining its spice for about the first third of the stick. A transition then occurs from the peppery taste to a sweet taste. It was definitely a black pepper taste in my book. The sweet taste was definitely leaning toward the chocolate taste in my book. It wasn’t an overwhelming sweetness, but one that came along just at the right time. As the cigar progressed toward the finish, some of the pepper overtones seemed to return, but not as strong as the start. I did find the finish a little rough and harsh, but I still had no issue with going to the nub with this stick. The stick burned cool right to the nub.

Overall, this cigar is a fine addition to the Quesada line. While normally my preference is for a more full-bodied smoke, this would be one medium I would not hesitate to go to this one. It was a definite treat.

Assessment: Nice to Have