Quesada Q D’etat Molotov

The Quesada Q D’etat was a new line announced by SAG Imports back at the end of 2011.  This line is getting some attention for three reasons:  1) It is a cigar meant to make a statement in counterattacking the enemies of tobacco;  2) The three vitolas of this blend are being released individually spread out over a period of time; 3) The initial vitola, the Molotov might be the first cigar of its kind – meant to be in the shape of a molotov cocktail.  In the end, it is going to come down to how well the blend smokes.  I recently had an opportunity to smoke the Quesada Q D’etat Molotov and it delivered a terrific smoking experience.

In the counterattack against enemies of tobacco, the following text is taken from the SAG Imports web-site:

The Q d’etat line represents a symbolic revolt against the
unfair taxation practices and mistreatment of the premium cigar
industry. The brand is intended to create awareness of the dangers increased
government regulation and taxation will produce specifically the FDA’s
desire to regulate premium cigars. 

To support the mission above, each box will contain a form to fill out to join the Cigar Rights of America.

As mentioned, there are three vitolas being released one at a time.  The first two vitolas announced have taken their theme from weaponry (fitting in with the theme of counterattacking).   The first vitola, the Molotov was announced on December 8th, 2011 and has recently been released.  A second vitola, the Howitzer has recently was recently announced.   The Molotov is intended to be in the shape of a molotov cocktail.   The following is text taken from the SAG Imports web-site that provides background for the naming.

We chose the name because the term was first coined by the Finns in
reference to the cocktail bombs they utilized to fight against Communist
oppression from the Soviet Union during the Winter War in 1939. When
the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov falsely claimed Soviet
planes were dropping bread baskets and not bombs over Finland, the Finns
began to refer to the bombs as Molotov Bread Baskets and responded by
naming their own improvised incendiary devices Molotov cocktails, joking
that they needed a drink to enjoy with the food. We chose Dec 8th, 2011
to issue this press release because the day marks the 20th anniversary
of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Marketing and positioning aside, this cigar does deliver a very good experience.  Let’s break down the Q D’etat Molotov and see what it delivers.

Blend Profile

The Quesada Q D’etat is an all Dominican puro:

Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

Vitolas Available

As mentioned above the Molotov is the first vitola that has been released, while the second one, the Howitzer has been announced.  The Molotov is a sort of an unorthodox figuardo and does a good job at representing a molotov cocktail.  The small size of this vitola was deliberate as it was meant to provide a quick smoke for those who live in cold weather areas who want to enjoy a smoke, but find it difficult due to colder temperatures.

There will be 1,000 boxes of each vitola produced (the plan is for three). The Quesada D D’etat Molotov will be packaged in boxes of ten. 

Molotov: 5 x 38/58/44
Howitzer: 6 x 60
Third Vitola: TBA


I’m not sure I can really accurate describe what a molotov cocktail is.  However, it is bottle shaped, and it is often represented by fire coming out of the top.  The figuardo does a good job at representing what the bottle looks like, and the unorthodox twisted cap does a nice job at representing the ire.   The Q D’etat Molotov might be the most unique vitola the marketplace has seen since La Gloria Cubana’s Artesanos de Obelisco.

The wrapper to the Molotov is dark brown with a tiny touch of colorado red.  The wrapper itself is oily, but has a rough feel.  Due to the unorthodox shape, the wrapper itself is a little bumpy.   There are a couple of visible veins and a couple of wrapper seams that are visible. Of course it contains the unusual twist at the top.

Another view of the unorthodox cap of the Quesada Q D’etat Molotov

There are two bands on the Quesada Q D’etat Molotov.  The first is the what has become the defacto Quesada band – silver, black, and gold highlighted with the Q-shaped leaf.   There is a second band that is black with silver striping on the top and bottom.  On the black background there are some flames on it.  Over the flames it says the text “Q d’etat Molotov” in silver font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my Quesada Q D’etat Molotov, I opted to straight cut the whole unorthodox cap off and just a little more to get enough ring gauge for the draw.  I commenced with the pre-light draw and was treated to notes of chocolate, earth, and natural tobacco flavors.  Overall, the dry draw was satisfactory.  It was now on to light this Molotov Cocktail and see what it would produce.

Flavor Profile

Overall, I did not find the flavor profile to the Quesada Q D’etat Molotov to be overly complex with a lot of flavor transitions.  That shouldn’t be considered a negative because it did produce some very good flavors.  The start to the Molotov provided a continuation of the chocolate and earth notes found on the pre-light draw.  While the chocolate wasn’t sweet in flavor, some grapefruit citrus notes surfaced to add some sweetness to the cigar.   For most of the first third, the chocolate and earth notes alternated as to which was in the forefront while the citrus remained in the background.

By the second third, the citrus notes had dissipated.  I was now began to detect some cedar spice.  The cedar spice gradually increased throughout the remainder of the cigar.  While the spice did increase, it would not overtake the chocolate and earth notes – which were present right to the end.  The finish to the Quesada Q D’etat Molotov was not harsh and it provided an excellent finish for such an unusual vitola – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.  I wish more figuardos and perfectos would finish like this.

Burn and Draw

The unorthodox shape of the Molotov did provide some impacts to burn and draw.  However, I’m very picky when it comes to perfectos and figuardos and in the case of the Molotov, these were not significant impacts.  The burn didn’t require a lot of touch-ups until just before it reached the widest part of the cigar.  At that point it needed more touch-ups than I would have liked.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.  I was worried about the burn temperature getting too warm in the middle of the cigar, but this was not the case.  Even at the end, the finish was cool in temperature.  Overall, I still assess this burn as “good”.

The draw was good – except for the part of the cigar where it was burning through just before the widest part of the ring gauge.  It was at that point where the draw got tougher.  This could be why I had some burn issues midway through.  The draw would open back up again for the last third.

Strength and Body

The SAG Imports web-site positioned this the Quesada Q D’etat Molotov as “medium to full strength (closer to full)”.  In my book, this cigar did not quite make it into medium to full.  I found this to be a solid medium in strength in terms of nicotine.  As for the depth of the flavor notes, they had some depth, but much of the flavor was subtle. I would assess this to be medium-bodied.   This medium strength, medium-bodied smoke actually provides a very good balance.  It makes this the kind of smoke that you can have any time of the day.

Final Thoughts

2011 was a very good year for the brands of SAG Imports.  The Quesada Q D’etat Molotov gives SAG a nice start to 2012.  Not only do they have an interesting marketing campaign that also is supportive of the CRA, but they deliver an innovative and very nice smoke to go along with it.  I am curious to see what the bigger ring gauge of the Howitzer vitola will bring to the table.  While Dominican puros are not at the top of my flavor profile, I happened to like this one.   I found this to be a nice cigar for both the novice and experienced cigar enthusiast.  As for myself, I’ll be wanting to buy and smoke some more of these.


Burn: Good
Draw: Good
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 90

Source: The cigar for this assessment was purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.