|Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance|
The Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance is one of two limited production shop exclusives sizes of the Seleccion Espana being made available to Illinois retailer Casa de Montecristo. The Quesada Seleccion Espana made its debut in 2011 at the ProCigar festival. It was originally intended for the cigar market in Spain, but based on demand it was released to the U.S. market. It has remained a mainstay at many of Quesada’s top accounts since then. In 2015, the line has introduced some extensions in the form of limited editions and shop exclusive sizes with the Beli-Lance being one of them. As the name indicates, the Beli-Lance combines the characteristics of a belicoso and lancero as it delivers a 7 x 40 cigar with a belicoso tip. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lane. Overall I found this another enjoyable cigar showcasing yet another spin on the Espana line
The Beli-Lance joins the Quesada Seleccion Espana Fabulosos (a 7 x 54 vitola) as two limited production sizes coming to Casa de Montecristo. The sizes will make their debut at a March 26th event with Quesada Cigars’ founder Manuel Quesada in attendance. Casa de Montecristo is currently accepting pre-orders via phone and their online retail arm, Top Quality Cigars.
|Quesada Seleccion Espana Fabulosos (Top), Quesada Seleccion Espana
Beli-Lance (Bottom) – two exclusives for Casa de Montecristo
Quesada recently recorded a video announcing that the sizes were coming to Casa de Montecristo. In the video he discusses how the cigars were made to compete against the Cuban cigars being sold in Spain. He described the Espana blend as a “go to” one for himself.
Quesada founder Manuel Quesada gave brief run down of the project for Casa de Montecristo in this video:
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Quesada Seleccion Espana is a multi-national blend. The cigar is made at the Quesada Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Arapiraca (grown in Ecuador)
Filler: Dominican, Connecticut Broadleaf, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Quesada Cigars Factory)
The addition of the Fabulosos and Beli-Lance bring the total number of vitolas in the line to ten. Most of the line has been in the form of shop exclusives and limited production cigars. There are only three regular production cigars in this line (Petite Robusto, Robusto, and Corona)
Beli-Lance: 7 x 40 (Shop Exclusive for Casa de Montecristo)
Fabulosos: 7 x 54 (Shop Exclusive for Casa de Montecristo)
Petite Robusto: 4 x 50
Robusto: 5 x 52
Corona: 5 1/2 x 42
Petit Belicoso: 4 1/2 x 40 (Limited Production for 2015) *
Ninfa: 7 x 33 (Limited Production for 2014) *
Lancero: 7 x 38 (Limited Production for 2013) *^
JFH 25th Anniversary (Perfecto): 4 3/4 x 38/58/44 (Shop Exclusive for Just for Him, Springfield, MO)
Churchill: 7 x 47 (Shop Exclusive for Federal Cigar – 94th Anniversary Cigar)
^ Reportingly becoming a shop exclusive to Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston, TX.Appearance
The Arapiraca wrapper of the Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance has a leathery brown color to it. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, but the Beli-Lance has a relatively smooth surface. The belicoso tip is pencil shaped with a gentle tapering. Overall the top is still proportionally longer than a pencil.
There are two bands on the Quesada Espana. The first is the silver, black band that is seen on many Quesada cigars. It features the large silver and gold Quesada “Q”-shaped leaf logo. Below the leaf is the text “Quesada” in silver cursive font. To the left and right of this text is a gold stripe. On the left stripe is the text “DOMINICAN REPUBLIC” in small etched font. On the right stripe is the text “MADE BY HAND” in small etched font. Finally, surrounding the leaf logo to the left and right are silver and gold rows of miniature “Q”-shaped leaf logos.
There is a second band that is also black, silver, and gold. On the black background is the text “ESPANA” in large gold font. Just above that text is the text “SELECCION” in small silver font. There is silver and gold trim.Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance, I went with a straight cut into the tip. I took a little more than half of the tip off to get a good area to draw on the cigar. It was then on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered mostly cedar notes, but I did pick up some additional notes of cherry and cocoa. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Beli-Lance to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up the Beli-Lance and awaited what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance continued the cedar sweet-spice from the pre-light draw. There were some notes of pepper and chocolate in the background. Toward the five percent mark, I also detected cherry sweetness and earth that was in the more distant background. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced an additional layer of cedar.
As the Beli-Lance progressed through the first third, the chocolate notes slowly moved toward the forefront. By the second third, the chocolate joined the cedar in the forefront. While the cedar and chocolate varied in intensity in the forefront, the cedar still seemed to have a slight edge. The pepper notes remained secondary while the cherry and earth were much more distant.
Later in the second third, the chocolate notes transitioned into a natural tobacco sweetness. It remained a primary note with the cedar sweet-spice. There was a slight increase in the pepper while the cherry and earth remained far distant in the background.
By the last third, the natural tobacco, cedar, and pepper notes all seemed converged in the forefront – with no flavor dominating the others. This is the way the flavor profile remained until the end. The resulting nub was ideal – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall the performance of the burn was outstanding on the Beli-Lance. The burn remained straight from start to finish. The burn line itself remained sharp. While there were some touch-ups needed along the way, I didn’t consider the amount of touch-ups required to be abnormal. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. The ash itself was on the firm side and came off the cigar in clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance – Burn|
The draw performed very well. It was too loose, nor was it too tight. The tip of the belicoso did not get soft along the way. Overall, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors form.
Strength and Body
For the most part, I found the Beli-Lance to be in the same wheel-house as several other vitolas in the Espana – most notably the Petite Lancero. On the other hand, I found it to be a stronger and more full than the other Casa de Montecristo Espana release, the Fabulosos. The Beli-Lance started out medium strength, but by the last third, it progressed to medium to full. Meanwhile the body started out medium-bodied in the first half – progressing to medium to full-bodied range by the second half. For the most part the Beli-Lance maintained a close balance between strength and body.
The two Casa de Montecristo releases of the Quesada Seleccion Espana are going to deliver very different experiences. The 7 x 54 Fabulosos delivered a more dialed back, creamy profile. The Beli-Lance is going to have a little more strength and be a little closer to what many will be used to with the Quesada Seleccion Espana line. At the same time there are plenty of nuances that differ on Espana vitola from another – and the Beli-Lance is no exception. I’d probably recommend this a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but would not discourage a novice to try this one. As for myself, this is definitely a cigar I’d reach for again. It’s easily worth a box split.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (Second Half)
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: Quesada Seleccion Espana Beli-Lance and Fabulosos Heading to Casa de Montecristo in Illinois
Price: $11.99 ($119.95 – box)
Source: Cigars Provided by Retailer
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