In 2014, Quesada Cigars celebrated the 40th anniversary of when Manuel (Manolo) Quesada opened the MATASA factory in the Dominican Republic. To commemorate the occasion, Quesada Cigars released the Quesada 40th Anniversary line. This line featured five vitolas developed by Quesada’s daughters Raquel and Patricia using a San Andres wrapper. In addition, there was a sixth vitola that was released known as the Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Clasica. The Corona Clasica was different in that it was developed by Manuel Quesada himself. It featured an entirely different blend using an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and is the most limited offering in the 40th Anniversary line. Back in April, it was announced that a second vitola would use the Corona Clasica blend and be offered to Small Batch Cigar as a limited shop exclusive. This size was in the form of a petite belicoso known as the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Petit Belicoso Clasica offering. Finishing as the Cigar Coop #2 Cigar of the Year in 2014, the Corona Clasica set the bar high. Overall, I found this to be an excellent cigar where the Petit Belicoso Clasica does justice to the blend.
The Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso is not the first shop exclusive to come to Small Batch Cigar from Quesada. Early in 2015, Quesada released the Fonseca inkTome – which became the first shop exclusive to Small Batch Cigar. There have been other shop exclusives, most recently the Eastern Standard Marblehead and Long Live the King Harem – both by Caldwell Cigar Company.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica and see what this cigar brings to the table
The blend of the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica is the same as the Corona Clasica – featuring an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper over tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Criollo
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Quesada Cigars SA)
The 40th Anniversary Clasica blend now has two vitolas. Like the Corona Clasica, the Petit Belicoso Clasica is also sold in 50 count boxes. Currently, Small Batch Cigar has received an allocation of 100 boxes.
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper of the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica has a golden brown color. There is also a light coating of oil on the wrapper. While there were some thin visible veins and thin wrapper seams, I still found the wrapper of the cigar to be smooth. As for the belicoso tip, it had somewhat of a sharper taper.
There are two bands on the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica. 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 black font. On the right stripe is the text “MADE BY HAND” in small black 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 “40th” in large gold font. Just below that text is the text “ANNIVERSARY” in small silver font. The rest of the band has gold and silver adornments including rows of miniature “Q”-shaped leaf leaf logos going around the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the tip of the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica. As I do with most torpedo and belisoco tip cigars, I used my Credo Special T cutter with the 36 ring gauge hole to get an ideal cut for this belicoso. I then moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of sweet natural tobacco, cream, and wood. Overall I considered this a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica and see what the cigar experience would have in store.
The start to the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica delivered notes of sweet natural tobacco and cedar. In the background, I picked up a slight black pepper note. As the Petit Belicoso Clasica moved through the early stages, a creamy component joined the natural tobacco in the forefront. The cedar joined the pepper notes in the background. I also picked up a slight grassy component that was more distant. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced a combination of wood and black pepper.
Throughout the first half I found the flavor profile remained as described above. The only difference is I noticed the cedar notes would make their way into the forefront from time to time.
By the start of the second half of the Petit Belicoso Clasica, the cedar notes joined the sweet natural tobacco notes in the forefront. I also now detected a slight cherry note in the background with the pepper and grass.
As the Petit Belicoso Clasica moved into the last third, the cedar notes pretty much took control as the primary note. The sweet natural tobacco, cream, and pepper were now close secondary notes while the cherry and grass were a little further back. This is the way the smoking experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica to score very well when it came to its burn and draw. The burn path and burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish. The resulting ash was nearly white in color with some slight darker speckling mixed in. While the ash was on the firmer side, I did find some minor flaking from time to time. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw performed quite well. It wasn’t too loose, nor was it too tight. I found this belicoso drew very well and the belicoso tip never got soft or bound up.
Strength and Body
From both a strength and body perspective, I found the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica to be a medium strength and medium-bodied cigar from start to finish. Both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
I was in the minority when it came to the Corona Clasica as I found that was a cigar that demonstrated medium to full characteristics for strength and body – so in my book the Petit Belicoso Clasica is dialed back from the Corona Clasica.
The Quesada 40th Anniversary Clasica blend ranks as one of the best ones in my book when it comes to Quesada Cigars. When Small Batch Cigars announced this project, I was very excited to see the story of this blend continue in another size. When you compare Petit Belicoso Clasica to other petit belicosos, this easily ranks as one of the best ones. I still give the Corona Clasica the edge when it comes to overall experience – namely, I found the larger Corona Clasica has more of a runway (in terms of length) to deliver additional complexity. Overall the Petit Belicoso Clasica is an outstanding cigar. It’s one I would recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again. Normalizing this to 20 to 25 count boxes, the Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica gets our box worthy ranking.
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica Becomes Shop Exclusive for Small Batch Cigar
Price: $34.95 (Five Pack), $315.00 (Box of 50)
Source: Cigars Provided by Retailer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 189
Stogie Feed: Quesada 40th Anniversary Petit Belicoso Clasica
Brand Reference: Quesada