At Quesada Cigars, they showed off their newest blend made by Manuel Quesada called the Quesada Reserva Privada.
Last year at Pro Cigar, the company marked its 40th anniversary with new cigars and this year it was something special. (The box is even special with a smooth almost glassy finish –it was so smooth I thought it was plastic but no it is wood– and a hologram on both the band and box.) The key to this new blend is tobacco from the 1997 crop. At the time, Manolo noted that the weather was perfect that year and the leaves all looked great. He thought that crop could be something special and working with his father at the time, the Quesadas put some away in special palm leaf bundles to let the tobacco age slowly. Now they are using that 18 year old crop in this special release. Manolo says this is the best blend he has ever made. It uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over Dominican San Vicente binder from 1997 and fillers of Dominican San Vicente from 1997 along with Pennsylvania ligero. There will be only three sizes and initially only a few accounts will get them. As for the cigars themselves, they were rolled in April of last year and are going to be aged one full year…which means no one outside of the Quesadas have tasted one yet. We were told the cigars will be available in April. The cost will be $13-$15.
Speaking of vintages…La Aurora released its newest Puro Vintage 2006 (this is the fourth edition and limited to 1500 boxes of 18.). The Salomon uses a maduro HVA wrapper grown in Ecuador over Brazilian binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Brazil and two different Dominican tobaccos from the Cibao valley. The cigar was featured as part of the Pro Cigar auction where one of two special humidors with the cigars was auctioned off. The special humidor contained the Puro Vintage Salomon which will be available, along with a Doble Figurado (the classic preferido No. 2 size) and a robusto gordo which were made just for the auction.
In addition La Aurora has finished building a new replica of the company’s original factory. Another version of the factory exists in Centro Leon a cultural museum complex donated by the Leon family and adjacent to former site of the La Aurora factory. The new replica located in Tamboril is part of La Aurora’s educational tour of the factory. The company has brought in real tobacco plants to give visitors a tobacco field experience without trekking through the dirt. Another addition to the factory is Cigar World which will be an educational facility. Plans call for seminars on tobacco to be given by former General Cigar president Daniel Nuñez and cigar legend Benji Menendez along with La Aurora’s master blender Manuel Inoa. That would be one seminar I wouldn’t miss.
Earlier, I mentioned the Pro Cigar Auction…that is another main purpose of the organization…to raise money for charities in the Dominican Republic. The auction on Friday night raised a record of just over $100,000 for Voluntariado de Jesus con los Niños and Hospicio San Vicente de Paul—non profit organizations that help sick children and poor elderly.