Quesada 35th Anniversary Premiere @ Madison Avenue

For 35 years, the MATASA factory has made some of the finest cigars in the Dominican Republic. From their flagship "Fonseca" brand, to other well known favorites like Cubita, Casa Blanca, and several others... the name MATASA has always been synonymous with excellence. Manuel Quesada has been the force behind the MATASA factory. Now, his "young ones" are growing up, and becoming more and more involved. With the "young ones" come new ideas, new concepts, and finally new cigars. On June 29, 2009 the entire Quesada family came to New York to premiere their new brand, Quesada, and a commemorative cigar to celebrate and honor their father and uncle, Manolo.

Although it won't be available until late in the summer, about 80 lucky guests got to taste this new cigar, and I was one of them. Now, I'm a little biased since I had the pleasure of being part of the creative process from the beginning on this project, but to finally taste it finished, it its proper format was incredibly exciting... and no doubt once these cigars get the necessary age on them, they'll be showing beautifully.

At 6" x 49, this box pressed toro is "just right", allowing the nuances of the Ecuador-grown Arapiraca seed to shine without being too overwhelming. The binder and one leaf of filler is a relatively young tobacco from the 2008 crop, however it adds a bit of excitement and some up front spiciness that is certainly a departure from most of the cigars made by MATASA. Other ligeros from Dominican Republic and Nicaragua round out the blend.

It was really a special evening, perhaps the most moving when the "young ones" all spoke about the project, and how much it meant to them to create this cigar and honor a man who has meant so much to them.

Below are some highlights.