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Posts Tagged ‘Manuel Quesada’

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Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Connecticut

Filler: Cibao Valley, Dominican Republic

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $39.95; 5-pack, $12.00

Grade: 8.4

Resurrected by Fonseco’s master blender, Manuel Quesada, this Dominican filled, Connecticut wrapped cigar is a consistently smooth smoke at an exceptional value. Available in the mild Connecticut and Maduro for some time, a fuller-bodied option was recently released, the Intenso.

As much as anyone, I enjoy a great value smoke to have on hand for family and friends and of course for myself. I often look for new 5 packs that I haven’t tried in hopes of finding a great, low-mid priced box purchase. The Cu-Avana is a winner in this category! I’ve worked through quite a few of the Natural and the Maduro and we’ve got some of the Intenso headed our way. You can read our review of the Maduro here.

So, I finally decided to put a pen and paper to my value smoke and see just how well it scores.

Appearance, 1.5:
Surprisingly triple capped, this Connecticut is wrapped with a simple blue and gold label. The exterior is a bit bumpy with a rustic, leathery skin. Though the cap is well done, the foot is quite bumpy and misshaped. The aroma on the cigar is predictably that of barnyard with some sweetness. The top 2/3 of the smoke was very tightly packed and dense. The draw was decent and had notes of sweet hay.

Burn, 1.8:
The burn on the Cu-Avana was very solid. Though the draw was a bit tight the first third of the smoke, it opened up nicely and carried a very tight and well-colored ash. The ash held well into the half-way mark of this Robusto before I knocked it off. This is a very consistent aspect of the Cu-Avana–always a clean, tight ash, a straight burn, and a good draw.

Flavor, 2.5:
If you are looking for a flavor powerhouse this is not the smoke for you. If, however, you want an unobtrusive smoothness, this very well may be your value smoke winner. The flavor is predominated by a sweet hay with the slightest bit of pepper on the opening few draws. There was little transition in this cigar—just a solid consistency.

Overall, 2.6:
At around $2 a stick, you will be hard pressed to find a better value. I’m sure I used the same sentence to describe the Cu-Avana Maduro, but it’s true. As I’ve spent some time with both of these smokes, I prefer the Maduro due to the added sweetness and a bit more complexity and transition. However, for an early morning read of the paper with a nice cup of coffee, this would do the trick nicely in my opinion. It’d also be a nice addition to yard work. Though the score is in the low 8s, this is because of a hit to the appearance, which I think most of us can overlook when it comes to value.

(Total: 8.4)

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