While other cigar manufacturers have been engaged in multimillion-dollar purchases or building huge new factories, Manuel Quesada of Manufactura de Tobacos S.A. (MATSA) has quietly been building his business. In addition to the Licenciados cigars featured this month, Manuel also manufactures several other highly regarded brands including Fonseca, Jose Benito, Cubita, Royal Dominicana brands, Romeo y Julieta, Casa Blanca and Credo. Quesada has been in the tobacco business his entire life, starting in the family enterprise at the age of 13. In Cuba, the Quesada family were leaf brokers for everything from cigarette tobacco to cigars, and one of the major exporters of Cuban tobacco to the world market. When they were forced into exile in 1960, they transferred their entire business to the Dominican Republic, where they had been buying and selling tobacco for years. It didn't take long before they began manufacturing cigars. When the cigar renaissance began in 1992, MATASA and Quesada were among the founding members of Pro-Cigar, an organization established to promote Dominican cigars. Today, Quesada is entering a new era. Introduced in 1988 and handmade in Santiago, Dominican Republic, the Licenciados Cigars were created to compete with the classic mild and spicy Macanudo brand. Over the years, the brand has earned a reputation for excellence in taste as well as construction, rating as high as 93 in Cigar Aficionado. The wide range of shapes and the medium-bodied flavor characteristic to Licenciados Cigars makes the brand accessible to many smokers. The brand is available in 14 shapes in both USA Connecticut shade and broadleaf maduro wrappers, both of which you’ll have the opportunity to try this month. Although our panel favored the maduro wrapper slightly, we found the entire line to be solid across the board and know you’ll going to enjoy this flavorful collection of cigars.
Our favorite of the Licenciados line, we found this tasty little maduro smoke to burn very well and offer an effortless draw. The rustic, deep brown oily wrapper begs you to light it. Look for a slightly sweet character to emerge right from the start. The flavor keeps its sweetness and moves into a spiciness. Again, a complex flavor that also hints of liquorice. C.A. found the flavor to hint towards cola and we did pick up a bit of a tingly sensation while smoking it so perhaps that’s what they are eluding to. Note a smooth, rich taste throughout the cigar that finishes in the same fashion. Overall, a great smoke from top to bottom. Highly recommend this cigar any time of day. Try pairing it with a malty clean Oktoberfest Marzen.
Outstanding Values On Top-Rated Cigars
Our purchasing power allows us to offer exceptional reorder values on highly rated
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.