Legendary cigar maker Manuel Quesada has been in the cigar business his entire life. In Cuba, the Quesada family worked as leaf brokers for everything from cigarette tobacco to cigars, and was 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. In addition to the lovely Q D’Etat featured this month, Manuel also manufactures several other highly regarded brands including Licenciados, Cubita, Romeo y Julieta, Jose Benito, Royal Dominicana, Casa Blanca, and Credo.
Originally released in 2012, the Q D’Etat Molotov was created to raise awareness for cigar rights. The line was a way to protest increased restrictions on cigar smoking and higher taxes for the industry; in fact, each box contained a form to register for the CRA (Cigar Rights of America). The Molotov that you have your shipment today was the first of the line released, and just take a good look at it. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Interesting shape right? Some may say even downright weird, but the roll itself is nearly flawless with its glistening Dominican wrapper. Inside there’s an equally impressive Dominican binder and long-fillers. Full bodied, this puro will lend flavors of earth, leather, pepper, and cedar. Try this Cigar Aficionado 91 rated cigar with your favorite whiskey.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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