Quesada Q d’etat Howitzer
THE GET: I bought this cigar at my favorite Portland B&M shop, Broadway Cigar Co. (on twitter @broadwaycigar and on Facebook here) while I was picking up my winnings from a Macanudo contest. I was informed by Tony (on twitter @Cigar_shopTony) that the Howitzer size was in stock from the Q d’etat line, so of course I bought one; I also bought the new Czar size in the Gran Habano Corrojo #5, a 6×66 giant.
THE PACKAGING: The Howitzer comes in boxes of 10 cigars, stacked in two rows of five, with the Quesada leaf logo on the top and the picture of the Howitzer cannon on the underside of the lid. If you didn’t know the meaning of the name, you pretty much do now. It also sports a double band with the Quesada logo prominent on the main band with a black/gold/silver color scheme; the second band is right below and states the line, Q D’ETAT and HOWITZER along with some Howitzer shells on either side. Great job on the bands and boxes.
THE CIGAR: SAG Imports website explains Quesada’s meaning behind the Q d’etat line, “The Q d’etat line represents a symbolic revolt against the unfair taxation practices and mistreatment of the premium cigar industry. The brand is intended to create awareness of the dangers increased government regulation and taxation will produce specifically the FDA’s desire to regulate premium cigars. There will be three sizes, released at different dates, of 1,000 ten-count boxes. Each box will contain a form to register for membership in Cigar Rights of America.” On that note, I am a registered member of the CRA and you should be as well; they do more for you than you could ever imagine. How can you read the meaning behind this cigar and pass on trying it? You can’t, that’s how. The Howitzer is the second release, and the 6×60 size depicts the old cannon pretty well; the first mimics the shape of a Molotov Cocktail and also shares its name. I’ve always liked a good story behind a cigar and this does not disappoint; besides, I am also angered and frustrated by the cigar bans getting passed all over the US.
The Howitzer is a Dominican puro; that is the wrapper, binder, and filler tobacco is all from the Dominican Republic. A pretty damn fine looking cigar!
THE SMOKE: The Howitzer is a formidable looking cigar with the dark brown wrapper and strong colored band; however it is very light in the hand but firm to the touch. The seams are great and it has nice veining in it. After punching this 60 gauge monster, I had no troubles lighting it (sometimes a 60 rg takes a while to get and keep lit) and the burn stayed straight and even. The draw was very good although it had a medicine taste to go along with the sweet from the wrapper. Initial flavors of earth and tobacco were well in the background as the sweetness from the wrapper took center stage. The ash created a great look with its white color from the dark cigar but it was light, flaky, weak and never held for more than an inch. About halfway, the strength kicked in as the tobacco, earth, and leathery flavors started to take over; the sweet was dominant the entire time but let up a bit in the second half. During this 2 hour cigar, the amount of smoke produced was minimal both idle and while drawing; I was able to smoke it down to a nub without flavor or heat issues and without touching it up even a single time.
THE SKINNY: I have seen many reviews of the Howitzer that paint it as a poor to alright cigar; I disagree, this is a very good cigar. Is it one-dimensional? Yes, but if it tastes good and is blended well, then I am OK with a one-dimensional smoke. So many large ring gauges miss on the flavor altogether, Quesada did not on this. I found it to be a very enjoyable cigar to smoke. With only 10 in a box, I would definitely purchase a box.