The Quesada Keg returned in 2016 with larger production and a ramped up look. The blend is the same as the 2015 version, but features a different tobacco vintage.
John and I recently had Terence Reilly on Sharing Our Pairings and he gave a ton of info on the blend of the Keg and the scope of the project.
Quesada Keg 2016
Size: 6 x 44
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Samples smoked for review: 2-3 per reviewer
Cigars for review were provided by Quesada Cigars
Note: We used the CigarFederation Rating System
Rob's Rating - 92 AKA "Box Split"
If you watched the SOP show (video above) then you know that I really like this cigar. The blend works well as a stand alone cigar or as a pairing smoke.
Flavor: The profile of the Quesada Keg was rich and chewy with some sweetness and a little baking spice. It started out with plenty of chewy and leathery goodness. Notes of leather, earth, molasses and dark stewed fruit were present as well. The retrohale provides a mild baking spice and a little more sweetness. There wasn't a ton of transition for me which I found to be a positive when paring the Keg.
Construction and Performance: I've smoked four Kegs so far and the performance has been great. The burn has been great with no issues staying lit. The ash has been strong and the draw was perfect on all of them. No issues.
Final Thoughts: I love this cigar and it's hard to beat at the $6 price point. The Keg is a release I was excited about this year and I can see it's something I will look forward to for years to come.
Surgeon's Rating: 92 AKA "Box Split"
The nose on the Quesada Keg 2016 was lots of leather, rich dark tobacco, cedar, some spices and sweetness lingering underneath. In the foot I get a significant amount of sweetness which reminds me of molasses.
Using a Xikar v-cutter the draw is in the ideal zone, maybe slightly towards tight.
Initial draw impressions produce leather with a trailing sweetness. On the retrohale there are rich spices that aren't overly intense. As the first third settles in there's some rich chewy sweetness that develops. There is some pepper that begins to come through at the end of the retrohale, and it does have a bit of bite as it lingers. At the start of the each draw I start to get this really rich sweetness, like honey roasted peanuts. At the thirty minute mark the retrohale moves away from the spices and pepper to more of the rich sweetness I was getting on the regular draw.
As the Quesada Keg 2016 transitions to the middle third I'm getting a lot of sweet cedar finishing each retrohale. On the regular draw there is a dry cedar. Halfway through the middle the spices come back on the retrohale but are dominated by the sweetness. Some leather comes through as the middle third wraps up.
In the last third there's a significant amount of leather on the post draw that dominates the palate between each puff.
The Quesada Keg 2016 is a fantastic cigar that is complex enough to be enjoyed on its own.
CigarFederation Group Score - 92 AKA "Box Split"