The Tributo much akin to the Quesada 35th Anniversary (which was released last year, marked the beginning of a new era for MATASA and the Quesada’s maneuver to start developing cigars under their own name by members of the fifth generation. The Tributo also pays respect to those whom have passed on, and the “Manolin” pays tribute to Manuel Quesada’s father (third generation), while the Alvaro pays tribute to Manuel’s brother, Alvarito son of Alvaro, and Julio Fajarado a close family friend and MATASA factory manager (the latter three passed on in April of ’02 when the plane that the three were aboard crashed). The Manolin is a 6.5×60 toro gordo, with an Ecuadorian Habano Sumatra wrapper, a proprietary Nicaraguan Ligero binder, and a proprietary blend composed mostly out of Dominican and Nicaraguan Ligero’s. Additionally the Tributo series will not be a regular production cigar as this is limited production run of 150,000 cigars.

The Ecuadorian Habano Sumatra wrapper is smooth in texture, and smells of anise, cinnamon, cloves, cracked peppercorns, ginger, mesquite, nutmeg, and paprika; there’s also a slight degree of oiliness to the wrapper.

Off of the toasted foot there are hints of butter cream, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, and nutmeg; a very sweet combination of scents, so much so that it’s mouth watering.

The hybridization of the Habano and Sumatran tobaccos which were cross-pollinated to develop the wrapper grown in Ecuador has made the wrapper relatively spicy with a primary hint of red peppers immediately when touched to the tongue, with secondary hints consisting of anise, cinnamon, hickory, mesquite, and paprika.

The smoke is cloud white, the ash is salt and pepper in complexion and ringing in one millimeter bands. On the palette the smoke tastes of almonds, bell peppers, cedar, cocoa, hickory, mesquite, paprika, and white peppercorns. While the smoke on the nose smells of caramel, cinnamon, and cream.

There’s a twenty degree canoe on the foot roughly three quarters of an inch in after fifteen minutes. The ash went kamikaze at the one inch mark at thirty minutes in.

The body is medium, while the strength is full in nature, in many ways it’s similar in nature to a 6×60 Cain Maduro (yes the maduro and not the habano), the exceptions being the Ecuadorian grown wrapper, and the Dominican ligero; an hour in and two inches down with the ever persistent canoe and absolutely no transition in body and hints.

An hour and a half in with three inches remaining, the cigar is really heating up. The smoke now smells of cashews and mocha, and now there hints of cashews, jalapeño peppers, leather, licorice, and tarragon; still medium in body and the strength is still full.

For the price it’s a good stick, perhaps with some decent age, say a half a year this could be an amazing cigar.

Purchased from Davidus Cigars on Rockville Pike, Maryland 20852 on July fourteenth, for 8.55$ before tax.