Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: Tesa Reserva No. 464
Size: 4.5×50, Reserva R
Price: $10.45 (10% discount on 20, $188)
Tesa Cigar Company is a cigar lounge based in Chicago with a superb lineup of house blends. They currently have 9 different blends, all blended by Chicagoan Chris Kelly, the mid-20s owner of Tesa, and manufactured in Tesa’s Esteli, Nicaragua factory. All of their blends incorporate Nicaraguan tobacco and 10% of all proceeds are returned to the Nicaraguan people for housing repairs, education, clothing, and sustenance. Their line of cigars, known as the Tabacalera Tesa line, is made in highly limited production.
Today we are reviewing the Reserve No. 464 in the R size, which has a maximum production of 90,000 per size. The 464 is sold in 6 sizes:
Reserva R: 4.5×50
Reserva V: 6×50
Reserva E: 6×54 (Figurado)
Reserva O: 6×50
Reserva K: 7×52
Reserva P: 9×60
Chris was kind enough to send us samples of several blends which we will be reviewing over the next few months. I smoked two samples of the Reserva No. 464, both in the R size. You can learn more about Tesa’s cigars online or by following them on Twitter.
Now, on to the toast.
The Reserva No. 464, in the 4.5×50 size, was great to hold – short, stubby, and firm with a solid weight. There was one substantial stalk that nearly ran the length of the stick and the wrapper was slightly discolored, but there were no soft spots and it possessed the cleanest, most intricate pigtail I’ve ever seen on a cigar cap, making three complete twirls. The aroma was a bit bland with some sweet cedar in the background and the pre-light draw was open and presented the slightest bit of pepper. A nice touch, the Reserva No. 464 comes naked without cellophane or a band, as do most if not all of the Tesa line cigars.
The burn on the 464 was nearly flawless; the draw was excellent, the ash was consistently colored and sturdy, it never burned hot to the nub, and the smoke emitted was thick with a very sweet and pleasant aroma. I didn’t think about the burn even once during the smoke.
The 464 moved perfectly through thirds with some very nice transitions. The first third started off with a very sweet spice that resided in the back of the throat and delivered a very smooth and buttery texture. The pepper tended to dominate the sweet in this section of the smoke, though in the second third, the sweet took over and was mostly of hazelnut and butter. The final third presented another increase in creaminess and most of the sweetness dissipated. The cigar never went harsh and was smooth throughout, even during the peppery moments. Despite the creaminess, the finish was quite dry and short.
In a lot of ways this cigar reminded me of a Davidoff Classic; nice exterior, flawless burn, and smooth flavors…and a big price tag. At nearly $11 a single, this is not an everyday smoke for me and I doubt that I’d make it a box purchase at around $188 for 20. It was however an excellent cigar and one that I would turn to again without question.
Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite house blend cigar?