Cigar Reviews

Quick Draw Episode 16 – Tesa Cigar Co – Series Shaman / 312 Cabinet

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If you haven’t noticed I have been absent a bit lately. Nothing has changed, but I had been dealing with some family issues and just got over a bad case of gout. That being said, things should go back to normal from here forward. I hope. We’ll see I guess. Anyhow, I found the time to squeeze in two quick draws for you guys. Both are sold by Tesa Cigar Co, both are manufactured and blended by Chris Kelly in his factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, and both were sent to me by an amazing BOTL Revjava. Thanks again dude. Here is the Tesa Series Shaman and the Tesa Cabinet 312. You can find more info on Tesa’s blends, company, and even order directly from their site here: tesacigars.com

Tesa Cigar Series Shaman #60

Tesa Cigar Series Shaman

Info: As with a few of these Tesa Cigar blends, there is little information about the blends on their site. What I can tell you is that the Series Shaman sports a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper. I’m really glad that more cigar companies are using that leaf, I am always pleased with the amount of flavor it yields. The Series Shaman comes in 5 sizes and ranges from $6.30 – $8.20 a stick. I am smoking the 6 x 60 for review.

Prelight: The Series Shaman starts with a thick, meaty, incredibly consistent medium brown wrapper. This wrapper looks like it can take a beating. While it looks like it carries a lot of oil, it’s actually pretty dry to the touch. There are a few veins running though the thick body up to the nice, rounded cap.  The Shaman carries a very nice unfinished foot.  This cigar is as hard as a rock and almost as heavy as one. That being said, I was very surprised when the cap cut as clean as easily as it did using my double bladed palio cutter.

Burn/Draw: This is one reason why I am not a big fan of larger ring gauges. On both of the cigars I smoked I found it extremely hard to get a good draw from the Shaman. You know, I won’t really blame the cigar I think it’s a format issue as most 60’s I smoke have the same issue. I really enjoy putting little effort in a draw to get a larger return. Anyways, the burn was excellent. It took a bit of convincing with my single flame butane torch but once this baby was lit there was no stopping it. The Shaman burned razor-sharp and dead event the entire experience.

Taste: The Series Shaman started out pretty mild with some nice chocolate, sweet tobacco, smooth cedar, and a bit of a chalkiness. As the cigar progressed into the second third the body began to ramp up with lots of sweetness, chocolate, and a strong musky flavor. The cigar’s flavors began to meld together for a creamy finish as I closed into the final third.

Thoughts: I really need to try this cigar is a smaller format. The flavors and overall experience prove that there is a lot of promise there, but the larger format dampened the experience. I think the cigar is reasonably priced, but if the experience is better in the smaller formats that I am sure this blend carries a whole lot of bang for the buck.

Tesa Cigar Cabinet 312 Series H

Tesa Cigar Cabinet 312

Info: The Cabinet 312 is listed under Tesa Cigar Co’s “Luxury Cigar Blends”.  Tesa coins this blend “the most intricately complex blends in the line”. The cigar starts with an oily parejo maduro wrapper around a blend of Esteli and Jalapa Nicaraguan fillers. I am unsure of the exact tobacco used. The blend ranges from $9.85 – $13.25 a stick and comes in six different sizes. I am smoking the “Series H” which is a 7.25 x 52. LOVE the size.

Prelight: The Tesa Cigar Co. website states that the wrapper is oily, and it’s not lying. This is one of the oiliest wrappers I have seen. Outside of the obvious oils the wrapper feels a bit delicate as the thin, consistently dark brown wrapper runs the length of the cigar’s body. While the wrapper is darker in color, it’s actually quite a bit lighter than most maduros I am used to. The cigar is polished off with a beautiful, spiral pig tail.

Burn/Draw: The Cabinet 312 lit up with ease under my single flame butane torch. The burnline started out with some very slight waves which quickly corrected themselves. After that, the razor-sharp burn continued perfectly consistent and needed no touch ups or relights the entire 2 hour experience. The draw was incredible. Each little puff kicked out a ton of very thick, lingering smoke. I love it.

Taste: The Cabinet 312 started out with a nice blast of black pepper which quickly faded into a sweet and spicy experience. I picked up some soft cedar on and off throughout the smoke as well as a really enjoyable floral flavor while some deep coffee notes remained the entire smoke. The cigar really shines in the final third when the body and the strength ramp up and the black pepper makes a brief reappearance.

Thoughts: I thought he Cabinet 312 rocked. I liked it much more than the Series Shaman. You never know what you are going to get with house blend cigars and I was very pleased with this one. It’s got a bit of a punch to it, but I think that it’s perfect for the seasoned cigar smoker. Novice? Not too much. The cigar is a bit pricey and might be a bit too complex for someone new to the game.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn’t loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

9 Comments

  1. Troy T

    July 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Damn, bro. Sorry about the gout attack. Knock on wood- I haven’t had one in a really long time. Uloric seems to be keeping it away pretty good.

    • Tony Casas

      July 2, 2013 at 9:02 am

      My doctor had my on allopurinol but for some reason took me off of it. My NEW doctor has placed me on it. I have thyroid issues to it’s been a task to manuever around all that.

  2. jjo

    July 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to get in the review, my friend. Must have been painful, but maybe the bar crawl helped ease the hurt? 😉 Thumbs up to Revjava for getting these under the radar smokes (for me, anyway) to you.

    • Tony Casas

      July 2, 2013 at 9:03 am

      Rev always comes through 🙂 Yeah that bar crawl definitely “helped”. I saw your email and have to rebuttle the fact that most bars in el paso only sell that kind of beer! haha, it’s a bud light city.

  3. czerbe

    July 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Glad to hear things are getting better bro, thanks for the reviews and all you guys do for the cigar worlds. Nice job and great reviews.

  4. Chris Kelly

    August 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Tony,
    My name is Chris Kelly, the owner of Tesa Cigars. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to review my cigars. One important clarification is that we do not work with Quesada. I blend and manufacture all tesa cigars in my factory in Esteli. Again, thank you for the kind words.

    • Tony Casas

      August 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Chris, I apologize for the mix up. I have updated the post with the correct information and again, really sorry about that 🙁

      • Chris Kelly

        August 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm

        Tony,
        No apology necessary. Send me your info. if you would be interested in reviewing some other blends my friend.

        PS. thanks goes to Rev for linking this up!

  5. Tim Sappenfield

    November 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I lived across the street from Chris when he was a kid,,,,,,and have been smoking cigars for 20 years,,,,,,,the 312’s are one of my best cigars for sure……….off the chart Chris

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