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Stogie Reviews: Tesa Vintage Especial Rothchild

23 Jun 2009

When I checked out the Series Gran Cru No. 2 back in April, I said I was ready to add Tesa to my short list of favorite boutiques. Today’s review reaffirms that decision in a big way.

Tesa Vintage Especial RothchildLocated in a shop on the Near North Side of the Windy City, Tesa cigars are “meticulously blended by Chicago area resident Chris Kelly and crafted in the Tesa Cigar factory in Estelí.” Their flagship house blend, Vintage Especial, features a Connecticut shade wrapper with Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. Only 80,000 sticks of each vitola are made annually.

The Rothchild vitola (no, that’s not a typo; Tesa omits the “s”) is a classically sized robusto with five inch by 50 ring gauge dimensions. Like the eight other blends in the Tabacalera Tesa lineup, it comes dressed in nothing but its birthday suit—a move that some enthusiasts find annoying but one that I’ve always admired.

Why? Because naked cigars suggest two things about their manufacturers: (1) they likely care more about tobacco than marketing and (2) they have confidence in the reputation and appearance of their creations to move their products.

With a gorgeous, seamless, and nearly vein-free wrapper, I think Tesa made a smart move by not dressing up the Vintage Especial. The four samples in my humidor were attractive enough on their own merits to grab my attention and prompt this review.

The first few puffs are salty with little else going on. But as soon as the thick, shiny mascara starts to wind its way down the cigar, I am immediately reminded of two fantastic stogies: the Davidoff Grand Cru and the PG Gourmet. The thick, superbly balanced smoke yields a delicious flavor of oak, cream, buttery nuts, and sweet hay. Mild and harmonious.

With phenomenal physical properties that include a straight-edge burn, a sturdy ash, and the slightest resistance in draw, the Tesa Vintage Especial Rothchild is an absolute treasure. It encompasses everything I love about great Connecticut shade smokes—balance and intricate subtleties that reward attentive smokers.

As with the Series Gran Cru, however, this cigar’s singular drawback is its limited availability and relatively high cost. As far as I can tell, the only way to get your hands on one of these is to either visit the shop in person or purchase it from Tesa’s online store for $13.95 per single.

I hope you don’t let those barriers discourage you from seeking one out, particularly if you’re the kind of smoker who can appreciate milder creations. I certainly am. And for all the reasons listed above, I’m pleased to award the Tesa Vintage Especial Rothchild our highest rating of five stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. A list of other five stogie-rated cigars can be found here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

9 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Tesa Vintage Especial Rothchild”

  1. furious Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2:15 am #

    That's an awfully high score for such a budget busting mild stick. I wonder how their other vitolas stack up to this one. Quite frankly, at that price point, I would rather spend my stogie dollars on habanos.

  2. Patrick A Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    Awfully high? Yes. And deservedly so in my book.

    But if you aren’t already a fan of milder cigars—and if you typically equate strength or full flavors with quality—then this isn’t up your alley. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointment with a stick of this price.

    For a smoker like me who regularly enjoys mild cigars, though, this is an absolute must-try. The Tesa Vintage Especial Rothchild ranks among the very best mild cigars available.

  3. Patrick M Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    While price of a cigar is certainly an important factor when purchasing a cigar one must be careful to not let price influence your perception of the physical characteristics of the cigar. For instance, I disagreed with CA's decision to rate the Casa Magna Colorado above the Padron 80th in last year's top 25. I felt like the cigar with superior taste and physical properties should have been ranked higher. At the end of the day when purchasing a cigar it boils down to a cost benefit analysis. To judge a cigar's physical properties in a cost benefit scenario when reviewing places an undue burden on cigars that may be exquisite but expensive.

  4. furious Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    You should try the El Rey Del Mundo Choix Supreme then. It is the best mild habano and mild cigar that I have ever sampled. And it is much cheaper, too.

  5. Chris v Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm #

    Pat! I got into head school today! One step closer to my own blend!

  6. Chris v Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm #

    Pat! I got into grad school today! One step closer to my own blend!

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