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Cigar Review: Tesa Batch 505 Rothchild

9 Aug 2011

As I wrote in a commentary in May, this spring my wife and I packed up our apartment in Virginia, loaded up our belongings, and moved to our new home in Chicago. The move was motivated by a desire to be closer to our friends and family, as well as for new careers.

A few loyal readers sent comments and emails humorously suggesting I had moved to be closer to the Tesa Cigar Company, a boutique manufacturer located on Lake Street just west of the Loop. They correctly recalled how much I enjoy Tesa’s various blends, including Cabinet 312, Havanitas, Gran Cru, and Vintage Especial.

No, I didn’t move back to my hometown city because of Tesa. But having an office relatively near Tesa’s lounge is certainly a nice perk. I plan on visiting the shop more often to get reacquainted with my favorite Tesa blends and to try other Chris Kelly creations that I haven’t had the opportunity to smoke yet.

One such creation is Batch 505. This five-vitola blend (production limit of 90,000 cigars per size annually) sports a light Indonesian wrapper and Nicaraguan filler. The Rothchild (5 x 52) has a firm feel, a tight cross-section of tobaccos, and a perfectly executed pigtail cap. A soft aroma of sweet hay is present off the foot.

From the outset, the flavor is tremendously well-balanced with notes of dry wood, coffee with creamer, and mixed nuts (sometimes I pick up walnut, other times cashew or peanut). Perhaps most intriguing, the long, rounded finish is characterized by caramelized sugar.

About a year ago I asked Kelly what is his best cigar. He said it was a toss-up between the Vintage Especial—which, in his words, is a “mild-bodied Connecticut with a very creamy texture…and subtle yet intricate flavors of almonds and butterscotch”—and the Cabinet 312—which has “big and dark flavors of espresso, bittersweet chocolate, with fleeting hints of citrus.” In terms of body, Batch 505 ranks in-between these two blends. Depending on the time of day or my mood, though, it may not be second to either of Kelly’s favorites.

Like everything else from Tesa, the 505 Rothchild burns extremely well with a solid ash and a nice draw. And while its flavors don’t change much from light to nub, the complexity of this cigar is captured by its balance. This treat is well worth its $6.75 price tag and definitely worthy of four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Review: Tesa Batch 505 Rothchild”

  1. Martijn Stolze Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    Indonesian wrapper? Are they any good? And is that Sumatra seed?

    • Patrick Ashby Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Indonesia can produce good wrapper tobacco. No matter the country of origin, the worth of any wrapper is how well it smokes in a given blend. In this case, the combination is outstanding.

  2. Ras 13 Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Great review. CK is the man. He has been living and breathing cigars since he was 18. I met him in 2003 in Esteli. Buena Gente.