Quai d’Orsay is the name of a part of a district in France. And that might sound strange as a name for a Cuban cigar. But in fact, this cigar was blended and made for the French cigar aficionados. Habanos made it for the refined taste of the French and gave it a French name to boot. The brand was released in 1974.
After dropping numbers since the late 1980s, the brand almost faded away into oblivion. In 2015, only one vitola remained in regular production, the Coronas Claro. But then Habanos decided to revive the brand with two new vitolas and a brand new, updated, packaging. And late December, the company released the Quai d’Orsay 50 and 54, not just for France but open to every Habanos distributor who wants them.
Name: Quai d’Orsay 54
Vitola: Edmundo Grosso
Price: € 9,90
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: One hour and fifty-five minutes.
Purchased at La Casa del Habano Almere
The wrapper is pale and almost yellow. It’s not as pale as Connecticut Shade, but it is definitely a lighter shade wrapper. The wrapper looks and feels dry, far from oily, and contains a few water spots. The triple cap is beautiful, and the wrapper is smooth. The ring is gorgeous, a 21st century look with shiny gold but with the same orange and font as the original ring. The designer paid homage to history when he designed this ring. The cigar feels underfilled and has a mild aroma, in which ammonia can still be smelled.
The wrapper has a salty flavor. The cold draw is loose, with a sweet and peppery raising flavor. The cigar starts metallic with hay, grass, and sugar. When the metallic flavor fades away, the grass and sugar grow. Green herbs and a dash of ground white pepper show up too. The flavors are quite full, with more pepper than expected. The flavors are also a little harsh too, due to insufficient fermenting and aging of the raw product. The mouthfeel is creamy. The second thirds have that specific Cuban leather with pepper, walnut, and some vanilla sweetness. Halfway the pepper is at its peak, subtle yet strong. There’s a hint of cedar too. In the final third, the walnut flavor comes to the foreground, with nuts and a balanced pepper. Near the end, the pepper gains strength again.
The cigar produces a lot of smoke and dark ash. The construction of the cigar is horrible. And this time, it’s not a plug that is the problem. The problem is tunnel burn, which was bad in this cigar.