With Oktoberfest just around the corner, I attended a Quesada Oktoberfest cigar event hosted by Mickey Blakes in Connecticut. Terence Reilly showed up on behalf of Quesada and I was able to do an impromptu “sharing a moment” session with him. You can see pictures of the cigar event here and the “interview” here. Oktoberfest originates from Germany and starts September 22nd. You may wonder why is it called Oktoberfest if the celebrations start in September:
The historical background: the first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.
By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over “die Wiesen” or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.
I believe three new sizes were released in 2012 including the Kaiser Ludwig which is limited to only 250 boxes. Most online stores may already be sold out of that specific vitola while Mickey Blakes is currently (as of 9/9/12) only taking box orders for the Kaiser Ludwig while everything else can be purchased as a five pack or more.
While speaking with Terence, I asked him which vitola might best mimic the experience of the Kaiser Ludwig and he stated that even though the Kurz is two inches shorter, the ring gauge is only off by 1/64th. Now even though I expect similar experiences with all of the Oktoberfest cigars, there may be small variations within the line hence the reason for different sizes. The Kurz when loosely translated it, means “short” which in this case, makes a lot of sense considering the vitola is only 4 inches in length.
Bavarian ”5 1/2 x 52″ 1000 Boxes
Das Boot ”6 x 52″ 500 Boxes
Kurz ”4 x 50″ 500 Boxes
Uber ”6 x 65″ 1000 Boxes
Kaiser Ludwig ”6 x 49″ 250 Boxes
(Prices range from $7.25 to 9.50)
Quesada Oktoberfest Kurz Cigar Review
Wrapper: Dominican Cibao Valley
Binder/Filler: Dominican/Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso, & Ligero
Size: 4 x 50
Vitola: Petit Robusto
Days In Humidor: 7 Days
Smoke Time: 1 hr 15 min
Drink: Water, S.A. Octoberfest, Narragansatt Fest, Zaya G.R. Rum
Location: Tasty Tobacco Shop
The Quesada Oktoberfest has a rich oily wrapper. The chocolate like colors are deep and vibrant which makes the Quesada go really well with it. The colors used incidentally are the same ones on the German flag (Red, Black, Yellow) except that the order was different. The veins are not that prominent yet there were a couple of places where the construction appeared subpar. The cap on one of the cigars was breaking off and another spot where it seemed there was some extra wrapper. Fortunately, I smoked three cigars for the review so the quality gets averaged out. The cigar has a solid feel in my hand and only slight give when squeezed. I like well packed cigars for vitolas of this size because usually it leads to a longer smoke time. The Dominican Cibao Valley wrapper is very toothy and I think it goes wonderfully with the “Oktoberfest” theme.
The cut across the head was near perfect and the cold draw offered up some resistance which I find ideal for a vitola of this size. The burn was razor sharp throughout the entire smoke and probably one of the best ever in my reviews. The draw after lighting the cigar continued with just enough resistance. The amount of smoke given off by the “4 x 50″ was impressive as it was a steady stream coming off of the foot. Most impressively however, was the quality of the smokey white ash. It still had the toothiness on the slender fine rings and lasted well over 1.5 inches before I decided to tap it into the ash tray.
The wrapper has subtle notes of cedar and smooth cinnamon while the foot isn’t nearly as dominant in it’s flavors. The foot has a touch of cedar and chocolate though these aren’t as rich as I expected. The initial draws introduce brown sugar, coffee and some hay. This cigar starts off beautifully with the flavorful brown sugar leads the way. In the first third, leather jump out from the rest of the flavors while the remaining notes play a supporting role. The aroma comes off as buttery with a good amount of spice attached. I wish the leather was a bit more smooth but it feels fairly balanced. Near the end of the first part, I detect some nutmeg. The Quesada Oktoberfest Kurz finishes this section as a medium bodied and mildly medium strength cigar.
The second part continues with rich leather and nutmeg as the primary notes. Though I do get a bit of a buttery/creamy note following up behind the flavors. The strength is a solid medium and the body is above average and enjoyable. In the last third, I’m getting some bitter notes similar to a straight black coffee. Cedar and leather return to the profile yet it has smoothed out quite a bit. Cinnamon notes have joined the party in the last 1.5 inches and they are very distinct.
- I think for the most part, many of us don’t just have a water with a cigar. We usually sit down and pair our cigar with something more exciting and flavorful whether it be a Märzen style beer, Ron Zacapa rum or your favorite single malt scotch. The point is, whether this cigar was specifically blended for Oktoberfest beer makes no difference to me other than the novelty aspect of it. When you label a cigar so specific, you run the risk of people feeling out of place when smoking it in the spring time or early summer.
- The Quesada Oktoberfest cigar is a quality cigar and you should just pair it with whatever drink you enjoy most. The two Oktoberfest beers (S.A. Octoberfest, Narrangansatt Fest) didn’t do as much justice to the cigar as did the Zaya Gran Reserva Rum and the water. Yes, the water. This allowed the flavors to naturally come out. However, both fore mentioned beers aren’t what you’d call cream of the crop Oktoberfest beers (especially this year) so I look forward to pairing the cigar with a higher quality better matched beer in the next few weeks.
- The worst aspects of this cigar was pointed out prior to being lit. After that, this cigar was all about smooth sailing and enjoying the moment. I think the appearance fits the theme almost perfectly and I wouldn’t change anything.
- The “Kurz” size was enjoyable and there was nothing short about it. It lasted a good amount (1hr 15min) and the flavors had a long finish.
- The flavors were “pretty good”. Rich with a solid amount of body without a strong nicotine kick. However, I found myself noticing more of the flavors when sitting alone and focusing on it then when I smoked one at the cigar event. Even though this specific cigar may not fit my flavor profile exactly, I think it is one of the better cigars out there to enjoy with company.
- These don’t require much long time aging to get the most out of the cigar as they might just need a few weeks to a month smooth out the flavors some.
- At $7.25, I would easily purchase a box, IF I loved these as much as some of my cigar smoking friends do. Personally, I think the flavor profile is unique and may not be for everyone. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to keep enough of these on hand.
- If you’re interested in purchasing any of the Quesada Oktoberfest cigars, please contact Mickey Blakes.