Quesada Oktoberfest – Bavarian vitola

Last week, I previewed the Quesada Oktoberfest.  This was a cigar that was showcased at the 2011 2011 IPCPR being sold under the Quesada line for Manuel Quesada’s SAG Imports.  This cigar joins three strong cigars already released by SAG:  the Casa Magna Domus Magnus, Quesada Seleccion Espana , and the Fonseca CXX Anni.   With this fourth cigar, the question would become how would this one stand-up with the other three?  The answer – this one is another home run by Manuel Quesada in 2011.

The idea behind the Oktoberfest was to find a cigar that can be paired with malt liquor (aka beer).   The plan is for the release of these cigars is toward the second half of the summer of 2011 – basically meant to coincide with Octoberfest lager celebrations worldwide. 

This was the very first cigar I smoked at IPCPR in 2011. As with all pre-release samples, I will default to a pre-review and hold off on a final assessment.  Some may say why bother smoking and assessing a show sample.  My goal in the Cigar Coop’s 2011 IPCPR Series is to focus on a technical breakdown on some of the cigars at the show, so I do feel its important to discuss the highlights – especially the good ones like the Oktoberfest.

Blend Profile

The Quesada Oktoberfest is highlighted by its thick, oily wrapper.  It definitely looks like a cigar that can stand up with a hearty malt liquor.  The wrapper has a resemblance to the thick oily wrapper of the Tributo, but the Tributo used a unique Ecuadorian hybrid wrapper.  This cigar is an all Dominican puro.

Wrapper: Dominican Cibao Valley
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso, Ligero

Vitolas Available

There are two initial size offerings for the Oktoberfest.  The vitola names continue to push the beer-fest theme that is marketed for this cigar.

 The Bavarian: 5 1/2  x 52
 The Uber: 6 x 65

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As tempting as it was to light up a 65 ring gauge – being that this was the first cigar of what was going to be a cigar marathon at IPCPR, I opted to go with the Toro-sized Bavarian vitola.  I placed a straight cut into the Oktoberfest Bavarian.  The pre-light draw was a little difficult to assess, but it did have nice flavor.   If I am asked to pinpoint what the flavors are – I’m going to say chocolate.  This was a little surprising for a “beer cigar”.   It was then on to firing up this cigar and see what would come to the table.

Flavor Profile

Upon firing up the Oktoberfest, I was immediately treated to some pepper spice to start.    The pepper spice does increase rather quickly.  In the first 5 percent, the pepper is pretty much dominant.   The chocolate notes on the pre-light draw are present, but in the background.

The pepper soon subsides and the chocolate notes return.   This wasn’t a deep rich sweet chocolate as I definitely categorized it on the bittersweet side.  The Oktoberfest definitely provided nice flavors in the first half of the smoking experience.  Around the halfway point, I was pretty much assessing this as a great flavored, but low complexity cigar, but the second half would bring a change.

The second half saw the emergence of some raw honey notes and a touch of nuttiness.  Layered over the bittersweet chocolate, it somehow began to reflect a flavor that could go with a beer.   The second half saw the pepper spice also pop back up. By the end of the smoke, the pepper spices were pretty much in the forefront.  While the finish was spicy, it was not harsh.  The nub was a little soft, but it was cool.

Burn and Draw

The only affect I saw on the pre-release show sample was on the burn – and I wouldn’t categorize it as a major issue.  The burn did go a little uneven at times, but with some touch-ups it didn’t prove to be too much of a problem (This is one reason why I use a “Pre-Review”).  There were no issues with the burn rate or burn temperature.   The draw was also solid – no issues there.

Strength and Body

This was probably a stronger smoke that most would normally start a day with.  For myself, it is not uncommon to light up a strong cigar in the morning.  This cigar had a nice nicotine kick to it – and I’m not saying that just because it was my morning cigar.  I definitely categorize this as medium to full in terms of strength.  The flavors are some nice dimensions to them – I also categorize the Oktoberfest as medium to full.

Final Thoughts

Right now, if there was a battle for 2011’s blender of the year, it would be a two horse race between Ernesto Perez-Carrillo of E.P. Carrillo and Manuel Quesada of SAG Imports.  The Oktoberfest is simply outstanding.  The amazing thing is, I would have thought that my first smoke at IPCPR would have easily been forgotten about – but the Oktoberfest was a memorable experience.   Finally, yes I do feel once I got to the halfway point – it does pair well with a nice cold beer.   This is a cigar that I feel more seasoned enthusiasts will appreciate and a cigar I’d certainly invest in a box purchase.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full

Source: This sample was received at the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show.  The sample was initiated by SAG Imports in order to provide feedback.   I am appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.

Note: All samples received from the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show will be included in my “2011 IPCPR Series”