|Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel|
The Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel represents the seventh installment of South Florida-based retailer Smoke Inn’s MicroBlend Series. The concept involves Smoke Inn teaming up with some of the biggest names in the cigar industry to produce a one time limited run exclusive to its shop. The Dunkel represents the first collaboration with Smoke Inn and the Quesada family for the MicroBlend Series. With the Dunkel, the Quesada Oktoberfest blend is used, but with different wrappers. The MicroBlend series has consistently generated high scores on this web-site. After I had an opportunity to sample the Dunkel, there is no doubt that this cigar continues the level of excellence that has been seen throughout this series.
With the Dunkel, the Dominican Cibao wrapper of the Oktoberfest is replaced by a Broadleaf maduro wrapper – except at the footer where there is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. Dunkel is the German word for a dark lager. The maduro wrapper represents the dark wrapper. The Connecticut Shade wrapper is meant to give the appearance of a foam head that is often seen on a Dunkel beverage.
The Oktoberfest was released by the Quesadas in 2011. The original concept behind this was to create a cigar that could be paired with a malt liquor beverage. It has been distributed as an annual release. The originally line was launched in two sizes. Three additional vitolas were added in 2012, and a sixth size (the Krone) was added this year. The Quesada Oktoberfest 2011 finished as our #25 Cigar for 2011.
Let’s take a closer look at the Oktoberfest Dunkel and see what this cigar brings to the table. Given the cigars received were distributed before the release date, we will default to our pre-review format to provide some thoughts and perspectives. Once the cigar is released, we will revisit this cigar again and provide an assessment rating and score.
As mentioned above, the wrapper is different for the Dunkel using Broadleaf Maduro and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade on the footer. The binder and filler components are common to the core Oktoberfest line. The cigar is made at the MATASA factory in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Broadleaf Maduro, Ecuadorian Connecticut (Footer)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso, Ligero
The Oktoberfest Dunkel is being launched in a single size – a 6 x 54 Toro. This size is not only unique to the Dunkel, but to the entire Oktoberfest line. The Dunkel will be packaged in boxes of 15. A total of 750 boxes are being produced. The cigars will retail at $8.95 per cigar or $134.25 per box
The Broadleaf wrapper of the Dunkel has an almost milk chocolate color. There was not much in the way of oil on the surface of this wrapper. There are a few veins – and the wrapper seams are well-hidden. The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper on the footer is a classic light brown color. The line between the Broadleaf and Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper was not even on each of the samples I received. I believe that was done deliberately to simulate a “foaming” line.
The Dunkel features the same band that is found on the core Oktoberfest line. At the center of the band is the Quesada Q-shaped leaf logo in gold and white. The band features the German flag strips of orange, black, and gold going horizontally at the center of the band. There is a white stripe above and below the German stripes. On the left side of the upper white stripe is the text “QUESADA” in black font. On the right side of the upper white stripe is the text “OKTOBERFEST” – also in black font. On the left side lower white stripe is the text “HAND MADE” in a thiner black font. On the right side of the lower white stripe is the text “DOMINICAN REPUBLIC” – also in a thinner black font. The band is trimmed with a thin black stripe.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Oktoberfest Dunkel, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes yielded a nice combination of coffee, cream, and citrus notes. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to be excellent on the Dunkel. At this point I was ready to light up my cigar and see what the actual smoking experience would deliver.
The start to the Oktoberfest Dunkel provided notes of cream, pepper, and citrus to start. This had a classic Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade flavor profile to start. This wasn’t a surprise as I was burning through the Connecticut Shade portion of the wrapper. The retro-hale was yielding a classic black pepper spice.
Once the burn line reaches the Broadleaf, the flavor profile changes up rather quickly, yet smoothly. It translates to a roasted coffee flavor – with some background pepper and citrus. There is even a little residual cream as a tertiary note. That cream helped maintain a nice transition from Ecuadorian Shade to Broadleaf. The black pepper remained on the retro-hale. As the cigar moved through the first third, a classic maduro sweetness entered the forefront. This meshed with the coffee notes nicely. The coffee notes had a richness that to them. The pepper, cream, and citrus were in the background.
In the second half, the pepper spice ramped up. It eventually overtook the coffee and maduro sweetness as the primary flavor. While the citrus diminished, the Dunkel never lost the creamy undertone it had in the background. The end of the cigar was spicy, but not harsh. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The Dunkel scored well when it came to the burn. The burn line remained straight from start to finish. There were a few points where the burn line was wavy, but the cigar was never in danger of canoeing or tunneling. The ash was extremely firm and had a nice white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel|
The draw was outstanding on the Dunkel. It had a touch of resistance – something that I consider a positive when it comes to the draw. This made the Dunkel a nice cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the Dunkel had some power to it. I assessed this cigar as having enough strength to qualify as a full strength cigar. As for the flavors, I found they had some depth to them. I also assessed the Dunkel as being a full-bodied cigar. The strength and body counter each other nicely – with neither attribute getting an advantage of the other. My gut tells me that some age might settle both of these attributes into the upper end of the medium to full range.
The Oktoberfest Dunkel actually could serve as a case study for the effect a wrapper change can have on a blend. In the case of the Dunkel, this created a whole new smoking experience on the Oktoberfest bend. More specifically, this wrapper change made a great blend even better. The use of the two wrappers also demonstrate wrapper change nicely. There is no doubt of this change as on the Dunkel the smoking experience between Connecticut Shade and Broadleaf is very noticeable. In fact, while the portion of the smoke of the Dunkel that had Connecticut Shade was small, it still made me think this blend could also work with an all Connecticut Shade.
As for pairing this with a beer, I’m not sure the Dunkel works for me on this – then again, I personally don’t subscribe to the concept of pairings. Overall the Dunkel is an excellent cigar – and one that stands among the best of the Smoke Inn MicroBlend entries. Given it is a fuller cigar, I’d recommend this to an experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this was an enjoyable cigar- and one I’d not only smoke again, but look to a box purchase of.
Source: The cigars for this assessment was provided by Smoke Inn. The sample received was in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.