Quesada – Oktoberfest Dunkel – Smoke Inn Exclusive
It’s that time of the year again. Being of German/Hungarian descent, Oktoberfest is one of my favorite times of the year. While I don’t go crazy celebrating I do like to enjoy the beer and food of the country. Naturally, this was the perfect weekend to enjoy Smoke Inn’s newest microblend series, in cooperation with Quesada I bring you the Oktoberfest Dunkel.
The Good Stuff: Smoke Inn has teamed up with some of the biggest names in the cigar industry to bring you their exclusive Microblend Series. This time, they paired up with Quesada to bring you the Oktoberfest Dunkel. The other blends in the Microblend include: Tatuaje’s Anarchy, Padron’s Anniversary 1964 SI-15, My Father Cigars’ El Hijo, A. Fuente’s Solaris, Tatuaje’s Apocalypse, and Room 101’s Big Delicious. The Oktoberfest Dunkel is the same basic Dominican binder and Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso, Ligero fillers from the standard Oktoberfest (you can read my review of that cigar here) with a swap on the wrapper leaf. The Dunkel carries a Broadleaf Maduro instead of the Dominican Cibao Valley. As an added bonus the Dunkel has a very small portion of Ecuadorian Connecticut at the foot of the cigar to resemble the head on a freshly poured beer.
Here is the information provided in their press release:
In the spirit of Oktoberfest, the Dunkel uses the same binders and fillers of the regular Oktoberfest release, with the exception of the wrapper. A very select broadleaf maduro wrapper envelops this rich cigar with a slight underlying Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper at the foot, thus giving the appearance of a dark rich Dunkel beer with a savory foamy head.
The unique experience of smoking one wrapper, then 2 wrappers, and then one wrapper again give this Oktoberfest a unique complex flavor while maintaining that core flavor of Oktoberfest that fans across the world have grown to love.
There will only be 750 15-Count boxes released in a single 6×54 format running $8.95 a stick.
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Broadleaf Maduro – Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso, Ligero
Pairing: Paulaner Oktoberfest (German Marzen 5.8% ABV)
Prelight: Like the original Oktoberfest the Dunkel carries a very dark, very consistent brown wrapper. While the Dunkel’s wrapper lead is very dark brown, I find that some of the original blends that I have actually carry a darker wrapper. The Dunkel’s wrapper is silky smooth with only a few smaller veins. It carries some nice tooth and a bit of oil and I am surprised with how seamless the construction is. The wrapper is capped off with a big, round, triple cap while the foot of the cigar has about a centimeter of a lighter shade wrapper leaf. This is supposed to represent the head of a beer that is created as you pour it into a glass. I love the little added touch. The cigar is very heavy, firm, and bulky while the wrapper leaf feels very tough and solid. There are absolutely no soft spots throughout the entire cigar. The Oktoberfest Dunkel is polished off with the traditional Quesada crest and a German Flag stretching the length of the band behind it, just like the traditional Oktoberfest.
The Oktoberfest Dunkel’s wrapper gives of a slightly sweet aroma covered in a ton of black pepper while the foot of the cigar boats of strong natural tobacco and earthiness. The Dunkel cut clean and easy using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw kicks out a whole ton of sweet spice over some more natural flavors.
First Smoke: I had a conversation with Jeremy last night about the tiny little wrapper addition to the foot of the cigar. We were debating whether or not it would produce any type of difference in the experience or if it was there basically for aesthetics. Honestly, I feel there actually was a difference, even though my first hypothesis was that there would not be. When I first lit up the cigar it started out very creamy and smooth with what I would call some muted flavors. I’ve smoked my share of Oktoberfests so I know what to expect with these cigars and the first couple of puffs didn’t add up to what I was expecting. It wasn’t until I hit the darker shade of wrapper leaf that the experience began to take off. The Dunkel went from creamy to full force kicking out some awesome sweetness, natural tobacco, cinnamon and spice, as well as some nice musky flavors with hints of black pepper. While it lead off with lots of different flavors they were well balanced and really didn’t overpower me. The draw on the cigar is slightly tight but nothing that I see bothering the experience down the road. The burnline is slightly wavy, and pretty wide leaving behind a beautiful, solid, white ash that held on for about an inch and a half before giving way.
Halfway There: The flavors in the Oktoberfest Dunkel in the second third are very similar to the flavors in the first third. Lots of sweetness, lots of musk and spice, natural tobacco, earthiness and a really nice cedar has finally began creeping its way into the profile. You can smell the cedar on the stationary smoke, and the retrohale is straight up sweet cedar, but it isn’t quite as powerful in the actual draw. The burnline is now burning dead even and a lot sharper as I am feeling absolutely no nicotine kick at this time.
Finish: As I enter the final third of the Oktoberfest Dunkel a really nice gingerbread type flavor began to creep in. Maybe I am imagining it, but I swear I am picking it up. Along with the gingerbread the musky flavor has ramped up while the sweetness, cedar, and spice have began to drop back. The body of the cigar has jumped up considerably as well. This cigar burns extremely slow. It took me a little over two hours to smoke it down to the numb in which I have encountered absolutely no harshness at all and felt nothing more than a slight nicotine kick.
Overview: You can’t just throw Connecticut Broadleaf on any cigar and expect results like this. I remembered smoking my first few Oktoberfests thinking “Man, this cigar would rock with broadleaf”. Smoke Inn and Quesada made my dream come true with the Dunkel. The flavors are similar to the original Oktoberfest. Lots of spice and earthy flavors with a bit of the cedar but everything seemed more creamy in the Dunkel with a hell of a lot more sweetness. I love the sweetness in cigar so naturally I find myself liking the Dunkel just a tad more than the original and that says a lot considering I’ve smoked through literally a few boxes of the original Oktoberfest. They say these blends were made specially to pair with beer but in my opinion, I feel any cigar can pair well with beer if paired properly. This cigar is semi-complex with a ton of great, bold flavors and it kept me entertained all the way though. I think it’s a great cigar for any type of smoker.
To Sum it Up: It’s a great cigar. It’s not too strong and carries lots of flavor so it’s perfect for the seasoned smoker and the novice as it won’t leave you on your ass. The price point is spot on, and the Dunkel is more than box worthy. It’s limited so make sure you head over to Smoke Inn and order yours before they are gone.
Pairing: It’s not Oktoberfest without some Paulaner Oktoberfest. This is a staple in any beer drinkers Marzen arsenal. Brewed at the Paulaner Braueri in Germany this 5.8% Marzen is by far one of the easiest to drink, smoothest session beers on the market. After all, isn’t that was Oktoberfest is all about? This beer leads off with a ton of malt and caramel finishing off with a hint of sweetness and prune. It makes for an excellent pairing beer as the flavors are so consistent and smooth they seldom overpower any smoke while the sweetness and caramel pair in perfectly. This beer is a great transitional beer from the hoppy, dry summer beers to the full-bodied, heavy, stout beers of the Winter.