In this industry, we often hear of cigars that pair wonderfully with scotch, bourbon, wine, and cognac, but we do not often have cigars designed to be paired with a beer. Yes, we all enjoy cigars with beers more often than not, but it was the Quesada Family that decided to make a cigar that would pair wonderfully with a beer. I actually should be more specific and say that the cigar was designed to be smoked with a certain style of beer. As everyone knows, we are coming up on the season of Oktoberfest, and while most of us will not be in Munich, we still have the opportunity to enjoy a Märzenbier in our own homes. Last year the Quesada Family released the Quesada Oktoberfest in the events honor, and today I am reviewing one of the newest vitolas.
Like the 2011 release of Oktoberfest, this years release is a Dominican puro. Last year the Bavarian did very well in my ratings, and while it was great with a beer, it was superb on its own. The cigar begins with an incredibly dark wrapper from the Cibao Valley, and it is very similar in appearance to last years release. Underneath that is a Dominican binder that is not specified, and fillers that are Cuban seed Criollo, Olor Viso and Olor Ligero. I was tempted to grab the Bavarian vitola again, but instead picked up one of the newer vitolas, the Kaiser Ludwig. If you were not aware of this before, the first Oktoberfest was held as a celebration of the marriage of their crown prince, Crown Prince Ludwig I. He eventually went on to become King Ludwig I of Bavaria, but an interesting thing is that he was never a Kaiser. Anyways, the Kaiser Ludwig is an interesting vitola in the line, because it is the only cigar to be under a 50 ring gauge, and also be box pressed. The cigar measures 6″ with a 49 ring gauge, and is beautiful in hand. It has a near black maduro wrapper to it, and it is slightly oily to touch. There are some minor veins present in the cigar, but nothing to major and the cigar has a comforting aroma of spices, coffee beans, wood, licorice and leather.
|Dominican Cibao Wrapper|
Because this cigar is meant to be paired with a Märzenbier, I took a hint from last year and paired this with a Saranac Oktoberfest. The first third begins by showing some great flavors to it, and I am picking up some black pepper, espresso beans, leather, spices and oak. It is paring with the beer wonderfully, or could I say the beer is pairing with it wonderfully. There is a great burn line to the cigar, and with that it is leaving a fairy solid dark gray colored ash. I am getting a lot of smoke with each draw, and the finish is also very cool. I would say the strength of the cigar is around a solid medium body level, and it is definitely a great cigar for the season. When I get into the second third of the cigar there is a nice addition to the flavor profile, and I would say the cigar is rounding out now. I am picking up some creamy and cocoa notes to begin with in this third, and it is very pleasant. There are still those leather, espresso, pepper and spicy notes, and it is really a great part of the cigar. While the flavors have really picked up, it is in the second third of the cigar that I saw some burn issues with the cigar. There was nothing majorly wrong, but a little hick ups here and there. I would say the strength of the cigar is remaining at that medium body level in this third, and I am still getting that solid dark gray ash to it. I did get some great smoke rings in this third, and it is still smoking wonderfully with the beer.
|2011 Bavarian (left)
2012 Kaiser Ludwig (right)
In the final third I found that the cigar flavors continued to be rocking like they were in the second third, and there is even some addition with that. I began to pick up some hay/dry grass in this third, and it was a nice touch to the cocoa and cream notes. The oak flavors were still very present, and with that the spice and espresso bean notes were lovely. There was a lovely finish to this third, and the flavors with it. I would say the strength level of the cigar finishes at a solid medium level, and with that a very cool draw. There was a nice burn line in the final third, better than the second, and that dark charcoal ash remained all the way to the end. It smoked cool till the nub, and continued to pair wonderfully with the beer.
I really enjoyed this years Oktoberfest, and I love that they added some new vitolas to the line. I would say that this is my preferred vitola thus far of all the releases, and that would be because of the thinner ring gauge and the fact that the cigar was box pressed. I felt that overall this cigar was constructed very well, and with that it had some nice flavors. I do think that these cigars are much better with a Märzenbier, and while they are enjoyed as their own, they are much better with an Oktoberfest. These are great cigars to have during this season and smoke them with the great beer that many love. I give this cigar a solid 90, and I am interested to see how the new vitolas are as well.