Oktoberfest is one of the most famous festivals in the world. The yearly celebration attracts millions of people to Munich to partake in the festival, with millions more enjoying the famous beer produced for it. Traditionally, there is a cigar tent for Aficionados to enjoy a smoke with their brew. This year, the Quesada family has blended a cigar specifically to be paired with the flavorful Marzen-style beer produced for Oktoberfest. Blended with a variety of flavorful Dominican tobaccos, the Quesada Oktoberfest is available in very limited quantities. Quesada Oktoberfest, a small-batch seasonal cigar from Manuel Quesada – maker of Casa Magna and Fonseca. With production limited to a mere 500 boxes, Oktoberfest was specifically manufactured to pair with everyone’s favorite libation….beer! Blending a cigar to pair with beer is no easy feat, but who better to fill the tall order than the legendary Manuel Quesada. This hearty Dominican puro all begins with a Dominican Cibao wrapper that is thick, dark and oily. This beautiful leaf hugs an all-Dominican recipe of long-filler criollos, visos, and ligeros, producing a hearty medium to full-bodied cigar chock full of flavor and complexity. Beer, or no beer, the Oktoberfest is great any time of year.
First look is a hearty oily Dominican Cibao wrapper with a generous amount of tooth. Pre-Light draw with flavors of cocoa and slight sweet notes of dried fruit. Upon first light flavors of dark rich coffee, cedar, dark chocolate and earth. After cruise control burn the dark chocolate notes intensified with creamy rich coffee, leather and slight spice with nuances of cinnamon. Final third the coffee and chocolate notes were still prevalent as the spicy notes of cinnamon balanced out the underlying flavors of cedar, leather and rich earth. Construction was perfect with no re-lights needed and the ash held almost to the band. High Medium bodied with a wide open draw, the Oktoberfest was very enjoyable and would pair perfectly with your favorite Oktoberfest beer.
Cigar: The Uber
Size: 6 x 65
Wrapper: Dominican Cibao Valley
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: DR Cuban Seed Criollo & Olor Viso & Ligero
Just when you thought the guys at Studio Tobac couldn’t possibly improve the Nub line, they dangle the Nub Dub. Back for a short time in 16 Nub samplers and sure to vanish in a puff of smoke as fast as they appear! Offered originally in 2010, this full-flavored, medium to full-bodied Nubber features two premium maduro leaves for the ultimate, super rich maduro experience. Nub Dub hails from Nicaragua and utilizes premium Nicaraguan long leaves all masked by a powerful Brazilian maduro wrapper. Beneath this hearty, semi-sweet wrapper you’ll find a zesty Nicaraguan Habano maduro binder which creates a super complex taste and most definitely worthy of full production like the San Andreas Maduro that was offered in the 2011 Studio Tobac world tour sampler and even harder to find, however completely up to Oliva Cigars and Studio Tobac.
First look is a dark super oily Brazilian maduro wrapper with slight vein. Pre-light draw with nuances of coffee, cedar and earthy chocolate notes. Notable barn yard cedar and earth on the foot. Upon first light you are treated to massive dark chocolate and creamy cocoa notes with underlying flavors of of sweet cedar and earth. After cruise control burn there are flavors of expresso, dark earth and burnt cedar with a nuance of sweet tea between draws on the palate. Final third the strength picked up but with flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and creamy cocoa. Construction and draw was perfect and the darkish grey ash held long and tight and would have continued way past the label. This was a High-Medium to full bodied cigar that would have paired wonderfully with morning coffee or a favorite libation after a full meal.
Size: 4 x 60
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Brazilian Maduro
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-filler
After a lengthy customer testing period, Kurt Kendall, owner of the 7-20-4 cigar brand, is set to debut his newest full-production cigar, the Hustler, is being rolled by Nestor Plasencia at his factory in Danli, Honduras, Tabacos de Oriente. Kendall says the cigar contains no ligero, the strongest variety of tobacco. Kendall, who owns and distributes his cigars under Vintage Cigar Distributors of New England, Inc., first debuted the Hustler on a limited basis in order to receive customer feedback. Hustler debuted at last year’s IPCPR and underwent a trial being released in selected cigar shops. The Hustler sports a barber-pole style wrapper that combines Brazilian Mata Fina with Connecticut Shade tobacco grown in Ecuador. The Hustler consists of a Costa Rican binder and filler tobacco from Honduras’s Jamastran Valley and Nicaragua’s Jalapa Valley. Kendall calls it a medium-bodied smoke, and it is being rolled in three sizes: 5 1/2 inches by 52 ring gauge, 6 1/2 by 58, and 6 by 54. The 27-count boxes for Hustler are broken up into three compartments, with nine cigars of each size filling the spaces. Additionally, Kendall is offering the Hustler in a five-pack in a 4 1/4 by 40 size he calls Dog Walker. Kendall, who is headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire, is known for resurrecting a turn-of-the century brand called 7-20-4, a clear Havana produced by Roger G. Sullivan in Manchester from 1874 until the Cuban Embargo started in 1963. Kendall registered the dead 7-20-4 trademark and debuted the modern 7-20-4 line in April 2009, with Alec Bradley producing it in Honduras at Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L.
Barber poles, seems most cigar manufacturers have tried them, gimmick? Novelty? Most have construction issues, burn issues and the list go’s on. Enter the Hustler from Kurt Kendall and 7-20-4 cigars. Every stereotype about barber poles have now screeched to a halt and worthy of a top 5 rotation in anyone’s cigar arsenal. First look is the wrappers of Brazilian Mata Fina and Ecuadorian Connecticut shade grown that give us the beautiful 2 toned look of the Hustler, slight tooth is noted on both wrappers. Pre-light draw had slight resistance with flavors of hay, cedar and graham crackers. Upon first light flavors of coffee, leather and bitter chocolate are noted, the flavors of leather are somewhat muted when the Brazilian Mata Fina ignites. After cruise control burn the resistance on the draw opened up from pre-light and flavors of coffee, cocoa and roasted nuts are noted with the volley of muted chocolate and leather from the wrappers each taking a turn to balance out the Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. Final third was more of the same as cruise control with the wrappers balancing out flavors of coffee, earth and leather with the bitter chocolate notes mellowing into a nice dark chocolate flavor. Construction was amazing as by this time with previous BP’s one if not both of the wrappers have cracked or starting to unravel. The burn was razor sharp and the ash held to an inch or more before falling off. All flavors were extremely balanced in this Medium-Bodied masterpiece with the perfect consistency of flavors between the two wrappers that was an hour and a half of pure smoking pleasure.
Size: 6 x 54
Wrappers: Brazilian Mata Fina, Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade Grown
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa, Honduran Jamastran
The G.A.R. Opium by George Rico – a limited-edition release from one of the most creative minds in the industry. The name may throw you for a loop, but rest assured the cigars are legit and completely legal. Hailing from George Rico’s boutique factory in Honduras, each Opium comes packed with rich, savory tobaccos. At play is a reddish brown Nicaraguan Habano Corojo hybrid wrapper, boasting an oily sheen and generous tooth. Nestled beneath this leaf awaits a Nicaraguan binder hugging a top-secret proprietary blend of aged long-fillers. The Opium STK is more about flavor and complexity, rather than strength. Certain to please the connoisseur and amateur alike, the Opium will soon become Rico’s flagship cigar and one that others will use to compare themselves to.
First look is a generous amount of tooth on the Habano Corojo hybrid wrapper, the feel was smooth but rough at the vein portion of the leaf. Pre-light draw was wide open with flavors of wood, cedar and earth. The foot adorns a label with the initials S.T.K the acronym for Stay True Kid. Upon first light you are immediately treated to the signature Gran Habano taste of rich leather, coffee, cedar, nuances of cocoa and earth. After cruise control burn the consistency of flavors raise to the medium bodied profile, leather, cedar and dark coffee are the dominant flavors with hints of chocolate, dried fruit and carmel balanced out with roasted nuts. Final third the flavors of coffee, earth and leather were slightly intensified as the cigar reached end point, however stayed the dominant flavors from start to finish. Construction was rustic but well made, burn time was an hour and a half with zero re-lights required. The ash was dark grey and flaky with a razor sharp burn.
Size: 6.0 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Corojo Hybrid
The Diesel Grind, a brand-new and innovative cigar that maintains the renowned attributes of the Diesel name, while taking the brand to distinguished new heights. Meticulously handmade in Esteli, Nicaragua, Grind begins with a robust, but well-aged blend of long leaf ligeros, hand selected for their rich and smooth character. This powerful core is complemented by an impressive Ecuador Habano Sun Grown Oscuro wrapper. A dark, sultry, and inviting leaf. This marriage generates a bold, hearty smoke that is powerful and elegant, delivering droves of rich balanced flavor.
First look is a smooth silky Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown Oscuro wrapper with slight tooth and notable vein that was delicate to the touch, unlike the original Diesel shorty that’s a sturdy tank of a cigar due to its use of Pennsylvania Broadleaf. Pre light draw with notes of wood, earth, slight spice with sweet undertones. Upon first light flavors of leather, cedar and dried honey with subtle spice. The cigar gains strength with stronger pepper notes that balance out nicely. After cruise control burn flavors of dry wheat toast, coffee and pepper were prominent. Final third had nuances of bitter chocolate, however the coffee and spicy notes have mellowed with flavors of roasted nuts and subtle white pepper that rounded out this medium bodied cigar.
Construction was great with the delicate white ash holding long, that being said any unexpected wind or bumps would have knocked it right off. The draw was wide open with copious amounts of thick creamy white smoke. No burn issues noted with zero re-lights required. Final thoughts- I enjoyed the Diesel Shorty Grind and highly recommend it if you can find it. This was a brick and mortar only and I was extremely lucky to purchase a box and 5 pack from cigar.com. All flavors evolved well and would pair either morning or night with your favorite libation. Smoke time was a little over an hour and it never lacked or overpowered on flavor from first light to finish.
Size: 4.5 x 50
Wrapper: Habano Ecuadorian Oscuro Sun Grown
Binder: Habano Honduras
Filler: Condega Ligero, Jalapa Viso, Seco Honduras