It’s been interesting to see cigar companies stake claims to holidays, seasons and festivals over the past decade or so, with a cigar for seemingly every special event on the calendar. I2011, Quesada joined in with Oktoberfest, a cigar released in celebration of the well-known German celebration that has its roots in Bavarian agriculture but is best known for being all about beer.
While the line debuted as a regular production, a handful of stores received exclusive sizes, including The Cigar Shop, which operates stores in Monroe, N.C. and Myrtle Beach, S.C., and got the Bayern, a pyramid-shaped vitola with a slightly tweaked version of the Dominican puro blend. The figurado measures six inches long with a gradual taper from 60 ring gauge at the foot to 51 at the head, a size known as the Triangular with has appeared in the company’s Fonseca brand portfolio and which was a big part of this release.
“The Triangular has been such an iconic vitola that has such as rich history,” said Mark Boley, co-owner of The Cigar Shop, in a press release at the time of the cigar’s announcement. “The Oktoberfest has been an enormously popular line with our customers and now we have an opportunity to bring the Triangular size to this great line. It’s going to make this year’s Oktoberfest celebrations even better.”
Production of the Bayern was limited to just 200 boxes of 10 cigars, with each stick priced at $8.97, before taxes. It became the 19th vitola in the line and the seventh size released in 2017 for Oktoberfest.
Here’s what I said about the Quesada Oktoberfest 2017 Bayern when I reviewed it in November 2017:
If you’re looking for a lot of flavor changes from a cigar, the Quesada Oktoberfest 2017 Bayern certainly offers that, though I have to say it’s not always for the better. The cigar shines fairly brightly in its first third, develops a solid core and peppery top note in its second third, and stumbles trying to bring them all together in its final third. Not only that, it fails to produce the enjoyable and quite palatable experience that the first half of the cigar delivered. Give me the first half of the Quesada Oktoberfest 2017 Bayern any day and I’d be a happy man, just don’t make smoking the second half part of the deal.
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Oktoberfest 2017 Bayern
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Quesada Cigars
- Wrapper: Dominican Republic
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 51/58/60
- Vitola: Pyramid
- MSRP: $8.97 (Boxes of 10, $89.70)
- Release Date: September 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
When I pulled the cigar out of the humidor, I didn’t immediately recognize that it was a figurado as the taper is so slight that it looks like a fairly standard toro vitola. However, closer inspection reveals the change, with my original review reminding me that this is a 60 ring gauge at the foot and a 51 ring gauge at the head, and like the arrow in the FedEx logo, once I notice it I can’t stop looking at it. The cigar looks good otherwise; I’m still not crazy about the way the two bands look but it’s a minor point. The wrapper leaf is well tanned, so much so I thought it might have been Ecuadorian Sumatra for a brief moment, while the vein structure is small but prominent. It’s firm, well-rolled and well-capped, with nothing immediately wrong with the presentation. The foot of the cigar offers an aroma that is incredibly light, sweet and bread-laden, in that order and all intertwined. The cold draw is near perfect as far as air movement, while the flavor leans towards plain bubblegum at first interaction, with the sweetness quickly fading and a bit of dry wood taking its place.
Once lit, the cigar shows more pepper and strength than I would have anticipated given the pre-light interactions, though it’s not often that the two correspond. It’s medium-bodied and medium strength, with a very smooth pepper through the nose and plenty of smoke available on each draw. By the one-inch mark the profile gets a little more robust, with the pepper getting gruffer in the back of the throat and a bit of chalk on the finish. There isn’t much in the way of changes in the first third, with ash building up nicely before nervousness takes over and I tap it off. After two taps of ash, I do notice the balance of the cigar in the hand feels different and the cigar feels a bit lighter, something which has me thinking about distribution of weight and other things besides the profile. Thankfully the venture into harsher pepper notes stopped fairly quickly, and while it lingered, never increased. There’s a bit more creaminess beginning to emerge ahead of the midpoint, while pepper in the nose is a bit more vibrant without gaining intensity. The cigar continues to perform quite well entering its second half.
My experience with the Quesada Oktoberfest 2017 Bayern meets a bit of a snag when I am forced to remove the secondary band on the cigar. It’s made from a clearly different material than a traditional band and thus the adhesive used is rather unwilling to budge, and with the burn line bearing down on it, I find myself looking for a quick remedy. None appears, and I’m forced to remove it quite hastily which ends up taking a piece of the wrapper with it and setting the stage for a tear in the top leaf. A bit of homemade goma rectifies most of the situation, though it’s not much to look at currently. Thankfully, the cigar is still quite enjoyable and tasty, with the creaminess doing a remarkable job wrapping itself around the other flavors for much of the second third before giving way to a more woody profile. There are times I get flirtations of gingerbread and nutmeg, an interesting flavor given the impending holiday season and ones I don’t recall picking up much in cigars. The final third begins on a more peppery note, with the cigar returning to the earthier and more robust place it had been around the start of the second third. Again, it stops short of overdoing it, which is appreciated, instead, leaving just a bit of peppery tingle on the tongue as it gets close to its final puff. The draw and burn both remain stellar, and after about two hours of smoking time, I find myself rather satisfied with what the Quesada Oktoberfest 2017 Bayern has offered.
I find it interesting to look back at my notes about cigars like the Quesada Oktoberfest 2017 Bayern, as well as the score it received, and then try and draw the line between what I smoked then and what I smoked now. I can't say that the cigar carved out a specific place in my memory, though it seems like many of the things about which I took issue with the cigar a year ago have largely been resolved. The balance is better, the flavor is more cohesive from start to finish, and there were few times I thought the cigar would turn into an unpleasant experience. Yes, it flirts with becoming rough on the palate at times, but it never commits and for that I am grateful, as while there isn't as many twists and turns following a year of rest, the overall impression is much more favorable.