In 2011, SAG Imports—the distributor for Quesada, Fonseca and Casa Magna—brought a new line of Dominican puros to the IPCPR trade show. While many of their counterparts—notably Fuente, La Aurora, Davidoff and LFD—have made releases of Dominican puros a conversation about the difficulty in growing wrapper in the Dominican Republic, Quesada focused on something completely different—beer.
As you might expect, Quesada would prefer that you pair your Quesada Oktoberfest with an Oktoberfest beer. As you might also expect, everything from the bands to the vitola names is Oktoberfest—or at the very least German—themed.
For the second consecutive year, Quesada announced an expansion of the Oktoberfest line, officially adding the 5 x 43 Krone to the mix, but it also announced that there would only be six standard vitolas of the line, making the Krone the last of the nationally-released sizes.
However, since then Quesada has added two vitolas to the line-up. The Dunkel, an exclusive release to Smoke Inn, and an unnamed event cigar—rolled in the identical shape as the Fonseca Triangular—that is given out to customers who purchase a box at an event.
For 2013, the production line-up of Quesada Oktoberfest are as follows:
- Oktoberfest Über (6 x 65) — $8.95 (Boxes of 20, $179.00) — 2011 — 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)*
- Oktoberfest Bavarian (5 1/2 x 52) — $7.95 (Boxes of 20, $159.00) — 2011 — 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)*
- Oktoberfest Das Boot (6 x 52) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170.00) — 2012 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)*
- Oktoberfest Kaiser Ludwig (6 x 49) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190.00) —2012 — 250 Boxes of 20 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)*
- Oktoberfest Kurz (4 x 50) — $7.25 (Boxes of 20, $145.00) — 2012 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)*
- Quesada Oktoberfest Krone (5 x 43) — $7.25 (Boxes of 20, $145.00) — 2013 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Quesada Oktoberfest Event Cigar (5 1/2 x 56) — Event Only — 2013
- Quesada Oktoberfest Mircroblend Series Dunkel (6 x 54) — $8.95 (Boxes of 20, $134.25) — 2013 — 750 Boxes of 15 Cigars (11,250 Total Cigars)
*Previously released size, production numbers are only for 2013.
The boxes of the Oktoberfest Krone look like the rest of the line:
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Oktoberfest Krone
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: The Quesada Factory
- Wrapper: Dominican Cibao Valley
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso & Ligero
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 43
- Vitola: Corona
- MSRP: $7.25 (Boxes of 20, $145.00)
- Release Date: August 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 10
The darker Dominican wrapper has become pretty familiar after a few years, but the Krone has a bit less oils than I recall on some of the other vitolas. That being said, the pictures above prove the variance in wrapper colors. There’s not an impressive aroma: leather, generic woods and a touch of sweetness. I imagine the lack of cellophane on the cigars is likely a culprit. The cold draw is somewhat open for a Corona, but it’s still quite good with notes of perfume, sweet cedar and roasted nuts.
The Krone begins with some toasted cereal notes, a spice on the middle and back of the tongue and a pepper that emerges from the back. It’s got some typical Dominican taste with some added toastiness. Midway through and I get some fruitiness and vanilla on the tongue, an odd roasted pork note through the nose and some sour oranges and saltiness on the finish. After a few months in the box, the Krone has easily become the most complex of any of the Oktoberfest I’ve had so far. While the burn is decent—it looks better in the picture—it’s not really up to par with the rest of the line.
As the second third gets going the profile turns earthier with increased spice. The cereal notes disappears replaced by some bitter dark dark cocoa, although much of the rest of the profile remains around: toastiness, sourness and saltiness. It should be made clear, the profile was much more elementary than when the cigars were fresh. Strength is medium, flavor is medium-full and body is medium-full. The draw is still a bit looser than it should be, but it’s tightened a bit.
There are some things that disappear in the final third, unfortunately, the complexity is arguably one of them. The bitter cocoa, toastiness and spice dominate the profile—and that’s kind of it. At times there is red pepper through the nose, but it’s overwhelmed by the core. With an inch left, I call it a day and put down the Krone. There’s no disappointment, but there’s not a whole lot left in the cigar.
- The Oktoberfest is a seasonal release. That means you can expect the six sizes, event exclusive and event cigar to appear again.
- If you are wondering whether you should pair the cigar with an Oktoberfest beer, I’d recommend it.
- This is hardly the first release where the manufacturer has recommended a pairing, Dion Giolito created the Illusione Epernay to pair with champagne.
- Quesada doesn’t have a name for its event cigar, so if you’d like to suggest one, leave a comment below.
- If you’d like to find a name for the company’s factory, we can play that game too.
- Speaking of events, it appears that Quesada has a few left. Probably best to check the company’s Facebook page for upcoming ones.
- With the larger sizes, the Oktoberfest can build some impressive ash. Earlier this month, I got a Das Boot past the halfway mark before the ash fell, on the Krone, that does not seem to be possible.
- The reason why Dominican puros didn’t appear until the 1990s was because of the wrapper. It is described as being amongst the most difficult to grow and produces abnormally low yields.
- Some of the samples I smoked didn’t have evenly cut feet. That is probably not something you would notice or care about unless you are trying to take a halfwheel-style stand-up shot.
- Strength is medium.
- This was actually a relatively light year for SAG Imports at the 2013 IPCPR trade show and convention. That being said, they added a 5 x 43 to another line, the Tres Reynas.
- Krone means crown in German.
- I actually went to the Munich Oktoberfest this year. I also smoked a fair bit of Oktoberfest while there.
- There are only six breweries that are actually allowed to produce official Oktoberfest beer under the Reinheitsgebot, the German beer law. While I didn’t have Paulaner, my favorite of the other five was Hacker-Pschorr. I actually found Hofbräuhaus’s Oktoberfest to pair the best with Quesada’s Oktoberfest.
- The law basically boils down to two things: the beer must 6% ABV or higher and it must be brewed in Munich.
- Oktoberfest actually starts in September.
- It’s crazy to think that just two years we found the 6 x 65 vitola absurd, now in the face of 6 x 70, 6 x 80, 7 x 70 and this—it’s somehow okay.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 25 minutes.
- The cigars for this review were sent to us by site sponsor SAG Imports.
In the beer world, there's a term to describe this cigar—session beer. It's a beer that is easy to drink, has manageable enough alcohol content to drink for long periods of time and is still rather enjoyable, without require much attention. This is supposed to be a session cigar, it's not made to be overly complex, it's not made to have a whole lot of changes and yet, with two months of age on the Krone, I really wish we weren't giving away the remainder of the box because it's turned into something that wasn't actually intended. It's become more than a session cigar, more than a seasonal enjoyment. The first third of this Oktoberfest was miles ahead of anything I've been able to get out of the cigars to date, and while the rest of the cigar doesn't improve, I kept enjoying it. Oktoberfest might be over, but for me Oktoberfest smoking season might just be beginning. This is hardly my favorite line that Quesada makes, but the Krone at this stage is hardly just a regular Oktoberfest.