Today we’re looking at a cigar that fits into two line extensions – both the Quesada Oktoberfest lineup and the Smoke Inn Microblend Series. The Dunkel is the first, and so far only, Quesada Oktoberfest that is a single store release. The only other cigar in the Oktoberfest line that isn’t widely available at stores is the event cigar, which as the name suggests is only given out at events to people who buy boxes of Oktoberfest.

The press release from Smoke Inn gives a little more detail about the background and idea behind the Oktoberfest Dunkel:

Smoke Inn together with Manuel Quesada of Quesada Cigars are proud to present the world a very special limited version of Quesada Cigars’ highly acclaimed annual Oktoberfest, the “Dunkel.” Dunkel, the German word for dark, typically is used to describe dark German lager.

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.

Unlike the rest of the Oktoberfest line, the Dunkel is not a Dominican puro; rather, it feature a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with an Ecuadorian Connecticut shaggy foot.

Here is the Dunkel pictured alongside the rest of the Oktoberfest line:

Quesada Oktoberfest Vitolas

  • Quesada Oktoberfest Über (6 x 65) — $8.95 (Boxes of 20, $179.00) — 2011 — 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)*
  • Quesada 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)*
  • Quesada Oktoberfest Das Boot (6 x 52) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170.00) — 2012 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)*
  • Quesada Oktoberfest Kaiser Ludwig (6 x 49) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190.00) —2012 — 250 Boxes of 20 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)*
  • Quesada 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.

This is also the eighth release in Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series.

Smoke Inn Microblend Series

Now you know the background, so let’s get to the review.

Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: The Quesada Factory
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed Criollo, Olor Viso & Ligero
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Grande
  • MSRP: $8.95 (Boxes of 15, $134.25)
  • Date Released: September 20, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 750 Boxes of 15 Cigars (11,250 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

It’s easy to say that the Dunkel is a very visually-pleasing cigar. With the great looking Oktoberfest band along with the different wrapper at the foot, it’s a cigar that grabs your attention. The Broadleaf wrapper has a rough and oily feel to it and is applied seamlessly. Inhaling deeply I get bright, fresh hay notes with some light barnyard aromas off the wrapper. Even though the cigar feels fairly firm, after clipping the cap the draw is nice and I get some notes of sweet milk chocolate and cedar.

The first third starts off with more bright notes, mostly grassy and cinnamon. As soon as I’m past the half an inch of Connecticut wrapper, the profile changes to a sweeter, smoother one. Dried fruits and cinnamon dominate the profile. Just a little further past that, where I’m guessing the underlying Connecticut wrapper stops, the cinnamon disappears and is replaced with a meaty note. Interestingly enough, it’s almost so distinct I would say it reminds me of a grilled steak with a balsamic glaze. The ash is beautifully dense, holding easily to an inch, with the first half an inch a dull gray and past that a bright, speckled, light gray color. Draw is firm, though still quite ideal. Smoke production is medium on the draw, but fades quickly afterwards with only a slight trickle coming off the foot while it rests. Towards the end of the first third the meaty note picks up and starts to dominate the profile and has an added touch of saltiness.

Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel 2

Moving into the second third the meaty, salty notes still dominate, however the Dunkel still has a sweetness to it. It gives the cigar an interesting contrast in the profile, much like you would get from the chocolate bars with sea salt. While I’m describing the cigar’s flavor as meaty, the interesting thing is there is a distinct lack of pepper, making the retrohale smooth and allowing me to pick up a slight cedar note that I hadn’t picked up since the cold draw. The burn has been razor sharp and even so far—quite impeccable construction. All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, a giant black pepper note has shown up, complimenting the meaty note while seeing the departure of the saltiness that had previously been so dominate.

Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel 3

The final third sees the cigar’s profile fade a little, with the meaty, pepper, and dried fruit notes all slightly muted. An odd, yet thankfully brief, note of chlorine muddied up the profile but disappeared after a couple of draws. The burn continues to be nearly perfect and I’ve made it through the entire cigar without a single touch up. The Dunkel ends very smooth with the flavor profile solid without any harshness.

Quesada Oktoberfest Dunkel 4

Final Notes:

  • There will be at the very least a ninth Microblend Series release. Smoke Inn released announced the 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster will be coming in 2014.
  • I love the Quesada logo, using the tobacco leaf and turning it into a Q. Combined with the German flag’s colors makes for a great looking band on the Oktoberfest line.
  • Dunkel beers are dark German lagers. You might also recognize the term Dunkelweizen, which are dark German wheat beers.
  • Quesada has made it clear that there will be no more nationally-released Oktoberfest sizes for sale. They have left the door open on single store and event releases.
  • SAG Imports describes the Oktoberfest line going with Märzen beers. Märzen beers are brewed around March (Märzen is German for March) and then cellared and ready to drink around October. More commonly, these would be known as your Oktoberfest style beers.
  • While the Oktoberfest is a seasonal line, the Microblend Series has been a series of one-and-done releases. Given how Smoke Inn has gone about the Microblend Series, it seems unlikely we would see another release of the Dunkel.
  • SAG Imports is a site sponsor.
  • Some of the cigars for this review were provided by Smoke Inn, halfwheel also purchased some samples.
  • Final smoking time averaged just over two hours.
89 Overall Score

The Oktoberfest is a good line and the Dunkel is no exception. While it isn't an overly complex cigar, the flavors fit together well for an overall enjoyable smoking experience. The construction of both samples I smoked was absolutely on spot, with my lighter only being used to light the cigar. I can easily suggest jumping on a box of these if they sound like your profile, especially since they’re still in stock and you won’t have to go hunting for them on the secondary market.

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Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.