It's hard to find fault with a cold beer and a robust cigar, so the team at Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (Matasa) in Santiago, Dominican Republic, have created the two-size Quesada Oktoberfest, cigars that are meant to be paired with hearty beer.
The cigars are Dominican puros, and the wrappers are very oily, and black enough to pass as maduros. "The wrapper is something new we are calling "Dominican Cibao,'" said Terence Reilly of importer SAG Imports. That wrapper is paired with Dominican binder and a mix of Dominican fillers.
"Because it's meant to be paired with the Märzen-style beer produced for Oktoberfest," said Reilly, "we will release it toward the end of August, which is around the same time that the various Oktoberfest beers are released."
We didn't have Märzen beers in the Cigar Aficionado offices, but we did have a hearty new Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier. I enlisted the help of Jack Bettridge, our senior features editor and drinks expert, and we each fired up the cigars and sampled the beer. Alone, the Quesada Oktoberfest was oily and hearty, with a touch of bitter wood on the palate. The burn was not terribly even, which is pretty typical of cigars made with hearty, thick Dominican wrapper. Jack found the Quesada full bodied, yet smooth, and felt the beer added a bit of tang that sought out nuttiness and some cocoa in the cigar. I found the malty beer a nice match for the Quesada, and I thought the cigar brought out more sweetness in the smoke.
Quesada Oktoberfest was on display at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, which ended today. The cigar comes in two sizes: Bavarian, which measures 5 1/2 by 52, and Über, 6 by 65. They have suggested retail prices of $7.95 and $8.95, respectively, and will come in boxes of 20.