Quesada Oktoberfest Kurz

The Quesada Oktoberfest Kurz is a rich, leathery looking cigar with a band sporting the Quesada leaf over a German flag to reflect the cigars heritage and inspiration. First light is done with ease and brings flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, bread, orange peel and dark cocoa, which are partnered with an equally enticing aroma. Rich and meaty, the stubby 4” x 50 Kurz maintains a medium body throughout with a slight malty kick on the back end. Although the Quesada Oktoberfest cigar is a good smoke on its own, it was meant to compliment a good Oktoberfest brew (Paulaner Oktoberfest did the job nicely) and indeed it is a pairing that will not disappoint. Light one up, raise a glass and enjoy the festival of taste that follows. Prost!

Daniel Marshall Red Label Churchill

Although the Daniel Marshall Red Label is somewhat modestly priced, it still carries with it the high expectations that come with the Daniel Marshall name. This 7” x 48 Churchill looks the part with a beautiful golden Connecticut-shade wrapper adorned with a red and gold band. The draw is ideal and the burn proves to be nearly-perfect for such a long smoke. Cedar tangos with coffee and spice, making for a delightfully flavorful smoke. Starting off mild, the 7” x 48 Churchill gradually develops into a balanced, medium-bodied pleasure cruise. It teases the fringe of full-bodied here and there, but always stays composed. Though it may prove too pedestrian for some, the Daniel Marshall Red Label is a well-made cigar that should be enjoyed anytime with confidence.

Rogue Rascal

This dark scoundrel from the makers of Gurkha is an imposing looking beast with a skulled double white band. First light brings a plethora of flavors dominated by heavy teak wood. This initial flavor never ceases, but does give ground to coffee, spice and nut flavors. The draw is fairly loose with a corresponding uneven burn. The body, meanwhile, meanders along in the medium range for most of the smoke until it kicks in for a rich, full-bodied finish. The 5 ½” x 46 Rogue Rascal is an interesting smoke with some unique flavor combinations, but just cannot shake construction issues. Ultimately the Rogue is decent, but a bit underwhelming.

5 Vegas Gold Bullion

The 5 Vegas Gold Bullion weighs in at a husky 6” x 60 and with its gold band garnishing a Connecticut wrapper, is as bright as the name implies. A hot and spicy first light gives way to gentle wood and cream nuances that hop about the taste buds, as slight hints of mixed nuts lurk underneath. The construction is fair, if a little loose, and the ash is white and flakey. Flavors of chestnuts, walnuts and a plethora of other nuttiness bullies its way to the forefront as the cigar hits the halfway mark. The Bullion maintains a surprisingly mild character for as much flavor is packed into this nugget, even with a spicier finish that peters out just as it is about to hit its stride. Not a lot of depth with this smoke, but for those wanting a mild yet flavorful cigar at prices far below the going price of actual gold, the Vegas 5 Gold is… wait for it… a gold mine.

Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Natural

Another fine limited run cigar from Padron, the chocolaty box-pressed Family Reserve 85 years Natural has an impeccable draw and construction. The 5 ¼” x 50 sized smoke begins with slight sandalwood and leather tastes that meld with a dash of cocoa and spice to keep it interesting. The burn is beautiful from start to finish, while the ever-developing body manages to ride the middle-of-the-road. Dark roast coffee flavors jump into the spotlight with a sweet bonbon pizazz and the smoke exudes the corresponding aromas. The Family Reserve 85 Years is a genuinely great cigar that is quintessentially Padron: It may not win one over with the first puff, but it will stick in the brain (and taste-buds) long after it is put to rest in the ashtray.

Nat Sherman Silver Marevas

Another example of Sherman’s quest for class and sophistication, the Nat Sherman Sterling features a veiny Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with a “sterling” band, as well as a matching foot band. Light coffee flavors jump on board with the prevailing cedar profile to get the 5” x 42 Marevas off and running. Pure white ash accompanies a slightly tight construction. This little annoyance does not impede the pleasure though, as the cigar grows in intensity and spiciness. A great find (if not a tad over-priced) that develops a surprisingly rich and lasting character, the Nat Sherman Sterling just might weasel its way into the humidor rotation.