Posted by Jack | in Diesel | on 19 Jun 2013 | at 6:17 AM | 2248 views
A. J. Fernandez has come on strong in the past few years.  The young man behind such brands as Man O' War, San Lotano, La Herencia Cubana, and Emilio Cigars AF series really struck a chord with smokers in 2009, when he introduced the Diesel line through Cigars International.  I remember reading about them in a catalog back then and they certainly did pique my interest.  However, for some odd reason - planets weren't aligned, global warming, alien invasion - I never jumped on the wagon and tried them.  That is not for CI's lack of trying either.  The Diesel cigar line is scattered across nearly every sampler they offer.  Last week, during a discussion with my good friend, Bert, I told him I had never had a Diesel cigar.  His response landed on my doorstep a few days later.  A 13 cigar sampler from Cigar.com containing a smattering of about every Diesel product ever made.  I decided to be a purist and selected the original Diesel Unholy Cocktail for my first foray into the Diesel realm.  How was it?  Let's see....
Construction: This little chunky belicoso is simply gorgeous.  The wrapper is a deep rich brown bordering on black with no flaws, hardy a vein to be seen, and a deep oily shine.  There is a nice rustic look to the cigar as well.  Always good in my book.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane, I was startled at the density of the aromas this cigar gives off.  I picked up a rich sweet cocoa, tobacco, leather, spices, and some earth.  The cut is a breeze and the draw is wide open perfect.  The cold draw is loaded with a sweet cocoa spice that makes the mouth water.
Light and Burn:  Because the ring gauge on this cigar is a bit beefy, I had to use four matches to get it lit properly.  The burn thereafter, from start to finish, was perfect.  I think I had maybe two minor touch ups during the seventy minute smoke, but nothing I can't attribute to the wind in my backyard.
Tasting: Starting off, the Diesel hits with semi-sweet chocolate, cedar spices, and earth.
The first third is memorable.  Cocoa, earth, tons of leather, a touch of chickory, and deep roasted tobacco flavors mingle together in expert balance.  The body is full tilt as are the flavors.  It's an " in your face" cigar that doesn't let up.
The second third hits with black coffee, more of that chickory, earth, and leather all coupled with that dense roasted flavor that touches on hickory.  There is a hint of black cherry in there as well.  The smoke gives off aromas of black coffee and earth.  Ash is light gray and flaky - I had about an inch and a half before it decided to drop.
The final third drops the strength a bit.  Flavors seem to sweeten a little as well - which is saying something, as this cigar has an overall sweetness to it from start to finish.  There are flavors of cocoa, sweet coffee, leather, and earth.  Hints of cinnamon and cream also come forth.  The strength is still in your face but nowhere near the levels of the first and second thirds.
Value: A box of 30 of these bad boys will run you $99.95 online.  That is $3.31 cents per cigar....how can you go wrong?!?
Final Thoughts: The Diesel Unholy Cocktail stands out from the plethora of full bodied smokes on the market as one of the top in it's class.  I know...that sounds like a Consumer Reports review of a family sedan.  But Diesel really is a terrificly unique smoking experience that should be on your list of things to do if you like full bodied cigars.  The flavors and aromas are truly unusual and deserve all of the praise and more that reviews have bestowed upon the brand over the past few years.
Having them in my humidor after all of these years reminds me of the days as a kid when I would stare at the Christmas catalog from Montgomery Ward wishing for a specific He-Man or GI Joe toy.  Once said toy was added to my collection I remember a certain surreal feeling as I played with it - having stared at it in catalog form for so long....  This experience makes me feel that same way once again.
After finally smoking one of these, I can see why at least one or two customers a day ask for them at The Wharf.  We are working on getting them in-store.  In fact, there is a " Brick & Mortar only" line called the Grind that sounds interesting too.  Can't wait to see the look on people's faces when the Wharf associates answer " yes" to the " do you carry Diesel cigars" question.
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Size: 5 X 56 belicoso
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