From my cigar buddy TriMarkC comes this great review of the Diesel Unholy Cocktail.
Diesel Unholy Cocktail, made by A.J. Fernandez
Size: 5×56, Belicoso torpedo
Wrapper: USA/Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan Long Fillers from Jalapa, Condega and Esteli region
Strength: Medium-to-Full Body
Price: Box of 30, $100 ($3.33/stick) or about $6 each in local B&Ms
The Diesel Unholy Cocktail is a cigar made by AJ Fernandez which was released mid-to-late in 2009. Since I had heard that these were full-bodied (read: full strength) cigars, and I tend to like mild-to-medium strengthened cigars, I’ve been a little hesitant to smoke one for fear of getting blown out of the sky. So I’ve had one sitting in my humidor for most of a year, until, as my friend “IronMikeCW” from @CigarWorldcom who gifted it to me, “my cigar palate grows some chest hairs”. Well, its time!
For this review, I smoked two Diesel Unholy Cocktails in one weekend, which only come in one size – a big, beefy belicoso torpedo that’s 5” by 56 ring gauge. The first had been resting for nearly a year, and the second was purchased about a month ago. I paired my first cigar with a great cup of good strong coffee, and the second cigar was matched to a Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale beer. I’m a big fan of pairing cigars with whatever you feel like drinking … I’m not a snob about the pairing, since I find it much more enjoyable when your palate tells you what you’re in the mood for.
Let me say right off the bat that I love the look of the Diesel Unholy Cocktail’s band! It has a single band, at the foot, that has an antique look to it, with a medium brown old English-style text spelling out “Diesel” against a light tan background and some gold script crosses. With that band drawing your initial attention, and getting your mind thinking “old world,” I felt that the cigar itself looked rustic but elegant. It has a very dark wrapper, dark brown like dark chocolate, with a few veins visible but still smooth to the touch. Holding the cigar while inspecting it, it has heft. Its already a big cigar, but it feels densely packed – there were no soft spots at all, not even at the foot. There were no tears, holes or other irregularities to mar its appearance, even when I slid the band off the end. The cap is well wrapped, with no pinching or unusual overlapping.
As for the aroma, it was spicy and earthy, with a touch of cocoa. The foot had more of those, but also with green fields, and a strong caramel smell that wasn’t sweet. I also picked up a slight fruity aroma that I couldn’t place.
For torpedoes I tend to snip the end twice using my favorite double-guillotine cutter, since it has a backstop to prevent over-cutting. The pre-light had a perfect draw, with a spice and caramel flavor present, too.
After lighting the Diesel Unholy Cocktail, I was immediately hit hard and fast with spice!! I mean everywhere – my lips, my tongue, the back of my throat and on the retrohale into my sinuses! Its not unpleasant at all, but you know its there, let me tell you! That spiciness calms down a bit, or perhaps I got used to it somewhat, after about 5 minutes. Then, the smoke fills your mouth with that caramel flavor – again, its not sweet, its just a nice pleasant flavor. I also picked up some coffee flavors.
As I continued on through the first third, that spiciness continued in the background, mellowed and not so in your face. That unusual fruity flavor is gone, but now I swear I was picking up a “beefy” flavor – just barely teasing me as it came and went. Still got the flavor of coffee too, sometimes sweet coffee, sometimes black coffee – very interesting! I could feel the strength of this cigar building as I worked into it; I’d say it starts out as a medium-bodied cigar and builds from there. The burn was a little wavy on both cigars but nothing that ever required a relight, and the ash was solid with black and white bands. In fact, the ash stayed on very solid, a testament to the construction of this cigar!
The Diesel Unholy Cocktail’s second third changed things up, and not always in a good way for me. There was still the spiciness that varied up and down as I progressed, and was most noticeable on the back of my throat. The caramel flavor picked up, adding in just a touch of some sweetness now. And the coffee flavor occasionally, too. But there was this off-putting flavor in one cigar that I haven’t been able to place, kinda like the smell of rubber cement, which startled me enough that I checked to see if perhaps I had laid the burning foot on something unexpected somehow. It would go away, and then shock me again. I eventually knocked the lit cherry off and touched up the light, which worked to eliminate that problem. But, on the other cigar, not only didn’t I have that strange problem, but my ash stayed on well past the half-way point (see picture)! The strength of still building, and it is now medium-to-full, but is still not a killer, even for me (remember, I tend to smoke mild-to-medium bodied cigars).
In the final third, the Diesel Unholy Cocktail’s strength is still increasing, and I can really feel it in my sinuses. Not enough for me to feel dizzy, but I know its there. Strangely, unlike any other cigar I’ve ever had, the draw got a little tighter in this last third; normally, I’ve experienced cigars’ draw opening up at the end. The burn has remained slightly wavy throughout this entire cigar, but has not caused any problems. The spiciness has been replaced with the cocoa I picked up in the very beginning, with some vanilla, and the caramel flavor that has been throughout. As I nubbed this cigar down to its last, it was that caramel flavor that I most enjoyed and remember.
Overall, I not only liked this cigar – a lot – but I also felt that it wasn’t as strong as I had expected it to be. Perhaps I had listened too much to the hype, or perhaps my palate has matured since its release. Either way, I found that I really enjoyed the flavor changeups that Mr.Fernandez has created in his Diesel Unholy Cocktail. Like the Joya de Nicaragua Celebraciòn, another Nicaraguan puro, this cigar was spicy and full-bodied. BUT, knowing that, even a newer cigar smoke can still enjoy these stronger cigars by slowing down! I found that when I’m worried about the strength of a cigar, I slow down, which allows me to really pay attention to and enjoy the flavors more, too!
In summary, I will be looking to add more of these cigars to my humidors and to my rotation. With its great flavors and complexity, a solid feel and heft that makes you feel like you’re smoking a real cigar, and a fantastic box price (come on! 30 cigars for under $100!!), this cigar is worth buying a box or two.