Unnamed Cigar in a box of Diesel Wicked Short Cigar Review

October 21, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

Wrapper: ?    |   Binder: ??   |   Filler: ???   |   Price: ?????   |   Toro   |   6″ x ~52

A picture of the unnamed cigar from a Cigar.com forum (click on picture to go to the thread)

A picture of the unnamed cigar from a Cigar.com forum (click on picture to go to the thread)

0/3: When I bought a box of Diesel Wicked some time ago I was not expecting to find an extra cigar in it, especially one in a coffin (a coffin with holes in it summoning images of some feral beast being locked in its cage to protect the town folk from its murderous intent). So that was pretty cool. Also, I don’t really know much about this cigar other than it is 6″ long, has a pig tail and I’d say the ring gauge is around 52 or 54.

There are a good number of veins all over the wrapper but, for the most part, they’re fairly superficial. It feels like it is uniformly packed and there’s a little give to the cigar as well. I’m excited to smoke this cigar as it’s kind of a blind tasting (although, I’m relatively certain there will be a good helping of Nicaraguan tobacco in this cigar since it is an A.J. Fernandez blend).

1/3: It starts out nicely with earth, cocoa and some rich grape flavors. Actually, I think “rich” is the right way to describe this cigar thus far.

2/3: The second third continues on where the first third left off until some spice and wheat notes start taking over shortly after the halfway point. I did like that first grouping of flavors – dark flavors with some depth – but these flavors that are coming on are nice in a slightly different way – a little more excitement and a bump in the intensity (not the strength as in full bodied or medium bodied, per se) of the flavors.

3/3: During the final third dark wood gets added to the picture along with a shift in the spice more towards sweet spice.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this unnamed cigar definitely has it going when it comes to the richness of its flavors but does it work on other levels? The flavors themselves are pretty good and they work well together but they lack a certain amount of vibrancy and clarity to be a truly great cigar. So it works on a couple of levels at least. What it all boils down to is one simple question: Would I want to smoke another one of these cigars? Yes, I think I would. Now I just need to find out what the name of this cigar is.

3.5 out of 5 points – There’s some really good stuff going on here but it falls a bit short of being great

Diesel Wicked Cigar Review

June 28, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received the cigars for this review from Cigars Direct; as always, all reviews are my own.

Wicked… yeah, so, when I hear that I think of that Broadway show of the same name. I’ve never seen it, mind you, but I’ve seen commercials for it. And based off of those I think there’s some kind of New Age BS reconciliation between the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch (there is a Good Witch, right?). Just like popular culture to take a perfectly good story about flying monkeys and singing dwarfs and make it into something vile and boring. (I could be all wrong on this but I’ve found you can sometimes figure out the whole story to a show or movie by just watching previews so I’m making the assumption that translates to plays as well.)

And that’s the frame of mind I have coming into smoking this cigar. Sure, you could look at the red, black and gold bands (one normal band in the normal place and another band, more than two inches in length, at the foot) and think this cigar is going to be a ball buster but that’s accepting marketing too readily. After all, how many times have you seen a cigar marketed as “full bodied” to find out it’s a medium bodied cigar without much flavor? I guess it makes sense to market cigars as being full bodied nowadays as the cigar smoking public does seem to like them but, when you fail to live up to that promise (and the cigar doesn’t taste good), you will lose trust.

I’m not saying that’s the case here – the review will decide that one way or another – but this marketing gimmick is something that I have noticed with alarming regularity. Personally, I’m now numb to all that marketing jazz, so I basically forget about it… unless it’s obvious in the design of the bands and in the name of the cigar brand, as is the case here.

It is a good looking cigar; very dark wrapper with a few medium sized veins and a rough, oily feel to it. This is the torpedo, which is a vitola that I am partial to (it’s also the only vitola they make for this cigar at this time). There are some bumps visible on the surface giving it a rustic look.

Diesel Wicked

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6.2”
Ring Gauge: 56
Wrapper: Pennsylvanian Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $99.95/Box of 13 | $50.00/Pack of Five

Banshee Torch!

Yeah, it starts out as a full bodied cigar and shows no signs of letting up; so there’s no lie in the marketing here. Banshee-like spice greets you in the beginning and sticks around for a while until it does moderate and becomes somewhat more enjoyable. Barley and cream are the other flavors that are evident here. I like the fact that it’s this strong of a cigar but I’m hoping that the flavors pick up a bit during the final two thirds.

Oak and spice are the main flavors during the second third but the main thing here is that it’s a strong cigar. And I think that was what the makers were going after here; a really strong cigar. That’s fine and all but I want more.

Burning in my nose from the full bodied smoke, which is the main thing that you will be getting from this cigar. I like full bodied cigars and, by all rights, I should be all over this cigar liking every last puff but I find myself not enjoying it very much. Again, spice and oak are the main flavors and there’s also a bit of earth going on.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Diesel Wicked is fine for what it is, strictly a full bodied cigar, but there needs to be some strength in the flavors as well, which wasn’t evident here. Take the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 as an example. It has a ton of strength and a ton of flavor as well, even in the diminutive vitola that I reviewed (click the link in the previous sentence to see what I’m talking about).

It’s not all bad, though. The flavors aren’t bad they just aren’t very strong. It’s an okay cigar and if you’re looking for strength this does fit the bill. But, at that price….

88 points

PS: I actually bought a box of these cigar without trying a single one, which was a mistake. What was interesting about this purchase is that the box comes with a mystery cigar, which I will eventually smoke and post a review of. So stay tuned!

Diesel Hair of the Dog Cigar Review

June 17, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

There’s quite a few variations on the original Diesel nowadays, which isn’t a bad thing; most things with variety are good (except for diseases, torture devices, zombies… maybe I should rethink this whole variety thing). The Diesel Hair of the Dog is another entry and takes its name from that morning drink of alcohol that is supposed to take out hangovers. Does “the hair of the dog” actually work? I haven’t tried it so I don’t know.

The band on this cigar has the same kind of lettering and style as the others but with a lot of greys and blues. It looks nice, the band I mean, and so does the cigar too. Well made, not a lot of veins, some oils on the wrapper, evenly packed, etc. I would have to say that the wrapper is definitely brown.

Diesel Hair of the Dog

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6.2”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $100.00/Box of 20 | $30.00/Five Pack

More Cornea for Free Fire!

A streaking bit of spiciness slashes through an otherwise pleasant flavor profile featuring nuts and oak. You really get acquainted with the spice through the retrohale as the spice just refuses to leave your nostrils once it gets in. And that is fine by me. Even though the spiciness is a bit rough around the edges and, perhaps, sticks around a little too long, it is an enjoyable flavor and it is keeping me interested during this first third.

Now, “hair of the dog,” I know conceptually what it is about. And, if I were to drink in the mornings, which I do not, I’m sure I would have had a Bloody Mary at some point and, even though I haven’t had one that I can remember, I think that’s what they were going for when they created the blend for this cigar (not the tomato juice part but the spice up version part). The cigar is a spiced up version of what a normal Diesel is.

The second third follows up the first third solidly and takes a turn for the better. Spice and oak have joined forces and have created a flavor profile anyone could enjoy. In the background I can still taste some nuttiness and there is some earth mixed in there as well. Overall, this is shaping up to be a solid cigar.

Dialing it back a bit, the spice that was a major factor during the first two thirds becomes a supporting character in the overall flavor profile. It’s still there and it does provide nice support for the oak, earth and flowery sweetness that has come to the fore. It’s a pleasant cigar during the final bits but it still retains some of the spicy edge that I enjoyed during the first two thirds.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Diesel Hair of the Dog is a solid cigar that should keep your interest from beginning to end. There is some evolution in the flavor profile and the flavors were able to keep my interest. However, this cigar isn’t going to overwhelm you with its awesomeness either. It’s an enjoyable cigar with good flavors.

89 points

Driving in my Car, Smoking my Cigar

February 22, 2012 · Posted in Cigar 101, Deep Thoughts · 2 Comments 

Allison Krauss’s haunting voice is singing Trampled Rose, the windows are down and the speed of my car is increasing. It may be sunset but this is Southern California where the yins and the yangs are extreme opposites. Sure, the taxes are murder but the weather is amazing.

If I lived in Minnesota or some other place that is in the running for a scenic “White Christmas” photograph I couldn’t do what I do most days after work: smoke in my car. It may be a little impractical and I definitely am not getting the best out of the cigar but that misses the point. Smoking a cigar on my drive home from work is pleasurable; a ritual that brings a little bit of joy to my heart.

This certainly isn’t for everyone. If you have a nice car that you do not want to despoil or you have to chauffeur people who cringe at the mere thought of the smell of finely aged tobacco then you probably shouldn’t be smoking in your car. People with short commutes, an inability to multitask and those who “feel a need for speed” may also want to think twice about lighting a cigar before they start their car. Oh, and those poor bastards who start their mornings by scraping ice off their windshields may also be excused from smoking a cigar in their car.

I’m not going to BS you and say that I’m smoking great cigars while driving, far from it. There’s no reason to do that because your mind should be at least nominally on the road and not on your cigar. Why smoke an Opus or an Avion 11 when you can’t dedicate more of yourself to it? It just doesn’t make sense emotionally or financially.

By no means am I suggesting seeking out crappy cigars to satiate your vehicular smoking habit because there are some very respectable cigars that are very cheap. Recently I’ve been smoking a lot of Diesel Unholy Cocktails, Nestor Miranda 1989s and Joya de Nicaragua Antano Machitos on rides home from work (and while walking the dogs, but that’s another story). These are solid cigars that are a joy to smoke sitting at home while listening to music or reading a book. They are also strong enough to withstand the elements.

Even though this is Southern California and the weather is great it can still get a little cold. Some nights it feels like the temperature drops all the way down to the high 50s when I have my windows rolled down! Weak, pathetic cigars won’t offer much under ideal circumstances but when you add in the wind, the (relatively) cold temperatures and the fact that you are driving a vehicle they just aren’t worth the trouble. By all means, if you accidentally came by some really awful cigars that you dread smoking then you can smoke them while driving or, better yet, “gift” them to somebody you don’t like.

Another tip I have for this would be to smoke a cigar that you are familiar with. Familiarity is great in this circumstance because you won’t have to devote much brainpower to deciphering the flavors of the cigar; you already know the recipe. It’s also a good idea to smoke cigars with good smoking characteristics: i.e. a good draw and burn. It takes a modicum of skill to correct a recalcitrant burn line while cruising down the 5. (Alright, it takes more than a little skill to do that and doing just that almost ended up with me rear ending somebody. Incidentally, the smell of burnt rubber doesn’t go well with cigars.)

Driving in my car while smoking a cigar is a ritual I have come to really enjoy. It may not be for you but, then again, you may find out that you really like it.

Diesel Unholy Cocktail Guest Cigar Review

November 22, 2010 · Posted in Cigar Review, Guest Cigar Review · 9 Comments 

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

Binder: Nicaraguan

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.

First Third:
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!

Second Third:
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).

Diesel Ash

Final Third:
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.

91 points

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