Diesel is a brand name that has a very loyal following. The name Diesel has become synonymous with power, strength, and heavy spice. While this is still true as the hallmark of the brand, in 2018 the brand took a chance on something a little different. Justin Andrews, Senior Brand Manager for Diesel, wanted to stretch the bounds of what had been previously seen from the Diesel name. He learned that it wasn’t going to be easy to convince AJ Fernandez to pull back and go a bit more subtle. That subtlety would prove vital in a cigar with Mexican binder leaves that were aged old Rabbit Hole bourbon barrels.
Diesel Whiskey Row Robusto
Size: 5.5 x 52
Origin: Nicaragua (AJ Fernandez)
Wrapper: Habano (Ecuador)
Binder: San Andres (Mexico)
In addition to the Robusto size reviewed here, the Diesel Whiskey Row is also available in a 6 x 54 Toro (MSRP $8.00), a 7 x 49 Churchill (MSRP $8.50), and a 6 x 60 Gigante (MSRP $9.00). All are available in 25-count boxes.
The Diesel Whiskey Row really is a nice looking cigar. It has great lines and a super clean appearance. The coloration of the wrapper is a lovely reddish-brown, with a nice gentle tooth on the surface. The seams are clean and flat and the cap is neatly applied. Before lighting, this cigar has a nice sweet smell, and the foot also adds some spice to that sweet smell. The cold draw is nice and open with a little bit of a peaty note with some cedar.
There is some pepper right away, but that mellows within a few puffs. Prominent flavors in the beginning are charred wood, cinnamon, and some hint of a sour note. There is a unique sweetness that I can only imagine is that barrel-aged binder. The mixture with the sour note makes for a nice balance. The retrohale is peppery and sweet with a little bit of anise.
It is burning a little fast, so I am trying to take more time between puffs to keep it cool. The smoke warms up with notes of coffee and cinnamon, and that same unique sweetness from earlier. The texture of the smoke is a little bit thinner than I was expecting, but the flavors are still coming through. The retrohale still has a good pepper note and some sweetness.
The unique note that I was getting, that I can only assume was the whiskey, seems to dissipate in this final third of the cigar. The notes of coffee, cinnamon, leather, and a little anise, are still there. The profile ends with some nice balance and a little kick up in spice. I would classify the retrohale at the end as peppery, but not spicy.
One thing that confused me about this cigar, it almost seemed to go backwards. In my experience, most examples of cigars with barrel-aged leaf tend to see that barrel note intensify more as the cigar burned. With this cigar, it seemed to mellow a little more with each passing moment. I also was expecting more rich smoke output, but the smoke remained a little bit thin. The flavor notes did come through, but I think some if it got lost in the air. If you are a fan of cigars with barrel-aged leaf, I think this is a fine choice and definitely worth a try.
Diesel Whiskey Row Robusto – How Bout That Cigar
Rating: How Bout A 5er?
Overall Score: 86
Flavor Summary: Coffee, Wood, Cinnamon, Anise
Strength Assessment: Medium