Just before the PCA tradeshow this year, STG and Forged Cigar Company announced the new Diesel Vintage Series. This new regular production line comes in 5 sizes, and uses a maduro wrapper. It was rolled like all other Diesel cigars at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Estelí, Nicaragua. The blend was a collaboration between AJ Fernandez and STG’s Justin Andrews.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
With Vintage Series, we’ve responded to feedback from our valued retailers across the country who told us they wanted to give their customers the true experience of vintage tobacco in a well-crafted, premium smoke. The catch was that it had to be at just the right price point. I’m proud to say that AJ Fernandez and I have delivered a cigar that fires on all cylinders: quality, construction, complexity and price.
The blend uses a Mexican San Andreas Négro wrapper, Nicaraguan binder from Esteli, and Nicaraguan Jalapa filler tobaccos ranging in age from five to eight years. The sizes are: Gigante Nub 4.5” x 60 MSRP $8.79, Robusto Gordo 5” x 56 MSRP $7.79, Toro 6” x 52 MSRP $7.99, Double Corona 7.75” x 49 MSRP $8.79, and Rabito 6” x 46 MSRP $9.29. All sizes of Diesel Vintage Series come in 20-count boxes except for “Rabito” which comes in a box of 10 Diesel Cigars are distributed by the Forged Cigar Company.
Vitola: Double Robusto Length: 5″ Ring Gauge: 56 Country of Origin: Nicaragua Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Nicaragua Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. Blender: Justin Andrews & AJ Fernandez Number of reviewers: 5 – Kevin J. (maninblack77) Diana (ArmyRN) Noah S. (Noah) Angel M. (Angel) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Price: $7.79 Age: 4 Months Release Date: July 2023 Contributed by: General Cigar Co.
Initial Impressions – Diesel Vintage Series Robusto Gordo
“A chunky robusto with the color of milk chocolate. The wrapper has some nice toothiness to it. Has a hefty feel to it as well.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Smelling the body of the cigar there is a tartness that grabs my attention. Under that, I find some damp earth and a touch of wood. Spending some time on the foot there is some heavy white pepper note that makes me sneeze. After I stop sneezing I go back to it and find some green vegetal notes. The cold draw has sweet overtones, heavy fruit notes abound.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
Flavor: 89 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“Out of the gate, the smoke is plentiful, rich, and robust but definitely a little harsh. Flavors are heavily earthy and spicy, dominated by mineral-rich earth, copious amounts of black pepper, and a perceptible amount of walnut. Thankfully the smoke is smoothing out with each puff just past the half-inch mark. The finish is long and unpleasantly bitter as there isn’t much available to balance out the earthy flavors. The retro echos the earth and spice blend but with the addition of a very sporadic and very subtle sweetness that ebbs and flows from the background. A good hearty ash hangs on well past the inch and a half mark as the first third comes to a close.” –Noah S. (Noah)
“The initial draws from this cigar produced plentiful smoke. It is earthy but there are a few hints of floral notes that remind me of faint honeysuckle. Black pepper shows up late in the finish and coats the entire top portion of my palette. I lost almost an inch of good smoking due to the cigar canoeing but the flavors didn’t appear to change much until later in the first third.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
Flavor: 90 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“The herbal note has jumped to the forefront and has taken control of the profile. The spice undertones bring a great balance. In the retrohale the delicate spice lights up the sinuses and grabs my attention. The smoke has mellowed a touch and become more palatable. The mouthfeel and finish has ticked up a notch.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“In the second third, there are no major flavor transitions, the flavors have remained fairly similar with leather, cedar, and dark chocolate. The smoke has smoothed out a little bit more still the temperature has gotten a little warm, but so far remains very enjoyable.” –Angel M. (Angel)
“The final third begins as a carbon copy of the second with the same lineup of flavors that are heavily weighted towards earthy and bitter with just enough subtle sweetness to take the edge off of the bitter bite. The sweetness is no longer reminiscent of pipe tobacco but more along the lines of chocolate and a nutty coffee. Although the sweet notes are certainly the highlight of this smoke, unfortunately there just hasn’t been enough of an abundance to really make an impact. An almost chalky mouthfeel develops from the offensively bitter finish that is now extremely long and tannin rich. Black pepper spice continues to dominate the retro as this sticks ends in a rather lackluster fashion. ” –Noah S. (Noah)
“The strength and body ramp up in this final third. Yet with that, the profile has stayed very approachable. The spice and herbal notes have stayed on as the main attraction on the palate while the smoke through the nose has softened a little with some creamy notes. The mouthfeel is intoxicating and the finish is long. This cigar goes out on a high note for me.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
Overall Impressions – Diesel Vintage Series Robusto Gordo
“From the moment I cut this cigar I found a superb draw. It was easy and clean from start to finish. This creates wonderful clouds of smoke.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The burn went wonky quickly. It began to canoe, approximately one inch down on one side with barely a quarter inch burned on the other. To touch it up, I had to waste a good portion of the wrapper in the first third in order to even the burn. It remained straight for a bit but began canoeing again in the same place. The ash held well during this and gave me an opportunity to inspect things a bit more. The filler appeared to be less dense on one side compared to the other. This more than likely contributed to the canoeing. The cigar didn’t fully burn even until part way into the last third.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“Despite a series of cracks in the wrapper that thankfully never became problematic, this stick seemed to be constructed fairly well. Seams are thick but fairly flat, the bunching feels consistent from head to foot and the head is adorned with a lengthy double cap.” –Noah S. (Noah)
Overall Strength: Medium Overall Body/Complexity: Medium Experience Overall: 92
“Far and away one of the most disappointing cigars I’ve ever had. The flavors weren’t there, the draw was way too open and it just felt like I was puffing on air most times. I hate to be this harsh on a cigar and I hope it was just a dud but wow was this a bad smoke.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“With the burn issues that I experienced, I can’t say that I truly got the best experience with this cigar, although I don’t believe the flavor notes would have changed a lot. It is a decent smoke with moments of tastiness, but the majority of the time it left me unimpressed and bored. For me a yard gar, but as always, I’m willing to smoke it again to determine if it was a dud, my palette that day, or it’s norm.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“From a performance standpoint, this stick held its own! A perfect draw, a fairly trouble free burn and solid construction all earned high marks. Also notable was an abundance of creamy smooth smoke throughout. This stick didn’t feature a ton of transitions nor was it overly complex which would typically be a good thing for me however the flavors just didn’t hit the mark. What this smoke really lacked was balance as the scarcity of sweeter notes just didn’t do enough to offset the abundance of bitterness that camped out on my palate from start to finish. I enjoy a good earth driven profile from time to time just as long as there is enough sweet and spice to compensate. I’m confident that the right pairing would certainly bring out the best in this cigar however it did not stand up well enough on its own for me to want to reach for it again.” –Noah S. (Noah)
“Overall, I would say, this was an excellent cigar. Although the flavors did not transition much from third to third, considering I enjoyed all of these flavors it was very pleasing. I would definitely recommend this to individuals who, like a little bit bolder of a cigar, considering it was medium to full throughout most of the cigar.” –Angel M. (Angel)
“This is a fine example of a medium full to full body cigar. There is a great combination of herbal and spice notes that last the whole smoking experience. I will most definitely pick up a few of these when I find out what it is.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
Diesel Vintage Series Robusto Gordo – Blind Cigar Review
Diesel Vintage Series Robusto Gordo
"Overall, I would say, this was an excellent cigar. Although the flavors did not transition much from third to third, considering I enjoyed all of these flavors it was very pleasing. I would definitely recommend this to individuals who, like a little bit bolder of a cigar, considering it was medium to full throughout most of the cigar." -Angel M. (Angel)