Diesel Whiskey Row is the latest cigar from Diesel and General Cigar and AJ Fernandez. It is a collaboration with the relatively new distellery Rabbit Hole Bourbon. The cigar iteslf is blended by AJ Fernandez. What makes this cigar special is the binder leaves that were aged in bourbon barrels, using a proprietary process developed by AJ to enhance the profile of the cigar. The Bourbon barrels from Rabbit Hole Distillery arrived at Tabalacera AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua back in 2016 and the binder leave have been aging there until rolling. AJ placed the Mexican San Andres binder in the barrels in a special configuration proprietary to the factory. The tobacco was aged inside the barrels, and the amount of air inside was controlled at regular intervals.
This blend uses tobaccos from the Ometepe, Condega, and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua. Each of these leaves has been aged for 5 to 8 years and finished with the bourbon barrel-aged Mexican leaf. Finishing off the blend is the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that was aged for 5 years. The cigar will launch later this month.
Aesthetically, this cigar looks pretty appealing. There is only one visible vein and the seams are almost invisible. The wrapper itself is a medium dark brown with quite a sheen to it. The wrapper gives off a bit of baseball leather while the foot is a bit spicier. The most noticeable thing about the cigar might be how smooth the wrapper is to touch. The pre-light draw is very musty.
The first puff is a delight of baking spice, leather, and oak. Spices include, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom. Further in, the spices diminish and are replaced by a peanut flavor. This lingers with the leather and cedar making for a really unique flavor. At the very end of this third I get just a hint of what could be the bourbon barrel.
In this third, the charred oak comes through, along with some recognizable spices like black pepper. The leather has been replaced by a molasses and cocoa base which is working very nicely. The burn has fought with me a little bit since the beginning but remains within reason. The draw is absolutely perfect.
The spices once again take over in this third. I’m getting a lot of pepper and cinnamon along with more cardamom. The oak is still in the background adding a base flavor. Towards the end of the third, just a hint of espresso comes along. Even at the nub, this thing never got hot or bitter at all.
This cigar was exactly what a project like this should be: not so prominent in the barrel-aged department that it takes over the blend, but enough that you know it was there. It reminded me of the Diesel Unlimited blend both profile-wise and on paper, but just with a little something extra. I’m not sure this is my favorite Diesel release, but it is up there with the Rage and Delirium. Definitely pick some of these up if you are a fan of Diesel, barrel aged cigars, or just want to try something new in general.