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Staff Reviews for Diesel

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Diesel VS. Tatuaje Havava VI

Brandon S

By popular demand I’m switching up my normal mantra of reviewing a cigar and giving it my personal rating…for this round I’ve decided to review 2 CIGARS! That’s right gents…side by side comparison of two truly boutique blends – The Diesel Unholy Cocktail vs. Tatuaje Havana VI. Both of these blends have received high praise from consumers since they hit the market and well, I’m gonna see how they stack up against each other…mano y mano – or I guess it would be cigaro y cigaro.

First, I’ll select the vitolas for this matchup:

DIESEL – No brain power necessary for this one. Only comes in one size, dubbed the Unholy Cocktail – it’s a stout 5x56 belicoso that comes packed in a box of 30.

HAVANA VI – This selection took some consideration. There are 2 sizes that share similarities to the Diesel Unholy Cocktail. There’s the Gorditos - a 5.5x56 standard parejo that’s slightly longer with the same ring gauge OR, the Artistas - a 6.25x52 Torpedo that shares the same shape as the Diesel. Hmmm…I’m going to go with the Gorditos.

                Next, the wrapper and the blends:

DIESEL – Blended by Abdel Fernandez in Nicaragua, the Diesel is constructed with top-notch Nicaraguan long-fillers and finished with a gorgeous Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. Once only utilized as a binder or for filler tobaccos, the PA Broadleaf is becoming increasingly popular among manufacturers for use as a wrapper. It yields a spicy yet sweet character that true maduro wrappers are known for and an extra layer of power to boot.

HAVANA VI – Tatuaje’s Havana VI is a Nicaraguan Puro meaning that the entire cigar is made from tobacco grown in Nicaragua. It utilizes a Nicaraguan Corojo 99 wrapper and is manufactured by Pepin Garcia in his shiny new Nicaraguan factory.

                Third, the flavor and body:

DIESEL – I’ll admit, I’ve burned literally dozens of these since they were released, and every time I am greeted with a medium-full bodied experience that is nothing short of uber-complex. There is a spiciness on the front of the palate and a nice peppery yet sweet finish that keeps me coming back for more. As the cigar develops it tops out with one heck of a full-bodied crescendo.

HAVANA VI – I’ve had a few of these in my time in various shapes and sizes. The Nicaraguan tobaccos really shine through on this blend giving it the trademark Cuban-esque flavor that Pepin has come to be known for.

                And Finally – Price:

DIESEL – Pricing for this cigar goes above and beyond the call of duty in my opinion. Available for around $3 per stick…the price of a cup of coffee at your swankier joints – it’s a no-brainer to at least test a few out.

HAVANA VI – This line is a little more ‘spensive than the Diesel. Suggested retail on the particular vitola for this review is $7.50. But, looking at the other cigars that Tatuaje offers I guess the Havana VI would be considered their “budget” line.

                To cap off this review, I must say that looking at these two truly Boutique blends, you can’t go wrong with either of them. But when it comes down to it, I’m tilting my hand in favor of the Diesel Unholy Cocktail. Is it price? Maybe...  After burning through a 5-pack of each for this review I find the Unholy Cocktail to be a more unique and enjoyable experience and the Havana VI to be similar to cigars that you can find at a lower price point. Now I may get chastised for that last sentence since Tatuaje has a die-hard following that would likely view my opinion as blasphemy but I’m not saying that the Havana VI is a bad blend at all. I’ve enjoyed every one that I’ve had. All I’m saying is I liked the Diesel a little more…that’s all!!!


Steve R

The weather is changing and I love it. The days have been hitting mid to high 70s, allowing ample time for work - which warrants a cold reward (read: beer) in the end, while daylight still allows enough time for a nice cigar. Lately, I’ve been hooked on one full-bodied combination: a big 22oz bottle of Stone Russian Imperial Stout paired with the new, Nicaraguan-made Diesel. Believe me when I say it....a match made in heaven.

Diesel is new to the market and due to hit our docks very soon. It is hand-crafted in Nicaragua and made in just one size: a stout 5”x56 Torpedo called the ‘Unholy Cocktail.’ I like the name but have to disagree....this cigar is indeed holy, and has made me ever thankful for the fruits of well blended, full-bodied tobaccos.

What makes Diesel truly unique is its use of a rare Broadleaf maduro wrapper from Pennsylvania. The PA Broadleaf wrapper is used by just a few makers - most notably Rocky Patel - and offers a rich and chewy flavor that’s true to the maduro name. This leaf is exceptionally thick and oily, and represents a perfect complement to the bold tobaccos within. These long-leaf tobaccos are Cuban-seed ligeros grown in Nicaragua.

The cigar is heavy in the hand and just plain dense. Not a soft spot to be found anywhere throughout this generous frame. The prelight aroma has a slight barnyard influence and rich sweetness. The thick ring takes some time to light with a soft flame, but it’s worth the wait. This cigar is worthy of a slowdown period.

Diesel opens with a warm toastiness and subtle spices on the exhale. The spices are much more prevalent through the nose - be careful. The aroma is rich and oily, filling the room with a robust charcoal aroma via thick clouds of heavy, gray smoke. The smoke is velvety, creating a chewy character that sits heavily on the palate. I pick up a dense, earthy core followed by a long series of spicy-sweet nuances. Midway through, the full-bodied nature of these tobaccos kicks in. I also take note of a sweet oakiness. The finish is long and robust. A hint of cedar develops after each puff, challenging the spicy aftertaste, but gracefully loses. The earthiness grows more intense and the aroma becomes quite zesty as I approach the final third. My head is swimming, but I can’t get enough of these dark flavors. Just when I start thinking the cigar can’t possibly become more robust - about the 3/4 mark - the smoke mellows, allowing me to fully appreciate the rich core of earth and black tobacco goodness. I feel like it’s toying with me....tempting me to light up another.

For those interested, some notes on the beer itself. Stone Russian Imperial Stout is my current favorite when it comes to big beers. ‘Big beer’ is a term used for high alcohol content brews. The Russian Imperial Stout weighs in at a hefty 10.5% - that’s borderline hallucinogenic! However, the micro-brew is purely stout. It’s thick as mud and black as night, producing a thick, creamy froth that looks like a chocolate shake. The flavor is dark and chocolatey, with heavy roasted notes and a coffee grind influence. There’s some oakiness in there, and a strong sweetness on the finish. There’s a ton of hops, but the bitterness is masked by the heavy roasted notes. It goes down easy, especially compared to most big beers, but it must be savored slowly. Russian Imperial Stout packs a lot of heat (strength) and it will be felt before the bottle is finished....I notice it before pouring the balance into my pint glass. All you need is one, and it’ll be tough to resist opening a second, but for the sake of continuing your evening, I suggest you quit while you’re ahead.

Without its companion, Diesel is delicious and I highly recommend it. If you’re on the prowl for a satisfying, full-bodied, and full-flavored won’t be sorry. If you dare to try the two together, make sure your evening is free of chores and responsibilities. Upon completion, you’ll want to make a b-line to the couch to watch my Phillies hit homeruns like over-aged man-children in the Little League World Series.