Reviews by Steve R

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Diesel Heart of Darkness

Steve R
Long overdue, but hashtag-ohsoworthit.

Boss-man has been telling me to write a review for a year. It’s been on my back burner for equally as long. Then we received lovely news from the FDA about 88 days ago. Priorities changed, but boss-man has still been riding me. Over the past 88 days, we’ve worked like mad, creating new products with everybody under the sun. From AJ Fernandez to Davidoff. Perdomo to Rocky Patel. Alec Bradley to Quesada. Even the big boys – Cohiba, Montecristo, Macanudo, Romeo, etc. – joined in on our fun 88-day journey. It’s been insane and, despite the reason and the end result, it’s been a ton of fun cranking out delicious new products you’re gonna love for years to come. If you are clueless about the FDA’s intrusion on our peaceful little industry, please read up. There’s too much to get into here. Either way, the FDA deadline is today and CI did what CI does: work. Work for you. Sleep peacefully knowing CI didn’t rest in preparation for today...and we made damn sure you have plenty of new cigars to enjoy for years to come. Hell, decades. Naturally, at CI-esque prices.
Now, boss-man, here is my review. A long overdue review on a cigar I’ve been burning through into the wee hours of every night during the past 88 days. Diesel Heart of Darkness.
As you know, I’m a Diesel geek. Eveyrthing AJ makes inside a Diesel band is delicious from start to finish. Big, booming flavors and a satisfying steel-like backbone to match. Heart of Darkness is no different. In fact, it takes the Diesel name, and AJ’s blending prowess, to bold new heights.
As you also know, every Diesel ‘name’ has a reason behind it. A raison d’etre, if you will. So what’s Heart of Darkness mean? Grab one – I recommend a box – and look at the foot. Sniff it. See those dark Nicaraguan tobaccos? This baby is ligero-laced, my friend, and you’re gonna taste it and feel it throughout the entire burn. Rich black tobaccos from the black, fertile soils of Nicaragua. Perfectly fermented and aged just enough to eliminate the bite. That’s the ‘heart of darkness, inside a beautiful Habano-seed wrapper ripened to a dark, oily, Oscuro form.
On to the experience. You’ve heard the term flavor-bomb before. Hell, you may have used it. Well, you may now use it appropriately. If Diesel Heart of Darkness were a person, he would put baby in a corner. He would give love a bad name. Instead, Heart of Darkness is a perfectly blended combination of superior tobaccos loaded with flavor and power, and it’s ready to blanket your unsuspecting palate with complexity and charisma. Throughout the slow burn I pick up ample hints of espresso bean – kinda like chewing on freshly roasted beans...a little bitter but so damn delicious. A subtle sweetness from the thick Habano wrapper complements this bitterness nicely, just before pepper o’ Nicaragua enters the fray with each puff. The pepper is far from overwhelming; it’s more like a dash of freshly cracked black pepper. Quick, and lingering on the finish just enough to remind you there’s some ligero (well, a lot of ligero) inside. The bouquet evolves during the burn, dishing out touch of leather and toast, along with a good, rich, earthy tobacco note. Then, the aroma. With every puff, Heart of Darkness emits dense, heavy clouds loaded with delicious scents. Charcoal, rich tobacco, and even leather will be noticed from overhead. Lots of goodness, ready to be released by this one, while soothing the palate and the belly from the get-go. And for this reason, I’ve been burning through Heart of Darkness almost every night. It has been necessary...and rewarding.
All that up there...that’s good news. A brutish handmade for one seeking the ultimate Diesel. Now for the great news. Diesel Heart of Darkness was originally slotted to be the latest in Diesel’s enjoyable list of limited edition one-size releases, alongside Wicked, Delirium, Crucible, etc. However, thanks to the infinite wisdom of the FDA, AJ decided to go all out, releasing an entire product line of sizes...all of which will come and go for years to come. Production will be spotty, but at least it won’t be gone forever.