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Stogie Reviews: Diplomáticos No. 2 (Cuban)

14 May 2009

The Diplomáticos No. 2 is a classic Cuban cigar with classic proportions. In fact, the smoke has the same proportions (6.125 x 52) as the iconic Montecristo No. 2. (All five Diplomáticos currently in production have the same proportions as the Montecristo of the same name.)

Diplomatico No 2

Diplomáticos was the first new line of Cuban cigars to be publicly launched after the beginning of the Castro regime but, ironically, given its name, it wasn’t the Diplomáticos but the Cohiba line (which was not for sale to the general public at the time) that was given exclusively to visiting dignitaries and diplomats. Instead, Diplomáticos ended up mainly as a brand to be exported to France, where its milder profile was  preferred.

In 1966, Diplomáticos was originally created as a less expensive and milder version of the Montecristo, and that reputation remains today. All of which makes it a prime candidate for a “value” Cuban cigar, particularly in the  popular and often expensive Pyramide shape.

While not necessarily a value by non-Cuban standards, the Diplomáticos No. 2 sells for around $11 individually and around $9 per cigar by the box. That’s nearly $5 less than the Montecristo No. 2. (I payed around 10 Euros each, including 3 Euros each in French taxes for the two sticks I sampled for this review. Both were purchased  at a shop in Paris’  Odeon area that was recommended to me by Denis of the Cigar Inspector website.)

The Diplomáticos No. 2 features an attractive wrapper with small veins, and my samples even had the beginnings of some plume, showing that the cigars had some age. While it had a sweet, creamy aroma pre-light, it was noticeably soft to the touch, often a precursor to draw and ash problems.

Once lit, I found a combination of creamy peanut butter and grass. There was some significant bitterness that went in and out, and the pyramide had a long grassy finish.

The construction was similarly a mixed bag. While the burn was relatively even, the draw was at times extremely difficult. The ash held for at least a half an inch, after which it would sometimes unexpectedly fall off.

For a similar Cuban smoke at a true value price ($3 or less per stick) I’d prefer the Por Larrañaga Panatella. It has a similar flavor, costs less, than a third of the price, and sports better construction. On the other hand, for significantly better construction and more complexity in the pyramide size, I’d say you’re better off spending a few dollars more and smoking the Montecristo No. 2.

This is a mild- to medium-bodied cigar with lots of potential  and some pleasant flavors, but it ultimately disappoints due to the bitterness and construction issues. Because there are better options at both higher and lower prices, the Diplomáticos No. 2 earns a rating of two and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

6 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Diplomáticos No. 2 (Cuban)”

  1. Cigar Inspector Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    Seems like my bad experience is confirmed.

    I didn't like the Diplomaticos No. 2 (as stated in my review) and it can hardly be called a value alternative to the Monte No. 2.. the difference between the two is huge.

  2. Benjy Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 3:11 am #

    Thanks for the review, IMHO these 2 marques have different flavor profiles, with some aficionados preferring the Diplomaticos to the Monte. Also, if I'm not wrong, the Diplomaticos 1 & 3 no longer in current production.

  3. Moro Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    Though nowhere near me favorite CC, I've had better luck than this with the Diplomaticos No. 2. Enjoyable every now and then when I feel for a change of pace (that or a Q d'O/PL). Of course I've had no more than a dozen of these since I started; could be mere luck.

  4. liciawilli Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 10:01 am #

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  5. John Werner Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    I have smoked several of these and not had draw or ash issues. They are quite different than a Montecristo. Diplimaticos are, I think, a bit strident if not smoked a bit on the slow side. While the "company line" on these has been they're lighter for the French market I can not say as though I would catagorize these as mild. The taste I get is very, well, smoky cedar and kind of vegetative like the aforementioned "grassiness". I think it is very much a medium strength that can be, at times, strong even. To keep it from being harsh I did not take intense draws and, as such, I found this unique taste interesting and, when considered a change-up smoke, quite enjoyable. While not a polished as the more classic tasting Monte, these sticks aren't really a second tier brand as much as a unique tasting brand. I agree that this flavor profile is polarizing in that you either like it or you dislike it with little, if any, middle ground. I know I fall into the "like it" category.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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