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Stogie Reviews: Diesel Unholy Cocktail

20 May 2010

Before passing away at the age of 91 in April, Alejandro Robaina was an ambassador for Cuban cigars, a voice for independent farmers on an island wrought with government control, and one of the most respected leaf growers in the world. He was also a mentor for aspiring cigar makers like A.J. Fernandez.

Diesel Unholy CocktailFernandez spent most of his life under Robaina’s tutelage in Cuba. Now head of the Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, he crafts such blends as Man O’ War, Man O’ War Ruination, Rocky Patel’s Fusion, and the Indian Tabac 10th Anniversary.

Fernandez’s portfolio expanded in 2009 with the launch of Diesel. This new prominently advertised brand should be familiar to those on the mailing lists for and Cigars International—the exclusive Diesel retailers.

As the name suggests, Diesel is, according to marketing materials, “the cigar equivalent of a thick, juicy porterhouse.” Its Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper and three-year-old filler tobaccos from Nicaragua’s Jalapa, Condega, and Estelí regions are intended to impart bold, powerful flavors.

Only one size is available: a torpedo (5 x 56) that’s ominously called “Unholy Cocktail.” It is a densely packed rifle shell with a dark, rustic exterior and pre-light aromas of cocoa and coffee beans. One can’t help but feel slightly intimidated.

While spicy at the outset, though, the Diesel is tempered by a creamy cashew taste—a sensation that smoothes out the base flavors of black pepper, damp earth, leather, and espresso. Most of the cigar’s kick comes from its salty aftertaste. The overall effect is full-flavored yet only moderate in strength.

Not much changes as the straight burn slowly approaches the halfway mark and the white ash builds wonderfully off the foot. Despite expecting a flavor bomb to suddenly explode, the Unholy Cocktail is consistent to the nub.

Some liken a fine cigar to a harmonious symphony. To me, the Diesel is more like a ZZ Top song—unpolished, familiar, simplistic, repetitious, and somewhat heavy. But it’s also catchy. And the price rocks. Boxes of 30 sell for just under $100, rendering the Unholy Cocktail a smart buy if you’re looking for a cheap full-bodied torpedo. This new smoke earns three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

7 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Diesel Unholy Cocktail”

  1. Ethan K Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Patrick A, The last paragraph of your review was beautifully written and gives a perfectly accurate, concise description of the cigar. Thanks.

  2. Spellbound Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    I concur. You have a way with words that is unfortunately rare on cigar websites. Describing what a cigar tastes, smokes, and feels like is no easy task—but I always find your reviews impart the necessary information eloquently and succinctly. Well done.

  3. mighty Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    I tried this cigar once, and it was really harsh on my throat. Just could not keep smoking it due to its harshness.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. Zé do Charuto Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Great closing paragraph.

    I find it more interesting, entertaining and meaningful to attempt to capture the "personality" of a stick. How many cigars would fit under the mantle of "medium-full bodied, great construction, with leather, mocha, and wood notes "?

    I laughed out loud at "And the price rocks." …Wonderful review.

  5. Shawn Monday, February 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Are you out of your mind?? 3.5 stars? All things considered (construction, burn, TASTE, and price), this is easily a 4.5 stars. Have you smoked more than one? If not, you should. If you like full flavor, creamy, somewhat complex smokes, this is the one. Nothing compares at $3.50 a stick, PERIOD.

  6. Rick Friday, July 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    I have only been smoking cigars on a daily basis for almost 2 years now and the only boxes I have purchased have been the Diesel Unholy Cocktail. It is one of my personal favorites and I have smoked over 45 different brands of cigars. This is a great cigar for those looking for a medium to full cigar. Can't beat the price. The San Lotano Habano and Maduro by AJ Fernandez are also becoming my favorites and I will buy a box of each in the coming months. If people have not tried it, it is definitely worth a try. Great review, although I would have given it at least a 4.5 personally. Keep up the good work.

    P.S. Have you tried the CAO MX2? Great stogie at a reasonable price as well.

  7. Joe Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    3.5 for real? If someone handed me this stick and didn't tell me what the heck it was I would have thought it was a $10 smoke! This is easily a 4.5 cigar! Everyone should try these they are that good. For 3 bucks a cigar with this kind of complexity and flavor it's not only a great deal but unheard of! I have been smoking cigars for three years and I spent most of my time with 9 and 10 dollar smokes. When one of these were handed to me I didn't give it a second thought and I actually felt taken in by the money I wasted before. Thank you diesel for providing me a great cigar I can not feel guilty about buying. Stogie guys are nuts for not rating this higher.