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Cigar Review: Diesel Delirium

6 Aug 2020

Last spring, a new, limited edition cigar called Diesel Hair of the Dog emerged as a favorite go-to smoke of mine. This was a surprise since—while I have the utmost respect for A.J. Fernandez as a cigar maker—the Diesel brand had thus far been, in my opinion, hit-or-miss.

But Hair of the Dog hit my palate in all the right places. It was a delicious, well-balanced, toro-sized smoke with a light press and flavors including cashew, white pepper, toast, cinnamon, and licorice. Perhaps out of step with the Diesel name, it was subtle and medium-bodied.

This spring, a new limited edition Diesel was launched, also only in a toro (6 x 52) format. But that’s about where the similarities between Hair of the Dog and Delirium end. Delirium is marketed as “the boldest Diesel blend to date.” Handmade at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez in Estelí, the powerful Delirium recipe calls for an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, a Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, some from the volcanic island of Ometepe. A fair amount of ligero is employed.

You may recall Ometepe, which rises out of Lake Nicaragua, is home to tobacco production that’s exclusive to General Cigar. Like Hair of the Dog, Delirium is a production with General, which helps guarantee a wide release, even with the limited-edition production ceiling. Only 5,000 boxes of 10 were made for a total production run of 50,000 cigars.

Delirium sports two bands of black, bronze, and maroon, with the foot band making clear this is a “2020 Limited Edition.” The dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper is uniform in color (milk chocolate) with tight seams and few noticeable veins. The firmness is slightly spongy, and the foot exudes pre-light notes of earth, cocoa, and peanut.

If I were to smoke this cigar in the morning or afternoon, I might arrive at the conclusion it is too strong (in terms of nicotine content) and too bold in flavor. But the several samples I examined for this review were all in the evening and with a full stomach. In this setting, the phrase “highly satisfying” comes to mind. While Delirium is full-bodied and powerful from the get-go, it’s more than a mere nicotine sledgehammer. There are awesome flavors here, including leather, nutmeg, black pepper, espresso, charred oak, and roasted peanut.

Construction is superb. From light to nub, the burn is straight, the ash holds well off the foot, the draw is clear, and the smoke production is agreeable.

If the Delirium name sounds a oddly familiar, keep in mind this isn’t the first Diesel Delirium. The original was introduced in 2014 by Cigars International and was only briefly on the market. (Diesel started as a catalog brand sold through Cigars International before releasing the Grind blend in 2017, which was just for tobacconists; other B&M blends followed, including Whiskey Row and Sherry Cask.)

As far as I’m concerned, the two limited editions released in 2019 and 2020—Hair of the Dog and Delirium, respectively—constitute the cream of the Diesel crop. Like the former, the Diesel Delirium earns an admirable rating of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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