Diesel Whiskey Row Robusto

Drew Estate

The Diesel cigar line is well known for being a stout cigar that was very popular with cigar smokers, but was only available online at Cigars International or CIgar Bid which is a subsidiary of General Cigar Company.  Recently, General Cigar Company has moved the Diesel line out of being online only to a regular line within their portfolio.  General Cigar partnered again with AJ Fernandez to create their first Diesel cigar for for cigar shops called the Whiskey Row.  The Whiskey Row uses special tobacco that was aged in bourbon barrels from Rabbit Hole Distillery located in Lousiville, KY.  The collaboration is fitting as both are considered “edgy” brands that appeal to younger customers.  AJ Fernandez received bourbon barrels in which he aged the Mexican San Andres binder for the Whiskey Row.  Here is an excerpt from the press release describing the process:

The synergy between both brands was brought to life in 2016 when Rabbit Hole Bourbon barrels arrived at Tabalacera AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua. AJ placed the Mexican San Andres binder in the bourbon barrels in a special configuration. The tobacco was left to rest inside the barrels, and the amount of air inside was controlled at regular intervals to ensure the bourbon flavors were imparted evenly.

The cigar features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that was aged for 5 years and Nicaraguan filler from Jalapa, Condega and Ometepe that was aged for 5 to 8 years.  The Whiskey Row is available in 4 sizes:  robusto, toro, churchill and Gigante.  The Whiskey Row is set to be released in July 2018.

Image provided by General Cigar Company

  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder:  Mexican San Andres aged in Rabbit Hole bourbon barrels
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan – Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa
  • Vitola:  Robusto
  • Size:  5 1/2″ x 52
  • MSRP:  $7.49
  • Available in 25 count boxes

Cigar provided for review by General Cigar Company

 

Appearance

The cigar is a nice reddish-brown hue that looks like well patinaed leather. The wrapper is very smooth with minimal large veins and a well applied cap. On the cold draw, I get strong wood and earth notes. The draw is a little looser than I prefer, but not too bad.

First Half

The Whiskey Row starts off with a blast of white pepper and oak.  After about a half inch into the cigar, the white pepper fades and its develops a nice almond flavor with a hint of a sweet vanilla and leather.  The barrel aged Mexican tobacco adds a nice sweetness that counters the spiciness of the Nicaraguan tobaccos.  The strength is medium-full.

Last Half

The last half of the Whiskey Row has stronger notes of oak and vanilla. The almond is still there, but it’s a little more faint now. The black pepper has strengthened a little but I get most of the black pepper on the retrohale. It developed a slight bitterness in the end and the sweetness has faded.  The strength is full bodied at this point.

Conclusion

The Whiskey Row is an interesting cigar.  You can taste hints of the bourbon barrel aging with the hints of vanilla in the cigar’s flavor profile.  It matched well with the spiciness of the Nicaraguan tobaccos.  The cigar was well balanced with a nice flavor profile.  The Whiskey Row started off with a slightly tight draw, but opened up nicely as the cigar burned down.  I have to admit, the bourbon barrel aged tobacco is nothing new as other cigar companies have done the same thing and it comes off a little gimmicky, but it seems to work well when done with high quality tobaccos.  The Whiskey Row is a very tasty cigar that would appeal to a vast majority of cigar smokers.  Check them out when they hit the shelves in July.