Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Diesel Whiskey Row Churchill. This is a cigar line we assessed back in February 2019 in the Robusto size.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: San Andres Maduro (Aged in Rabbit Hole Bourbon Barrels)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Ometepe, Condega, Jalapa) – Aged Five to Eight Years
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
Churchill: 7 x 49
For many years Diesel was a brand produced by AJ Fernandez that was sold by Cigars International and its distribution arm Meier & Dutch. In 2017, Scandinavian Tobacco Group, the parent company of Cigars International would shift the Diesel brand into it’s General Cigar portfolio, where the brand would get brick and mortar focus. When the shift occurred, Diesel Grind, a popular brand from Cigars International, would go over to General Cigar. This would be the tip of the iceberg for Diesel as since then the brand has launched a series of new projects. The first of these new projects would be the Diesel Whiskey Row. Today, we take a closer look at this line in the Churchill size.
Diesel Whiskey Row is a project that features tobacco aged in bourbon barrels supplied by Rabbit Hole Distilling out of Louisville, Kentucky. Rabbit Hole Distillery is a small company based out of Louisville, Kentucky that produces bourbon, rye, and gin products. The Diesel Whiskey Row features Mexican San Andres binder leaves that are aged in barrels originally used for Rabbit Hole Bourbon, utilizing a proprietary process that has been developed by Fernandez. The bourbon barrels originally arrived at Fernandez’s factory back in 2016. After placing the San Andres tobacco in the barrels using a special configuration, the tobacco was left to age inside the barrels. The air inside was controlled at regular intervals to ensure the flavors were imported evenly.
The San Andres binder was combined over a blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos aged five to eight years and finished with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The Churchill size measures 7 x 49.
The Diesel Whiskey Row Churchill started out with notes of oak, cream, white pepper, and sweet natural tobacco. Early on, the sweet natural tobacco and oak notes moved into the forefront and were joined by some earthy notes. Meanwhile the pepper and cream settled in the background. As the cigar experienced progressed the oak, earth, and pepper notes became more prominent. The cream and natural tobacco balanced out the flavor profile from the background. Toward the second half of the cigar, there was also a char-like quality that emerged as a secondary note.
In terms of strength, the Diesel Whiskey Row Churchill delivered a medium smoke from start to finish. When it came to the body, the Churchill had a little more depth than its Robusto counterpart – delivering a medium to full-bodied smoke. Looking at strength versus body, the body of the Whiskey Row Churchill had the edge.
The Diesel Whiskey Row is a very nice cigar, but it is the Churchill-size that is perhaps the most overlooked. The 7 x 49 format delivered more robust flavors and provided some additional complexity. Like the Robusto size, the Churchill isn’t a cigar where the bourbon barrel aging created an infusion in the blend. Instead, it created a nice contribution to the flavor profile – in the form of the oak, char, and sweet natural tobacco notes – giving it a unique touch. This is a cigar I could recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast or even a novice looking for something in the medium/medium plus range in strength and body. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again. It’s my favorite size of the line and definitely warrants box worthy consideration.
Key Flavors: Oak, Cream, Sweet Natural Tobacco, Pepper, Char, Earth
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium to Full
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop