2019 Diesel Hair of the Dog Limited Edition | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatran
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Size: 6 x 54 Toro
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.00 ($2.00 less online)

Today we take a look at the 2019 Diesel Hair of the Dog Limited Edition.
Samples were provided by General Cigar.

BACKGROUND:
From Cigar Dojo:
“Following in the footsteps of 2018’s Diesel Whiskey Row, the company has announced a new limited-edition offering known as “Hair of the Dog” as a complimentary follow-up.
While Whiskey Row was unique in that the cigars featured tobaccos aged in whiskey barrels (formerly containing KY-based Rabbit Hole Bourbon), Hair of the Dog is only similar in its intoxicant-inspired name, as well as being rolled at A.J. Fernández’s factory in Estelí.
In a press release, the cigars were said to be limited to 5,000 rustic boxes of 10 cigars, using imagery reminiscent of the brand’s earlier days. The blend features Habano-seed tobaccos nearly exclusively, including an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan Habano fillers; these are complimented by an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder.”

APPEARANCE:
A nice-looking box press. The oily wrapper is the color of cinnamon and caramel. Seams are non-existent and veinage is low key. Packing of the cigar is evenly distributed without any hard spots.
Nice triple cap. And the cigar band is right out of Homes and Gardens.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
A multitude of elements snare the nares and dispense aromas of floral notes, caramel, cream, black pepper, cinnamon, chocolate, café au lait, cedar, candied lemon peel, sweet cane sugar, and malt.
The cold draw presents flavors of black coffee, black pepper, cream, caramel, nuts, cinnamon, chocolate, cedar, and malt.

FIRST THIRD:
As this is such a limited edition (5000 boxes), I could only allow a month of humidor time; lest the cigars disappear before I write a review.

The draw is on the money so I put away my PerfecDraw cigar poker and tool.

First up is some creaminess, white pepper, caramel, brioche, raw nuts, cedar, and sugar cookies.
Within a couple of minutes, I need to correct the burn.

The strength is very mild. I expected a punch to the gut.

The blend does not come out of the gate swinging. It is uneventful and bland. Could be that a month isn’t sufficient enough for even tasting potential. But then Diesel isn’t exactly the first choice of most cigar smokers. This effort to bring Diesel into the world of premium boutique blends must have been terrifying for those involved. That’s AJ, isn’t it?

The cigar is descried as medium/full in strength. At the very least, I should be tasting too much black pepper. But there is virtually no spiciness at all.

Lemon crème appears. I swear I am smoking a Connecticut. It’s even buttery.
The white pepper begins its push. I’ll take anything at this point that gives the blend a kick in the arse.

Cashew butter. Sweet and salty. Strength remains at mild/medium.

I only found one or two reviews of this blend. My guess is everyone either decided not to review it as it is a limited-edition stick…or, they too are waiting for the cigar to show some character. So, either this is just another boring Diesel blend or it needs extensive humidor time and I’m reviewing it too early. But even so, the strength should be apparent in some manner. And I taste zero potential. I’m good at detecting potential…well, pretty good.

A touch of green tea appears.

The 2019 Diesel Hair of the Dog Limited Edition only comes in one size…a big ‘un. This new obsession with big cigars is doing the industry no favors. A behemoth like this stick would normally take months to age properly in your humidor. Still, a month should be exhibiting some type of tease. I’m limp.
Speaking of limp, I expected the strength to be anything but what it is: Puny and delicate.

Here’s hoping the second half or the last third unveils the real character awaiting the smoker who is patient and allows the cigar some decent rest. Of course, the elephant in the room is that this cigar got very little proper aging from the start. Probably, the usual 3 months and off to market. A well-aged cigar with the right tobacco would come out with its dukes flailing.

I liked the precursor to this stick, the Whiskey Row. And this is supposed to be a complementary blend? Harrumph.
If nothing else, this is a warning that should you choose to snag some, patience is not only a virtue, but a dire necessity.

I haven’t begun to approach medium strength yet. Next stop….Dudville.

Saltiness appears. Always a sign of either insufficient aging or too much of it.
Vanilla adds to the similarities to a Connie blend.

I should probably shit can this review and not publish. This is torture and it’s a big cigar which means I’m sitting here til St. Crispin’s Day. A good cigar can make a review fly by; while a turd can make the time get stuck in a black hole.

SECOND THIRD:
The first third showed no passion.

I’m beginning to think this was a huge miscalculation by the Diesel (and AJ) folks. Trying to break into the premium market with a $10 stick requires that the blend be good. I loved yesterday’s review of the Punch Diablo by AJ. Even at the early stages of trying the cigar prior to review showed some serious promise. And it was $5.

Isabela Cigars all cost under $10 and are swingin’ dicks from the get-go. So, here we have another typical catalog brand that has gone awry. Maybe this is the reason for only 5000 boxes…it is turdish cigar. And they didn’t want to lose a fortune on it when it hits the bargain bins. Word of mouth is unforgiving.

Oddly, I cannot find the official release date of this cigar. I got my samples before the release of the cigar as I couldn’t find it anywhere on the usual suspects of big reviewers’ blogs.
One reviewer said it’s a good cigar but gave it an 80. Huh?

And the descriptions of the blend I could find merely used the bare minimum of adjectives to describe the flavor profile. In other words, a big zero.

With only 5000 boxes to dump, the entire CI conglomerate is still selling them. Any good cigar would have disappeared by now. This huge organization can’t dump 5000 boxes with hundreds of thousands of customers? Something ain’t right.

I get a bit of varying flavors but they are so meek and timid, that it feels more like I’m stretching to find redemption for the blend.
It finally reaches medium strength…barely.

The white pepper transforms into black pepper wiping out the other flavors.
Construction is good. The burn is consistent. No problems.
Complexity? Nope. Transitions? Nope. Finish? Black pepper.
Nicotine enters. Great.

Milwaukee is a terrible town for live music. Country or metal. I checked the regular outlets for musicians wanted and I could not find a single “Bass Player Wanted” post. Not one. I don’t understand how a city only 90 miles away from Chicago could be so musically dead.

Common sense tells me that I should be optimistic and hope that the stick will take on a new life with 6 months of humidor time. I’ll come back and let you know.

Customers who buy Diesel blends do so because they are inexpensive; not because they are good. It might be a hard sell to move $10 versions to its base. Those 5000 boxes may take months to get rid of. As soon as the novelty wears off of this new blend, we will probably see a big depression in sales. And then the slash and dash deals start.

LAST THIRD:
No redeeming qualities. C’mon. Where is the potential I should be experiencing? Even so-so cigar blends will give you a hint of what’s to come. I am completely in the dark over this baby. Dog turd or lady in waiting?

This cigar has made zero progress. A static, disappointing blend. If I don’t see some action during this last part of the cigar, then I throw my hands up and wallow in the fact that General Cigar will now take me off their reviewer’s list. And ditch their sponsorship.

The Doors long version of “Light My Fire” is on. This was a big deal in 1967. Top 40 radio playing a 7-minute tune. We all had our cars’ sound systems blaring while the color bars pounded out a wide spectrum with every note and beat.

Life begins to form from tiny space molecules. Creaminess returns. The pepper calms down. Bits and pieces of the original impressions become shady characters hiding in the corners of my palate. And the strength hasn’t risen above medium.

This must be a trick cigar.

I see that CI proclaims they only have 3 fivers left. Plenty of boxes, though. There is going to be a lot of pissed off customers who are prone to smoking their sticks ROTT. You think the cigar is bland then, wait a month…

The most off-putting thing is the lack of strength. I don’t care for Connecticuts. And the 2019 Diesel Hair of the Dog Limited Edition has all those qualities I dislike. Without being a Connie.

Zero progress. This feels like the longest review I’ve written.

For those of you that have bought the cigar, take the road of extensive humidor time. At $10 a pop, you want to give the blend a fighting chance. Apparently, a month is no where in the neighborhood of what Diesel expects of you.
I will be on the lookout for more reviews. Hopefully, I’m full of shit. And that I screwed up by smoking it too soon. Or not.

RATING: 75

And now for something completely different:

I have written about my 1983 project with Butch (Eddie Munster) Patrick countless times over the years. But I’ve kept the video from being shown on YouTube so I could control the method of how it was seen by the public. I own a federal copyright that is good for life plus 65 years.

I decided to finally exhibit the music video on YouTube two years ago. Here is part of the backstory.
You can click on “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” here or on my home page near the bottom.

I have all the original ¾” video rough cuts, the final ¾” video, DVD’s, about 50 singles, maybe 100 promo photos, the unmixed audio on 8 track 3” tape, the final stereo ¼” reel to reel tape, and eight T shirts.
If you look for Butch pics online, there are lots of them with him wearing the T shirt.

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

I was contacted by the owner of a web site called “Hollywood Hi-Fi.”
This is the description on their web site:
“Welcome to HollywoodHiFi.net, the long-awaited Internet home of non-singing celebrities…bizarre, hilarious and sometimes lethal stabs at musical stardom! As immortalized in the brilliant book “Hollywood Hi-Fi” by record collectors/pop culture mavens, George Gimarc & Pat Reeder!

They wanted to know about Butch Patrick and my project “Whatever Happened to Eddie.” And they wanted me to confirm that Butch lip synced and I was who I said I was.
I confirmed both. This is not news. So, this is the story of the project in a nutshell.

Here is what I wrote back to them:
“Yeah, that’s me.
I owned a recording studio in Long Beach, CA in the early 80’s.
A friend brought Butch to me because he had an idea for a song. It was a crude living room cut that was the seedling of what would become a major project. Some changes were made to the lyrics. Getting permission to use The Munsters theme was the next step.

“I got a 2-year license from Universal Studios to use the theme from The Munsters and off we went. Which by the way, was no picnic. Universal Studios office building is called The Black Tower because it is 35 floors of lawyers.

“The B side is called “Little Monsters.” It was written by one of the Monsters, Brent Black.
I played bass on both songs even though Butch was given credit for the purpose of the project.
I brought in some fine musicians but the only Monster to play an instrument on the single was drummer, Reek Havok.

“Brent Black did the vocals on both songs…not Butch.
Brent now has his own church in Hawaii.

“Through my PR agent, I got a record deal with new record company on the block; Rocshire Records in Anaheim, Ca.
Rocshire has one of the most interesting histories in the music business. Money was supplied by shady people and some of the best executives in the record industry were stolen and put into play. The owners, Rocky and Shirley Davis were merely fronts. (Rocky and Shirley = Rocshire).

“I was able to talk legendary cinematographer Marvin Rush into running my film crew.
I wrote the script the night before filming began. I sat on a couch, in my studio, and had 33 scenes written in about 20 minutes. Nothing like a little pressure to make you produce.
We filmed at four locations. Only three were used in the final cut. We used Hollywood High School, the chapel in the Princess Louise boat in San Pedro, and my recording studio in Long Beach.”

We sold 181,000 units before Rocshire was brought down by the FBI. The owner’s wife worked for Hughes Aircraft and was embezzling millions of dollars and funneling the money into the record company…or as rumored…to pay back the mob. Rocshire got too big for their britches early on. They tried to grow too quickly dumping millions of dollars they weren’t budgeted for.

Because I had signed a production deal, not an artist’s deal, I got the first 25 (64 cents in 2019 dollars) cents on the first single sold. My debt to the record company was minimal.

A production deal is where you hand over a completely finished product to the record company. I gave them the master of the two songs, artwork for the single, PR material, and a finished music video.

All they had to do was press, distribute, and promote the record. I did find a couple financial backers I trusted to help me. But I put a lot of my own dough into the project and was seriously invested in its successful outcome.
The first quarter ended just two weeks after the start of record sales and I got around $900.
The second quarter was payday for me. I expected a minimum of $50K…remember this was 1983. ($128K in 2019 dollars).

Just before I was to get my major royalty check, the record company was shut down by the FBI. I lost everything. Shirley Davis worked for Hughes Aircraft and managed to embezzle $15 million and that was frowned upon by all involved.

I don’t allow the video to be seen on YouTube or any other media. Why? Because every now and then a TV show about child stars goes into production and I can charge a fee for them to use the video. If I make the video public, I lose that right. But since I decided the time was right to finally show folks what has been a mystery, I thought as long as I make it known I have a copyright on YouTube, no one can use it for airing without my permission.
I have all the original rough cuts. Including outtakes which are on the final DVD cut.

I still have a lot of pristine mint condition 45 singles. I have T shirts. I have autographed 8 x 10’s. And as I said, the DVD.
So, there you have it.

I have also followed Butch over the years and for 40 years he was an alcoholic and drug addict. It appears that in the last 5 years, he has cleaned himself up. Good for him.

I contacted an old friend closely associated with Butch for over 20 years. This person told me a different story:
“Hey Phillip,
“What made you decide to release this now? Butch continues to screw people over. You may have seen the work I did on the “(REDACTED) Project.” It was a treatment for a paranormal reality show. I did have a tentative sale with a production company in Canada. We were just waiting for Butch to get ownership of the house. Once he did, I get a “Thanks baby, I don’t need you anymore” phone call.

Everyone associated with the project was given the boot. He is now supposed to be starring in a new show called “Property Horrors.” The so called “medium” is a production staff member and Butch is already not showing up for pre-production meetings.

“He married a woman who books car shows and she is keeping him busy on that circuit. She had him dress up in Munster makeup for one show. Not a pretty sight I can tell you. She absolutely hates the house in (REDACTED). Butch is selling himself as a haunted house owner and expert; but in interviews says he has never had an experience, but the wife has and doesn’t like it. LOL Still an idiot.”

Pat Priest (Cousin Marilyn) and Butch in full makeup:

Damn. This guy is only two years younger than me and he still never fails to disappoint me.

Butch has the uncanny ability to only be loyal to folks that can do him some good. Everyone else? Fuck ‘em.

Butch hasn’t worked as a serious actor as an adult. Too unreliable and his addictions made him box office or TV poison. So instead, he makes a living being Eddie Munster.

I followed up with another email to Hollywood Hi-Fi going into more detail:
“Butch plays down the Eddie and the Monsters period of his life in interviews. I’ve got stories galore about being forced to babysit him constantly because he was always drunk. The record company made me go everywhere with him while doing publicity on TV shows all over the country to keep him in line.

I’ve heard from Butch over the years but only when he wants something and then he is very nice to me.
“Something I can never forgive. I wrote a TV movie script that put Eddie & the Monsters into a weekly TV show ala The Monkees.

“Butch stabbed me in the back. The project was now dead thanks to the FBI.

“After Rocshire went down, Butch had a meeting with Ann Beats of Saturday Night Live fame. She was one of the original writers on the show. She later went on to become a big time writer and producer. She was a big shot at NBC at the time of our project.

“Butch contacted Beats and tried to sell the idea of the TV show to her. He brought her all the stuff from the project; including my script.
She said she liked the idea.

“Meanwhile, he did this all behind my back. Everything he showed Beats was done by me. Naturally, he took full credit. (Which he continued to do for decades anytime he went on a talk show and they showed my music video without my permission because Butch lied to them and told everyone he owned the rights.)

“In all actuality, it worked out for me because it is better to negotiate a licensing fee after the fact than before. So, I went in and dictated the fee and there wasn’t a damn thing they could do as the TV shows and production companies could not take a hit on copyright infringement.)

“So, he got called back to Beats’ office two weeks later and she said they were going to do the show…without him.
“He lost it and called me for help. I told him to go fuck himself. If I was there, I could have negotiated with her. I’m sure the outcome would have been different even if it only benefited me. This was my project. Butch was Milli Vanilli.

“Butch told me they made a few shows but they were so bad they ditched them and instead brought about a remake of The Munsters with John Schuck as Herman. The show went into syndication for two years but was really terrible. It died a slow and miserable death.

“So…it seems my project spawned the remake. Oh, the irony. And my apologies to those that found themselves watching the dime store new version.

“If you go to my cigar web site and punch in Butch Patrick or Eddie Munster in the Search Window, you will find lots of stories about him…at the end of my reviews.

“His second career was finding rich people. He found idiots with dough who thought it was cool to hang out with Eddie Munster.”

I hope he remains clean and sober. Hopefully, he makes better business decisions. But after reading the message I got a couple days ago, I see now that Butch is doomed to make a living as Eddie Munster for the rest of his life.

I put all my own dough into that ill-fated project 36 years ago and in the end lost everything. I have no love lost for Butch. But then I was an idiot too. But by the time I realized he was a drunk, we were right in the middle of the project and it was either go forward or can the whole thing. I was fucked before I even knew what was going on.

The only time I hear from him is when he wants something. I finally confronted him and he stopped tracking me down.

Remember…the video was done only 18 months after the start of MTV. We were the first video shown on MTV that was an unsigned act. It led to the development of MTV’s Basement Tapes show that featured all unsigned acts.

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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8 replies

  1. I’m kind of shocked by this: “A static, disappointing blend.”

    “With only 5000 boxes to dump, the entire CI conglomerate is still selling them. Any good cigar would have disappeared by now. This huge organization can’t dump 5000 boxes with hundreds of thousands of customers? Something ain’t right.”

    Excellent insight. Bravo.

    I actually have a very rare order coming from Cbid where I was able to grab some smokes that I haven’t tried but you had reviewed.

    Thanks for identifying the ones worth trying and the ones to avoid.

  2. Met my GF of 51.6 years in the summer of Love 1967 .
    And Light My Fire is our song
    She is the Isabella in my life .

    I did date some Diesels 😄

  3. Thanks for saving me on this one. I had an opportunity to purchase a box and passed on it based on your review.

    I’ve been a fan of your work for years. Love your music, your life lessons/ personal insights and your spot on cigar reviews.

    Keep doing what you do Katman!

  4. The Diesel Hair of the Dog Limited Edition, coming to CBid for $3.00 a stick by Easter/Passover. Like you have said before, there are some really good Connies out there like the Brickhouse and the My Father. But an AJ Habano that tastes like the “boring” Connies? PASS.

  5. Wow, sounds like Butch Patrick is a real creep. I guess that works for the “Eddie Munster” thing. Sleazeballs like him are ubiquitous in Los Angeles, as you know all too well.

    “He married a woman…” Dayum…someone sleeps w that guy!

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