Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask ~ Pre-Release ~ | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian Arapiraca
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $8.95

Today we take a look at the Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask.
Samples provided by General Cigar.
To be released June 6, 2019.

From Cigar Aficionado:
“Diesel cigars are going from Bourbon to Sherry. As an addition to last year’s Diesel Whiskey Row, General Cigar Co. will be launching the Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask on June 3, a line of cigars that contain tobacco aged in Sherry barrels.

“Diesel Whiskey Row is produced in conjunction with Rabbit Hole brand Bourbon. The original Diesel Whiskey Row cigars are made with a binder aged in Rabbit Hole’s Bourbon barrels, while these new Sherry Cask cigars contain Brazilian binders that spent time aging in Rabbit Hole’s barrels that once contained Pedro Ximénez Sherry from Spain. The intent is for some of the Sherry’s sweet character to influence the tobacco, but this is not an infused or flavored cigar. No Sherry or Sherry flavoring was added to any of the tobacco components.

“Made in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez, Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask consists of a dark, Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, cask-aged Brazilian, Arapiraca binder and Nicaraguan filler. It comes in three sizes: Robusto, at 5 inches by 52 ring gauge ($8.49); Toro, 6 by 50 ($8.99) and Gigante, 6 by 58 ($9.49). All are packaged in 20-count boxes.

“For our second collaboration with Diesel, we selected our rich and aromatic Pedro Ximénez casks for A.J. to use in the tobacco aging process,” said Kaveh Zamanian, founder and whiskey maker of Rabbit Hole. “We knew they would lend a complexity to the blend.”

Robusto 5 x 52 $8.49
Toro 6 x 50 $8.99
Gigante 6 x 58 $9.49

The wrapper is a deep rich hue of espresso with a glistening reflection to sunlight. It’s a little toothy. The caps on my samples seem low rent…hurry up and finish sort of approach.
Lots of veinage with tight seams and some bumps and lumps. The cigar sausage feels like the tobacco is evenly distributed without hard or soft spots.
I like the cigar band and foot band. The wine-colored main wrapper is, by far, the most attractive Diesel band I’ve seen yet.

First up is a blast of black pepper followed by a creamy coffee aroma and then in queue is chocolate, malt, cedar, caramel, gorgeous honey, sugar cookies, vanilla bean, barnyard, chocolate covered raisins, almonds, and the sweetness that comes from being stored in sherry barrels.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate and creamy coffee, malt, cedar, raisins, sweet succulents, vanilla, honey, and black pepper.

The draw is spot on; so, I put away my PerfecDraw draw and adjustment tool for another day.

Flavors hit my palate like a thunderstorm. Bold elements of spiciness, sweet oak barrel, creaminess, malt, cinnamon, raisins, big notes of dark cocoa, honey spread on brioche, brown sugar, and allspice.

The cigar wastes no time in pleasing this old man. I am honestly shocked by how good this cigar is from the very first puff. Not a big Diesel fan. Sort of a pedestrian blend by AJ. I liked the original Whiskey Row. And now the Sherry Cask seems to be a great follow-up. Good for AJ.

It is, of course, odd to see a Diesel running at $9; but it appears to be something that Fernandez took very seriously in the hunt for the right tobacco and blending process.

Strength is medium/full from the get go. But it slides into that category seamlessly with just the right amount of black pepper to give the blend some punch.

The Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask is beginning to seriously impress me. This is even better than the original blend in which I gave it a 91. It was also about $2 cheaper per stick. Ever notice the price of cigars seems to always exceed the standard of living?

The stick makes a big transition as it begins to see some real complexity and balance.

Red grapes enter stage left. Makes me want to drink a glass of Manischewitz and then go into shock from the sweetness.

The honey coated almonds are up next slamming it home for the Gipper. While I can’t really identify any real flavor of sherry, the storage of the tobacco in its casks is noticeable and tantalizing. At this point, the cigar is actually a little off kilter as the sweetness is bullying the savory elements a bit. This is definitely putting itself in the category of after dinner cigar. I wouldn’t drink any libation other than water with this blend. Otherwise, the subtle touches of sweet wine would disappear immediately.

So, I grab a swig of water and the sweetness coats my palate like a hooker finds your wallet after you’ve passed out. Never happened to me…er…

Strength has diminished from medium/full to medium. Either that or the blend has become so smooth that it diminishes the effect of the strength.

Slow burning, exotic, enticing, mortifying, salacious, incomprehensible, layers of boiled kale, high levels of plutonium, humming the entire catalog of The Dixie Chicks, and soiling itself when its colostomy bag explodes. Now that’s a good cigar.

I never, ever thought I’d say this…but I have found a Diesel I love. Wow. Armageddon is here. And I forgot my umbrella.

And…the cigar goes out. Drat.

A couple online stores are already selling them before their official release in June. I’d look for specials on the usual suspects of frequented stores. I bet they release the cigar with a bang and a discount. Jump on it.
I can count on 17 hands the cigars I’ve smoked that become soothing and relaxing. This makes one more. It has such a lovely presentation that my palate just soaks it up and my ED meds no longer function…for the moment. Remember, if you have an erection for more than 4 hours, seek out more women.

A long luxurious smoke due to the excellent construction. Nothing worse than a $9 stick that burns like a cigarette.

I’m now in a transcendental head space as I ponder the universe and its beginning 2,000 years ago. I read that somewhere. I believe everything I read on the internet.

Oh good…The Police are playing “Roxanne.” I’ve tried to impress some of the congregants at the synagogue I watch over and not one has ever heard of the band. I don’t care how pious you are, you don’t avoid rock n’ roll. That’s a given.
And do you know how hard it is for a foul-mouthed mother fucker like me not to constantly drop the F Bomb in front of these people? I deserve a Purple Heart.

Sips of water are mandatory because it has become like opening a new box of Cracker Jack and finding a new prize…hopefully not a tattoo. I don’t want a Betty Boop tattoo…her head is too big. An ounce of CBD would be nice.

Jethro Tull is playing…boy, do I remember Ian Anderson being a real prick. He didn’t do drugs in the same way Zappa didn’t. Except Anderson anointed himself the Hash Police whenever his band slipped into our dressing room and got stoned with us. He banned us from ever touring with him again. What a major disappointment…lol.

Strength makes a quantum leap to full tilt. Nicotine crawls up my leg like a wild ferret with evil intent.
First thing to go is my vision. The laptop screen is blurry. I down three shots of rye whiskey because if I’m going to become delirious, might as well enjoy it. Thank you, Mark Alonzi.

Flavors have not changed. The proportion of elements has evened out so that the savory/sweet quotient is more amenable. Now it’s really balanced.

No flavor bomb here…rather, one of those great complex sentient beings that is groomed to combine the elements to make the whole greater than its parts.

Holy shit, I’m high as a kite from the nicotine. And I’m not even close to the last third.
Oy vey.

Ever pour good honey on vanilla ice cream? Bingo. And then chomp on a wine-soaked Crook? Followed by some spicy beef jerky? Now you have it.

I must remind you that my buddies at Bespoke Cigars has provided a promo code Katman for your purchases from Small Batch Cigar. 10% off. I know there are lots of 10% codes out there but let SBC know it’s me.
My sponsorship depends on it. Jeremy and Vlad the Impaler have hired two hit men from Estonia to seek me out and give me a coffee enema if I don’t remind you that the wonderful Bespoke blends are the only pricey cigars worth every shekel. Some new blends, I haven’t reviewed, are on the way to being just right. Also, Vlad told me he needs the dough for his electroshock therapy which has become a burden financially. Jeremy is OK…although he is in the resistance in case Russia attacks.

Sips of water cause instant explosions in my brain like an aneurism. But instead of bleeding out, I just keep typing.

This is a superb blend. No shit my dears and darlings. AJ nailed it. Just like he did with my recent review of the Man O’ War Ruination 10th Anniversary blend.

The couple online stores selling them now are doing so at a $2 discount per cigar making this exemplary blend only $7.50. This is friggin insane. All those fancy shmancy boutique brands selling their wares at $12-$17 a pop can take a lesson.
And the best part…the blend doesn’t need months of humi time. I gave it a month and it shines like a brand-new Ford Pinto.

I’m digging the shit out of the Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask. What a treat first thing in the morning. Try it without eating first. See what kind of man you are.

Construction has remained impeccable. No burn issues and a good constant flow…like watching Charlotte down a box of wine in 30 minutes. How else do you get a 68-year-old woman to have sex with you? I use a long tube with a funnel for her consumption.

It’s very possible the snob reviewers who get all the good stuff on the planet; gratis, may not be as loving to this blend as I. No matter. I’m not chastened by an overload of free expensive blends. Pretty sure my palate is just like yours.

Transitions of flavors coax me to dance the Hora. The finish is a cacophony of clicks and whistles that coat my palate like a warm Milwaukee Bucks blankey.

Complex? Very much so. Subtle and surprising at the same time. Like the first time you play a 16 bar Jaco Pastorius bass solo.

Potency is off the charts. Only those contemplating suicide or working in a daycare facility will survive.

I’ve been won over. If you’re not a cigar snob, you will dig them too.


And now for something completely different:

I’ve published this before but it’s been awhile so for my loyal and longtime readers, my apologies.

I disliked Butch Patrick from almost the beginning. He had some serious substance abuse problems and was unreliable. Mostly from alcohol. His dad was an alcoholic so he had the gene.

For those that don’t know about my association with Butch; it began while I owned my recording studio in Long Beach. I was 32 and Butch was 30. A good friend had grown up across the street from Butch and brought him to my studio. Butch had a rough idea for a song called “Whatever Happened to Eddie?”

At the time, Butch was on hard times. His dad owned a bunch of poker casinos in Gardena and was filthy rich. So, he gave Butch a job as a parking attendant at one of the casinos. What a dad!

Butch did a rough demo in some guy’s living room and they used the theme from The Munsters. They wrote some crude, rudimentary lyrics.

I decided to organize the whole thing; got Butch to sign a management deal and off we went. I literally became his manager, booker, producer, and pseudo father even though I am only a couple years older than he.

I brought in real musicians to record the title song and the B side as well. It was to be a 45 single…yes, those were the days…Vinyl.

The single ended up selling 181,000 units in 4 months before the FBI shut down Rocshire Records.…another story.
Because Butch was so unreliable, he was a handful. And both the record company and my press agent made it my responsibility to be his fairy god mother and watch over him and his errant behavior. No easy feat and one I swore I would never do again after the Sonja Kristina heroin withdrawal in the Curved Air debacle.

The record was finished. Time to move on to the music video which I wrote, produced and directed. I got a top-notch film crew to help me out. I was lucky to get the services of cinematographer Marvin Rush; who has since become a big wig in the movie industry.

We shot at two locations. The first was Hollywood High School and the second was at the Princess Louise docked at San Pedro Harbor. Permanently. It had two restaurants and a chapel on top for weddings.

We signed with Rocshire Records who were tied to the mob. Didn’t know that at the time. And a co-owner who was embezzling millions of dollars from her day gig.

Remember, back in 1983, it was the birth of the MTV nation. We were ground breakers. In fact, we were the first video to be shown on MTV’s “Basement Tapes” show.

The record company, and PR firm, sent Butch and me on a tour across America. It was deemed a necessity that I be with Butch the whole time to make sure he showed up at all the TV and radio shows he was booked on.

Now Butch had no musical talent. So, the band, Eddie and the Monsters, had a member who did the singing: Brent Black. I played bass, which in the video, showed Butch playing it. So, we couldn’t play live. Basically, we were Milli Vanilli.

The promotional tour was nothing more than an autograph signing tour. We would do media interviews and show up at clubs for Butch to mingle and they would show the video on a loop.

We did the Today show in NYC. Rockefeller Center. The Rock.
I met Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley. Most of you are too young to remember this.
The producers couldn’t make up their minds as to who was going to interview Butch right into the commercial break prior to the interview.
“Bryant, you do it. No, Jane you do it.” This went back and forth.

Gumbel had enough and slammed his hand on to the desk and said, “Goddam good thing we don’t make dynamite here!!”
Also being interviewed was Billy Mumy of “Lost in Space” fame. Now Billy had his shit together and I remember watching the interview wishing I could manage Billy instead of Butch.

The interview went well and we left. We then took off with Billy to some high falutin’ bar in Manhattan. We sat and drank and kibitzed. Everyone was drinking Bloody Marys. Not Butch. He was downing beer after beer after beer so by the time we left; he was completely shit face at noon.

They put us up at the Waldorf Astoria. Back then, it was a real hoity toity place to stay. People dressed well. We dressed in jeans and rock n roll Tee shirts. We got lots of looks that were not approving.

Some girls, who watched the Today Show and approached Butch, invited us to a party out on Long Island. Butch pleaded that we go. But it was a very long ride.
I reminded him that we had an early radio interview with Don Imus in the morning and we couldn’t stay long. He agreed.

Well, the worst happened. Butch got sloshed and coked up and it wasn’t until 2am that we headed back to the hotel.
I got up at 6 am. Butch never got to sleep til 5am.

When I got out of bed, I went into the adjoining room and there were a dozen people on the floor, out cold. Half were naked. Thankfully, they were women and not men. Butch had invited them back to his room.

I rattled Butch awake but he was still very drunk. He begged me to call the radio station and postpone the interview until the next day. We fought but I eventually gave in and called the station. Butch was so drunk that he was cross eyed and drooling. His speech was completely slurred. And he had only one hour of sleep.

Man, they were pissed off. I was put on hold for several minutes. The voice on the phone said to make sure Butch was there at 7am the next day and he hung up on me.

I told Butch I made the arrangements he asked for.
And then from left field, he told me that he was OK and to call them back and tell them we could do that morning’s interview.

I exploded.
I dragged him to the floor. I mounted his chest and began to strangle him. Really. Pounding his head on the floor at the same time.

In a croaking voice, he pleaded with me to stop and I regained my senses. I had no reservations about killing him on the floor of the Waldorf Astoria. It would have been worth it.

I was already packed because after the interview, we were heading back to L.A.
I threw his airplane ticket on his chest along with a $20 bill and told him he better be at the interview. And I left for the airport.

When I got home, the record company and PR firm were furious with me. I didn’t care. I told them to go fuck themselves.

Butch returned home, having done the Imus interview as scheduled, but we didn’t talk for a week.
He came over to apologize and I allowed him to do so. He was at my door with a beer in his hand and totally shit faced. It was noon.

I owned my own home in Long Beach and I had made myself some spaghetti for lunch.
He began to speak and I requested that he wait until I finished my lunch in peace. He kept talking. He wanted to discuss the project.

I kept asking him to stop. Finally, out of frustration and anger, I got up and threw my plate of spaghetti across the room and it smashed into the wall across from me.
This shocked the shit out of Butch. He finally shut the fuck up. I screamed at him to get out. I was done being his babysitter.
To be continued…


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5 replies

  1. Sounds like ‘ol Butch was a Grade A asshat. He’s lucky you didn’t kill him in NYC.

  2. I actually came close to killing him 9 times. He owes me his life.

  3. Diesel whisky row Sherry cask has a choosy selection of tobacco leaves that has picked up from three different continents. For such effective aged cigars to compliment with, there should be a punchy whisky in pair just like the peat Monster.

  4. Phil,

    Some background, I’m lying in my hammock (picked up in Venezuela thanks to Venezuelan wife) with a propane heater under my sore lower back (it’s not that cold today but I’m a wuss, and…. my lower back is chronically sore) smoking the last third of a Diesel Whisky Row Sherry Cask, which i bought on the basis of your review. I thought I’d reread your review while i smoked my cigar, but first decided to read your reviews of other Diesel cigars….. And came across your rant in the Heart of Darkness review against gordos and other large ring cigars….(comments now apparently turned off)

    First would like to say that i enjoyed your story about Sonje’s withdrawal, train and hotel.Tragic. And made me realize that they’re are addictions and then there are ADDICTIONS. Fortunately i only have the first kind…. Sonje has a great voice, a pleasantly more-refined Grace Slick… And Bent Air….a weird amalgam of disparate talents (capital T) is an underrated band….

    More background: I’m a cigar noob…i took it up in May this year, age 62. But I’m not a stupid, or completely undiscerning noob, and i would never be led by cigar industry pressures to smoke anything that in the most important ways didn’t tickle my cigar-loving medula. Like someone said about art, i don’t know anything about it, but i know what i like….

    And what i like is SMOKE, great not-too-bitter, not-too-hot nuclear-power-plant plume-fuls of it. I started out smoking robustos…i *led myself* to larger ring cigars in pursuit of that smooth, flavorful SMOKE.

    I don’t have your palate (not sure i want it) and i don’t have your sensitivity to nicotine (bring it!) I once picked up liquorish (aroma not flavor) off the foot of a Brick House fuma not reviewed by you) and dried apricots at the lips of a Brick House double Connecticut. Both unexpected, pleasant surprises, but neither food tastes i like and neither important to my enjoyment of cigars.

    My request is two fold: 1. Please steer me in the direction of 50 ring cigar that produces as much smoke as my favorite 60 ring cigars (i like Bone Shaker Mace–also not reviewed by you–which i ream a full pipeful of tobacco out of with my Perfect Draw, and Cain Nubs–like, not love. My daily go-to is an Oliva Second 4 x 66 torpedo–not particularly complex but a smoke bomb that’s ready to puff when the UPS driver hands it to me) And 2. Give large ring cigars a fair appraisal…. We all like what we’ve come to like–you ve smoked 50 rings for decades, and, I don’t like large ring cigars because I’m any kind of cocksucker or wannabe gangster.

    Large ring cigars are not filled with cheap tobacco (for the most part they’re *not cheap*) and smoking them requires it’s own expertise. I use a 14 mm cigar punch (only available at Home Depot on line, wtf?) and cut and pull enough tobacco out of the mouth to form a small, flavor-concentrating cup that reminds me of a primitive wind instrument.. Also, if a 50 ring cigar needs two months in the humidor, a 60 ring of the same blend needs four to six months…. I’ve gotten around this by becoming a master of the microwave. If i’m impatient and want to smoke a Diesel Sherry Cask Gordo that won’t be ready until April, i zap it for 12 seconds, blow the steam out of it, let it rest for 5 minutes, and then repeat with another ten seconds. I don’t know what flavors I’m destroying (possibly none?) but i can Intuit complexity–it’s still there, and by Jupiter, it’s ready to smoke.

    Give fat, penis-like cigars a fair shake.

    Your fan, Robert Black

  5. I bought some Brick House Fumas recently and now must wait a oouple months before review.
    I’ve given giant ass cigars plenty of breaks and that’s why I know I don’t like them. You don’t get to know this until you’ve given something a chance before you can decide what you like and what you don’t like.

    I would need to go back and read a lot of my reviews to determine the answer to your query about a cigar that puts out the smoke of a Gordo. I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head even if I was younger and had a better memory.
    My favorite size is a Corona Gorda: 5.7 x 46. The size provides the biggest notes of flavors than even Robustos. But I smoke Toros and Perfectos which can be big cigars.

    I have the Brick House Maduros (6 x 60) that J.C. Newman sent to me months ago and they are still not ready to smoke; let alone review.
    I really liked the Southern Draw Fraternal Order ‘Black’ which is 7 x 60.

    A few weeks ago, I received the Fratello ‘The Texan’ which is 7 x 60 and I gave it a shot and it wasn’t bad but more than a 3 hour investment of my time. And still needs another 4-6 months of rest before they will be ready.
    My wife and I are retired and live on a strict budget. My buying preferences are for those cigars that will be ready in 2-3 months…and if I’m lucky, less than that.
    Your method of bringing cigars to the ready by microwaving them is the most bizarre thing I’ve heard. But if it works, you should bring it up in cigar forums and see if anyone else has tried this. This is a first for my ears.

    I’ve never smoked a Gordo that tasted as good as a much smaller cigar. I believe the current intense desire for Gordos is a phase that will pass in a few years. After over 50 years of cigar smoking, I’ve seen all the phases which are driven by the cigar manufacturers’ needs.
    Yet, when I go to my local lounge I see guys buying the behemoths by the truck full. I am a creature of habit. I prefer Toros or smaller.

    I appreciate your contributions via comments to my blog. They are always intelligent and well thought out and funny. I appreciate the nice things you say about my lurid past.

    The biggest reason I don’t smoke Gordos is because most cigars I purchase are ones I hope to review. It takes me 3 hours to write and process one review; not counting the research and filling out my own template for the review the day before. Since I write in the moment, it is an intense 3 hours making all sorts of facial contortions to find those flavors and getting a good sense of that cigar. I add a story and there is more time.
    I’m just too lazy at this point in my life to add an extra hour or so to the review process. The SD Fraternal Order Black took over 4 hours to sit and write about. If the cigar is right, like the Fratello The Texan, I will certainly put in the time. But it will never become a regular thing. Besides, the Fratello is a limited edition cigar of only 500 boxes. By the time this cigar is ready to review, they will have sold out months before and no one will be interested in my review. This was an exception and a spur of the moment purchase.
    As I don’t write as often as I have in the last 10 years, my readers look to me to review current new cigars. So, I pick the ones that I believe might be ready to review in quick order. I will never beat the curve with a 6 x 60.

    Thank you, Robert, for your insight. I loved reading it.
    All the best,

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