Diesel—the latest brand under the General Cigar umbrella—has announced Whiskey Row, aged in bourbon barrels formerly containing Rabbit Hole Bourbon. Diesel Whiskey Row is crafted by A.J. Fernández, reportedly using “a proprietary process developed by AJ to enhance the profile of the cigar.”

The partnership between Diesel and Rabbit Hole speaks of going against the grain in traditional industries. Rabbit Hole doesn’t claim to use 12 year old juice or have a 6th generation master distiller, much like Diesel doesn’t claim to be an old Cuban brand or have tobaccos that have been aged for 20 years. Both Rabbit Hole and Diesel are young, energetic brands with a unique go-to-market strategy. We knew the first time both companies sat down, there was a tremendous amount of synergy.Justin Andrews, Diesel Senior Brand Manager

The cigars make use of primarily vintage tobaccos from three major growing regions of Nicaragua (Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa), with five-to-eight-year-aged leaves used throughout the filler blend. Whiskey Row is finished in a five-year-aged Ecuador Habano wrapper, rolled over the cigar’s signature ingredient of a bourbon barrel-aged Mexican San Andrés binder. While General has not specified barrel-aging specifics, the company notes that Fernández received the Rabbit Hole bourbon barrels at his factory in Estelí in 2016.

A lot of passion went into this process and I am very pleased with the results. Aging the binder leaf in the bourbon barrels added an unexpected layer of flavor and aroma right beneath the wrapper. When you smoke Whiskey Row, you get a unique and complex experience that engages the senses unlike any other cigar I’ve smoked.A.J. Fernández

Rabbit Hole was founded in 2012, based in Kentucky and focusing on straight bourbons and ryes finished in unique barrel styles. Whiskey Row marks the second release from Diesel after being formally introduced as a national brand under General Cigar at IPCPR 2017 (debuting with Diesel Grind). Diesel has long been considered one of the original brands to put renowned blender A.J. Fernández on the map, with the cigars originally being made as a shop-exclusive brand for Cigars International.

Tobaccos aged in barrels of various formats has been an increasingly popular technique in recent years, with notable projects such as Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged (a collaboration between Cigar Dojo and Camacho, featuring tobaccos aged in bourbon/beer barrels), Asylum Dragon’s Milk (full cigars aged in bourbon/beer barrels), Camacho American Barrel-Aged (tobaccos aged in bourbon barrels), Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged (tobaccos aged in rum barrels), and Davidoff Winston Churchill The Late Hour (tobaccos aged in Scotch barrels), among others.

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Beginning in July, Diesel Whiskey Row events featuring pairings with Rabbit Hole Bourbon will be held at select cigar shops across the U.S.

Diesel Whiskey Row Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano (aged 5 years)
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés (bourbon barrel-aged)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Ometepe, Condega, Jalapa) (aged 5 – 8 years)
  • Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernández Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular
  • Packaging: 25-ct boxes
  • Vitolas: 4
  • Price: $7.49 – $8.99
  • Release: June 2018
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