Can you believe Diesel cigars have been around since 2009? Crazy, right? I remember smoking a ton of Diesel Unholy Cocktail when I was first getting excited about cigars. It blew my mind to realize that was 11 years ago.
At the time, A.J. Fernández was developing a name for himself in the industry with private labels and catalogue/internet brands like Diesel. Clearly, that worked out pretty well for him. It has also worked out pretty well for Diesel, which is now a mark owned by General Cigar Co.
The Diesel brand has gone through a transformation over the years. As I said, it started out as a catalogue/internet-only cigar, but in 2017, became distributed nationally by General. In 2019, Diesel released its first limited-edition cigar under the General umbrella with the Hair of the Dog. They continued the LE run in 2020 with Delirium—both cigars were revived from former Diesel releases over the years.
The word delirium is defined as “an abrupt change in the brain that causes mental confusion and emotional disruption,” which is fitting, since the blend is billed as “the boldest Diesel blend to date.” Let’s see if that’s really the case.
Diesel Delirium LE 2020 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernández Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
- Production: Limited Edition (5,000 boxes of 10 cigars)
- Vitola: 6″ × 52 (Toro)
- Price: $10.00 (MSRP)
The Delirium dons a beautifully rustic-looking Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf. It has a dark, leathery look, with very few raised veins or seams. The band has some gold embossing over a black and gray background. There’s a pattern in the background that is indiscernible and there is some maroon in there as well. It sports the Diesel logo front and center, which I have always liked—the same styling from the Unholy Cocktails days (the more I talk about the UC, the more I want to revisit it). There is a foot band for good measure, reading “2020 Limited Edition,” with the same pattern of gold embossing. The overall design is simple yet eye-catching.
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The pre-light evaluation (damn, I sound professional) exhibited a smooth cold draw with notes of black peppercorn, earthy sweetness, and cabinet spices. The wrapper gave off notes of barnyard (funny how this is a positive thing), black pepper, leather, and dry earth.
Sniff. Cut. Toast. Light. Puff.
The first puff was full of flavor. It was an onslaught of rich and chewy leather notes, along with dark chocolate and black pepper on the palate. Here is where I will warn the novice smoker: if you are new to retrohaling, maybe you should sit this one out. The retro was a blast of red pepper heat. It will put some hair on your chest, as they say. Each puff started out with black pepper heat, which morphed into rich leather and earthy sweetness. Top all of this off with a hot red pepper retro and you’ve got something.
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The middle took on a lovely creamy texture. At the midpoint, the Delirium was full flavor, full strength, and full body. It was simply full—full in any sense of the term. I was looking for a bit more transition, but I didn’t find it.
Molasses. The earthy sweetness that I had a hard time identifying at the beginning was molasses with a bit of honey. It’s a lovely flavor and something I often look for more in maduros.
The final third was much of the same—big and bold flavors and strength. A note on the construction: I was able to smoke this sucker down to the absolute nub (anyone have a gigantic roach clip?) and the flavor never faltered. There was no bitterness or harsh flavors—I was impressed by that.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
For sure. The blend does a great job of highlighting the wrapper and, when we’re talking about Ecuadorian Sumatra, that’s a good thing.
- Delirium was originally released in 2014 as a Cigars International store exclusive.
- The first Diesel cigar, the Unholy Cocktail, was released in 2009 as a catalogue brand for Cigars International/Cigar.com.
- I smoked my fair share of Diesel Unholy Cocktail and Diesel Unlimited back in the day.
- Delirium is a follow up to the 2019 Hair of the Dog Limited Edition.
- Flavor: Full
- Strength: Full
- Body: Full
- Rich leather
- Sweet molasses
- Black pepper
- Red pepper
- Sweet cream
- Charred oak
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Bourbon (Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond 7-Year would be nice) | Imperial stout | Dark-roast coffee | Peaty Scotch? (I’m curious how my palate would handle all that earthiness)
- Purchase Recommendation: I’m looking to grab a fiver. This is a cigar I would reach for when I want to be reminded that strong cigars can still have a ton of flavor.
- The blend highlights the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper nicely
- Rich and chewy flavor
- Near-flawless burn
- Band isn’t appealing (superficial, I know)
- Feels pricey for what it delivers
- Profile is too linear for those looking for a unique experience