Diesel and Rabbit Hole Distillery have collaborated on yet another whiskey-cigar crossover, announcing the Diesel Whiskey Row Founder’s Collection as the third Whiskey Row cigar since the two brands first collaborated on the Diesel Whiskey Row in 2018.
Differing from the former two releases—which also includes the 2019 followup Whiskey Row Sherry Cask—the Founder’s Collection is a limited-edition project, being offered in a single 6″ x 52 toro size that is dubbed Boxergrail. This is in reference to Rabbit Hole Distillery’s Kentucky Straight Rye of the same name, being the driving inspiration behind the project.
Justin Andrews said, “With Diesel Whiskey Row Founder’s Collection, we set out to take our partnership with Rabbit Hole to a deeper level. Aging tobacco in rye barrels is completely unique in the handmade cigar space and I believe that we have created a cigar that will stand apart in a crowded marketplace. AJ, Kaveh and I agree this blend is one of the most versatile and provocative cigars we’ve ever smoked, and we believe it’s because we were guided by a mutual commitment to innovation. By giving the binder leaf its own personality and introducing the complexity of rye whiskey, we’ve created what we believe to be the ultimate cigar, one that pairs beautifully yet also makes a statement on its own.”
As with all Diesel cigars, the Whiskey Row Founder’s Collection is crafted by A.J. Fernández out of his factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigars make use of Nicaraguan Habano fillers and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, which is secured over the blend’s signature binder ingredient: a proprietary Nicaraguan Habano leaf that was aged in toasted and charred #3 new American oak barrels that were formerly used to age Rabbit Hole’s Boxergrail Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. Diesel describes this project as the first cigar to feature tobacco that has been aged in rye barrels (as opposed to the usual bourbon barrels).
Kaveh Zamanian, founder and whiskey maker of Rabbit Hole said, “As a longtime cigar smoker, I believe that pairing cigars with whiskey is an art. It is for this reason that I instinctually selected our highly-regarded Boxergrail Founder’s Collection Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey casks for this collaboration. I knew that these exceptional barrels would lend intriguing notes to the tobacco and would elevate the smoking experience. Given Rabbit Hole’s focus on bringing one-of-a-kind innovations to life, it is a pleasure to have played a role in introducing rye barrel aging to the handmade cigar category. I’m looking forward to sharing this great blend with cigar and whiskey enthusiasts across the country.”
The cigars are being released in time for the upcoming Kentucky Derby, said to begin shipping on May 1st. Additionally, Whiskey Row Founder’s Collection boasts special packaging that mimics the look of Rabbit Hole’s Boxergrail rye, featuring a unique design that allows the cigars to be presented on either the bottom of the box or flipped vertically to be housed in the box’s lid. The cigars are the most expensive Whiskey Row to date, being priced at $15.79 per cigar ($157.90 per 10-count box) MSRP.