Diplimatico #2 ARA NOV00 (blind tasting)


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Diplimatico #2 ARA NOV00 (blind tasting)

A cigar group that I belong to is doing a blind tasting of 9 cigars over the course of the summer, this was cigar #5 in the tasting. All of the cigars came from Rob, and his team did a superb job of helping us put this tasting in place. There are 15 reviewers who are all seasoned Havana smokers and no reviews were released to the reviewers until all were submitted. Here is a short recap


96+ 0 votes

90-95 1 votes

86-89 1 votes

80-85 2 votes

75-79 1 votes

74- 7 votes

NA 3 votes

“This torpedo vitola was a nice medium-dark brown but was quite rough and showed lots of ugly veins. After cutting with a shitty single-bladed cutter I brought with me, I found the draw to be quite undesirably firm. The flavor upon lighting was harsh and quite unpleasant, with a decidedly vegetal and skunky flavor. The construction was less than desirable as well and produced a couple small tunnels from the side.”

“The first third was a medley of leather, strong wood, leather, and tobacco with a tannic quality that was noticeable. There were slight hints of black cherry and even a touch of orange peel. The familiar Cuban “twang” was prominent. The middle third saw a transformation of the strong woody flavor into more of a milder, sweeter wood with nuances of citrus and cardamom. A menthol flavor started to develop by the end of this third. The menthol flavor intensified in the last third, and became somewhat bitter by the end.”

“The last third was when this cigar shone. The flavors really opened up. It reminded me of the potential of Cohibamids -- the taste I was always looking for but that seemed to be missing. While I can't describe the particular components of the flavor well, it reminded me of a "Toboada" DP that I had a few weeks ago. The best I can do to describe it is note that the flavor tasted like some kind of a "concentrated sauce" with a sweet edge ... a mole perhaps? Great cigar. I'd buy a box.”

“At first, decent amount of smoke. Tasted a little fruity actually. Developed into woody flavors. Unfortunately by the halfway point the construction issues were so bad with the relighting, tunneling, etc. this was burning really hot and became harsh tasting. I pitched it roughly past the halfway point.”

“The cigar appeared a bit box pressed and had the darkest wrapper of the bunch. The prelight aroma was enticing and was like fresh mowed wet hay. Ahhhhhhh, who am I kidding.......the cigar sucked. Let me tell how

1) harsh and dirty upon lighting

2) burn was all over the place

3) no flavor

If there was ever a cigar in need of artificial flavoring, this would be it.”

“Upon lighting the cigar burned very well and revealed an ash that was almost black in color. Good draw and lots of smoke. From a taste perspective the cigar provided flavors of earth, wood and some herbal notes. I found the cigar a bit rough with periods of harshness. This was a very straightforward cigar with pronounced flavors, strength and a bit of a rough edge. This vitola was not elegant in any way nor did I find the flavor profile one that I would reach for on a regular basis. To some degree it came across as a young cigar whose tannins had yet to diminish and whose flavors were distinct rather than balanced.”

“The wrapper didn't burn very well. The pleasant, but too subtle earthy and peppery flavors were ruined by persistent bitter flavors. The flavors hardly evolved as I smoked the cigar; if anything, the pleasant earthy flavor element was replaced by an unpleasant dirty element as it passed the half-way mark. I was glad when I finally pitched it and would have done so earlier had I not wanted to give it a full review.”

“From the get go the smoke was bland and tasteless. This did not improve at all, in fact by the final third I pitched the cigar due to bitterness that developed. Something was definitely wrong with cigar. Whether the tobaccos used were off, or the cigar had been subject to bad storage conditions, I don't know.”

“Once lit, the cigar produced quite a bit of smoke. It burnt very uneven in the first 3rd, and had a salty-sour flavor. It also started to get a bit soft and mushy. The draw loosened up quite a bit in the second 3rd and the smoke started to get hot, somewhat harsh. It still had that salty flavor and burned very uneven requiring several touchups. Best described as hot. I could not finish the cigar at this point.”

“The draw was fair with a heavy cut and it lit without much trouble. It was a little harsh on the first few puffs and did not impress me well. Things smoothed out some but it required a relight after about one half inch. This cigar had burn problems all the way, could be quite young? Average tobacco flavors with hints of orange peel and metallic overtones. Overall the cigar was likable but with out stellar qualities.”

“A mild flavor upon lighting commenced the downward spiral of this cigar. Within the first 5 minutes, the burn evened out and the taste rapidly declined. A correction from my trusty Blazer and the taste went from bad to worse (dirty, bitter, and harsh)! Then came the divots...Constant corrections were required. This specimen had been dry boxed for days but the rather thick wrapper remained burnproof. At the half way point, I decided that a "Thompsons Alternative to a JR Alternative" would taste better that this wannabe. I tossed it.”

“Thank goodness it's over...”

“I usually try to break cigars into thirds but this will be a simple review. This was a nice looking cigar probably this best of the bunch. After cutting this cigar it had a great draw and that is the only nice thing I can say about it. NO taste, bad burn and are we sure this isn’t a cheap Thompson’s bundle cigar. This is the second cigar that I’d bet money wasn’t Cuban if I didn’t know better.”

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This cigar did not represent the marca/vitola well at all. I have at least a couple of boxes of the Dip2 and I like them but this cigar just did not live up to what it should have been. Could have been poor quality tobacco that year and porly rolled. They also could have better when young. One guy really loved it but it was so so for me.

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There is a consistency to the 00 and 01 reviews. The consistency unfortunately is a lack of consistency to the cigars produced during that time. Yes I know...there were some stellar cigars....but there were also a multitude of less than noteable efforts. While construction improved over 1999, the quality of the blends across the spectrum of Habanos stock just was not up to a high standard.

While one can choose cigars to draw properly, one can do little to ensure the integrity of the blend. It is one of the reasons that I would personally purchase a 2005 and 2006 box of cigars over a 2000/2001. It is no different to a poor year of wines for a certain district.

Thanks Reid....the reviews are invaluable :ok:

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Rob, first off our hats are off to you for assisting us in doing this tasting. It is refreshing to know a cigar merchant who is confident and honest enough to discuss their less than great cigars.... given that most wine and cigar retailers I know claim to inventory and sell only outstanding product!!

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Solid proof that older is not better but better is better. How many times are smokers more interested in the date codes than any thing else. After some more experience with "aged" cigars I am comimg to the opinion that I like the fresh stuff as well and sometimes better. Thanks for the one eyed mullet mate.;-)

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Reid....hats off to you!

Seriously ....How often does a large group of knowledgeable tasters get to taste 10 or so cigars from different Marques for the same period (excluding 1 or 2). The final conclusion will carry significant weight for the 00 01 period. I was happy to be able to put that period to the test.

Next we will do 2002...then 2003 etc :-) Next one is my shout ;-)

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» Reid....hats off to you!


» Seriously ....How often does a large group of knowledgeable tasters get

» to taste 10 or so cigars from different Marques for the same period

» (excluding 1 or 2). The final conclusion will carry significant weight for

» the 00 01 period. I was happy to be able to put that period to the test.


» Next we will do 2002...then 2003 etc :-) Next one is my shout ;-

Great post, cigarnv and very informative too. Thanks!


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