Don Diego on Steroids

Don Diego was the first of the non-Havana “Cuban-sounding” cigars created to fill the gap left by the 1962 embargo. Initially it was made in the Canary Islands and was extremely mild. In recent times it has been made in the Dominican Republic, and while popular, it has always remained a mild cigar—until now.

The Don Diego Fuerte —which means “strong” in Spanish—is being made with an entirely different blend by a different cigar maker and in a different country. Consequently, other than its name, this new cigar has nothing in common with the Don Diego your grandfather may have smoked. Even the band is bolder than before.

Hand rolled in Condega, Nicaragua, by Omar Ortez, the Don Diego Fuerte sports a dark and luxuriously oily Ecuadoran Cubano wrapper, with a Nicaraguan binder, and a filler blended with Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf. Aged a minimum of 13 weeks, the aroma is heady and the flavor is like coffee-soaked leather. But like a high-performance engine, it takes a few minutes for the full throttle of this cigar to kick in. In addition to a  5½ x 44 corona, four others are offered: Churchill, belicoso, toro, and robusto—all of which are 54 ring gauge, which enhances their full flavor. This is indeed a cigar that would go well with a glass of Baker’s small-batch bourbon. ($5–$6.50) (www.altadisusa.com)

From Around the Web...
The Taiwanese whisky house earns its reputation with its new cask-aged expressions…
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bourbon ($150)
A terroir experiment yields powerfully good results…
We help you bring home artisanal cocktail batching, the craftiest trend on the cocktail scene…
Byant Park Grill’s private dining area experience will serve Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
Only 20 tickets are available for a special evening with rare bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon...
Master sommelier Fred Dame (left) and vintner Dan Kosta (right).
The industry insiders explain why the varietal’s diversity is such a draw and why ratings are risky…
This Italian sparkling red wine has an illustrious history and is staging a comeback...
Universal Whisky Experience
Top distillers will pour legendary whiskies at this year’s event…
Tyrconnell 16 Year Old ($100)
This new single malt arrives just in time to toast St. Patrick’s Day…
Celebrate March 17 with a round of top Irish Whiskeys…
West Cork Distillers 12 Year Old Rum Cask Finish ($66)
The Irish distillery introduces a limited-edition whiskey finished in rum casks…