CW Review: Don Diego Grandes Maduro
Originally made in the Canary Islands, manufacturing of Don Diego cigars was moved to Consolidatedâ€™s Tabacalera de Garcia factory in La Romana, Dominican Republic in 1982. The Don Diego cigars use Dominican grown Cubano Piloto and Olor for the filler, the binder is from the Dominican Republic. The natural wrapper is U.S. grown Connecticut Shade and the Maduro wrapper is from Mexico. The result is a mild to medium bodied cigar.
The Don Diego cigars come in thirteen sizes: Preludes (4 x 28); Babies (5.16 x 33); Grecos (6.5 x 38); Petit Coronas (5.125 x 42); Coronas (5.62 x 42); Lonsdale (6.62 x 42); Corona Bravas (6.5 x 48); Grandes (6 x 50); Robusto (4.5 x 50); Torpedo (6 x 50); Royal Palmas Tubes (6.12 x 36); Corona Majors Tubes (5.07 x 42); and Monarch Tubes (7.25 x 46). The suggested retail prices are from $1.00 to $5.50.
Cigar Weekly reviews are blind taste tests conducted by our readers. Reviewers are sent three samples with all identifying marks removed. Reviewers are chosen randomly from the list of everyone that has signed the Cigar Weekly Guest Book. Their comments are below.
Abdul M. Mackie: The appearance of cigar #46 was good. It had a nice maduro shade and good construction, and a firm feel. Texture was medium smooth. Overall a well constructed cigar.
Brian Zerbe: This delicious-looking cigar has a deep brown wrapper with smooth seams and nice, tight veins. The bunch is fairly tight and the roll firm. Some samples are not as dark as others and present a walnut-like graining. The cap is above-average and entirely functional, the foot is slightly flared and there bulges at the 1/3 and 2/3 marks, most notable only by touch in some samples. On the nose the tobacco itself has an inviting, if unimaginative aroma. Time for a light.
David Lowe: #46 has nice color a dark brown medium coarseness with a nice aroma. It had a tight draw but nice taste prior to lighting, a good medium size with visual appeal.
Mike A. Hall: the cigar exuded a pleasant aroma before lighting. The wrapper leaf was tightly wound; this was a nice sized cigar-6 x 48. After lighting it thoroughly, it was a very difficult smoke. i really had to go after it to get anything from the smoke experience; i actually felt tired from smoking this cigar. only after getting thru half of this stogie did it begin to become easier to smoke and somewhat enjoy.
Rick Kellinger: These smokes were leathery looking and very firm/full with tobacco. They weighed considerably more than HDM of the same size (6x50). Nice brown maduro, medium to light veins, but no sign of any oil.
Rick Traumann: The pre-smoke of the cigar assigned was not all that pleasing. The color, maduro, was nice however, the texture and look were not the best. I found the cigars to be veiny, coarse and leathery to the touch. In addition, two of the samples were packed firmly and contained two to three lumps. The burn for all three was similar, even, with a white to light gray ash which was very flaky. I did not experience any problem such as runs, splits or unraveling. The draw on two of the samples was tight to plugged however, one of the samples had a perfect draw. Of the fifteen points available for pre-smoke I awarded nine.
Rick Zucco: Nice dark maduro, with a leathery, veiny wrapper. The wrapper reminded me of an ERDM Robusto Suprema or HDM double maduro. One of the samples was about 3/64" less in diameter. The caps on two of the samples were uneven. All three cigars were well packed and heavy.
Robert Markie: Dry dark (nearly oscuro) Veiny wrapper. Thought I was in for an 'overdose' of tobacco. 6.5" 45 ring ?? I kept this cigar in the humidor for five days before smoking. The second time (just as wonderful as the first) was smoked three days later. The cigar had a very firm feel.
Abdul M. Mackie: Cigar #46 was quick to light, however, runners developed and had an uneven burn. Extremely mild for a maduro shade cigar. One cigar managed to correct itself just near the end. The color of the ash was a mixture of gray and white and was flaky at times. Towards the end, I experienced a paper/wood aftertaste.
Brian Zerbe: I smoked one cigar with a straight cut, one v-notched and the last punched with the bulls-eye. All had a faintly sweet, nutty quality to the wrapper. In each case the cigar burned very quickly at first, due to the loose tobacco flair at the foot. Then it evened out with a nice light silver, conical ash through the first and most difficult lump, which produced a serviceable run in only one of the three samples. Beyond the 1/3 mark, the burn evened out, perhaps as I discovered and rediscovered that the subtle flavor of this cigar was more pronounced on the verge of it going out. The cigar burns very hot in the beginning and there seems a lot more bite than flavor but each sample had a perfect draw. Entering the 1/3 mark and building through the 2/3 mark, there are very creamy wood and vegetal flavors with some hints of leather which again, are best experienced at the point the cigar is about to burn out. The flavor may build beyond the 2/3 mark but the bite too easily numbed my palate. At moments through the second third though, I could close my eyes and imagine this a cousin of the new robust Macanudos.
David Lowe: The draw was extremely tight, almost too much effort to relax and enjoy. I do not like to fight for the smoke ! The flavor was good, the aroma not over powering but pleasant. The after taste was Mild and not bitter. I would have enjoyed this cigar without the fight.
Mike A. Hall: A very difficult cigar to smoke. it did not burn evenly. The potential and appearance of this cigar belied the hard-to-draw and metallic taste. overall, it was a disappointing smoke.
Rick Kellinger: These burned long and were too full to enjoy. One took half a light of butane to keep going, the others burned like coal. The taste had little to no lasting flavor, very mild to medium at its best. They burned long like coal, but lack anything interesting.
Rick Traumann: The smoke of this cigar was pleasurable, with the exception of the draw on scattered occasion during the smoke. The aroma was subtle and there was no burn to the throat at all. The flavor of the cigar reviewed was very pleasant. The balance of herb, wood and earth with just a hint of salt on the tongue gave a smoking experience similar to Cuesta Rey 1884. There was a minute burn on the tongue but nothing that took away from enjoying the cigar. Of the twenty-five points available for smoke, I awarded seventeen.
Rick Zucco: All samples drew perfectly, and burned evenly and long, producing a flaky, light gray ash. The aroma was outstanding: sharp, but not overpowering. The maduro wrapper imparted a nicely rounded taste. The cigar was medium bodied and medium to full flavored Honduran-style smoke.
Robert Markie: I decided to clip the end instead of punching. The draw was a little difficult to draw although it was not a chore. Very smooth smoke with full flavors of chocolate with a hint of leather. The balance was very agreeable with a medium body. The ash was gray and flaky and remained on the cigar for over an inch that when it fell off left that tell tale cone of ember. The burn was slightly uneven, but nothing to write about. The aroma fragrant and was similar to maple...again with a hint of chocolate. Absolutely no burn to the throat and a flavor that lingered in the mouth for a few seconds without bitterness.
Abdul M. Mackie: Cigar #46, despite it's construction, firmness of feel, and maduro shade, was to me a disappointment. I smoked all three samples within a week period and at different times of the day, but I came up with the same results and conclusion. It's an average cigar that's just too mild for my taste.
Brian Zerbe: Cigar #46 is an agreeable if undistinguished smoke. It's mild character does not stand up to its bite, which is harsh by comparison. This is a beautiful, well-constructed cigar which, with those brief creamy exceptions, I found better seen than smoked. There are many reasonably-priced, medium-to-full bodied smokes which offer more flavor and less bite.
David Lowe: I would like to try more of the cigars this company makes to see if they have anything with easier draw. I have to say 3 days after smoking I still think about the flavor and mildness, I guess I am not a fighter as I smoke to relax.
Mike A. Hall: if i find out what this cigar was, i doubt i will purchase it any time soon. but, it would have caught my eye browsing in a humidor. Great appearance is the only redeeming quality, with a faint nod during the midpoint of the smoke; just a bad metallic taste and hard to smoke stogie.
Rick Kellinger: I wouldn't recommend these. They weren't worth the tight draw and uneven burn for the little flavor they put out. For those who like 'em mild, maybe they're worth a few bucks. There are far too many better maduros in the medium to full body range to spend my money on.
Rick Traumann: To summarize the cigar I reviewed I would say that the character was agreeable. The body of the cigar was mild to medium and overall I felt it was a fine inexpensive smoke. Perhaps something to be used as an everyday cigar. Of the ten points available I awarded five. This is a cigar I would recommend that my fellow cigar enthusiast at least try.
Rick Zucco: The excellent (well-packed) construction, draw, burn and aroma set this cigar above the crowd. The taste was above average. The maduro wrapper dominated the taste a little too much for perfection, in my opinion.
Robert Markie: I smoked this cigar down to the nub leaving only about one inch. The wrapper throws you off thinking that your in for a real experience and an overpowering cigar. I was delightfully surprised that this cigar tasted so good. I would buy this cigar and keep it in the humidor and give out on special occasions. I would rate this cigar in the excellent category and rate it up there with the DC 3's which I am very fond of.
|Abdul M. Mackie||4.0||2.0||4.0||3.0||4.0||5.0||5.0||27.0|
|Mike A. Hall||5.0||2.0||1.0||1.0||2.0||1.0||2.0||14.0|
|To achieve the final score below, we throw out the high and low total scores then average the
remaining scores. For more information see the link for Review Methods below.
Final Score: 30.1 out of 50
3 1/2 Stars â€” Above Average
Don Diego was introduced in the 1960's to offset the shortage created by the Cuban embargo and they've been one of the most popular cigars ever since. They offer a mild, consistent flavor that many cigar smokers enjoy. The maduro versions are relatively new and should provide a little more flavor. However, many of our reviewers experience draw problems, and it's difficult to appreciate the flavor when smoking the cigar is a chore. Even with the draw problems, the Don Diego Grandes Maduro earned a respectable 3 1/2 stars.