Friday, May 13, 2016

Cigar Review: Diplomáticos Bushido Edición Regional Asia Pacifico (2014) (TOS SEP-15)

There are a couple brands in the Habanos S.A. portfolio that are limping on in my opinion, and one of those brands is Diplomáticos. It is a brand that was introduced post-Revolution, and since being introduced to the market in 1966, it went from five to seven vitolas, and is now down to one. Who knows where the brand will be in another year or so, probably stay as it is, but in the meantime the brand is getting a lot of attention with its regional releases. It has had a total of four regional releases, and its regional from 2014 has received a lot of press. The Habanos is called the Bushido, and it is a 109 offering for the Asia Pacifico region. The packaging is simply stunning and with it being a 109, it is no surprise that it has been in high demand. The cost is high, but it is no surprise given the cigar, packaging and region. Enough of the introduction though, let's smoke this Habanos

Habanos: Diplomáticos Bushido Edición Regional Asia Pacifico (2014)
Country of Origin: Cuba
Wrapper: Cuba
Binder: Cuba
Filler: Cuba
Length: 184 mm (7.2")
Ring Gauge: 50
Production: 2000 boxes of 25 Habanos. (50,000 Habanos)

The Habanos is finished with the most perfect 109 I have ever come across. It is applied perfectly, and is applied with a gorgeous wrapper. There are few veins present throughout, and those present are minor to medium in size. The wrapper itself is silky, quite smooth, and it has a nice Colorado coloring throughout. There is a solid firmness present as well and I am getting notes of spices, leather and tobacco off the wrapper. The foot is showing some similar notes, but I am getting some wood and chocolate characteristics.

The first third opens up by showing some light, sweet and elegant flavors. I am picking up this creamy core flavor profile, and it is paired with hints of hazelnuts and cedar. There is a faint bit of saltiness present as well, and it has some leather and aged tobacco qualities as well. A very small bit of spice is present, and it has a soft peppery quality. Overall, a solid flavor profile that is not overpowering but smooth with the larger offering. I would classify the flavors as being medium overall, and the body and strength are right there as well, maybe a little bit softer. The construction is top notch and the Habanos is delivering a perfect burn line with a light gray ash on the end. The draw is cool and a nice bit of smoke is produced with each draw.

As I progress into the second third, I find that the flavor profile is getting slightly bolder and it is beginning to show more tobacco and peppery spice notes. It still has that creamy flavor profile, but it is not as pronounced as it once was. There is a salty cedar profile with the Habanos, and it has a hazelnut and leather finish, and it is a great flavor profile. It is not overpowering, but complex and balanced. You could say it is more elegant overall, and that is what I look for in any blend. The construction is top notch still and it is producing an even burn line with that solid light gray ash on the end. I would classify the Habanos as being just north of that medium level, and that is the case for flavors, body and strength.

When I enter into the final third, I find that it begins to show a little bit of youth and it is losing the elegance that has been present in the first and second third. It has some charred wood flavors, oak that are paired with some spice and tobacco notes. The hazelnut, cedar and cream flavors have faded and the finish is of rough earth qualities. I would classify the flavors as being medium full and the body and strength are right there as well. The construction remains top notch though and it is producing an even burn line with a charcoal ash on the finish. the draw is cool and I smoke the Habanos down to the nub.

Looking back on the Bushido, I was disappointed. I was really hoping for a lot of great things with the 109, and while it is is still young, I believe it is lacking in a lot of qualities that would make it truly great. There is a lack in complexity that I was hoping for and it had little transitioning as well. It's a very big Habanos, and when you have a Habanos or cigar of this size, you need to have complexity and transitioning. I have never been blown away by the Diplomáticos brand to begin with, but I was hoping they would put something special into this regional. Unfortunately, it was another regional release and not something special. Other than that, the Habanos was rolled very well and it produced a solid body and strength level throughout. I believe this Habanos will get better with age, but even with age I don't think it will ever reach the level I am hoping for. I give the Habanos an 97-89 right now with the potential of being 90-92 with age.

Young Rating: 87-89
With Age Rating: 90-92