Don Diego Fuerte – Cigar Review


Today’s review is a cigar by Omar Ortez and is the Don Diego Fuerte. According to the Altadis USA website who distributes these cigars, “”Fuerte” means “strong”. And the new Don Diego Fuerte by Omar Ortez certainly packs a wallop. About as subtle as a heavyweight boxer, the Don Diego Fuerte is highlighted by a select Ecuadorian Cubano wrapper surrounding a superb Nicaraguan binder and powerful blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos. For almost 50 years, Don Diego has been synonymous with high-quality mild- to medium-bodied cigars, but the new Fuerte, created in Nicaragua by cigar master Omar Ortez, is the brand’s first venture into robust, fuller-bodied smokes.” The cigar is available in 5 sizes, Churchill (7 x 54); Belicoso (6 x 54); Toro (6 x 54); Robusto (4.75 x 54) and Corona (5/5 x 44).

On a side note, sometimes I think if my head wasn’t attached to my shoulders I would forget that. At the time of writing this review my camera was left at my office and I had to kick it old school with a camera phone pictures.

Cigar: Don Diego Fuerte
Size: 5.5 x 44 (Corona)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cubano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Strength: Medium/Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 5

Appearance and Construction: The Don Diego Fuerte has a moderately dark wrapper that reminds me of milk chocolate and is glistening with oils. There are few veins present on the wrapper ad the cigar is well rolled with a nice cap. The foot of the cigar is nicely bunched to it and there is a nice weight to the cigar as well. Under close inspection there are no soft spots and the cigar is perfect for smoking. The one thing that gets negative marks from me is the band. It looks cheap, and while it appears they tried to make themselves look younger, the band comes off as a bundle cigar.

Flavor & Notes: The pre-light draw serves up some thick syrupy notes of caramel and chocolate while the foot of the cigar has a sweetness about it. As I smoke the first third of the Don Diego Fuerte I am treated to notes of chocolate and pepper. From the first light I am a bit surprised at how smooth this cigar is. Occasionally  before the first third end I pick up a touch of cinnamon and raisin as well. As we move into the second third of the cigar the leather notes are the focal point with some lingering sweetness in the background that borders on caramel. The final third of this cigar returns some of those chocolate notes with a touch of coffee on the finish.

Smoking Characteristics: The aroma on this cigar is the most complex I have ever had the pleasure of being around. The nose picked up raisins, mocha and a variety of spices. It was mind blowing to be honest with you. The draw was perfect, and the salt and pepper ash held on well for a corona. The burn line was crisp and even throughout. Definitely a memorable experience.

Conclusion: The aroma of this cigar kind of took away from the profile of the smoke as odd as that seems. It was complex on so many levels but the experience of the scent stood out about the rest. What I do not understand is why they released this under the Don Diego line. Sure it has the aroma quality which is associated with Don Diego, but the cigar is so much more. I know I was hesitant to try these because they were attached to the brand, but having done so I am extremely happy I did so.

Rating: 92
Price: $5.75

Available Sizes
Corona: 44 x 5 1/2″ Toro: 54 x 6″
Robusto: 54 x 4 3/4″ Churchill: 54 x 7″
Belicoso: 54 x 6″

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  • http://cigarsmokersjournal johnnyv

    Smoking the corona as I write this. Crossing over to the 2nd third I agree it’s better than expected. I just left my local b m where I found a box of Pepin el centurion belicosos! I had to grab a few along with a 2010 ss danno. On my way out I saw these and remembered your positive review of them. The owner threw it in for free! So far so good. You nailed it on the band by the way also. These guys need a new marketing exec because without your review I’d have passed on this one based on the cheap looking band. Maybe that’s a knock on me but I’ve come to trust your reviews even when I disagree if that even makes sense!

  • Barry


    Thanks for your kind words, bro! Long Ashes…

  • Karl

    I can only agree on all counts of your description of this fine cigar. I have been fortunate to enjoy many of Cuba’s finest however for this cigar I am truly impressed. It is the perfect after dinner smoke with a fine wine, good friends and great stories. It is my first venture into a Nicaraguan cigar with the Ecuadorian Cuban wrapper. The filler tobaccos left an even burn with strength to the ash. Robust yes but I thought it to be very light in the after smoke with its full flavor bouncing around my tongue. It was marvelous and highly suggested.

  • Tkiranch

    Started out as a good cigar, but didn’t stay well in the humidore. I wasn’t impressed with the flavor

  • Frank

    First one I smoked and I was very happy with the slow burn, long white ash and overall enjoyment.

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  • John Werner

    I smoke quite a few stogies every week and have never smoked a Don Diego. The name Don Diego sounds like a made up Mafioso character more than a cigar maker to me. Actually, I think why I’ve never reached for this brand as it had a reputation of being mild as milk toast more than any one thing. Well, Don Diego meets NIC tobacco and comes up with a new frontmark: Don Diego Fuerte. This could be a entre’ to a new customer like me who wants a heartier flavor in a good roll with an “Average Joe” price…Or could it?
    A toothy dark brown wrapper meets the eye fist. It’s a bit matte and feels like there is some serious leaf rolled in there. The pre-light smell is very nice and plenty rich with a deep fermented slightly sweet tobacco smell. The dry draw is promising in the same vein. It lit well and proceeded the first few minutes with nary an adjustment. To properly gage the real taste one should wait until the stick has some heat and within 5 minutes I felt I was finally able to get a handle of what this Frontmark is about. It is for the guy, not unlike me, that would never think of a Don Diego as a “go to” smoke. This makes perfect sense don’t do like Taco Bell and make the same thing and present it twenty different ways as something else. Nope, make something truly different that brings a whole new experience to the Don Diego brand.
    The taste is first a bit of zing with deeply fermented tasty tobacco that because it isn’t too young is smoothed out wonderfully. Past the small, but really there, spice there’s a really warm oaky taste that is really relaxing. That and the presence of leather tones, both in taste and smell, make for a much bolder Don Diego. It really begs you to study it because besides the pepper and wood there’s a hint of some sweetness on the wrapper. I say hint because it is so muted that when you catch it the experience is a nice surprise. For me, there isn’t the complexity of the Padron ’64 or ’26 because it simply doesn’t go into the Cuban coffee bean and bittersweet dark chocolate basement, but it is more than a respectable change of pace for a smoker who relishes the Padron profile at a much lesser price.
    This cigar was a true success. It is almost bargain priced for what it delivers I’d say and as for the already mention serious feeling roll…Well, it is just that. The cigar burns excellent and in what is the biggest surprise of all: It burns so sloooow that it took this seasoned cigar smoker aback. Very few super premiums smoke this slow and long. It did so without constant attention too and in the end this is a big success all the way around. Highly recommended as a stick for the stronger medium to lighter heavy cigar taste profile fan.

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