Last year, the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) had 13 exclusive releases, with one being from Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG). The cigar was made at A.J Fernández’s factory and named Diesel Atonement. The Diesel line is long running, tracing its roots back to 2009 as catalogue brand between STG and Fernández. In terms of the TAA, their Exclusive Series has become a well-known annual release, often including unique sizes and/or blends from a dozen or so manufacturers. The purpose of the series is for the manufacturers to agree to donate an amount of the proceeds to the organization, with the cigars being sold only through retailers that are members.
One unique piece of information regarding the Diesel TAA 2022 release was that the original name was Diesel Tempest. When released in October of 2022, the cigar’s name changed to Diesel Atonement. There was no information from company on why the name changed and if the final release was any different, or just a name and marketing change only.
“The Diesel story continues to be written, not by AJ and me, but by the Diesel retailers and the fans of the brand who shop in their stores… It’s our way of letting Diesel retailers and fans know that our story is their story, and there’s so much more to write.” —Justin Andrews, STG
Diesel Atonement TAA 2022 Breakdown
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernández Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
Production: Limited Edition (1,000 boxes of 10 cigars)
Vitola: 6? × 52 (Toro)
Price: $10.00 (MSRP)
The Diesel slogan of Bold by Design is kicked up a notch for this limited release, going with Unapologetically Bold. The Diesel Atonement features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, being secured over a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and all-Nicaraguan filler. The cigars were rolled in a singular box-pressed toro format, being limited to 1,000 (10-count) boxes.
Diesel Atonement comes in a unique box made to look like a classic novel, which drives home the point that the Diesel story is the fans’ story (and that tale is not finished). It has a very aged leather-bound book appearance that reminds me of old encyclopedias from grade school. The color is dark charcoal, with the Diesel seal in gold and the TAA symbol below that. Opening the book, one sees a white page affixed to the inside cover, giving details on the cigar; the other side holds the stacked 10 cigars.
The Diesel Atonement cigar carries the same dark color into the label and cigar. The band has a dark charcoal background, with the Diesel seal in dark bronze, and a secondary TAA band in the same color profile. The dark colors make it difficult to see all the detail, and they tend to blend together. The wrapper is a very dark brown sugar color with some veins and seams noted. There are some leaf striations picked up when the light hits it just right.
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After cutting and lighting, the Diesel Atonement hits with a strong mineral earthy flavor and ever-so-slight hints of green pepper. The mixture of light vegetable and earthy flavors combines for a homemade campfire cooked beef stew taste. The retrohale carries a strong, stinging black pepper. There is a good amount of smoke output from this cigar. The toro has a good box press to it, and feels nice with a dry, smooth tobacco texture in the hand.
As the smoke continues, the smoky beef stew flavor of that earthy, meaty, vegetal concoction continues to combine nicely. Hints of coffee start to come in, bringing a nice depth to the smoke. The retrohale in the middle has lessened to a moderate black pepper spice that is more tolerable. Towards the end of the smoke, some off-acid flavors come into play, though not taking too much away from the smoking experience. It closes out with more early morning dry coffee flavor and texture to the smoke, having a nice mild black pepper flavor through the retrohale.
The Diesel Atonement hit fairly hard with the spice in the retrohale; it had moderate body and flavor during the smoke, along with a good bold character. The ash was light and white, and had a layered flakiness to it that stayed on for two centimeters. The draw was a little tighter, which, for a cigar this bold, was probably a good thing, enhancing the smoking experience with a longer burn time. The burn line was a little wavy (but even enough), and did not require any re-lights. It was a well-made toro, and while the overall flavors did not transition much, it was admirably consistent through and through.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Diesel Atonement TAA 2022 was a flavorful smoke, and being a TAA release, a huge surprise as well. Overall, I have been a little down on the TAA cigars over the years, but this one may make me come back to these releases again. Solid, bold, and consistent, the Atonement smoked with rich, earthy beef stew flavors primarily. A.J. Fernández and STG’s Justin Andrews created a well-constructed cigar that I would smoke again. The packaging is something unique as well, which tells me they put some thought into this release. I look for something special in TAA releases, and this one has hit the mark.
Campfire-made beef stew
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Irish coffee | Stout | Black Russian | Black tea
Purchase Recommendation: Half (to whole) box
Thick texture and flavor notesConsistent smoke/flavor from start to finishUnique package/box
Not much transition in the smoke; I like when flavors change some as it progressesNot much complexity for a limited release of this nature
Originally posted on March 21, 2023 @ 6:18 am