Don Diego — Playboy

Vendor’s Claim:

“In 1996, the Playboy by Don Diego cigar was launched in high style with a party at the Playboy mansion. Handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, the mild- to medium-bodied cigar is known for its zesty flavor and rich aromas, and features an elegant band with the one and only Hugh Hefner’s signature.”

The Stats:

Size:                       5” x 50

Style:                     Rubusto

Wrapper:             Connecticut Share

Binder:                 Dominican Republic

Filler:                     Dominican Republic

The Experience:

Initial Impression—Never having tried a Don Diego before, I was excited to try a Playboy Double Corona by Don Diego. What make me most excited about this smoke was the mild to medium strength associated with it, plus…anything Playboy is exciting.

It comes by the box and individually wrapped in cellophane. I suspect this is done mostly as a way to keep cigars fresher, as the manufacturer knows that most people will buy them individually, as opposed to “By the Box”. This cigar is the epitome of how a mild cigar should be constructed: Dominican Republic wrapper and binder with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Appearance—I must say that as cigars go, this stick was majestic. It has a light brown wrapper (thanks to the Connecticut Shade wrapper), both a smooth and veiny leaf which cause zero logistical smoking problem, a dry wrapper (which is not to say it was dry and crumbly) and a well constructed cap and construction.

The only negative I had to say about the cigar itself was that, due to its girth, my guillotine cigar cut could barely fit the tip of the cigar into it for cutting purposes. I’m starting to feel like I’m writing for Harlequin Romance. While some would say that it’s certainly not the fault of the cigar that my cutter couldn’t handle such might, I think my cutter is above average and any cigar larger than it is merely a roller’s (or smoker’s) Freudian insecurities showing. I didn’t realize the size until I got it home and attempted to light it up that there was a problem.

Lighting/Burning/Ash— So far, so good with this smoke. I found that the initial light and burn were both even. I had no problems lighting up, I had no problems getting the stick to burn evenly, I had no problems with it staying lit. I found that throughout the smoke, the ash was solid and white and the burn rate to be perfect. It wasn’t too fast (causing the cigar to burn through too fast, as such shortening the duration of the smoke), not did it burn too slow (which would cause it to go out when not puffing on it). This can also be said about it’s resting smoke, not too much smoke nor too little (both of which will cause the same problems as the aforementioned burning problems).

Consistency/Draw—Again, to this stage I had no real qualms with this cigar. I found the stick to still have an even burn, particularly at the half-way point. I thought the draw was nice all the way through the smoke experience, but I did find the wrapper started to unravel about half-way thought (again, a problem I credit to a poor cut job thanks to my undersized cutter).

Maintenance/Flavor—Here’s where I think things fell apart. I agree that it is a mild-ish smoke. I might even say that it’s too mild. I did note  a slight spice to the cigar, which was nice, but nothing that really “Wow’d” me. I thought the cigar became very harsh during the last ¼ of the stick, so much so that it caused me to be unable to finish it.

Reflection & Rating

I really wasn’t impressed by this cigar. I was initially very excited about this cigar due to it’s mild construction and how popular the Don Diego line is here in America. It’s a smoke you can find in almost every quality cigar shop in the country, which is good if you’re on vacation and want to pick up something you know you enjoy.

The problem was, it was a bit too bland for me and I found the final quarter of the cigar to be so harsh that I just could not finish it without fear of illness. However, despite my misgivings about the final one-quarter of this smoke, I would still be willing to try it again if pressed.

For that reason, I would rate this smoke as a B-

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