Introduced in 1966, the Diplomaticos Cuban cigar brand is often compared to the popular Montecristo vitoles; the brand was originally introduced as a “less expensive” Montecristo. And as it was meant for the French market specifically and European tastes in general, Diplomaticos has often been described as a milder, more subtle blend than that of the Montecristo it sought to emulate.

Due to its relatively small market, production of this brand has been relatively limited over the years. Its an irony that Diplomaticos are now well sought after by cigar aficionados everywhere and its relative rarity has made it had to find and bumped up its price comparable to that of the Montecristo brand.

The Havana Club has an extensive selection of Diplomaticos on offer from its No. 1 to the No. 5. On this occasion, as i was looking for a short smoke, i chose the No. 5, retailing for RM25 per single.

The scent test for the Diplomaticos was a pleasant experience. Good, clean tobacco smells were in attendance; a very presentable wrapper was evidenced, slightly oily in a light maduro shade. Lighting it was also not a problem, and a testimony of its build quality is clear from its even burn. The ligero and seco leaves are well arranged in this pocket dynamo of a cigar – a slow burn proceded that allowed this cigar to last a lot longer than its short size suggests possible.

The first few draws from this cigar, augmented by a cup of camomile tea with honey, was delightful. Subtle, very mildly peppery tastes followed in the early half of the cigar. It didn’t taste particularly creamy as a Hoyo Epicure No. 2 most certainly is, but it did present a challenging burst of rich bitter-woody tobacco flavours. Similar to the Montecritsto? Shade of tastes, yes, but in terms of strength i.e. the pleasant heady sensation, its definitely not anywhere close.

Verdict: The Diplomaticos No. 5 is a good introduction to the tastes that make a Cuban famous. If Montecristo is the mainstream representation and draw of Cuba, Diplomaticos is a very good opening act. You can’t go wrong with this cigar – reasonably priced and well tasting. But does it make it to my “Must Have (Again)” List – it misses by just a shade, in my opinion.