2020 Cigar Industry Awards

2020 Cigar Industry Awards

January is a very exciting time of year for the cigar industry, and especially for J.C. Newman this year!

January is the month when industry publications reveal their awards for the previous year – in this case, 2020.

As we embark on 2021, here are the awards that J.C. Newman has been honored to receive. A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has taken the time to smoke our new creations like The American and Yagua, as well as our cigars that are tried and true. As America’s oldest, family-owned, premium cigar maker, we strive to bring quality products to market time, and time again.

The American

Yagua

Diamond Crown Maximus

La Unica 400

Diamond Crown Maduro No. 4
World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

New Event Space Photos

New Event Space Photos

Standing in the heart of historic Ybor City, this iconic treasure is the perfect venue for anyone looking to create a unique experience in an authentically Tampa space. Several local vendors came together to show off just that! 

The result of that collaboration is the below photos, which show how unique and historic the space can truly be. These photos can serve as an inspiration for your own event. Click through, and then fill out an event inquiry form to start working on your own event today!

Ready To Book Your Event At J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Factory?

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: Havana Q

REVIEW: Havana Q

Brand: Havana Q
Size: Double Robusto (5″ x 56)
Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA
Wrapper: Ecuador Havana Seed
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

It all started in 2003, when we launched our beloved Quorum brand. At the time these tasty value cigars were made for us at a different factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. In almost no time at all Quorum had become the #1 best-selling bundle cigar in the world. The factory that was making them for us could no longer keep up with our demand. This led us to the decision of building our own factory in Estelí, J.C. Newman PENSA. Quorum paved the way for us in Estelí. Nicaragua is one of the biggest points of production for cigars in the world. Every plot of land in Estelí is either a factory, farm, or a combination of both. Out of all the cigars imported to the United States from Nicaragua, 1 out of every 8 of them is a Quorum. Customers love the Quorum brand. It is an affordable, flavorful, and consistent cigar.

When we released Quorum in 2003 the cigar industry was a different place. In 2010 the 6×60 ring gauge became a standard and soon after every brand seemed to adopt the size into their portfolio.It has been nearly 20 years since Quorum first made an appearance and now, we are offering an extension of the brand, Havana Q.

This brand extension is offered in four different sizes which are thicker and more standard for the present customer base. Between the new Ecuador Havana wrapper from a low priming and the new shapes, this is an entirely new cigar. The best part is that Havana Q is still in the same price bracket as the existing Quorum, and packaged in all new fresh, resealable bags instead of a cellophane bundle.

PRE-LIGHT

The cigars themselves are very clean and presentable for a cigar in this price range. The wrapper color is a lighter brown shade with consistent color. The veins are smooth and don’t disrupt the appearance of the cigar. The bands look great on the Havana Q. The specific shade of red adds to the beauty of the wrapper while the gold edges present a high-quality look. The Havana Q is constructed very well and holds up to a generous straight-cut. As I start the cold draw, I do not get any bits of filler in my mouth. The cold draw yields a sweet and nutty taste. After giving the foot a good toasting, it lights up night and even.

FIRST THIRD

In the first third of the cigar, the intensity and flavor is mild to medium. The sweet nuttiness from the cold draw is still present in the flavor with spices and coffee notes added to the mix. The draw is on the tighter side of the spectrum during this portion of the cigar although a double puff will reveal a good smoke output.

Only one touch up was necessary in the first portion of the Havana Q and the flavor has proved to be enjoyable.

 

havana q cigar half smoked
havana q smoked cigar

SECOND THIRD

Upon entering the second third of the cigar, the draw opens up and is perfect for my preference. The flavor and intensity remain light to medium. The flavor is still nutty and spicy with a subtle sweetness on the finish. Leathery undertones have entered the mix and makes for a good level of complexity.

The burn remains even with a hefty ash holding together nicely. The construction is more than acceptable so far. The Havana Q is smoking like a long filler cigar!

It is also worth noting is the smell of the smoke and how pleasant it is. About halfway through the second portion I can pick up a little bit of dark fruit in the flavor. So far, the Havana Q has proved to be more interesting than I would have expected for a value cigar.

FINAL THIRD

As I enter the final third of the cigar and remove the band things remain enjoyable.

The nuttiness and spiciness have withstood the test of time throughout the entire cigar. The construction has been phenomenal even as I smoke it down to the nub. There is no cracking or flaking as I approach the end of the Havana Q. Every bit of this cigar has been more than satisfactory for the price tag.

Most notably, the ash was most was impressive. It smoked like a long filler cigar with a sturdy ash lingering as I smoked. The Havana Q is worth every penny.

I see them fitting a variety of occasions. No matter if you are restocking your humidor with good, daily cigars or sharing them with friends, the Havana Q will please the palate of every cigar smoker.

havana q smoked cigar resting on it's own band
 

A Note to Retailers:

There has never and will never be a problem with selling anything that is under the Quorum umbrella. So far, Havana Q has been no different. This is an easy sell to anyone looking for a great value in a bag or bundle of cigars. I see these dominating the beach days or golfing trips with friends. The humidified bag makes for easy transport and storage for extended periods of time like camping trips. The quality of the cigar is through the roof and definitely worth way more than the price tag.

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: Perla Del Mar Corojo Review

REVIEW: Perla Del Mar Corojo Review

Brand: Perla Del Mar
Size: Corona Larga (5 1/2” x 46)
Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA
Wrapper: Ecuador Corojo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

The J.C. Newman PENSA family is growing with the Perla Del Mar Corojo!

We relaunched this brand in 2012 after more than 50 years in hibernation. Perla Del Mar translates to “pearl of the sea” which is an old nickname for Cuba. This year, the brand got a facelift: a new box-pressed shape, as well as the new Corojo wrapper option. The new vista depicts the Morro Castle in the Havana Harbor. The bands are now different between the shade, maduro, and corojo wrappers. The corojo for instance has a burgundy accent on the bottom of the band which ties into the reddish-brown shade of the wrapper. The old PDM sizes were lettered correlating to the sizing of pearls. Now they carry traditional cigar sizing. The size I will be smoking is a Corona Gorda which used to be called the “L”. It still measures 5 ½ x 46.

Being a fan of the Brick House Ciento por Ciento which has a Corojo wrapper as well, I am excited to smoke this. It would be nice to have a regular production Corojo option in the JCN portfolio.

PRE-LIGHT

Once removing the Corojo Corona Gorda from the box, the first thing you notice is the new shape. The old Perla was a square shape, while this new one is more or an oval. After that, you are greeted with a beautiful, oily, reddish-brown wrapper. It is complimented nicely by the band due to the burgundy accents. Perla Del Mar is abbreviated on the center of the band. The band is much less busy than the previous one. Due to my preference, I cut the cigar with a shallow guillotine and it is completely intact afterward. The cigar has a little bit of give and is on the softer side. The cold draw reveals hints of sweet figs and coffee beans. I am delighted with the flavor before even lighting it up.

FIRST THIRD

I retrohale the first puff to reveal everything the cigar has to offer.

The flavor consists of a bright spiciness that I best describe as ginger and coriander, which made me tear up slightly (a feature I like). Leather, coffee, cocoa, and a mild sweetness can be found as well. The texture of the smoke can be described as silky and leathery. By the end of the first portion of the cigar my palate adjusts to the spice and things seem to balance out according to my taste. The flavor and strength have proved themselves to be medium to full in the first third.

 

pdm corojo freshly smoked with ash at cigar factory
perla del mar corojo smoked to the band

SECOND THIRD

Upon beginning the second third I note the razor-sharp ash.

The draw and burn have been phenomenal so far. With most of the cigars I smoke, I notice that the strength mellows out during this portion. This is not the case with the PDM Corojo. Although I am conditioned to the strength at this point it has remained medium to full in both intensity and flavor throughout the second portion. You can still taste the figs on the wrapper, cocoa, leather, and coffee are still present. I also notice that a thick earthy flavor enters the mix. On the retrohale, the ginger and coriander are still obvious. Root spices are a rare component to find in a cigar.

The draw has remained perfect with smoke leaking out of the cap of the cigar after each puff I take. The burn has remained even, and I have not touched it up at all after the initial light-up and the ash is dark grey. As I approach the end of the second third, I am in love with this cigar. It is everything I would want from a Nicaraguan cigar. The flavor is different, the strength is there, and the balance of flavor is perfect. The shape of the cigar is so enjoyable and comfortable; the oval box press shape takes the shape of your mouth.

FINAL THIRD

The final third of the cigar is when I find the spice to be most mellow. The ginger and coriander that I love so much are still apparent, especially on the retrohale, though it has toned down a few notches. Notes of figs, coffee, and leather are still easy to find, and a new component of licorice that has entered the mix. The final third is still pleasant to the taste and burning even and cool. In all honesty, this cigar is not acrid or bitter at all even when smoking it all the way down until my fingers cannot safely grip it anymore.

The cigar is still filling the area with a sweet and spicy bouquet. No matter if I am smoking it or smelling it, I am pleased with the experience. The retrohale is amazing and smooth, with intensity to be found. This cigar has a smoke time of around 55 minutes on average with flawless construction. This is somewhat of a long smoke time for a cigar in this size.

As I put the cigar down, I am fulfilled, intrigued, and thinking about the next chance I can find to smoke another. This is everything I hope to feel during and after smoking the ideal cigar.

pdm corojo cigar smoked to the nub in front of cigar factory brick

As I reflect on the Perla Del Mar Corojo, I would have to say that it is my new favorite cigar from the Nicaraguan portfolio offered by J.C. Newman. The consistency, flavor, price point, and construction fit the bill for me. I am without a doubt fond of the rebrand and new wrapper option. The shape is more comfortable to smoke and the corojo has great taste and intensity. I tried to find inconsistency in the four different samples I smoked for this review but had no luck. Each one burned the same, tasted the same, and had the same riveting effect on my palette.

It is the perfect box purchase and daily cigar. The cigar is medium to full undoubtedly with just enough bite and smoothness to be had. I encourage everyone reading this to give it a try especially if you are a fan of Nicaraguan cigars.

A Note to Retailers:

While the old Perla Del Mar might have been a tough sell due to its packaging and unique shape, the new PDM is a super easy sale. The new packaging has just enough brand heritage with a modern twist that makes it stand out and catch the eye of the consumer. The new shape of the Perla makes it somewhat uniform amongst the rest of the box press cigars in the industry. I have encountered numerous cigar smokers that only smoked box-pressed cigars for a variety of reasons. This puts the PDM in the running. You would win some trust from your customers by suggesting this cigar to someone looking for a new box-pressed option to add to their arsenal. The last few releases from J.C. Newman have been quite different and have caught the attention of much of the industry. The American and the Yagua are one-of-a-kind cigars with unique stories and craftsmanship behind them. The company is doing big things. Based on their track record in everything from value cigars to super premium cigars, the whole portfolio is worth a try for one reason or another.

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino No. 60

REVIEW: Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino No. 60

Brand: Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino #60
Size: Toro (6” x 50)
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente
Wrapper: Sumatra Sungrown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

The brand Cuesta-Rey has such rich history. The brand started in 1884 by Angel LaMadrid Cuesta and eventually received the title; “Tobacco Purveyor for the Spanish King and Court”.

Cuesta-Rey cigars have always been associated with premium quality. When Stanford Newman acquired the brand in 1958, he made sure that it remained premium. To this day Cuesta-Rey Cigars are recognized internationally as some of the best cigars in the world. The cigar that I will be reviewing today is from the Centro Fino line of Cuesta-Rey. Centro Fino refers to the center of the tobacco plant, where the leaves are most consistent and rich. The Sungrown Sumatra wrapper is primed from that area of the plant, where the tobacco is most flavorful. Underneath a Dominican binder, a special blend of Dominican Ligero delivers body and strength. This cigar is blended with the intent to be packed with flavor without being too dark or strong. Cuesta-Rey is 136 years old and the Centro Fino is the newest addition to the brand. I am interested in how a brand this old stays relevant in an ever-changing industry.

PRE-LIGHT

The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino is a visually stimulating cigar. The dark reddish wrapper is complimented by burgundy on the first and secondary band. There is also burgundy on the box surrounding Sally who is also pictured on the band.

The packaging is old school and pays homage to the vintage feel of the Cuesta-Rey brand. The cigar itself has good vein structure and a dark rosado tone to the wrapper. The cigar is very oily, and the wrapper has a nice texture. When squeezed, the cigar has a little give. I cannot find any holes or imperfections in the construction. I cut it a few times with a shallow guillotine to get through the sturdy cap for a perfect cut.  

The wrapper delivers a sweet and salty taste in the cold draw. There are also some coffee and nutty tones coming from the foot of the cigar. The cold draw seems to stimulate the entire tongue, particularly the areas that deal with sweetness and saltiness. Before even lighting the cigar, I am getting a lot of flavor, and can’t wait to light it up!

FIRST THIRD

Lighting the cigar was especially easy. The foot is easily toasted and develops an even circle even before I take a puff with the torch on the end. The initial flavors I get are earth, coffee, raw cocoa, and a bit of woodiness. This flavor is encased in a sweet and salty package. It leaves the tip on my tongue tingling afterwards.

The amount of smoke coming from the foot is significant. Smelling the smoke delivers a good whiff of mostly damp leather. Everything is very rich and oily. The burn is nice and even which is to be expected based on how the cigar lit. The draw is rather perfect. A double puff gives the cigar a little spice and a minimal bite. S

So far, I am finding the cigar to me very medium in flavor and intensity. The smoke is easily retrohaled in the first third and the flavor stays consisted through the nose. The ash is a slightly darker grey color and has a nice, sturdy formation. I ashed the cigar right before the end of this portion and had to touch up the burn on one side. This isn’t uncommon for such an oily cigar. My impressions after the first portion of this cigar are positive. Most notably I am impressed with how smooth yet flavorful the cigar is.

 

cuesta rey centro fino against cigar factory beadboard
CRCF

SECOND THIRD

Entering the second third of the cigar I notice a smooth transition into a slightly different experience. The most drastic change would be the sweetness dissipating slightly. Nuts, coffee, and raw cocoa are the main components. There is still a bit of savory, saltiness to be had while smoking and on the finish. The strength has become medium to full, with the flavor remaining medium. Retrohaling is still a treat during this portion of the cigar although there is a bit more intensity that leaves my nose tingling. I am a fan of this change although it is rare that a cigar is stronger during the second third. I’d also like to note that the transition was on the slower side; it wasn’t shocking when the change was noticed.

The ash holds true to the same standards as the previous portion. The burn remained even throughout the entirety of the second third. The draw seemed to remain perfect according to my standards. The burn rate is also a worthy mention. So far it is burning just slow enough to keep everything fresh and burning at a cooler temperature.

FINAL THIRD

During the start of the final third of this cigar I am noticing only a slight difference between the first third. The flavor was nearly identical with earthy coffee and nutty cocoa being the foreground of the flavor. There are also hints of leather and wood lingering in the background. The sweet and saltiness on the other hand, have become very faint. It is not bitter, but the tanginess has nearly dissipated. I find there to still be some saltiness here and there which keeps the front portion of my tongue stimulated.

The burn required no touch ups during the final third. A razor-sharp burn has kept everything even and pleasant until the very end. The draw has stayed the same and the smoke output fills the room with damp smoke. All these contributions make for a very enjoyable experience until the very end.

Centro Fino Sungrown

The Cuesta-Rey brand is so full of history. It all started in 1884, making the brand 136 years old. I can’t think of any other brand that has remained relevant in the market for so long. The Centro Fino Sungrown was the most recent addition and I think it holds up to any other comparable cigar in today’s day and age. The cigar starts out medium, then slowly ramps up the intensity, and then mellows out at the end. I find this to be a perfect execution of the smoking experience. The sweet and salty flavor coming from the wrapper is unique. I can’t think of any other cigar that mimics this even remotely. It just reinforces my belief that J.C. Newman Cigar Company has a vast portfolio, with a cigar out there for everyone.

A Note to Retailers:

Although the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino line only has three facings, it is packaged in a single row of ten cigars. This means that it will still take up enough space to catch the eye of the customer. The dark red boxes compliment the dark brownish red wrapper. I think it looks great on the shelf. One of the advantages of selling Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino and Centenario is that they come in boxes of ten. This means that it is an affordable box for any customer. The retail falls fairly below the $100 mark. Whether you are having a small gathering or need some variety in your humidor, you will find that the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino fits the bill (literally).

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: Diamond Crown Maduro #4

REVIEW: Diamond Crown Maduro #4

Brand: Diamond Crown Maduro #4
Size: Corona (5 1/2” x 54)
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Central American & Caribbean Basin

At the dawn of the cigar industry, the market was flooded with smaller cigars: small perfectos, coronas, lanceros, and lonsdales.  This is in stark contrast to today’s market, in which the most common size is the toro. Stanford Newman being very progressive, released the Diamond Crown brand in 1995 which offered several vitolas that were all 54 64ths of an inch in diameter. This was considered a very thick cigar for its time. His logic was that he could blend 5 different filler leaves to make a very complex, enjoyable cigar with more depth.

What also set Diamond Crown aside from the rest was that it used a double cured US Connecticut shade wrapper. The second curing refined the tobacco and gave it impeccably consistent color and quality. Even though it was so different, the Diamond Crown paved the way for thicker cigars and pushed the entire industry to make larger cigars. Diamond Crown was such a hit that it was only available on the west coast during its initial release. The release party was held in Beverly Hills in 1995 during the peak of the cigar boom, a time when everyone smoked cigars. A few years later J.C. Newman Cigar Co added the Connecticut Broadleaf version of the Diamond Crown Classic.

Since then, the Diamond Crown brand has maintained its stance in the luxury category of the cigar industry.

PRE-LIGHT

The Diamond Crown Maduro #4 lays horizontally in its box on the shelf; a somewhat rare presentation that makes it stand out amongst other brands in a humidor. The dark Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper mixed with the mostly gold and red band give me the impression of luxury. Black and gold just screams casino high roller in my mind.

The wrapper itself is oily and toothy. The cigar is neatly made with no imperfections in the roll to be found. The cigar is firm, no holes and very slight give when squeezed. Cutting the cigar required a little bit of force as the wrapper is very heavy and thick. The cap holds up nicely to a good ol’ guillotine cut: a classic cut for a classic cigar seems fitting.

Upon smelling the foot, I pick up a good bit of hay and pepper. It is not very dark on the nose; I find it to be crisp. The wrapper itself smells like dark cocoa. The cold draw leaves me lapping up flavors of sweet earth and leather. There is a little tingle of pepper on the finish of the cold draw. The Diamond Crown Maduro makes a great first impression and seems to pamper your palette right off the bat.

FIRST THIRD

The 54-ring gauge on this cigar requires a generous amount of fire but lights very evenly. The draw is the first thing that stands out to me; it is perfect. There is a just the right amount of resistance and a nice double puff reveals a thick, pungent smoke. 

There are hints of earth, pepper, leather, and hay. The pepper and earth dominate the first third of the cigar yet there is a good bit of sweetness on the finish. The bouquet off the foot is particularly nostalgic for me. It reminds me of the cigars my father would smoke when I was too young to smoke myself. It fills the area with damp, dark and earthy smoke.

Right from the get-go the cigar is burning perfectly leaving behind a solid white and toothy ash. I find it very pleasing to look at a dark cigar with a white ash. Retrohaling the cigar is a little too much for me at first but by the end of the first third I find starting to mellow out slightly. The strength is medium to full and I find the flavor to be full in this portion. So far, the experience has held up and remained luxurious during the first third of smoking the Diamond Crown Maduro #4.

diamond crown maduro cigar smoked
diamond crown maduro cigar

SECOND THIRD

As I enter the second third of the cigar, I find that the pepper is a little less prominent. I also can once again find that dark cocoa from the wrapper in the flavor profile. Earth, pepper, and dark cocoa are delivered in a leathery package. I find the strength to now be medium while still being full in flavor.

The burn has remained straight as an arrow with no touch ups from a torch required. About halfway through the second third of the cigar is when I decide to part ways with the ash which was still firmly attached to the cigar. The draw has not changed at all, it is still perfect. The retrohale is a lot smoother than it was in the previous portion, allowing me to pick up on all the flavors and intensity. Sweet, black pepper is smooth and noticeable.

The complexity and balance are my favorite parts of this portion of the cigar. There is a lot to be had in this finely aged maduro.

FINAL THIRD

The final third of the cigar seems to change a lot. Sweet leather takes the stage while cocoa and earth maintain the finish. The retrohale remains smooth in the portion and is the source of the black pepper. Though the final third has less bite than both the first and second third it has remained complex. Usually if the cigar has lost its bite, I want to put it down. However, there is still a lot to be enjoyed smoking it down to the nub.

I have not touched up the burn even after ashing it a second time during its final third. The draw is still the same and it’s still burning at just the right rate and temperature. Even with a 54 ring gauge burning, it’s still pleasant to smoke. I decide to put it down with just an inch remaining.

The final smoke time on all three smoked for this review is an hour and thirty minutes. Upon laying this down in an ashtray I am fulfilled with no bitterness or acrid remnants of flavor. This is a true sign of a premium maduro cigar.

diamond crown maduro cigar smoked and band off

Reflecting on the Diamond Crown Maduro #4 I am still left with the impression of luxury. The first third is intriguing, the second third is flavorful, and the finish is smooth and complex. These are the true makings of a super-premium cigar. The Diamond Crown brand is J.C. Newman’s luxury line. From the cigars to the accessories, everything is luxurious and made with quality in mind. The rollers at Tabacalera A. Fuente that craft these fine cigars are paid a fixed rate. This is to ensure that their goal is to make the best cigars rather than the most cigars. I can attest to this fact for there are no imperfections found in this cigar. Whether you are enjoying a night on the town or a 5-star dinner, the Diamond Crown Maduro #4 will sure compliment your evening.

A Note to Retailers:

I would like retailers to educate customers on the Diamond Crown line paving the way for bigger ring gauges on the market. These cigars are the reason we have cigars bigger than 50 64ths of an inch in diameter. In 1995 this was a monumental release and because of its thicker size, it had more complexity. Let the consumer know that this cigar changed the cigar industry!

It also comes in a box of 15 which is better for smaller events in some cases. Usually super premium cigars come in boxes of 20, which has a higher price tag. Since the Diamond Crown classic line is offered in smaller boxes, it does not make as much of a dent in the wallet. Not only can you find this cigar singularly or in a box, you can find it in our Toro Family Sampler. Not only will you find a Diamond Crown Maduro #4 in the sampler, you will also find other members of the Diamond Crown family. I find this to be the best way to find the luxury cigar your palette desires.

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: Julius Caeser Corona

REVIEW: Julius Caeser Corona

Brand: Diamond Crown Julius Caeser
Size: Corona (5” x 43)
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Havana
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Central American & Caribbean Basin

In 1890 our company’s founder arrived in America from Austria-Hungary in search of the American dream. With no middle name, the immigration officer figured he would take the liberty of naming young Julius. From that day forward he would be known as Julius Caeser Newman. J.C. was a small statured man. Giving him a big man’s name was ironic without a doubt. The spelling error is the fault of the immigration officer and has become part of the character of the company.

J.C. passed away in 1958. Hi grandchildren, Eric and Bobby Newman now run the company he started in 1895. To commemorate the company’s 115th anniversary and what would have been J.C.’s 135th birthday, they made a cigar to honor him: the Julius Caeser.

This cigar is offered in 6 different sizes now, not including the 1895 Perfecto size, which is exclusive to Diamond Crown lounges. Made at the Fuente factory in the Dominican Republic, the Julius Caeser has won over the palettes of consumers from all over the world. Due to the skilled blending of the Newman’s and the craftsmanship of the Fuente’s; this cigar has been highly rated, in the top 25 cigars of the year by Cigar Aficionado multiple times and was cigar of the year by Cigars & Spirits in 2017.

PRE-LIGHT

Only one word can describe the Julius Caeser as it sits on the shelf: luxury. The boxes are covered in black leather the purple felt covers the inside of the box and lid. Gold lettering to indicate brand and size really stand out and add to the high-end appearance. The art on the band and inside of the lid depict the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar but instead of his face, it is our very own Julius Caeser. Teal, gold, purple, and white all mesh together nicely on the band. Compared to all other vitolas, the corona stands out.

The wrapper is dark and noticeably toothy. This is an indication that the leaf is from a higher priming on the tobacco plant. While the other six sizes are a medium brown color, the corona is black. Darker than a maduro, you could call it oscuro.

Upon smelling the foot, I pick up on obvious hints of coffee bean, milk chocolate, and a touch of hay. The cigar is very firm when squeezed and is uncompromised by a straight cut. The cold draw shows an easy pull and gives me a taste of nutty coffee with a slight lingering sweetness. All things considered, I can tell that this cigar is very refined and aged well. I am looking forward to taking my time and enjoying this cigar in its entirety, both aesthetically and flavor wise.

FIRST THIRD

As soon as I touched the foot of the cigar with the torch I was greeted with an earthy, hazelnut laden smoke. Once it was toasted up, I was able to retrohale the first puff while finishing the lighting process. This revealed hints of nuts, earth, and coffee. There is a slight sweetness coming from the taste of the wrapper. Flavor and strength are both medium, although when I retrohale the strength is easily medium-full.

The texture of the smoke is thick, but I would not describe it as creamy. The ash has a dark grey color and holds itself together nicely. The burn is good, a few curves develop but after a few minutes it evens out naturally. By the end of the first third some leathery flavor enters the mix. Overall, the first third of the Julius Caeser corona has a lot of flavor and strength. Nuttiness dominated this portion of the cigar with coffee being the second most dominating flavor. At the end of the first third I knock off the ash and get ready for what’s next.

julius caeser cigar smoked
julius caeser cigar

SECOND THIRD

The first few puffs of the second third reveal minor differences. Coffee and nuts equal out in presence while earth and leather are most noticeable on the finish. The retrohale also becomes less strong, falling into the medium strength category. This makes everything medium throughout the cigar. The burn stays even while the ash lightens up to a solid grey. There is no flakiness or instability with the ash. I would have to say that the smoke is very thick and laden with coffee. The bouquet off the foot is one hundred percent earth and coffee. I am enjoying smelling the smoke just as much as I am puffing on this cigar.

By the end of the second third I am impressed that these dark flavors have not become distorted or muddy. It is also worth noting that the teeth on the wrapper engage your sense of touch. I find it very rare for a medium bodied cigar, with no pepper or spice to be this toothy. The burn rate is very slow for a corona and right now I am about an hour in.

FINAL THIRD

Entering the final third of the cigar, there is no bitterness or unpleasantries. All the flavors remain clean and present. I am noticing that the earth and leather are a little more present than the coffee and nuttiness. I guess you could say the nuts and coffee are more present on the finish. The retrohale is a little stronger, reminiscent of the first third of the Julius Caeser Corona. The smoke has become a little oily as well as malty, coating the mouth nicely. Temperature wise, the cigar is just as cool as ever. At this point the cigar is about an inch long with only enjoyable attributes.

By the end of this cigar, I am very fulfilled. The flavor has been unique and intriguing. For something so medium bodied, I am very impressed with how dark everything is. By the end of this cigar, I am still savoring everything it has to offer.

julius caeser cigar smoked

As with most Diamond Crown cigars there is nothing that I can compare to the Julius Caeser. The flavor is unique, no other cigar on the market even closely resembles the flavor or smell. The Corona size has a lot more flavor than the other sizes that I have tried. The packaging is one of the most engaging parts of this cigar. I don’t know if any other cigar comes in a leather wrapped cigar box. The flavor and presentation make this stand out to the customer. The darker wrapper makes this size unique amongst the Julius Caeser line. There is plenty of uniqueness to this vitola. If you want a very premium medium bodied cigar with a lot of flavor, give the Julius Caeser Corona a try.

A Note to Retailers:

Back in the day, up until the mid to late 1990’s all cigars were a smaller ring gauge. Lonsdales, coronas, lanceros, and panatelas were the most popular. During that time period, nobody ever smoked a 6 x 60 cigar. Between the thicker and thinner sizes, you will experience more differences besides the aesthetic. The flavor varies with diameter as well. With a thicker cigar you will be smoking more filler tobacco. However, with a corona size you will get more of the wrapper flavor. That is why I appreciate this Corona size a lot. It is important to educate the consumer as to why the vitolas vary in flavor and not just smoke time. Customers may only want to smoke for 45 minutes to an hour and the best way to pack a lot of flavor into the time is to get a smaller size. I have seen a lot of customers only smoke half of a cigar because they are limited on time. Make sure you consider asking the question “how long would you like to smoke?”. That question rarely enters the customer’s mind. If they only have an hour lunch break to spare, make sure they get a whole experience out of the cigar. If they have to put a cigar out halfway, they are missing out on the final third and how the cigar finishes. It is all about education and building trust with your consumers. That way they come back time and time again, asking for a recommendation.

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: El Baton Belicoso

REVIEW: El Baton Belicoso

Brand: El Baton
Size: Belicoso (5” x 56)
Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA
Wrapper: Sungrown Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

The El Baton was one of J.C. Newman’s first brands, launched by our founder, J.C. Newman himself. This brand was once made with Cuban tobacco and was rolled at one of our first factories in Cleveland, Ohio. Due to the Great Depression and mechanization dominating the industry, El Baton fell out of production.

J.C.’s grandchildren, Bobby and Eric Newman revived El Baton nearly 100 years later. This cigar is marketed as a full-bodied, Nicaraguan cigar. It is made at our very own PENSA factory in Estelí along with our Quorum, Perla Del Mar, and Brick House brands.

Nicaragua has some of the richest soil in the world. It is known for yielding tobacco that has a lot of flavor and a definitive bite. Nicaraguan tobacco is regularly compared to Cuban tobacco and while I do not personally find pleasure in Cuban tobacco, I imagine Nicaraguan tobacco has the soil that once made Cuba famous for cigars.

I now see Nicaragua as the epicenter for full-bodied and full-flavored cigars. If you visit Estelí you will see more factories and farms than you probably thought existed in the world.

el baton cigar smoked

PRE-LIGHT

The El Baton is a beautiful cigar, enclosed in attractive boxes. The inside of the lid has a black and blue gradient that highlights the name and draws you in. The silver foil lettering on the box stands out and matches the silver and blue on the band of the cigar.

The cigar itself has a very consistent dark brown color. While it is a lot lighter than a maduro wrapper, it is a lot darker than a Brick House classic. The veins are plentiful but lay rather flush with the wrapper. The texture from the leaf can be compared to a very fine sandpaper and has a good amount of oil.

Construction wise, I see no flaws. The torpedo tip is sturdy with a nice, rounded shape. The El Baton is a bit firmer than a Brick House but is built just as well. As soon as I smelled the foot of the cigar, a very noticeable whiff of sweet raisins got my attention. I went for a somewhat shallow straight cut just to see how the draw was. The cold draw was complex. I got a little bit of spice from the wrapper and sweet raisins and earth from the rest of the tobacco.

FIRST THIRD

Toasting the foot releases a good amount of pungent, flavorful smoke. I smelled leathery pepper before taking a puff. Once the lighting process was complete, all I could think was, “wow”. As in “wow, this cigar is strong”. I found the strength to be very full-bodied right off the bat. The El Baton is also full-flavored. Pepper and spice dominate the palette while leather and earthy undertones add some complexity. There was still a noticeable raisin taste during the finish, but it remained very faint in this portion of the cigar due to the strength. The burn was even and only required one touch up, which is common for a cigar with this much oil present. The ash developed a solid, dark grey color while burning straight. The draw was perfect with my shallow straight cut.

Overall, this cigar was very strong in the first third.

el baton cigar smoked
el baton cigar smoked

SECOND THIRD

During the previous portion of the cigar I was barely able to retrohale because of the intensity. Upon entering the second third I could get a good retrohale which left my nostrils tingling. This is usually either a sign of my palette adjusting or the strength toning down.

I was still finding everything to be very full in flavor and body. While the pepper seemed to die down, leather and Earth were still a big part of the flavor. The finish seemed to be a little sweeter this time around, with the same raisin taste. I found this to be the main difference between the first and second portions of the cigar.

While the flavor changed from mostly pepper to mostly spice in this portion, the intensity and strength remained the same. I am very happy that the strength did not taper off at all. I found myself experiencing the ‘wow’ factor every time I took a puff. The burn remained steadfast and required no touch ups. 

FINAL THIRD

After entering the final third, I was relieved that the strength did not turn bitter or astringent. It was still cool and easy to decipher flavors. Pepper and sweet leather were the main components of the retrohale during this portion; it is interesting to taste something sweet through your nose. There was a pleasant earthy raisin on the finish. During this final third I only had to touch it up once to keep things going even until the end. Even as the burn creeped towards the cap, the ash still held itself together.

I can easily describe the final third as a smooth finish.

el baton cigar mostly smoked photographed on cigar factory roof

After smoking the El Baton, I can easily describe it as the strongest thing to come from our PENSA factory. During the duration of the cigar everything remained full in flavor and body. Although the peppery bite was the main component of the flavor throughout, I never found it to be one dimensional. The flavors did not change but their capacity and levels did. In each third I found the same hints of Pepper, spice, earth, raisins, leather, and sweetness delivered in a different package.

The burn and construction live up to the PENSA name. I am still overly impressed with the draw which is usually my gripe with anything that has a tapered cap. El Baton is very different and stands out amongst our line-up. It speaks to the fact that J.C. Newman has a cigar out there for everybody. PENSA has mild cigars like Perla Del Mar (shade), bundle cigars like Quorum, medium bodied cigars like the Brick House line, and full-bodied cigars like El Baton. A lot of brands only cater to one type of consumer, but J.C. Newman caters to all. If you like one brand/cigar that we offer, I encourage you to try them all. It gives you an idea of the wide range of cigars we have to offer.

A Note to Retailers:

I strongly encourage retailers to educate people on the El Baton whether they are a full-bodied cigar smoker or if they are stuck on one brand of stronger Nicaraguan cigars. At the same time, it is important to stress to the customer how strong this cigar is so that they do not have a bad experience and get off-put. If someone tries a cigar and has a bad experience, they are not very likely to try anything else that brand has to offer.

This is also a good cigar to pair with a beverage if your establishment has coffee or alcohol. If someone is looking to tone down the flavor and make it more manageable it would be smart to pair it with something creamy like a café con leche in order to coat the palette. They can also capitalize on this flavor and pair it with something stronger like a rye whiskey. You can get a wide range of experiences with this cigar if you just put a little thought into it. Keep the El Baton in your back pocket of knowledge when helping someone find the perfect full-bodied Nicaraguan puro!

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: Yagua

REVIEW: Yagua

Brand: Yagua
Size: Toro (6” x 54)
Factory: J.C. Newman PENSA
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

The Yagua is another cigar from Drew Newman, J.C. Newman’s fourth generation.

At our J.C. Newman PENSA factory in Nicaragua, Drew heard of an old style of rolling cigars from the factory’s general manager, Lazaro Lopez. Lopez runs the operation down at PENSA and his grandfather used to bundle cigars uniquely in 1940’s Cuba. He would bind the finished cigars together without any molds or presses. Rather, he would use leaves from the Yagua, a Cuban royal palm tree, to give these cigars a shape.

The cigars are rolled a little more wet than usual and once the humidity stabilizes, they take the shape of the other cigars inside the leaf. Every Yagua will have a slightly different shape. Packaged in a crate style box, these really give off an antique and rural appearance. A U.S.A. Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper incases Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Just like the J.C. Newman Cigar, The American, there is nothing else in the industry like it.

 

yagua cigar in tobacco pile

PRE-LIGHT

A beautiful burgundy band with gold accents compliments the dark, oily wrapper. Part of the fun with this cigar is that every stick is shaped differently; the one I smoked for this review happened to be shaped like a rhombus. Upon smelling the foot, I was greeted with hay, barnyard, and a dark fruit undertone. I would not be surprised if the Yagua tree imparted some flavor of palm fruit. The cap held up nicely against a few shallow guillotine cuts until I got my desired depth. The cold draw was intriguing as well; hints of pepper, musk, and fruit complimented the sweet chocolatey wrapper. Overall, I found it to be very savory and earthy.

 

FIRST THIRD

Toasting the cigar released a thick, dark smoke that smelled of damp broadleaf tobacco. It reminded me of the smell my father used to have on his clothes after a late-night cigar and was very nostalgic.

The first third of the cigar was medium in flavor but on the retrohale I found the strength to be medium-full. Dark spices, barnyard, and sweet fruity tones delivered in a peanut butter textured smoke was most delighting. The wrapper did not require any touch up; a slight moment of waviness evened out on its own with a good double puff. The draw was perfect, and the smoke output was spot on. All flavors were well executed, dark, and very rich.

yagua cigar just lit
yagua cigar half smoked

SECOND THIRD

The second third of Yaga featured a nice transition into what stayed consistent during the duration of the cigar. The spices died down a little bit and the other flavors became more prominent. Musky barnyard, chocolatey peanut butter and dark fruit took the stage. I can tell that the wrapper is well fermented and aged. There is a lot of flavor consistent with the best characteristics of Broadleaf tobacco.

The cigar never got hot no matter what I threw at it. The strength and flavor was overall medium but retrohaling gave me a little more bite. The bouquet coming off the foot was very dark and earthy.

I found myself enjoying the smell of the smoke, even when I was not puffing.

FINAL THIRD

Though there was not much of a flavor change upon transitioning into the final third the cigar remained quite enjoyable.

The earthy tones and spice were well balanced and the smoke coated the mouth nicely until the very end. Sweetness came into play on the finish to make for the perfect synergy of flavors.

This cigar is constructed like El Reloj itself: very sturdy. All the components of this cigar were thick tobaccos. Even lighting it outside with windy conditions made for an even burn. The flavor was super rich, thick, and pungent. I would want to pick this cigar off the shelves regardless of the story. The wrapper drew me in, while the heap of flavor kept my attention.

yagua cigar smoked to nub

Because this is a small batch, limited production cigar, there’s an element of adventure added when trying to track down the Yagua at your favorite brick & mortar store.

A Note to Retailers:

With every limited release cigar, I think it is important to not sell the cigars as a complete box. Most stores that have access to the Yagua will only have about two boxes on hand.

At the same time, I think it’s important to encourage your patrons to buy more than one, to see how they progress when aging. Smoking one after a few months, another at the six-month mark will give the best overall experience. There is a lot of fun to be had with a cigar when the production has a new technique to it.

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...

REVIEW: Diamond Crown MAXIMUS

REVIEW: Diamond Crown MAXIMUS

Brand: Diamond Crown MAXIMUS
Size: Toro (6” x 50)
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente, Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador El Bajo Sungrown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

The Diamond Crown MAXIMUS was released as a bold, full-flavored line extension in 2005. It was made to celebrate the 110th anniversary of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. What makes this cigar special in my eyes is that it is a collaboration between three notorious names in the industry.

The wrapper is an El Bajo Sungrown from Equador, grown by the Oliva Tobacco Company (not to be confused with Oliva Cigar Co.). The mountain geography in this area lets the nutrients erode down the mountain and settle in the valley where the tobacco is grown. In combination with the soil, they also use the higher primings of the plant that carry more flavor and intensity. In the Dominican Republic, the Fuente family grows the binder and filler. It is a top-secret blend and they do not disclose the exact region and varietals used.

Once these unique, flavorful tobaccos come together they are crafted by the Fuentes at Tabacalera A Fuente. The dark wrapper is offset and complimented by the blue and yellow on the band. After that, the fully dressed cabinet style boxes compliment the dark wrapper and make it pop when put on a shelf. I think this is a beautiful and elegant addition to the Diamond Crown Line.

 

diamond crown maximus cigar

PRE-LIGHT

The packaging and presentation really catch your eye. When parting ways with the cellophane, the wrapper really takes the stage. The extremely oily, dark wrapper makes for an attractive look, hinting at the full flavor that is to come when you set it on fire. I would also like to note the bold yet clean vein structure. There is a noticeable number of teeth to this cigar. The oil and teeth make for an excellent feel. Both characteristics help avoid a one-dimensional experience. Upon smelling the foot, I can get quite a bit of damp earth and cocoa. The wrapper on the other hand, smells like straight up dark chocolate! There is no mistaking the wrapper smell. I wish I had some high-end dark chocolate to pair with this.

 

There is only a little give to this cigar, it falls on the firm side of the spectrum. No holes or dips to be found. It seems to be rolled consistently. The cap is constructed well and holds a good shape with a shallow straight cut. The wrapper taste makes for a great experience. Unmistakably, sweet chocolate is apparent. There is also some sort of dark fruity undertone coming from the wrapper, I want to describe it as cherry. The cold draw is very enjoyable with hints of hay, earth, and chocolate. There was enough complexity in the MAXIMUS without even lighting it up. I found myself enjoying the cigar before even lighting it up.

FIRST THIRD

When I started toasting the foot of the Maximus, I got a good smell of charred spices. It really caught my attention and sparked my senses. After a few good puffs, it is lit! The draw required effort but not enough to call it tight.

The first third stays true to the claim, full flavored without a doubt. The intensity on the other hand, is medium to full. I pick up notes of hay, sweet earth, pepper, and dark chocolate. The retrohale was strong during the first third and delivered a taste of peppery cocoa. Afterwards, the finish was sweet and spicy. The pepper did not linger on the palette which makes everything a little more pleasant. Once the temperature cooled down a bit after lighting, the pepper became evenly balanced with the other flavors.

 

diamond crown maximus cigar

I find it enjoyable to smoke it at higher temperature as well as a cooler one. A mixed ash of white and grey clings tightly with an even burn. The ash is very sturdy and straight as an arrow. No touch ups required at all during the first third. It started out even and stayed that way. Overall, the first bit of the cigar was very strong and flavorful. There was a significant amount of bite. By the end of the first third, I’m finding that the flavors balance out and it becomes a little more well-rounded.

diamond crown maximus cigar

SECOND THIRD

During the second third, everything seemed to level out. The pepper dissipated; I was left with a sweet and spicy, smoother smoke. Damp earth, hay, and dark chocolate dominate the foreground. The finish is rather sweet, and the chocolatey note sticks around afterward. On the retrohale, there is a fair bit of spice and cocoa. The smoke from the foot is thick and pungent and smells very dark and spicy. I found the intensity to be medium to full during this portion of the cigar. Even though the pepper and bite leveled out, I still found it to be full-flavored.

For the rest of the second third I am plagued by trying to name a flavor that appeared. I can only describe it as a dark fruit and my brain wants to name it black cherry. This appearance and transition really kept my attention. It is easy to get overwhelmed and bored with a stronger cigar, according to my opinion. The flavor change during this portion made for a great change and kept my palette intact.

FINAL THIRD

The final third of a full flavored, stronger cigar is usually a toss-up. Sometimes things get too hot to enjoy or decipher flavors. With the Maximus, it is a very different experience. Pepper becomes a noticeable part of each puff while dark chocolate and earth reinforce the flavor. This cigar never becomes one dimensional. I did find there to be an iron and gamey undertone which seemed to replace the dark cherry flavor I previously named. While still being full flavored and medium to full bodied I never tasted anything acrid or unpleasant. I enjoyed every part of the flavor and smoking experience all the way until the very end. I decided to put it down when there was little more than an inch remaining.

diamond crown maximus cigar smoked, band removed

Reflecting on the MAXIMUS, I can best describe it as complex and flavorful. The flavor was very well delivered for a fuller bodied cigar. I was impressed that the pepper never protruded and became unpleasant. While the pepper did fall to the background during the second third of the cigar, I found the intensity to remain the same. The sweetness and chocolate remained resilient during the entire cigar.

Other flavors varied: hay, earth, game, dark fruit all came in at various part of the cigar. All these attributes made for a full-flavored experience that kept things interesting. I think the MAXIMUS is the perfect cigar for the end of your night or after a hefty meal or start your day with a little kick.

A Note to Retailers:

There are many different selling points to this cigar. The easiest point to relay is that the Maximus is the product of three very prominent and experienced families in the cigar industry. It combines the innovation of the Newman family, the craftsmanship of the Fuentes, and the tobacco growing expertise of the Oliva Tobacco Company. I would like to suggest retailers educate full bodied cigar smokers and encourage them to try this.

A lot of full-bodied cigar consumers may be stuck on Nicaraguan or Honduran blends. The Maximus has a comparable amount of strength and body but has a Dominican feel to it. Also, consumers may associate Diamond Crown with the classic shade grown line. Make it a point to tell them about the darker stuff in the line-up like the Maximus, Diamond Crown Maduro, or Black Diamond.

cigar factory worker smoking a cigar near cigar machine
About Nikolaos Psilopoulos

Nik has been working on the retail side of the cigar industry for 5 years. The past 3 years his palette has been experienced enough to formally taste and review cigars for your reading pleasure. At El Reloj he is running our factory store and giving tours. He is a Certified Retail Tobacconist with the PCA’s educational resource, Tobacconist University. You can expect him to further his tobacco knowledge with us at J.C. Newman and encourages visitors to ask all the questions that come to mind.

Outside of the world of cigars, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or participating in dog sports with his Australian Shepherd.

World’s Oldest Cigars

World’s Oldest Cigars

J.C. Newman Unveils The World’s Oldest Cigars Hand rolled in 1857, the cigars were recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreckTampa, Fla. – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is unveiling a new exhibit featuring the oldest known cigars in the world at its historic El...