Brand: Diamond Crown Julius Caeser
Size: Corona (5” x 43)
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Havana
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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