Brand: Diamond Crown Maduro #4
Size: Corona (5 1/2” x 54)
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As with most Diamond Crown cigars there is nothing that I can compare to the Julius Caeser. No other cigar on the market even comes close.
Once the lighting process was complete, all I could think was, “wow”.
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