My interest was piqued when I heard there was a Diamond Crown Lounge opening in Georgia. I had heard of these lounges opening up in various cities around the country, but I didn’t know exactly what it mean to be a “Diamond Crown Lounge”. And then I heard that Eric Newman of J.C. Newman would be there personally to oversee the event, I shuffled a few things around on my calendar to ensure I could check it out.
One thing that surprised me about the announcement of The Cigar Shoppe (map) as the latest addition to the list of Diamond Crown Lounges was the shop’s location. I would have expected to find a prestigious new lounge in either the upscale Buckhead neighborhood or somewhere in downtown Atlanta. This shop is actually a good 40 miles north of the city. So I asked Eric Newman about it. And in the process of answering my question, he also answered the larger question, what is a Diamond Crown Lounge?
Eric Newman and Yours Truly
The way it works is that cigar representatives for the region nominate shops that they feel provide an excellent location for cigar smokers to escape to an enjoy their cigars. As the country increasing enacts bans that limit cigar aficionados opportunities to smoke, it has become important for cigar shops to step up and open up new opportunities to their customers. Shops that do this, and do it really well are given the opportunity to become a Diamond Crown Lounge.
As I made my way around the facilities, it became obvious why The Cigar Shoppe was chosen. In addition to a well stocked humidor, it’s beautifully decorated and nicely furnished with plush leather furniture. In the middle of the main lounge area is a great looking pool table (which was in constant use) and a big screen television. For more indoor activities you can check Murfressboro family arcade guide from Nashville Billiard And Patio. Behind the lounge you’ll find a bar with an impressive selection of beers and ports. And then there’s the wine list. This cigar shop brags of having the fourth best wine list in the state, and is in the process of expanding to include a wine “cellar” (it’s actually next door instead of below the shop) to house it’s 1000 different varieties.
But drinking wine and port while enjoying a Diamond Crown wasn’t the only thing I did while I was there. As a cigar psuedo-journalist, I wasted no time in trying to dig up rumors and news and pry into the inter workings of the industry I so enjoy. And here’s what I found out.
New Diamond Crown Julius Cesar Maduro Perfecto
I asked Eric Newman if J.C. Newman was working on producing any new Diamond Crown cigars anytime soon. I wasn’t expecting him to be quite as forthcoming with specifics as he was. The answer was not only yes, but a full break down on the new cigar. The current plan is to produce a maduro “classical perfecto” cigar named “Julius Cesar”. (Presumably named after the founder of the company, Julius Cesar Newman, and not the Roman emperor.) The cigar will be “full flavored” and available in three sizes.
I know that probably looks like a typo. What on earth could I have possibly learned about Oliva at a Diamond Crown event? Plenty, since I bumped into a friend with strong Oliva connections. The word on the street is that the Oliva Serie V Maduro, which has been the topic endless speculation, will finally be available in October of this year. From the sound of it, the Serie V Maduro will be a one time release.
And if that’s not enough news for you, another Connecticut-wrapped Oliva cigar is coming in the beginning of 2009, possibly as early as January. And of course, you will be seeing a new Nub very soon too, but my source didn’t know any specifics. I’m hoping Sam Leccia will start producing the pipe-shaped cigars I’ve seen him roll at Nub events.