The story of the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser is an interesting one, and it comes in two parts. The first part is the history of the name. Most people are already aware that JC Newman is the company behind this cigar, and it’s no coincidence that first two letters of their name and the initials of this cigar line are the same. It was made to celebrate the 135th anniversary of the founder’s birthday, Julius Caeser Newman, and coincidentally, the company’s 115th year in business. And yes, “Caeser” is really is how he spelled the middle name, which received when he immigrated to the United States from Hungary.
More confusing than the name of this third Diamond Crown installment and its spelling is its path to the cigar shop humidor. I appeared initially on the floor of the 2009 IPCPR trade show and generated a fair deal of interest. At the time, it was slated to be released in three figurado sizes. But as the months wore on and the next trade show grew nearer, the Julius Caeser was still a no-show. Rumor has it, the blend just wasn’t right. Though I wasn’t able to officially confirm it as the cause of the delay at the time of this writing, I’ve noticed early descriptions listed the binder and filler as Dominican leaf, while the current information indicates the cigar’s interior is comprised of “a robust blend of Central American tobaccos.” So it seems likely.
Whatever it was that delayed the cigar’s official release, it was resolved in 2010. The Julius Caeser was again looking sharp in the glassed-in display case at the trade show, this time with slightly different packaging. And what landed in the Diamond Crown Lounges across the country in late 2010 weren’t perfectos either. It’s available now in boxes of 20 of Robustos (4 3/4 x 52), Toros (6 x 52), Pyramids (6 1/2 x 52) and Churchills (7 1/4 x 52).
Since it’s already been a couple years in the making, I won’t the delay the review any further. Let’s fire it up and find out if it’s a fitting tribute.
Size: 6 1/2 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Havana Seed
Binder: Unknown Central American leaf?
Filler: “A robust blend of Central American tobaccos”
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $17.00
I was pleased to note that the cigars in person look just as good as they did through the glass display case at the trade show. Flawless reddish chocolate brown wrapper, fine veins, and in some cases covered in an even finer tooth. The gently rounded torpedoed cap showed similar attention to detail.
In the hand, the cigars felt substantial, very firm and well packed. No soft spots or any other inconsistencies that might hint at trouble later. A honey and compost aroma was given off by the wrapper, and light creamy woody sweetness came through in the cold draw. In one case, I found the cold draw to be a little snug.
Aside from one stick with a firm draw, occasional but minor burn unevenness, and some minor ash flaking, the Julius Caeser burns beautifully. In my notes for one smoking experience, I even described the ashes as “epic”. It’s hard to argue with a two inch ash that drops into the ashtray with a light thump, and performs it’s own ash stand. Of course, what matters is smoke volume and draw, which were both perfect with the single exception. And in that case, it wasn’t bad, but it did mute the flavors a bit.
Rich nutty, milk chocolate and leathery flavors were my introduction to the Julius Caeser. As I slowly burned my way into the first third, the profile mellowed considerably with smokey wood, bittersweet chocolate and butterscotch flavors taking center stage.
Smokey, chocolaty wood flavors continued into the second third, picking up a little mild spice along the way. Just when I thought the touch of butterscotch sweetness of the preceding third was gone, it reappeared with a some enjoyable floral notes, and a slight doughy quality.
A little bit of the butterscotch sweetness carried over briefly into the final third, with a faint citrus tingle. The smokey, bittersweet chocolate wood combination seemed to be the thread that tied the whole cigar together, and it continued to play a big part in the profile right up until the end, though a little less chocolaty than it had been.
There are a couple of ways to look at the price. It’s clearly well outside the $6 to $8 sweet spot, and as such will be out of reach for some cigar smokers (aside from the special occasion smoke). But it is priced similarly to the Diamond Crown Maximus, which will make it seem reasonable to Diamond Crown fans.
The Julius Caeser is definitely a cigar that’s worth getting to know, as I’m sure it was with its namesake, J.C. Newman. The powder blue band might trick you into thinking the cigar is a mild smoke that’s all about smooth unoffensive luxury, but in truth it’s a medium-bodied stick with ample and enjoyable flavors, and even a little edge at times.
It’s a great cigar, but I don’t see it as one I’ll smoke regularly. Given the nature of it’s availability, I don’t think that was the intent. The Julius Caeser seems to me like a cigar that was meant to be an occasional indulgence. Look at it this way, if you see it, you’re probably visiting a Diamond Crown lounge. For most of us, that’s not a regular occurrence. So why not light up the exclusive smoke of the lounge while you’re there?
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Occasionally
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.