Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark (Toast Across America 2014) | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Havana-Seed
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican (Proprietary)
Size: 5.625 x 54 “Shark – Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $15.00 MSRP








Today we take a look at the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark (Toast Across America 2014).
A reader sent me this two pack and would prefer to remain anonymous. Thank you, sir.

From Cigar Aficionado web site:
“For 12 years, Fuente’s Cigar Family Charitable Foundation has been making the Toast Across America cigars, and smoke shops in all the United States and Canada have helped raised over $3 million towards helping impoverished communities in the Dominican Republic.

“Every year since 2003 Arturo Fuente has teamed up with J.C. Newman in order to release an extremely rare two-cigar set with 100% of the proceeds going to Cigar Families Charitable Donation, a group that gives aid to the communities in the cigar regions of the Dominican Republic. 2014’s Toast Across America set contains two amazing cigars not available outside this set both in the famed “shark” size of 5.6 x 54.

“A size normally only seen in the Arturo Fuente Anejo, the Fuente Fuente Opus X No. 77 has been dubbed the “Sand Shark” due to the beautiful light wrapper that surrounds all the amazing aged Dominican filler tobacco. The J.C. Newman component to the hard-to-find sampler is an astounding torpedo version of their celebrated Diamond Crown Julius Caesar. Each cigar is worthy of the price tag alone, but as a set this is a no-brainer for any fan of rare cigars.”

Fuente Fuente OpusX No. 77 Shark (5.6″ x 54) $35.00
Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark (5.6″ x 54) $15.00

You can buy the 2014 series at Anthony’s Cigar Emporium either in two pack coffins or individually. Lots of online stores carry the line, so start Googling.

Beautiful cigar. The shark presentation is a stunner. Although, it is as solid as a rock. No give when depressed. So the draw was near impossible. I used my cigar awl but was only able to insert it around 2” before I heard crackling noises and quickly unscrewed the awl.
The foot has a crisp square box press. The cap is a work of art. No idea how many caps were used. See photo below:



The wrapper is a hickory/mocha color with extreme amounts of oiliness. It is as smooth as silk.

The double cigar band starts with the traditional DC Julius Ceaser band. Classy with a portrait of Julius Newman. My grandfather’s best friend for many, many years. Julius visited our house in Long Beach every time my grandpa visited from Cleveland. Both were Hungarians. Both Jewish. And both lived in Cleveland. My gramps owned a real rootin’ tootin’ saloon. (I have a great black and white photo of it somewhere). And gramps smoked cigars like someone was going to take them away from him which is probably how my grandfather met Julius.

The secondary band says: “Cigar Family Charitable Foundation” with the logo in gold on a navy blue background.
Veins are near invisible and few veins.

From the shaft, I smell sweet honey and caramel, molasses, raisins, cinnamon, spice, cedar, and chocolate.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell barnyard, dark baking cocoa, spice, honey, cedar, espresso, and raisins.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, spice, cedar, raisins, honey, floral notes, and malts.

Box pressed cigars give me loads of grief lighting them and not getting a run immediately. For me, the trick is to light the outside perimeter and allow the flame to move towards the center instead of lighting the center and allowing the flame to move outwards.

The critical time is the first 5 minutes. It is vital I keep an eye on the foot so as not to allow it to run.
OK. My paranoia is out of the way. Here we go.
In spite of the cigar being so solid, it smokes like a dream.

The first flavors up to the line of scrimmage: Chocolate, creaminess, red pepper, espresso, citrus, malts, cedar, and something I can’t identify quite yet.


While I reviewed the Robusto (4.75 x 52), size matters. And I expect a different experience with this incredible shape.

The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark runs on me as expected. I don’t know if it’s me or the shape of the cigar that causes a run every time I light a box pressed cigar up.
It is early so I attend to it and let it rest in the ashtray to cool off and stop the run.

The start was spectacular. Very heavy in the chocolate, malt, creaminess department.

Cherries. As in the dessert: Cherries Jubilee. A dessert long forgotten except in the restaurants you can’t afford. It was a big deal as a kid to see the waiter prepare them at your table side with the dash of liquor into the pan causing flames to rise a couple feet into the air. And then dished out to cover your cup of vanilla ice cream. Damn. I can taste it now.

Mixed nuts are new. As well as the creaminess having a whipped cream tangent.
The Shark shape has absolutely revised the flavor of the blend.

The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark is scrumptious. The nice thing I found is that if you don’t want to spend $35 on the OpusX partner, you can just buy the DCJC cigar for $15.00 at Anthony’s Cigar Emporium. I don’t know why other online stores don’t do that. I’m sure that the proceeds still go to charity regardless of whether you buy the pair in the coffin or separately.

The retail for the regular sized Julius Ceaser is $11.00-$18.00. So paying only $15.00 for the Shark seems like a deal. Did you notice I used the phrase, “only $15.00?” Shame on me.

There is a plug nearly halfway down the cigar. Time for the cigar awl. I manage to clear it but here crackling noises. Nicht gut.
But now the air passage is free and clear and flavors explode on me. I use a tushy wipey to get them off of me.

The strength is medium/full with 1” burned. The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark is already extremely complex. A perfect balance and a wonderfully, long finish.
The char line is now razor sharp.


There is a strong fruity flavor now. Canned peaches, cherries…wait..it’s canned fruit cocktail. That’s a first.
The citrus is now tangerine citrus. Ever buy those perfect little tangerines called “Halo?”
Even my German wife who hates anything that ain’t meat and potatoes loves them. That’s the citrus I taste in the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark.

There is another plug near the foot. Out comes the awl, and sure as shit, I crack the wrapper near the cap. Sonovabitch!
But, of course, now it smokes like a dream. I’m going to have a talk with my cousins Drew, Bobby, and Eric Newman about this. LOL.

I was just contacted by Bespoke Cigars. An outfit that used to be Cuban but is now making cigars using Central American tobacco. And blended by Hendrik Kelner. They are ensconced in Estonia and most sales are in Europe. There is one distributor in the States. Chicago. These cigars ain’t cheap. But they have a terrific reputation. It appears that they have cigars with blends made up of both Cuban and Central American tobacco.
They are sending me out 3 different samples on Monday. Will they be ready by the 10th? Or will I have to come back to review them. No idea.
Check out their web site. The cigars are gorgeous looking. And quite a variety.

Smoke time is 40 minutes.
Yep. Slow cigar.


The flavors: Creaminess, citrus, fruit, floral notes, sweetness, chocolate, malts, cherries, spice, espresso, cedar, and raisins.
The malts: Chocolate Rye Malt, Coffee Malt, Special B Malt, and Wheat Malt. (See Malt Chart).

The plug keeps self-healing thyself. Another short try with the awl and clear as a bell.
Flavors open like a beautiful flower. The complexity is ridiculous. So good.

Find the shekels and buy one. Go to Serious Cigars. I don’t have a relationship with them so no promo code. But the price is right for the single. Some pirate online stores are charging $75.00 for the 2014 Toast Across America. While most charge the original fee of $50.00.

Halfway point.
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.


I wish you could taste the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark right this moment. I loved the original Diamond Crown Julius Caeser and gave it a rating of 93.

The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark will be higher.

The shape and size of this stick makes a huge difference to the flavors. While retaining all of the original flavors, this blend is more intense and bold. Yet full of subtle characteristics that defy explanation or definition. This cigar is a masterful stroke of blending and rolling.
My only criticism is that it the cigar had a couple plugs in it that required drilling for oil to clear those obstructions.

Each time I clear the cigar, flavors explode. I wouldn’t say this is a flavor bomb because it is so mature and sophisticated that flavors meld into each other creating a giant ball of threads that bind everything together beautifully.

I’ve only had the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark for 2-3 weeks. The box was sealed and the cigars were in cellos. But they were released in 2014 which allowed some nice aging within the confines of the coffin.


I bet with a couple months of humidor time, the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark will make you cry for mommy.
Speaking of which, only 10 days to go after this review. And off into the sunset I ride.

Smoke time is one hour 40 minutes.
The cigar fooled me. I knew it would be a long smoke but not this long.

The main cigar band is removed and the crack caused by my cigar awl is in plain view. I manage to glue some of it and it should be fine.


Holy shit. Damn. Sonovabitch. This is some cigar blend. I believe it is supposed to be the same blend as the original but the intensity and complexity is vastly different from the Robusto I reviewed back in early December.

As much as I do not like 2-1/2 hour smokes, this cigar makes me want more.

The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark is packed too tightly. I’m still having on and off draw issues.
I’m sure this was a glitch in the rolling department so I will give J.C. Newman the benefit of the doubt and not punish them due to the over filled cigars.

The chocolate and the malts and the creaminess take over the lead. The red pepper returns with a vengeance and my tongue burns.
Strength is very full bodied.

The blend is one of the most well rounded blends I’ve smoked in a while. All due to the perfect complexity. The finish is a mile long.

I am positive that the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark is better than the Arturo Fuente OpusX Shark companion cigar. I’ve smoked several OpusX blends sent to me by readers. Most were over aged. But a couple weren’t. While excellent cigars, they don’t match the flavors, complexity, balance, and finish of the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark.

I would love to have a box of these.
The lovely and kind Newman boys sent me some original JC’s in the robusto size about two months ago. I haven’t smoked a single one yet. I think it is on the agenda for later today.

The crack seems to be holding. The draw is spot on.
This may be the first cigar I’ve reviewed worth the $15 price tag.

And certainly, just as good as some of the very expensive cigars I’ve reviewed. I loved the $25.00 Padrón Family Reserve 50 Years Natural and rated it 95.
The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark is a better cigar and $10 less.
Check out Anthony’s Cigar Emporium.

Final smoke time is two hours 10 minutes.



And now for something completely different:

Butch Patrick is a very personable and charismatic dude. When he is sober, that is.


I’ve read that he has been on the wagon for a year or two. I am happy for him. Alcohol was killing him. His problems back when we did the “Whatever Happened to Eddie” project was more about alcohol than drugs. He started drinking as soon as he woke up. Starting with beer and moving on to straight liquor as the day progressed.

Unfortunately, back in the early 80’s during my project, his behavior nearly killed me. He was a handful.

The record company and PR agency demanded I babysit him at all times when we did promotional tours. Normally, they just send the artist out alone. But Butch couldn’t be trusted to keep appointments. Half the time, he didn’t even know where he was when he woke up.

We did a big Chicago morning show. Same time that ex-Monkees, Peter Tork, had a new band. It was made up of very young heavy metal guys. Very strange. All leather and spiked hairdos and lots of chrome.
We sat in the green room with Tork, and his band, and all he did was piss and moan about the Monkees.
It got to be disgustingly obnoxious after a while.

That night, we did the same big club promotion. Peter’s band played. And guess what? 8 out of their 10 songs were all Monkees songs. Made me laugh. Especially since he really didn’t have much of a voice. And then there were his band mates all dressed in black leather and wearing spiked dog collars.

Tork and I traded T shirts. I had the Eddie Munster shirts and he had…guess what? T shirts that had the Monkees’ logo on it. Still have the shirt but I couldn’t fit into it without cutting myself in half.



Should have gotten him to sign it so I could sell it on eBay for $10.

That night, Butch and Peter spent a lot of time together. They both were knocking down shots of tequila like mad men. And Peter kept giving Butch coke to keep him from passing out.

They had a lot in common. Butch was only paid $400 per episode on The Munsters. Back then, a season was 25 shows. And the Munsters were only on for two seasons. Plus, this was before residuals were in play. So Butch doesn’t make a single nickel on all those replays of the series. He made a total of $20,000 for 50 shows.

On the other hand, Fred Gwynne was smart and demanded a cut of the show. So he was the only one to get residuals. It was a couple years after The Munsters ended that residuals were mandatory. So Butch did a bunch of 70’s shows and got residuals of $65-$75. When the checks came in the mail, they went to his mother’s house and she would cash them. He changed the address so they came to me because he trusted me. I would open the letters and see these terribly low checks for doing Mannix or The Brady Bunch.

Where was I? The club with Peter Tork.
Al I could think was oh no. Not again. I would have to pry him loose from the club at a decent hour because we had more promotion to do in the morning.

As was usually the case, I left without him. He had a hotel key. I insisted we share a room. For emergencies, of course. I had literally become his parent.
More than once, I had to bring him out of a drunken stupor to get him up and out the door to do the promotion on radio or TV.

One day, as the project was falling apart, Butch came to my house in Long Beach around noon.
He was living with his mother in Gardena.

I was having leftover spaghetti for lunch. And the screen door knocked and in walked Butch. Drunk as a skunk with a beer bottle in his hand.
He started throwing stupid ideas my way on how we could get the project back on track.

I asked him politely to allow me to finish my lunch and then I would gladly talk about it.
But no. He wouldn’t let up. The whole project was tearing me apart.

I kept asking, and then yelling, for him to shut up.

Finally, I couldn’t take it. I threw my plate of spaghetti against the wall where it stuck like glue.
He stopped talking and just stared at me and then the spaghetti on the wall.

And then back to his ideas again.
I got up and pushed him out of my house.

The dumb fuck had driven himself to my house drunk. So I pulled him back inside and locked him in my bathroom. Then I barricaded the bathroom door with the coffee table.

I sat back and watched some TV while Butch screamed.

After 30 minutes, I let him out. I made him drink several cups of coffee and sent him on his way. By that point, I didn’t care if he got caught by the cops. Best thing for him I thought.
More later….



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1 reply

  1. Got to try this cigar. I’ve been lighting all my cigars in a similar manner for about 3 years. Less side runs and better burn line most of the time. Still got to do occasional touch ups but far less than any other light up methods. Been smoking cigars since the 70’s so I’ve had a lot of time to experiment.
    What patience you exhibited with Butch. Way beyond anything I would have done. Of course the music business is famous for breeding alcoholics and drug addicts. Somehow with all the partying I’ve done I’ve made it mostly unscathed. I run my own band now for the past 27 years and it took a good 12 years to weed out the f***ups
    Now I’ve got a band of friends. ..brothers really. Just much easier to go out each week knowing the job will go right.


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