Wrapper: Ecuadorian Havana
Size: 5 x 52 “Perfecto”
Price: $11.50 MSRP
Humidor Aging Time: 5 months
Today we take a look at the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser 1895 Perfecto Special Reserve.
Many thanks to Drew Newman, Bobby Newman, and Eric Newman of J.C. Newman for the samples.
It turns out that my grandfather and Julius Ceaser Newman were best friends. Both from Hungary. Both from Cleveland. Both Jewish.
My gramps owned a popular saloon in Cleveland. And he stocked Newman cigars.
Gramps was a big cigar smoker. He passed that on to my dad and to me. In fact, my first cigar was when I was 15 while taking a walk with him, and Julius, on his twice a year visit to Long Beach.
Whenever Gramps came to visit, so did Julius. I would always take walks with them while they smoked cigars and spoke mostly in Hungarian. But I loved both my grandfather and Julius so much that all that mattered was that I with them.
Julius bought me this weird contraption. A surrey with the fringe on top. You pedaled it like a bicycle to make it move. It had a front bench and back bench that seated four kids. I was the hit of the neighborhood. It had to be expensive.
I’ve come to know Drew, Bobby, and Erick Newman. They sent me a box of these cigars for my birthday.
Julius wrote an autobiography in 1957 called “Smoke Dreams.” I’ve read it several times. Most of the content is about how Julius built his business. Not a lot of info about family and friends.
There are only 100 pristine books left in the world and the Newman brothers sent me a copy with a nice inscription. They now call me “Cousin Phil.”
Julius was much older than my grandfather and his death hit my gramps hard. Right up to the day my grandfather died, he spoke of Julius all the time. He carried a beautiful photo of both of them in his wallet. I should have asked for that photo after Gramps died but I was so heartbroken, things like that never entered my mind.
Yet, I’m sure I have photos of the both of them but they are in boxes that we are currently going through since moving to a small apartment. Something Charlotte and I have put off straightening out for the longest time.
So this review is dedicated to Julius Ceaser Newman and Harold Armin Kohn.
Released in 2013.
The original Julius Ceaser was released in 2010.
The Special Reserve only comes in this perfecto size.
From the Cigar Aficionado web site:
“It was 1895 when Hungarian émigré Julius C. Newman founded a cigar company in his family’s barn in Cleveland. Today his grandsons Eric and Bobby run what he began, making J.C. Newman one of the oldest cigar companies around. The family business moved long ago from Cleveland to Tampa, Florida, and J.C. Newman still makes its own machine-made cigars, but its handmade cigar brands are now all made offshore. The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser brand is made for the Newmans by their longtime partners the Fuentes, and the cigar brand is named after the founder of the company, a strong-willed man who took the middle name Caeser when he came to America and was told he needed a middle name.”
Julius came to this country in 1888. And the 1875 is a celebration of Julius’ first cigar. It was a perfecto.
The Diamond Crown J.C. is blended and produced at the Fuente factory in the D.R. All very well aged tobacco. And produced in small batches.
This about as perfect as a perfecto as I’ve seen. Flawlessly consistent from one stick to another. An impeccable flat cap that has hidden the striations made by the cap lines. I assume it is a triple cap.
The oily, mocha/penny colored wrapper is mottled and almost translucent. Beautifully constructed. Seams are virtually invisible.
The stick is mostly smooth to the touch but with a bit of toothiness here and there.
The classic rock station I listen to while I smoke and write is hitting one out of the park this morning.
Right now, it’s Joe Cocker doing “Feelin’ Alright.” My God, it came out in 1970 when I was 20.
I love the cigar band. Classic. It is an elegant band with Julius decked out as the original Roman, Julius Caesar.
Now I’m listening to Zep playing “Dazed and Confused.” One of the most distinctive opening bass lines in musical history. Back in 1969 and 1970, I played in a band that played out all the time. I got shivers as I started that bass line and the crowd cheered. Fortunately, we had a singer that had Plant down cold.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell strong floral notes, milk chocolate, espresso, sweetness, spice, cedar, and raw cashews.
From the clipped cap, I smell barnyard, floral notes, a big dose of red pepper, chocolate, coffee, generic sweetness, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate, caramel, pepper, green veggies, cedar, roasted nuts, and malts.
We blast out of the seat with a huge dose of red pepper. Great draw…loads of smoke.
The blend is very nutty along with a nice dose of creaminess. There is also caramel, coffee, a bit of orange zest, cedar, bread, and malt.
Man, this cigar is delicious. I reviewed the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Shark (Toast Across America 2014) and it got a 96. I reviewed the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Robusto and I gave it a 93.
The big difference is the binder and filler. In both aforementioned cigar blends, they were both Dominican. On this blend, they are Honduran and Nicaraguan, respectively.
One thing I don’t care for on perfecto shapes is that it is difficult to maintain an even burn at the beginning of the experience. I just had to do a minor fix. It should hold.
Strength is classic medium.
The Newmans probably thought I forgot about them by not reviewing this blend right away. I wanted to put some decent time on it before writing about it. And I’ve been rewarded.
After several reviews of extremely strong bodied blends, it is nice to smoke an easy medium body blend. After yesterday’s review, I had to lie in bed for half an hour to get the spinning to stop.
The creaminess and caramel really surface dramatically to the top of the flavor profile.
I can taste black grapes. Very unusual. This is the generic sweetness I mentioned earlier.
For some reason, there are only a handful of reviews. I was shocked when I read that Halfwheel only gave it an 80. While other reviews were in the 90 range. Of course, Halfwheel got “Pre-Release” sticks. I’m guessing he didn’t wait months for it to mature in his humidor. Just spit ballin’.
Here are the malts: Aromatic Malt, Brown Malt, Cara Vienna, and Coffee Malt, (See Malt Chart).
The aromatic malt and the Brown malt are spot on. This is one good smellin’ cigar. And the bread quality is very much like a warm biscuit right out of the oven.
Smoke time is 30 minutes.
I highly respect the folks at Halfwheel but they got it wrong on this blend.
The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser 1895 Perfecto Special Reserve is a great blend.
I found several online stores selling the cigar for a few shekels less than the MSRP above. That is if you buy a box…then it’s around $10.00. But if you buy a single, it is the price shown above.
The thing about a real perfecto is that because of the taper at each end, the body of the smoke is probably only 4”, not 5”. But the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser 1895 Perfecto Special Reserve is packed solid and a slow roll.
The flavors: Caramel, nuts, creaminess, malts, orange zest, cedar, coffee, spice, and biscuits.
The strength remains at an even keeled medium body. And NO nicotine. Huzzah.
The small size of this cigar leaves you wanting more.
It became complex a long time ago. Yet the flavors are distinct and lovely.
Normally, when a manufacturer sends me cigars, I don’t add one of my X rated rock n roll stories. But I found some clean stories to add.
The malt elements are screaming laughter.
The spiciness has returned from being nearly insignificant. Black pepper this time around.
Again, the creaminess, caramel, coffee, and orange zest lead the race.
Without a single note of nicotine, I can really enjoy this blend without hallucinating.
When I finish this review, I will have a bowl of cereal and light up another one.
I have the feeling that my grandfather and Julius are looking down and smiling.
The Diamond Crown Julius Caeser 1895 Perfecto Special Reserve is almost done. A shame because I am enjoying the hell out of it.
The black pepper surges to eye watering and nose running.
With 1-1/4” to go, the cigar remains cool and without a hint of harshness.
Once again, I want to thank my cousins, the Newmans for sending me the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser 1895 Perfecto Special Reserve cigars. What a treat.
Newbies may apply. The perfect cigar for these folks but also an excellent pick for sophisticated palates.
Surprisingly, this last bit of cigar soars with flavors. So intense.
A great cigar but one that needs extensive humidor aging. I can only imagine how good they will taste with a year on them.
Clearly, I highly recommend the Diamond Crown Julius Caeser 1895 Perfecto Special Reserve.
And now for something completely different:
Now this is a really bizarre event in my life…yes, it’s about drugs; but nonexistent drugs.
Let me take you back…..1979. I was 29 and the tenant improvement superintendent of a large mall renovation in Orange, CA. But I was also in a great band playing out on the weekends.
The job was soon coming to a close and the 7 or 8 people still on the job were pretty close as a group.
One Monday, Sheila, told me she had gone sky diving. Based on what I knew about her, I was shocked. It did lead me to start skydiving. I did over 30 jumps over the next two years.
Her husband was the CFO for Tishman Construction California. I knew him very well.
As a result of Sheila’s jump, I went a few weeks later and started my long drawn out stretch to the land of being disabled.
I would sit in Sheila’s office and listen to her. At first the conversation was normal, but then it sunk into something unsavory. She whined…she pissed and moaned and it never ended. She complained about her marriage. Her husband was a good looking man and Sheila….well, was Sheila.
I visited her husband in the hospital after some minor surgery to his arm. He started doing the same thing. Oh lord.
I really had had it. I made a big effort to stay away from them. But one morning, Sheila called me into her office, crying.
I plopped myself on to the chair opposing her desk. I could feel my eyes roll up.
And then all I heard was blah, blah, blah. Complaining about her marriage ad nauseum. She kept asking me if she should seek out therapy, or meds.
I finally blurted out, “Well maybe you should just go out and buy some heroin for all the good that therapy and anti-depressants will help.”
And with that, I got up and left.
Never underestimate the fury of a pissed off woman.
She called her husband, who was still in the hospital under the influence of pain killers; and told him that I tried to sell her heroin.
A couple days later, I noticed my boss looking at me strangely. Watching me. A day or so after that, the BIG boss came out from Westwood in L.A. to talk to me.
The boss was an old family friend and he questioned me without ever telling me what the questioning was really about.
I was confused over that hour of interrogation. I didn’t know what he wanted from me.
He finally ended it and said he was satisfied but, “Phil. I don’t want to ever catch you doing this again!!”
“Do WHAT again?” He never turned around and headed for his car.
I sauntered into my boss’ office in the work trailer. My chin hit my chest and told my boss I thought my career was over but I didn’t know why.
So he told me why.
I ran over to the construction office and began yelling at Sheila. I got on the phone and began yelling at her husband.
Everyone apologized to me. And I told them all to go take a hike. After that episode, they constantly tried to make it up to me but I would have none of it.
I guess it was karma on my part. Everyone was embarrassed in my presence because of the horrible accusation started by an unstable woman and passed on to a man full of pain killers and then to the Big Cheese of the company.
I learned then, that your co-workers are not your friends no matter how it may seem. At one time, they will turn on you and use your own words against you. Never fails.
And now for something completely different Part 2:
I had a large group of friends back in the early 80’s. Why? I owned one of only two recording studios in Long Beach, Ca. Population 350,000.
We did well. While we recorded hundreds upon hundreds of bands, we specialized in dong radio commercials. My partner engineered and I produced. I always had the last word on the mix. And I worked with the talent to get the most out of them.
We were young and had vibrant souls. Age had not taken us down yet. I was 31.
All sorts of bands recorded with us…but there is one that sticks out: a radical punk band whose name I cannot remember.
They were always on meth. And they insisted on recording at 8am on Sunday mornings….probably to keep the buzz going from staying up all night and partying. They always made me nervous.
None of their songs lasted more than one minute. And they insisted we record them directly to two track instead of the 16 tracks we offered.
This meant no overdubs. No mixing. Everything was recorded live and the levels were locked in.
They would come in and lay down 20 songs in 4 hours. It was exhausting. They always brought an entourage with them and I brought in extra security when they were recording because they had a tendency to steal things.
One Saturday night, they decided to rent our rehearsal studio next door. It wasn’t so much a rehearsal as it was a massive party with hundreds of their friends showing up.
The first and last time they did this, I carried a 38 revolver in my pants. They got unruly early.
An hour or so into the party, they were ruining our P.A. system we provided with the rental. If it didn’t work right, they had a tendency to bang on it and kick it. And over amped the speaker towers. Not good.
We had a nice lounge outside the actual rehearsal space and it was full. And there was a big crowd outside on the sidewalk because there wasn’t enough room inside.
I saw with my own eyes as men and women were vomiting on the outside and inside walls of the studio. I saw one guy actually peeing in the corner of the lounge. That was enough. I called 911.
The cops heard the words punk band and they showed up in droves. They completely blocked the 4 lane road outside our studio near the beach of downtown Long Beach. Two cars of K-9 units arrived. And the biggest cops I had ever seen arrived as well with their batons at the ready.
They began to arrest people as they were caught, unaware, as they smoked doobies.
The head cop asked what I wanted? I told him to get them out of my studio. Fast!
About 15 cops started to round up everyone and shooed them outside, frisking most of them; discovering drug paraphernalia.
The band had trashed my studio. And they started screaming they wanted their money back. $10 an hour…or they wouldn’t leave. Wrong thing to say.
Cops dragged people out of the studio by their tri-colored mohawks.
Several news crews showed up. And then a riot began. More cops showed up and with them came a SWAT truck.
I stood very closely to the largest cop there. He had his arm around me to make sure the idiots noticed that I was under protection.
It took almost an hour for things to calm down and for the bums to be removed by their own volition or by being arrested.
One of the band members threatened to kill me right in front of my big cop. So that cop drew his club from his belt and beat the living shit out of him, the whole time asking, “Who are you going to kill?”
When it was all over, and the cops left, I perused the damage done. It looked like Hurricane Katrina had moved through there. I sat on a pee stained couch in the lounge and put my head in my hands.
The PA was ruined. And it would take us several days to clean up.
Needless to say, the punk band was not allowed to return and I always kept my .38 cal revolver nearby. Every time I went next door to either the recording studio or the rehearsal studio, I carefully looked out the door first. When it seemed safe, I made the 20 foot journey. I just knew I was going to be shot in a punk band drive by.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS