Diamond Crown Maduro by JC Newman | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Selection of 5 different fillers from the Caribbean and Central America
Size: 5.5 x 54 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $11.93


Today we take a look at the Diamond Crown Maduro by JC Newman.
JC Newman sent me samples about 5 months ago.

BACKGROUND:
FACTORY: Tabacalera A. Fuente
That’s it. I couldn’t find a lick of info about this cigar anywhere, including the Newman web site. Go figure.

SIZES AND PRICING:
No. 3 Toro: 6.5 x 54 $14.73
No. 4 Robusto: 5.5 x 54 $11.93
No. 5 Robusto: 4.5 x 54 $11.07
No. 6 Pyramid: 6 x 46/54 $19.93
No. 7 Torpedo: 6.75 x 54 $18.40

APPEARANCE:
In room light, it appears to be a nice-looking stick with a coppery bronze hued wrapper. With the proper light, it exposes an oiled-up wrapper that is an artist’s pallet of gorgeous browns, blacks, and burnt umber.

Seams are visible but are as tight as llama’s butt crack…don’t ask, I just know.

The toothiness envelops the stick. There are lots of small bumps and lumps covering the cigar. The cap is a bit malformed; but the triple cap lines are virtually hidden. And the cigar band is perfectly in tune with the cigar’s wrapper color.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Big fat chocolatey floral notes. Sweet things appear as caramel, baked apple, black licorice, chocolate covered raisins, cedar, barnyard, black pepper, and Chinese spices.

The cold draw presents flavors of decadent dark cocoa, black pepper, vanilla creaminess, meatiness, licorice, the sweet thing list, cedar, and rich tobacco.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is pretty good. But since I have the means and device to make any cigar meet my preference as far as its resistance goes, I choose to use my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool to clean it up a tad. Now, I get that perfection that I feel allows me to receive the best from the blend. I’m telling you, dudes, that once you become addicted to Dr. Rod’s tool, your world is an open oyster when it comes to controlling the draw on your $15 cigar…or $3 bundle stick.

The nice thing about reviewing a maduro is that my slobber will not be displayed in all its glory in my photos.

Gov’t Mule is playing…love that band.

The house is a’fire with churning smoke. It is a cumulus cloud of burnt tobacco detritus. How glorious.

Flavors waste no time in standing at attention: A savory meatiness that is to die for, such a decadent dark cocoa that makes me hungry for a Swiss or German chocolate bar, caramel that seems to drip like on a hot day, black pepper that is on point in being nicely balanced…no overload…a strong mixed nuts element (that happens when you are a senior citizen and get out of bed in the morning while you are wearing boxers), there is a potent vanilla ice cream component that seems unlikely in this darkened presentation, raisins and dates, Hamantaschen using dried prune and delicate pastry, a beautifully savory grilled meat complexity, cedar, and rich tobacco.

Whew. That was just the first quarter of an inch.

The burn is a touch non-fastidious but does not need touching up at this point.

Crikey…the fucking landscapers are out in force this morning. I am in a second-floor apartment overlooking a massive grassy knoll with a huge variety of 50-60-year-old trees; with trimmed hedges and bushes. They are using Land Rover sized mowers and big gas operated trimmers just next to my building. It sounds like the D-Day landing. My allergies go bat shit crazy and I close the windows as tears pour from my eyes.

Creaminess leaps to the forefront.
Strength is medium.

And now the complexity of the blend kicks in…transitions are slow in reacting; but the finish is meaty and sweet.

A first sip of water and flavors don’t leap out, but the rich tobacco taste does.
The cigar is turning into quite the nice blend…can it keep it up?

I smoked one a week after I got them 5 months ago and thought it was a waste of time. I could not discern blender’s intent and, therefore, forgot about them. Clearly, these blends need plenty of naked humi time before their hymen explodes.

Construction is on par with any well-made cigar out there. The ash is heavy and dares me to smoke it…dangling over my naughty bits.
I jinxed it. Moments after finishing the last sentence, the massive ash descends, missing my frog-like genitalia, and hits my bare leg just above the knee. I let out a girlish scream and grab my blankey and binky…I’m OK now.

SECOND THIRD:
Strength inches towards medium/full.

The blend makes a leap. Transitions are in full swing. Balance, nuance, and subtlety are in play. Flavors make a run for the border. They blossom in this second third as if the first third was merely a tease. (Remember high school? Every guy that regularly fought blue balls, raise your wallet with the condom imprint in it).

No new flavors enter. The existing ones just flourish like a mother fucker. They are big and bold and have no guilt. The flavors are lopping off heads with a machete used in the Spanish American War.

$12 for the Robusto is a fair price for this quality. I don’t know about the $19-$20 Torpedo and Pyramid. The extra length of the cigar doesn’t seem to warrant that kind of price jump.

This is a great cigar for newbies. A good learning tool for your palate; while not blowing you out of the water with too much strength. Of course, I’m not into the second half yet; so, I may need to take back everything.

This is a densely packed cigar and is a slow and relaxed smoke. The flavors never stop the assault. The richness of this tobacco is glorious.

Maltiness shows up for the first time; slightly tilting the other flavors. It’s now a chocolate malted ice cream shake…with a big piece of spicy beef jerky emerging from the glass.

The ash seems stable but disengages at unexpected moments. I rummage through Charlotte’s dresser and find a few pair of her panties. I put them on to cover myself. She won’t mind if she discovers large burn holes in dainties. This is good advice, men…always cover your privates when smoking a cigar. Even with jeans on, an ash stained fly will make women think it hasn’t been in action for decades.

I got my schedule for Prime Cigar and got a whopping 20 out of 30 days in the trenches. Not sure how this will affect my reviewing schedule. Thankfully, nearly half of my shifts are PM shifts. I was born for this retirement job.

We are at a bona fide medium/full and stationary. No delusional behavior seems to be on the horizon. Another jinx?

I’m played in The Todd Hart Band in the 90’s while living in Phoenix. Todd has an amazing voice and spent time as the vocalist for British blues band Savoy Brown. We were in our first set when a drunken guy at a nearby table yells out “Free Bird!” Evidently, I made a face that the patron did not appreciate, and he tried to take me out. Playing bass has all sorts of perks. One is as a weapon. Ever get hit in the face by the head stock of a Fender P? If you have, you would have no recollection due to massive brain damage.

Like a light switch, the blend mellows out and becomes so smooth that is like rubbing your face on your woman’s tush.

JC Newman did a great job with this blend. I’ve found that the Diamond Crown is an OK cigar but nothing like this Maduro version. This is money.

A few months ago, a reader commented I should try this cigar. Fortunately, I was overwhelmed with Covid so it got the appropriate rest in my humidor. If you smoke this baby too early, you’re fucked.

Here they are in all their cacophonous glory: Ultra creaminess, a chocolate that melts your ear lobes, a strong smoky meatiness, caramel, dried fruit, malt, black pepper, raw cashews, cedar, vanilla bean, espresso, and the slightest hint of citrus.

The blend never takes a step back. Forward into battle with 1000 Phoenicians ready for war.

LAST THIRD:
As I only smoked one before the blend was ready, I was a bit wary of how this review would have been directed. Not so much anymore.

The dried fruit adds an exceptional balancing tool for this blend. The pruniness is rich and sweet; along with the flaky, buttery notes of pastry.

No nicotine.
I believe the cigar will finish at medium/full.

The giant morph begins. Flavors do the mind meld and the Time Warp succinctly and clean. Individual flavors diminish as the cigar begins its next move. Houston, we have no problems. The cigar is now a concoction of all its been. Smooth and balanced. A perfect tandem of savory v. sweet.

Clearly, the undisclosed, multi-country 5 filler leaves are driving the bus. I still have 3 sticks left. It is going to be difficult not to smoke them over the next couple of days. Thank goodness, the DC Maduro is a regular production cigar.

There is something extra special about the first cigar of the day; not encumbered by the day’s food caught in your teeth. One thing I should add…except for a review cigar, I never dissect a cigar blend on my journey to smoke 5 sticks per day. The only purpose of a review is to alert you to its possibilities. Whether you taste what I taste is immaterial. What I expect from my cigar stash is that I enjoy each one I smoke. If I had to use cigar review concentration in every cigar I smoke, my face will end up looking like a crushed walnut. We all know when a cigar is good and when it ain’t. That’s what counts.

This 5 x 54 Robusto is going to be, nearly, a 2-hour journey. If the bigger cigars are as well made as this baby, you are looking at all day suckers.

Ever notice how some great blends put you in a place of quiet and serenity? Everything slows down and you are in the moment for an hour or two. I dread cursing at a cigar. Ruins everything.

A small amount of Vitamin N appears but causes no major disabilities in my physical demeanor. It is rare that a medium/full blend does not escalate to barn burner in the last third. This blend is supremely controlled. It will remain medium/full to the non-bitter end.

“Crossfire” by SRV is playing. You blues players…how many times have you performed this song?

After switching to playing in blues bands in the late 80’s, there is no end to the tunes you can play. But if you don’t have an SRV tune in each set; well, you will be scorned.
Excellent cigar. Buy one or buy a box. Let them rest.

RATING: 93

And now for something completely different:
1974

I was at George Martin’s (The Beatles’ producer) recording studio, AIR Studios, in London participating in the mixing of the 1974 “Curved Air Live” album. For those of you who know, and for those that don’t….half the fun of recording an album is just hanging in the control booth; watching and listening to the exciting mix of the music. It beats staying home and watching TV. You never know who you will run in to. Plus, they feed you.

Since it was a live album, the recording was finished. Now it was just watching the producer and engineer mix it. At age 24, I didn’t have any producing experience yet; so, this was pretty much Alice looking through the Looking Glass. I asked a lot of questions which annoyed the producer who turned out to be a real schmuck.

I kept telling him that he was mixing the bass line old school…way in the background. He hadn’t caught up with the times, especially from the likes of the jazz fusion bands breaking through in America. I played well and I wanted to be able to hear it pounding away. He kept telling me to be patient which was his way of saying, “Get away from me boy, you’re bothering me.”

I sealed my fate with the band, and not in a good way, when during a playback with management and the band present, the managing director of BTM Records announced to the group “I guess we know who the star of this album is.”
I cringed. The leader, Darryl Way, had a look of disgust on his face at that declaration. I kept my mouth shut.

After the album had been released, I ran into our producer at some club. The first thing he said to me was: “You were right. I should have had the bass more upfront.”
I thought: “You rat bastard fuck face cock sucker.” I certainly appreciated his smug comment during mixing that “Bassists always want to hear more bass. Sit down and let me do my job.” Ass wipe.

I am proud to say that while the others in the band had to come in, and spend hours, to overdub their mistakes, I had one single dub. One note. Just one note had to be fixed on a live recording. The others gave me the stink eye because I sat back and watched them struggle with placing new notes on an already recorded song. Timing had to be perfect. Sort of like lip syncing.

I was the new member. And I played some very complicated bass lines. So, my near perfection caused some temporary jealousy. I had only been with the band two weeks before we took off on the road. And the live album was recorded over two gigs in the first week of the tour. I feared I would become self-conscious and play a ton of clams. But the music took me away on a magic carpet ride and I lived in the moment…playing my ass off. I literally led the band during a couple songs where there were very long improv segments in the middle of the tunes…”Propositions” and “Young Mother.”

Air Studio had two studios in the same location. Next to each other. While we were using Studio B, Pete Townshend was using Studio A to mix the movie soundtrack to the movie, “Tommy.”

One late night, Sonja and I were sitting on the floor with our backs against one of the plush sofas. We had just smoked a doob and were conversing about life. The sofa was in the farthest location from the door. And the room was huge. George Martin spared no dough in making this control booth a plush living room.

I noticed the door opening, about 20 feet away, and the guy looked up. The studio was dimly lit. For mood, I guess. Helps with the artistry.

In walks a man who I can’t quite make out. As he looks our way, he heads toward us. The closer he came, the more my jaw dropped. It was Pete Townshend coming over for a visit with Sonja. Curved Air was a legendary band in Europe from the late 60’s to the late 70’s. And Pete and Sonja were good friends.

Pete was thin. Very thin. I later found out that this was the period in his life where he did a lot of heroin.
He sat down next to Sonja making it a Sonja sandwich. They hugged and exchanged kisses. I was close to shitting myself. I didn’t blink or take a breath. Fucking Pete Townshend was sitting two feet from me.

Now if you want to be taken seriously in any business, you must act natural at meeting anyone of note or your presence is ignored, so I did my best to be cool. Be a peer, not a fan.

A minute or two in, Sonja nodded in my direction and introduced me to Pete. We shook hands. I was literally shaking. I muttered something unintelligible. Clicks and whistles.
We sat there for a couple of hours, rolling and lighting one joint after another. I normally did not chain smoke joints. But in the presence of greatness, one did not say “Sorry. I’ve had enough.”

Before long, all three of us were laughing like idiots and Pete told Sonja that he thought I was an all-right chap. The grin remained on my face for days.

Pete got to listen to my playing on the play back in the studio and when he felt it was time to leave, he stood above me, shook my hand, and asked if I wanted to jam tomorrow night?
Of course, I said yes and told him I would make sure our drummer, Stewart Copeland, was there.

I barely slept or ate in the next 24 hours in anticipation. Back then, long distance calls to America were really expensive. But I didn’t care and called every friend I could think of to tell them what was about to happen.

The night came and we played for countless hours. Time had no meaning except when we stopped to light one up. We were in their little side studio of Studio A (8 x 12) and I was touching distance to Keith Moon’s drums, John Entwistle’s basses, and a mic stand belonging to Roger Daltrey with a schmata/scarf wrapped around the shaft. But the band hadn’t even come into the studio that day. They were fabulously rich and didn’t need to hang out in the studio for fun.

We didn’t play one Who song. We just jammed. And because I was into the jazz fusion scene which really hadn’t made it the English shores quite yet, I had the responsibility of providing pounding Stanley Clarke-like riffs for us to woodshed on.

At one point, he teased us with the offer to produce our next album, which never happened. My only regret was that the session was taped the whole time. I never asked for a copy.
I was in the mode of: “I will always be in the music biz and this was only the start.”
The strange musings of a naïve 24-year-old.

Now I’m just a washed up, 15 minutes of rock stardom musician, but boy, do I cherish those memories!







Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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6 replies

  1. A great review and another “stogie” (not that it’s cheap) to add to my “to try” list. As I prefer the look and taste of a Maduro cigar.

    As a side note, (pardon the pun) do you ever not cut the cap? I typically use a boring tool so not to deal with loose particles of tobacco.

  2. This is one my favorite sticks. I have a box of the robustos, stole them for 70 off cbid you won’t find them for sale much

    Reminds me of the Olivia master blends 3. But even a smoother smoke with bolder flavors

    Not a big transition cigar but one i thoroughly enjoy to smoke and relax. Glad you enjoyed it my friend.

    It was one I had marked for you to review and send, I guess my mission will be to search for something else you haven’t reviewed In my stash.

  3. I could never smoke a Newman because ive been watching Seinfeld again. Just can’t do it. You made it tempting though, as usual.

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