J.C. Newman Diamond Crown Maximus
Look Who’s Back! You guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
In 2003, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. debuted the Diamond Crown Maximus as a full-bodied complement to their portfolio of super premium cigar lines. The Maximus utilizes a wrapper grown in the El Bajo region of Ecuador by the Oliva family. It is blended by Carlito Fuente and manufactured at Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic.
The Maximus come in seven sizes:
- Double Corona 8×50
- Churchill 7×50
- Pyramid 6⅜x50
- Toro 6×50
- Robusto 5×50
- Double Robusto 5×56
- Double Belicoso 6¾x54
Prices run from $11.25 to $18.95 per cigar in boxes of 20
I’ve only had a few Diamond Crown cigars before, so I’m anxious to see how their fuller bodied line pans out. I got my Maximus from our great friends over at Cuenca Cigars.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian El Bajo sungrown
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size smoked for review: #6 Double Robusto 5×56
- Price: $12.45
- Smoking time: One hour, forty minutes
- Pairing: No-Li Brewhouse Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout (ABV 9.5%)
The Diamond Crown Maximus is a great looking cigar, sporting a wrapper that is consistently dark brown with a light sheen of oils and a few fine veins. The wrapper has a rather silky feel and is firmly rolled with tight seams and a solid pack. The colorful and intricate band looks well matched against the dark brown of the wrapper. An earthy barnyard aroma comes off the wrapper, while the foot shows rich earthy and woody tobacco. A v-cut reveals a somewhat snug, but very tolerable draw that brings up sweet earthy tobacco and light baking spices.
The draw proves not to be a problem, and the Maximus gives up a more than adequate amount of rich natural tobacco, sweet earth, oak, and spice. The smoke is smooth and rounded, as musk and bread soon make an appearance, and there is just a touch of pepper on the retrohale. Although the burn went off a bit for a short while, it has mostly self-corrected and the burn line is razor sharp, while the nearly white ash is solid with just a few flakes here and there, hanging on for an inch and a half. The sweet earthy tobacco and oak have settled into the driver’s seat, while the musk, bread, and spice play supporting roles. I’m glad to be smoking this cigar outdoors though, as it has been pumping out gobs of smoke as it sits on the edge of my ashtray.
The second third of the Diamond Crown Maximus ushers in a honeyed sweetness and what little pepper there was in the retrohale has completely dissipated. The sweetness is nicely complemented by the entry of a bit of savoriness. The musk and bread have also stepped up a bit, while a touch of cocoa creeps in. Near the end of this section, the sweetness has dialed back and the savory note has bumped up. The Maximus at this point is at a solid medium in body, with mild strength.
As it moves into the final third, the Maximus has struck a great balance between light sweetness and savoriness. The rich tobacco, wood, and bread, along with light musk and spice blend smoothly on the palate and there now there is even a bit of citrus on the back end. A small amount of char comes in at the very end and the 1” nub is very firm and absolutely cool to the touch, finishing up at near medium-full in body and still mild in strength with never a hint of harshness.
The Diamond Crown Maximus proved to be a very enjoyable smoke for me, with flavors that were smooth and complex enough to keep me engaged, even though there was not a lot in the way of transitions. Construction was excellent, and even though the burn wandered off a few times, I never had to do anything to get it back on track. It’s a cigar that anyone can enjoy, from novice to seasoned smoker, and at just about any time of the day. The price may be a little on the high side for me, but it wouldn’t deter me from picking up on it again for a cigar to just kick back with and relax without having to think about it too much.
I figured that this cigar would go best with a dark quaff that doesn’t have too much of the typical hopped-up bitterness that many West Coast stouts carry, so I went with one I knew is more on the smooth and malty side. Even though it has an IBU count of 100, the No-Li Wrecking Ball definitely lacks that common Northwest bitterness in its medium bodied profile. The rich flavors of mocha, prune and sweetness that deepen as it warms proved to be a perfect match with the Diamond Crown Maximus. A rich tawny port, or a sweet rum or bourbon would also pair well with it.