Late last year, J.C. Newman Cigar Company released its long-awaited Diamond Crown Black Diamond. Diamond Crown is J.C. Newman’s most premium cigar line and the Black Diamond is a maduro offering under that brand. The story of the Black Diamond traces back to 2013 when, just prior to the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, J.C. Newman announced it was rebranding its Diamond Crown Maduro to Black Diamond. That same year, we saw a Diamond Crown Maduro Torpedo (6 1/2 x 52) branded with a secondary band as Black Diamond as a part of its 2013 Toast Across America sampler. As J.C. Newman planned to launch the brand, the company started to examine the blend. After soliciting input from consumers and retailers, the blend was changed and eventually new packaging was put in place. Fast forward to the 2016 IPCPR and a new iteration of the project was showcased. Finally, on “Black Friday” November 25, 2016, the Black Diamond would hit the shelves. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Diamond Crown Black Diamond in the Emerald (Toro) size. Sometimes good things come to those who wait. In the case of the Black Diamond Emerald, this is a cigar that fits the bill.
In a similar way to how it rolled out Julius Caeser (the last new Diamond Crown cigar to be released prior to Black Diamond), the Black Diamond was first rolled out to those retailers who were Diamond Crown lounges. Earlier this year, the Black Diamond was put into a more widespread release.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Black Diamond features a Sun Grown wrapper from Connecticut that was aged for eight years and underwent extended fermentation. The Dominican tobaccos used in the binder and filler are grown at the Chateau de la Fuente farm and have not been used on any other blend before. As with all Diamond Crown branded cigars, the Black Diamond is made at Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia.
Wrapper: Sun Grown Connecticut Maduro
Binder: Dominican (Chateau de la Fuente)
Filler: Dominican (Chateau de la Fuente)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia)
The Black Diamond has been released in three sizes. Each is packaged in 20-count black lacquer boxes.
Radiant: 4 1/2 x 54
Emerald: 6 x 52
Marquis 5 1/4 x 56
There was also a limited edition 7 5/8 x 54 perfecto of the Black Diamond that was released as a part of the 2016 Toast Across America sampler.
The Connecticut maduro wrapper of the Black Diamond Emerald has a rich chocolate brown color to it. Upon closer examination, there was a slight amount of darker mottling that could be seen on the surface. The wrapper was on the smooth side. Most of the wrapper seams were decently hidden due to the dark color of the wrapper. There were only a few visible veins.
The Black Diamond features design with primarily a silver, black, and a near sapphire-blue color scheme. The center of the band has an oval field surrounded by silver and black. On that field is a silver and red crown with the text “BLACK DIAMOND in silver font below it. Just below that is the text “EST 1895” in a smaller silver font. The text “DIAMOND CROWN” is in silver on the upper part of the surrounding ring. The remaining band has silver, black, and sapphire-blue adornments. On the left side of the band is the text “DOMINICAN REPUBLIC” in small silver font on a black background. The right side of the band has the text “HANDCRAFTED | EST 1895” – also in silver font on a black background. On the far right of the ban is a small silver and black shield with the initials “JCN” on it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I commenced the cigar experience of the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald with a straight cut to remove the cap. After the cap was clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of sweet cocoa, earth, and a subtle maduro sweetness. I describe maduro sweetness as a cross between natural tobacco and dried fruit. Overall I considered the pre-light experience of this cigar to be excellent. At this point, I was ready to fire up the Black Diamond Emerald and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald started out with notes of mocha (a cross of chocolate and coffee), earth, classic wood, cedar, and a combination of red and white pepper. During the first third, the mocha and earth notes became primary. The wood and cedar notes settled in the background where some maduro sweetness also entered the equation. The pepper notes were much more distant on the tongue. On the retro-hale, I found the pepper more prominent and there also was some more cedar mixed in.
By the second third, the mocha and earth notes remained primary. I found the wood and cedar combination increased in intensity. At the same time, the maduro sweetness dialed back. There still was some pepper lingering on the tongue, but it remained prominent on the retro-hale.
As the Black Diamond Emerald entered the last third, the cedar and wood notes eclipsed the mocha and earth. There still was some level of maduro sweetness present. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From a burn standpoint, I found the Black Diamond Emerald did require some touch-ups along the way. For the most part, the burn path and burn line were straight, but there were a couple of points where I felt the cigar needed a little help to maintain an even burn. The resulting ash was firm with a nice gray color to it. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Black Diamond Emerald had a touch of resistance – which is something that I like. As a result, I found this cigar delivered an ideal draw for my liking.
Strength and Body
From a strength standpoint, I found the Black Diamond Emerald to land right in the middle of the spectrum, coming in at a medium level. In terms of the body, I found the flavors had some nice depth and I assessed them as being medium to full. I didn’t find much variance in the strength and body levels from start to finish.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge from start to finish.
One thing I like about J.C. Newman is that they never rush a cigar to market. It has to be ready. With the Diamond Crown Black Diamond, the company delivers an excellent maduro. In particular I found the Emerald (Toro) vitola of the line is where this particular cigar shines. This is a cigar I would certainly recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast, but it is certainly a nice cigar for a novice looking to move to something medium/medium plus. At $20.00, this is definitely an ultra-premium cigar – and it’s one that is worth the price. I give it a box worthy rating.
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium to High
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: J.C. Newman Diamond Crown Black Diamond to Debut at 2016 IPCPR Trade Show
Brand Reference: Diamond Crown
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted.