In 2022, J.C. Newman Cigar Company would release a revamped version of its Diamond Crown Black Diamond line. The revamped Black Diamond would include new packaging and a modified blend. The Black Diamond is one of three brands J.C. Newman has revamped packaging and blends for – the others being Perla Del Mar and El Baton. At the time the change was made Drew Newman of J.C. Newman Cigar Company said “Although our Diamond Crown Black Diamond cigars have been savored by cigar enthusiasts around the world for six years, I was not satisfied and wanted to make them better.” Today we take a closer look at the revamped Diamond Crown Black Diamond in the Emerald (Toro) size.
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. Five years later, J.C. Newman announced it was revamping the Black Diamond blend and packaging, and in 2022 the latest iteration of Black Diamond would hit the market.
Without further ado, let’s break down the latest iteration of the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Diamond Crown Black Diamond features a dark Connecticut Havana wrapper over all Dominican binder and filler tobaccos. On paper, the components look similar to the previous iteration of the Black Diamond, but according to Drew Neman, the blend was “strengthened and refined” from the previous iteration. As with all J.C. Newman Diamond Crown cigars, production for the Black Diamond is handled out of Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Connecticut Havana
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
The 2022 edition of the Diamond Crown Black Diamond is available in the same sizes (with the same vitola names) as the previous iteration. All cigars are presented in 20-count boxes.
Radiant: 4 1/2 x 54
Emerald: 6 x 52
Marquis 5 1/4 x 56
The Connecticut Havana wrapper of the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald had a rich, roasted espresso-bean color to it. There were some oils present on the surface of the wrapper. There also were some visible veins. The dark color of the wrapper did a good job at hiding the wrapper seams.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap on the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald. Once the cap was clipped, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of mocha (a cross of chocolate and coffee), mixed fruit, and a slight pepper note. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band on the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald, toast up the cigar, and proceed into the smoking phase.
The Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald opened up with notes of earth, chocolate, coffee, mixed fruit, and cedar. While there was a “mocha fusion of the chocolate and coffee on the pre-light draw, the notes were separate and distinct during the smoking experience. It took a while for a dominant note to emerge, but eventually, the coffee and earth notes emerged in the forefront. The fruit notes were a close secondary note with the chocolate and cedar notes slightly further back. On the retro-hale, there was a layer of red pepper.
At the start of the second third of the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald, the fruit notes joined the coffee in the forefront. For a while the earth notes settled in the forefront with the cedar, chocolate, and some newly emerged red pepper notes on the tongue. By the midway point, there was a change and the earth notes displaced the coffee and fruit notes. Meanwhile, as the cigar moved through the early part of the second half, there was an increase in the pepper.
The last third didn’t see much change. The earth notes remained primary. The pepper notes ramped up to become one of the bolder of the secondary notes. Meanwhile the chocolate, coffee, fruit, and cedar rounded things out. This is the way the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald required multiple touch-ups to maintain a straight burn line and straight burn path. While the touch-ups worked to keep the burn on track, there were more touch-ups required than I preferred. The resulting ash was light gray with some darker spots mixed with it. This was an ash that was on the firmer side.
The draw was inconsistent on the three samples of the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald I smoked. On one sample, the draw was ideal – having a touch of resistance (which is my personal preference). A second sample had a draw that had more resistance than I prefer. The third sample had a draw that was a little more open than I prefer. In the end, none of the samples had a bad draw, but the lack of consistency was noticeable.
Strength and Body
I might be in the minority, but I thought the Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald wasn’t a bolder experience than the previous iteration. The cigar started out mild to medium in terms of strength and body. However both the strength and body increased linearly. By the second third, both the strength and body were in the medium range. The body leveled off at medium in the last third, but the strength pushed into medium to full territory.
In terms of strength versus body, the strength had a slight edge – especially in the second half.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
There are two big changes to the packaging and banding of the Diamond Crown Black Diamond. First, the blue and silver Black Diamond logo on the band was replaced by a gold and black logo. This logo was reflected on the boxes (which remained black in color) and a red vista is now used on the box. Second, a matching secondary band was added to the cigars. While I did like the first iteration’s color scheme a lot, J.C. Newman did a nice job with the revamped color scheme.
The original Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald was a personal favorite of mine. In fact, it landed #21 on the 2017 Cigar Coop Countdown. While I was excited about the new iteration, I was still concerned about losing a cigar I really enjoyed. It turned out that the first half of the new iteration was living up to expectations. Unfortunately, things broke down in the second half. The flavors became less enjoyable. In addition, some of the balance was off, and the increase in strength didn’t help the flavors any. This is also a more expensive cigar than the previous iteration. In the end, this is a cigar I recommend you try a sample of.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee/Chocolate), Earth, Fruit, Pepper, Cedar
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (2nd Third), Medium to Full (Final Third)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: J.C. Newman Cigar Company to Showcase Revamped Black Diamond at PCA 2022
Source: J.C. Newman Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Diamond Crown
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on May 17, 2023 @ 6:19 pm