This truly is the review that everybody’s asking for. Over the past week, I’ve gotten at least 4 search hits for this cigar, which invariably lead the searcher to my earlier post Ashton VSG Robusto vs. Diamond Crown Maximus Toro. Unfortunately, that post, while honest, isn’t probably as informative as the searchers would like. In keeping with my new policy to always smoke every cigar twice, I intend to supplement that post now.
One quick note: I didn’t intend to write this review just yet. But I was so impressed with my smoking experience (the flavors), especially when compared to the last time, I couldn’t wait.
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Natural (El Bajo Sun Grown), Ecuadorian
Country: Dominican Republic
The cigar had a pleasant aroma before lighting. I did notice a small crack running up from the end of the cigar, which was disappointing. I didn’t notice that through the cellophane wrapping when I purchased it. Otherwise, it was a good looking cigar. It also felt very solid to the touch. There was only a small amount of give to the cigar.
After I thoroughly toasted it, and lit it, I noticed immediately that it was burning unevenly. An odd section of the center and one side of the cigar didn’t seem to take. Strange. I relit it and that seemed to correct it. More burn problems emerged in the first third of the cigar. At one point, the cigar nearly went out, even though I was smoking it at a slightly faster than regular rate. That burn oddity left a blackish ring in the ash, and it was noticeably crooked.
The initial ash dropped a lot sooner than I would have expected; barely making it to the second third.
For the majority first third and the beginning of the second third, the cigar burned unevenly. The cigar then corrected itself, and burned evenly until the final third. In the final third the burn got really uneven and a significant crack formed in the wrapper. Shortly before I put it out, the ash itself frayed, and a section split away from the main column. [UPDATE: Thanks to an awesome article and picture gallery posted on StogieFresh.com, I now know this is is called "flowering".]
In spite of burn irregularities, the draw for the entire cigar was perfect. Never too hard, never too little smoke, just right.
From the very beginning, I loved the flavor of this cigar. It was creamy. Heck, it was like smoking butter for the first half. Hints of Almond and maybe Apricot started to pick up at the half way point. I also detected what seemed like nutmeg and cinnamon in the middle of the cigar. The flavor started to develop into a richer more earthly flavor with additional hints of spice and pepper toward the end, while still maintaining an element of the original creaminess.
I’ve seen this cigar called medium to full, but it struck me as more of a mild cigar, right up until the end. And I smoked this cigar until it started to burn my fingers. The final puff or two might have made it up into the medium strength range. This is a cigar I could smoke over the lunch hour, and get back to work without feeling impaired in the slightest.
The only reason I’m adding this section is that I’m seeing people pay crazy prices for this cigar. Some poor unfortunate souls have been paying $15, $16 or more for this cigar. And as a result, they’ve been a bit disappointed. I paid $13.95 for this cigar at a local, strip mall cigar shop. And I still think I paid a little too much for it ($10 or $11 seems more reasonable). I guess if these people live in one of those states that loves persecuting tobacco customers, it could be taxes causing people to pay so much.
I have to say that the construction is very disappointing for the price, again. But I loved the flavor and the draw of this cigar. I didn’t want to put the cigar down, even when I was clearly done with it. Heck, my wife even liked the cigar. She stopped by and had a puff off of it not once, but three times.
I think the price is too high for this cigar, but I can see myself picking up another one from time to time in spite of its shortcomings, to smoke on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Everything about this cigar says warm Sunday afternoon at Lake Lanier (possibly on my good friend’s boat :) ).
What Other People Say
Hey, I know I didn’t fill you in on all the details you might want to know about. There’s quite an interesting bit of background information on the cigar, if you’d like to check it out. Here are some links I found:
- Diamond Crown Maximus Toro #4 – I Paid $16 For This? on epinions.com. A lot of good background info on the cigar.
- Diamond Crown Maximus Pyramid No. 3 on Keepers of the Flame. Not the same size of cigar but in the same line. It might be an interesting read for comparison. Unlike the epinions link, this guy loves the cigar. (Of course, he does complain about the price…)
- Diamond Crown Maximus on Wikipedia. It never even occurred to me to look on wikipedia for a cigar until now.