by Michael Sclafani
I originally tried this cigar a few years ago when I was very new to cigars. At that time, I was perusing my local cigar shop and was drawn to the label. I was also still a believer that an increase in price also corresponds to an increase in taste and quality. I originally found this cigar underwhelming – I had been drawn to full bodied cigars that slap you in the face with flavor, a preference I owed to my peaty islay scotch palate at that time.
Fast forward several years later to today. Revisiting this cigar was a much more enjoyable experience – not simply because I enjoyed the cigar more this time but also because I have more experience and can appreciate some of the more subtle nuances.
I chose the robusto (4.75” x 52) size that was priced for $12 at a local cigar lounge. The wrapper is a medium brown color that appears well constructed and with smooth edges and a moderate number of veins. Its aroma pre-light is sweet hay and cedar. The triple cap was easily cut with a guillotine cutter with minimal flakiness. A cold draw reveals a mild spice. Upon lighting the first couple draws are hit with a strong pepper zing that lingers momentarily. However, the first third then opens to notes of sweet cream, mild chocolate, and medium black pepper. The strength and body are both medium and the profile is well balanced
This cigar burns evenly and with a very tight ash, requiring no touch ups into the second third. The flavor profile of the second third transitions subtly into notes of almond and cedar. The pepper spice fades to a mere wisp in the finish.
During the final third there’s an upfront note of cream that quickly fades to a more prominent vegetal flavor. This final run also transitions to char and mustiness but is well constructed enough to not leave a bitter or ashy aftertaste upon finishing.
Overall, this is a well-constructed medium strength cigar. While there was nothing unpleasant about this cigar, it was a little underwhelming in terms of the overall strength and complexity.
For the same price I personally would probably choose a different option but can easily understand why this cigar would appeal to many people. A Diamond Crown Maximus was released after this Julius Caesar that may be worth exploring for a stronger, more full-bodied experience.