Watching a football game during the weekend can make you smoke two kinds of cigar. One where you win and one where you lose. And you’d think that the Diamond Crown Black Diamond would be perfect for that black moment when the game is lost, but its dark chocolate plum kick will tell you otherwise. It’s not a sweet cigar but its fullness will win you over. The La Palina 1896 Oscuro El Ano also delivers the same twist mainly coming from its wrapper that is the same one from the Padron 50th Anniversary, making it better than any other $50 cigar.
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La Palina | Cigar Cafe Radio | Diamond Crown Black Diamond
I’m Lane. I’m hanging out with Harris. What’s up, Sean?
How are you? What’s going on?
Just swiped some new La Palina cigars, lighting up.
I had a rather eventful weekend. We took it on the chin in football this weekend, second loss this year. Only the third regular season loss in five years, but it’s a little frustrating. Both tight losses to really good teams. In the red zone, three times didn’t score. I’m dejected as a coach, but we’ll get after it again. I did have a great cigar this weekend. Instead of a “victory” cigar, it’s almost like a “fuck you” cigar. It was the Black Diamond by Diamond Crown. Maybe it was a black day, so I thought I’d go with the Black Diamond. It was great. It’s out of my wheelhouse. It was a full-flavored, full-bodied cigar, but awesome.
More full than your normal.
Dark chocolate, dark plum. I felt like raisins and those heavy fruit-type of flavors are in there. It was really good.
That’s something that’s really been prevalent in a couple of cigars that I smoked where you get that dried fruit. It’s not really the sweetness. Was it the Syncro that had a really heavy raisin or cranberry or something like that to it?
I felt like there was plum in there. It wasn’t sweet cigar, but “knock your socks off” type of power but not unpleasant. It was very good. I felt good about smoking it and it was pretty awesome. I’ll definitely have to get a few more.
They’re starting to ramp up the marketing on that cigar. I got something in the mail the other day that said probably they’re going to launch early November. They’ll start shipping to stores. It should be close to actually having that cigar on the shelf.
It is. J.C.Newman does all of the distribution of their cigars and Fuente Cigars nationwide. They have the Fuente factory make all of their Diamond Crown series cigar. They collaborated on that and have it made in the Fuente factory.
What’s the price point on that cigar? Is that an ultra-premium cigar for them?
It’s going to be in line with other Diamond Crown cigars in the $12 to $15 range. They’ve also talked about the production. It’s tobacco that they don’t have a ton of. They’re going to be pretty capped at how many cigars they can make a year of it. It probably won’t always be available, most likely.
Note to self, “Get a couple of those bad dogs if they’re available.”
That will be definitely one to pick up, one of the best new things out there.
It’s one of my favorite full-bodied, full-flavored cigars. I like a few of them. I’ve been going on the lighter side lately, but that’s one of the ones that I would smoke that’s a heavier type of cigar. Lane, you’ve got something that you’ve been talking about. Tell everybody about that cigar because that’s what I want to get a hold of as well.
La Palina’s new El Año 1896 Oscuro. They introduced this at the trade show. They started shipping sometime last month. We’ve got some new ones coming in here at the store. It’s a box-pressed Toro. It’s 6×50 ring gauge. One of the cool things about this cigar is that this is the actual wrapper from the Padron 50th Anniversary, the $100 Padron. This is the same wrapper from the same field. They, and allegedly one other company, were able to secure rights to this same leaf. The cool thing about this is if you catch it on sale, $50, $60 or if you catch it at full retail, $103, it’s like $5,300 for a box of 50. The refill rights go with the box. If Harris sells his case, whoever has that case can buy the refills for them. That Padron, the humidor case that come in the box of 50, if Harris were to sell that to someone else, they would then have the rights to refill it directly from Padron.
It’s really elaborate what they do. They track it with all these serial numbers. We’re only allowed to get one refill per year of the cigar. It has to be tied to our account and they look at whether or not we’ve already gotten our refill. It’s pretty crazy how they track it.
I smoked that cigar one day and said, “I can’t see there being a cigar that’s worth more than $30.”I smoked that and thought, “That’s a pretty good cigar.” It was better than any of the other $50 cigars I have ever smoked. It was a next level cigar. At the trade show, we’re doing our thing, we’re wandering around, Patrick Vivalo, he’s at La Palina. The rep, Jake from La Palina, gives me a little tour of their booth and he shows me what they’re working on. He says, “This is the one that we’re really excited about. El Año 1896 Oscuro. We decided we needed an anniversary cigar. Everybody else has one. 120 years, it’s time.” They release the stick and it’s got the Padron wrapper on it. They’ve said that they smoke the Padron and they smoked one of these side by side, and this one is better. This is $9.85.
Got to have one. That’s one on the must-have list.
Even before I cut it, I started sniffing on it. I thought it was going to be a little sweeter than it was based on the aroma, but it’s starting out an immediate black pepper. I’m really interested to see where it goes.
Those are exciting cigars when someone says that to you. I almost smoked the All Out Kings, but I couldn’t do it because I’m a superstitious guy. I’m not going to smoke a cigar for a loss.
It’s funny that you mentioned smoking a “fuck you” cigar because I was watching the Bama-Ole Miss game. At the end of the third quarter, I posted something on social media that says, “In fifteen football minutes, I’m either going to smoke a victory cigar or a very angry cigar.” That’s exactly what it would have been.
The “blow it up your ass” cigar, that’s another way to put it. I almost did. I’ve heard such good things about it that I know you guys have called it powerful and I was ready for it, but I am not smoking it. It’s still in the humidor aging well.
I’m smoking the La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut. I haven’t tried one of these yet, but it’s supposed to be very similar to the La Palina TIA Edition, but this is starting off great. I’m about an inch into it. It is super smooth, medium to medium plus with no harshness or bite to it. It’s got a unique flavor.
What are the flavors that you’re getting out of it?
I’d say a little bit of vanilla, a mellow vanilla to me, which is unique. I don’t normally taste that in any cigar.
The only one I really tasted vanilla was the barrel aged. Camacho Barrel-Aged was the one that really tasted the vanilla coming out of. The reason I’ve been going to Connecticuts is not because I wanted a lighter smoke. It’s because the Connecticuts that are out there are not so mild anymore. They’re getting way more complex. You talked about it being the most popular wrapper, but truthfully, you’re starting to see some medium, medium plus Connecticuts out there and they’re interesting.
That’s been the big trend, more of that medium complex Connecticut.
Didn’t you smoke Perdomo Connecticut Champagne?
I did. I had the Perdomo Barrel-aged Connecticut, which was wonderful. The Damaso is a medium Connecticut.
Did you smoke that one? Did you like it?
I did. You know when you expect something out of a cigar and you don’t quite get it and it turns you off for a second? You smoke the next one and you understand what it’s all about and you’re like, “That’s really good?” I smoked two of those. The first one punched me in the face because I didn’t expect it. That’s the first Connecticut by Padron. I expected it to be like the Undercrown Shade or the Leaf Connecticut. I expected it to be something like that, and it was not. That was one of the first medium-bodied Connecticut’s that I smoked, and I really enjoy them. I’ve been on a kick. I go and buy a couple for a weekend and I’ll get them from you. I’m on a Connecticut kick.
This is a question I don’t know if any of us know the answer to. This Oscuro wrapper that La Palina’s going on this stick, is it the same Oscuro that they’re doing on the Nicaragua Oscuro? Those were both released at the show, weren’t they?
You were with him. I wouldn’t know that.
I’m not sure about that.
I would love to ask Jake or Pat.
Do you still have Patrick’s cigars in stock?
We do have a few left.
I’d like a couple of those. Those are really good. You’re not going to get anymore in. How can I have one because they’re really good?
I can ask him if he’s sitting on any more, too. He and I started some foodie-cigar groups on Facebook. We post pictures of whatever it is that we happened to be eating or cooking or smoking. I don’t know why I haven’t invited you guys to it, but we are in there.
Do you notice that there’s a common trend in the guys that love cigars love very similar things? Food, whiskey, sunglasses, watches.
Everything in a Cigar Aficionado Magazine.
It’s true. If you post something like that, most of the time, your Brothers of the Leaf like it, too.
That’s a big reason why we’re adding a small bar in the shop, high-end bourbon and scotches and craft beer.
That big cigar shop in Chicago, King, they have watches there. You can buy high-end watches. It’s a natural progression. Most of the guys that are smoking high-end cigars have a couple of extra bucks to blow. What else you got going on at the store? What new has come in that you want to talk about? What should I get next time I order?
We got a big shipment of the new blends from Caldwell Cigars, Anastasia, Midnight Express, Signature Savages. I have no idea where we will put all of this because there were so many new blends that he released. I’m just starting to try all of them because they didn’t sample a lot of them at the shows.
That Anastasia has got a good spot in the humidor.
What did you compare them to? I’m a big Caldwell fan. All Out Kings, had that come out too? Did you get that?
Not yet. I think they’re saying probably around November.
What do you think of them? What’s the difference in blend? How does it stack up? Are they mild, are they medium or are they a combination of everything?
The Anastasia is a nice light wrapper, medium-bodied cigar in that medium body Connecticut. That one’s getting a lot of buzz around it. The Midnight Express is a Maduro wrapper. It’s the Maduro version of the Eastern Standard. The Signature, I’m not exactly sure, but that one is going be another medium plus, medium to full-body cigar. They all looked good. The Savages was a smaller production cigar that they did, a little more expensive than their other ones too. I’d say $13 to $15 range.
Anything new from Drew Estate?
The most recent thing we’ve gotten in was the T52 and the Liga No. 9 Flying Pigs. They sold out in about an hour because they’re only twelve count boxes.
They’ve done a great job. Their hype machine does wonders for their sales. I’m sure that everyone would love to do that, sell out their cigars in a frigging hour.
I think we ordered 40 boxes total and they sent us five. Joya de Nicaragua Black came in. That’s under the Drew Estate umbrella. They distribute all the Joya de Nicaragua cigars. That was one of their new releases too.
How is that different than the red?
The red is a lighter wrapper, middle of the road wrapper medium. The black is really dark, jet black cigar. A little bit stronger to me.
I haven’t seen a black cigar wrapper in a while. There was one that Cohiba made several years ago that was pitch black. I don’t think I’ve seen one recently.
The trend has been away from that.
Away from like the real dark ones?
It seems like it. People are doing more of the medium body Connecticut’s or lighter wrapper. I don’t know why that is.
Didn’t CAO make a Sopranos Cigar a while back? Wasn’t it really dark?
It was really dark. That is getting re-released as the Consigliere because they can’t use Soprano’s name anymore. They don’t have the rights to it. Same cigar, though. There’s a lot of buzzing around that because it had a big following.
It’s always a pleasure. I got to hit it and I know you do too, but it’s always good to talk to you. This is a little irreverent podcast, but we needed it.
It was good.
Take care. Have a good day.