Blind Review: J.C. Newman The American

The American is a cigar brand created in 1880 by E. Regensburg & Son out of lower Manhattan, NYC. The company decided to move down to Tampa in the early 1900s since Tampa became the “Fine Cigar Capital of the World.” When the El Reloj factory by J.C. Newman opened for business in 1910, The American became the first cigar brand produced out of the factory. 

For unclear reasons, the company decided to stop the production of The American. However, the brand was resurrected and teased at IPCPR 2017 with the idea from Ariel Peters, Drew Newman’s wife, who wanted to create a brand that is 100% American born and bred.  Staying true to their objective, The American became the most prominent brand honoring the American cigar tradition by using all American materials for the molds, boxes, cellophane, etc., on top of the aged tobacco.

Blend Specifics:

  • Cigar Reviewed: J.C. Newman: The American
  • Wrapper: Florida Sun Grown
  • Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Filler: Pennsylvania Type 41, Pennsylvania and Connecticut Havana
  • Size: Double Robusto (5 1/2″ x 56)

Blind Review: The American by JC Newman

Appearance & Construction

This tree branch-colored cigar has a very sturdy look to it. I give it a little squeeze and feel the tobacco; it’s loosely packed, but there was still good resistance. There is one visible vein that was flattened by the press, and when I stare at the foot of the cigar, the bunched tobacco forms a very hypnotic swirl.

Flavor & Smoke Characteristics

The wrapper has a slight floral scent to it, and when I smell the foot, it reminds me of fall with warm leaves and branches. I slice the cap off with a straight cut and take a few puffs. The cold draw is very fruit-forward; reminds me of a sweet and tart apricot jam. The draw restrictiveness is also near perfect at 7 out of 10. 

I take my first puff after lighting the cigar and immediately am overwhelmed by red pepper spice on the flat of my tongue. As the tingling sensation disperses, I experience sweet berries, lightly roasted coffee, leather, cedarwood, and red pepper. The retrohale is almost an extension of the flavor profile minus the sweetness, with warm cayenne pepper, toasted peanut shell, and the scent of wood-burning. 

While the flavors are great, the construction of this cigar is not. The ash is very loose, falling almost every 3/4 inch. The burn line started wavy, but it gradually slopped to one side after the 1-inch mark, and to prevent any further canoeing, I use my lighter to correct the burn line.

In the second third, the profile is a steady medium. The spice leaves the palate, and the flavors are more concentrated on cedarwood. The retrohale mirrors the profile on the palate, with sweet berries and red pepper spice. 

I finally arrive at the final third, and a few things are happening that I believe are worth mentioning.  To begin with, the cigar continues canoeing, causing me to have to touch up the cigar multiple times.   The cigar also starts tunneling, but it quickly fixes itself after half an inch or so. Putting aside all the construction issues, I am still enjoying the flavors from this cigar. The smoke becomes creamy, which enhances the existing flavors and makes it even sweeter. The spice is still intense on the retrohale, but not in an overwhelming way. I quickly find myself becoming smitten by the time the ash reached the nub The last few puffs painted an image of a fruit tart in my mind, with sweet berry flavors coating my whole palate along with roasted peanuts and creamy smoke. 


I found myself being courted by The American with the fruity flavors throughout the whole experience.  A balance of sweet berries, roasted nuts, cedarwood, and ample red pepper spice on the retrohale; coupled with the introduction of the creamy element to the smoke, tied the cigar up very nicely. Although the flavors and creaminess of the smoke were enjoyable, the multiple burn issues The American had put me through were hard to overlook.

Final Rating: 89