Romeo y Julieta may be the most well-known cigar company in the world today. With its iconic name, delicious cigars, and superior craftsmanship—they have well earned their place; however, Romeo y Julieta’s romanticism flourishes well beyond its name. In the late 1800’s, the newly established cigar company made its debut to the world and took it by storm. Winning multiple awards, RyJ quickly made its way to the top—and not without its fair share of notoriety.
In early 1900, Romeo y Julieta caught the attention of soon-to-be cigar industry’s most influential man—Jose “Pepin” Fernandez. By 1903, Pepin not only acquired the brand, but also began personally showcasing it across the world. From the America’s to Europe, Pepin soon made Romeo y Julieta his premier brand, and the world would never be the same (well, the cigar world, for that matter…).
This brings us to present day. Over a century later, Romeo y Julieta is still filling humidors with delicious, romantic cigars desired the world over. And this year, 2015, Romeo y Julieta brings us yet another special treat, with an added twist. ROMEO by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room aims to combine the collective skills of RyJ’s Grupo de Maestros and fellow cigar brand Aging Room. With the passion and expertise of the century-old icon, and master artisans of Aging Room (under the guidance of RyJ’s Grupo de Maestros)—brings us a truly special and every bit romantic cigar to be expected from such prestigious companies. But that’s just a bunch of history, right? Can the ROMEO really live up to its name?
- Wrapper: Habano Dominicano
- Binder: Habano Dominicano
- Filler: Habano Dominicano
- Factory: Tabacalera Palma (Tamboril, Dom. Republic)
- Production: Small Batch limited (250,000 cigars)
- Vitola: Toro 6″ x 54
- Price: $12
Now, normally I don’t care too much for appearances on cigars. My belief is that if the cigar doesn’t smoke well, then I don’t care how pretty it is. ROMEO may be the exception. Before even lighting the cigar, I said to myself, “I don’t care how well this may smoke. This cigar is simply gorgeous.” A beautiful, gold, bold, and shimmering band starts things off by showcasing the iconic ROMEO name. But it doesn’t stop there—from the band to the foot, is a simplistic, but stunning paper wrap that displays a gold and white map of the entire world—reading “Small Batch F-25”, designating the cigar’s date of inception (Friday, the 25th). Finishing things off, is yet another band—the foot band, which is a black and gold, simple logo of Aging Room, matching perfectly with the first band. This is easily one of the most beautifully showcased cigars I’ve seen this year.
It’s not all about looks though, right? After cutting and toasting my ROMEO, I take my first few puffs and let the aroma set in. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of this Dominican Puro (neither of the involved brands have impressed me much in recent years). But from the first puff to the last—I was glad to be wrong. A delicious burst of flavors jump into my mouth from the first light, and I let myself take a few minutes to soak it in. A supremely balanced creamy pepper and cocoa greet me as I make my way through the first third. A perfect draw engulfs my mouth with rich, chewy smoke on every puff, and I am beginning to taste on the inside what I imagined on the outside; however, the burn is fairing, requiring one touch up thus far—but overall a good burn line though the first third.
As I enjoy my way down the stick, I can’t help but feel like royalty while I smoke the ROMEO. Something about the elegant, gold band, the timeless name—it just feels fit for a king! (this may or may not have tampered with my senses). Halfway through the cigar, its profile remains very consistent: sweet pepper, rich cream, subtle dark cocoa—all co-existing together in beautiful habitat of flavor.
Moving further along the cigar, its construction tends to wander off the trail a bit. A few touch-ups here and there begin to impede with my enjoyment, especially when I had to relight the cigar. As amazing as the ROMEO tastes, it just doesn’t want to stay lit. I suppose ROMEO wants you to focus more on him and less on the conversations around you.
Would I smoke this again?
Absolutely. The elegant romance of the ROMEO is something not to be missed. I highly recommend it for very cigar connoisseur’s collection. I do, however, recommend putting some age on these, as I think (hope) that would help the construction issues. Ignoring the construction problems I had, this is truly a luxurious cigar that well deserves its historic and prestigious name.
- Perfectly blended mix of flavors
- Great draw
- Elegant experience
- Burn wavers
- Doesn’t want to stay lit