|Romeo Y Julieta|
Before I begin this review I wanted to let the readers know that I will be out of town on a Habitat for Humanity trip this weekend through next week, so I will be out of touch and not smoking cigars for some time. I always enjoy this break because it allows my palate to take a breather and to prove the point that I, as a cigar smoker, can take time away from cigars; but those who smoke cigarettes begin having tantrums after a day. I always love proving that cigar smokers are not addicted to cigars, but merely enjoy the experiences they provide. Have no fear though, I will be back strong, and on August 11th, I will be back on Kiss My Ash Radio. I guess if you keep writing checks to a radio station they will let you be on the air. Anyways, I wanted to grab something old that has been aging to review, and a cigar that is still available from many shops. Shops, that are not in the United States that is. The cigar is the Romeo Y Julieta Edición Limitada 2009.
The Edición Limitada Series was introduced by Habanos S.A. in 2000, and its purpose was to release cigars that had been composed of tobacco that had been aging for two years, and also release vitolas that were not in regular production in certain lines. The first releases were not until 2002 however, but today we will be focusing on a release from 2009. At the time, this cigar was released alongside a limited Bolivar and H. Upmann, and was the biggest release of the three. When I smoked all three I would say it was the worse of the three, but time has done lovely things to this smoke. The cigar was given the official name of Romeo y Julieta Duke, and was composed of two year old tobacco and an incredibly dark wrapper. The cigar measured 1400mm/5.5”, and had a ring gauge of 54. It was and is Cuban puro, and came in boxes of ten. The cigar has a wonderful aroma of leather, wood, rich earth and cherries, and the wrapper was really that of Colorado Maduro quality.
Upon lighting the cigar it has a soft start, and a little bit of a slow start as well. There is a nice draw to the cigar, and it is producing some lovely smoke with that. As I move a little ways into the firs third though I begin to pick up some coffee, cocoa and cherry notes. There are some wood, tobacco and light leather notes as well, but overall there is really no spice present with the cigar. I have it written down years ago that there was some spice present in the first third, but I am not picking a lot of that up. It is burning fairly wavy, very bad in a part, but it is leaving an ash that is dark gray in coloring, very dark in some parts. There is a nice medium body strength level to the cigar, and it is softer than I remember it being.
When I get into the second third there are still a lot of flavors from the first third that are still dominant, but I am getting more tobacco, spice and pepper notes. They are not strong, but beginning to show their characters which were more present in earlier years. There are still those coffee and cocoa notes present and dominant in this third, and it is very balanced. The cigar has definitely mellowed over the years, and to be honest with you, I prefer it how it is now. The cigar is burning a lot better than it had in the past, and it also has begun smoking better since the first third. There is still a slightly wavy burn line to the cigar, but overall it is nothing major and it is producing that dark gray ash. It is keeping that solid medium body strength level, and the cigar is producing tons of smokes.
I am in the final third of the cigar now, and it is closing in a way that is showing the great flavors from now, and the great aspects that were present when the cigar was first released. There is a lovely balance between all the flavors that have been present from the beginning and second third, and it is showing cocoa, coffee, pepper, toast, wood, tobacco and cherry notes all at once. It is definitely the best third of the cigar and along with all the great flavors there is a lovely strength level that is not overpowering by any means. It is slightly above medium in terms of strength, but it is just soft enough that any cigar smoker could enjoy the cigar. I smoke the cigar down to the nub and it is keeping a fairly even burn line till the end and leaving that dark gray ash. It is cool on the last draw from the nub, and I look forward to this smoke in another year.
This is a perfect example of a cigar that has improved with age. I don’t think this cigar is where is should be yet, but I do believe that in two to three years it will be a great cigar. This is a cigar that you can buy a box of and age; you come back to it in a year or six months and see where it is then. I hated this smoke initially, but every year it gets a little better and better. It’s a great dark wrapper that the cigar possesses, and it captures some nice Cuban Romeo qualities with a twist throughout. If I had my choice between this and a Short Churchill or Churchill, it would be my third pick, but it is better than other Romeo offerings. In 2009 I would have given this an 80, 2010 and 83, 2017 and 87, and now I would say it is a solid 89. I do believe that this could get up to a 92, but we will see. I find it is a great Cuban smoke to throw out to people who want something Cuban; it is special, but not great.