Romeo y Julieta cigars have a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. The brand was founded in Cuba in 1875 by Inocencio Alvarez and Manin Garcia. Even in its early years, the brand became highly respected and popular. The brand’s logo, even today, shows the many tasting medals it won at various contests and exhibitions over the years.

Buyout and Blossoming

In 1903, the brand was bought out by Jose “Pepin” Rodriguez Fernandez, a well-known tobacco grower and cigar maker in Cuba. Under his leadership, the brand began to flourish. He expanded the company’s operations and introduced new cigar lines, including the famous Churchill size. The brand’s popularity continued to grow, and by the 1950s, Romeo y Julieta was one of the world’s most well-known and respected cigar brands.

Nationalization and the Cuban Brand

In 1960, the Cuban government nationalized the Romeo y Julieta brand and many other Cuban cigar brands. This meant that the brand was now owned and operated by the government, and the quality of the cigars began to suffer. However, the brand remained popular among cigar enthusiasts, and many people continued to seek out the Cuban-made Romeo y Julieta cigars.

Non-Cuban Romeo y Julieta Cigars

In the 1990s, a non-Cuban version of Romeo y Julieta was introduced. This brand was made by Altadis, a Spanish cigar company, and was produced in the Dominican Republic. The non-Cuban Romeo y Julieta cigars were made with high-quality tobacco and were designed to replicate the flavor and aroma of the original Cuban-made cigars.

Quality Comparison

While both the Cuban and non-Cuban versions of Romeo y Julieta cigars are highly respected, there are some differences in quality between the two. Cuban-made cigars are known for their rich, complex flavors and aromas, while non-Cuban cigars are often described as smoother and more consistent in taste. There tend to be more quality control issues with the Cuban ones than the non-Cuban cigars, including plugged cigars. However, both versions of the brand are considered among the best cigars in the world. Many cigar enthusiasts enjoy both the Cuban and non-Cuban versions of Romeo y Julieta cigars.


Overall, the history of Romeo y Julieta cigars is one of quality and tradition. The brand has undergone many changes, including a Jose “Pepin” Rodriguez Fernandez buyout.