I’ve never considered cigar smoking to be merely a pastime; it’s always been a passion for me. The interesting variety of sizes, shapes, blends, origins, and styles is seemingly never-ending, and the fun begins the moment you figure out which one pleases you and which one does not. In my case, I’ve had the good fortune of meeting one of those cigars that my palate will crave all the time. It came from the classic and highly sought-after Romeo y Julieta brand. Dressed in a deep-brown sleek Nicaraguan Habano wrapper, the cigar boasts a hearty medium to full-bodied blend painstakingly crafted in Honduras at the Flor de Copán factory. Among Romeo’s line, this cigar is perhaps one of my favorites to smoke; yes, you’re guessing it right. I am talking about the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Toro—a true embodiment of life’s finer pleasures.
As is well known, Romeo y Julieta first originated in Cuba in the 1800s. It was established by Inocencio Alvarez and Manin Garcia, who gave its well-recognized Spanish name. However, the brand grew more popular when it was entrusted to the skillful hands of Jose ‘Pepin’ Rodriguez Fernandez. The Non-Cuban Romeo y Julieta is found in three major tobacco-producing countries: Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. While it’s widely assumed that Cuban Romeos are better, cigar enthusiasts are well aware that this is not the case; non-Cuban Romeo y Julieta cigars are just as good-if not better-in terms of consistency and quality. With that in mind, I had no reservations when I got my hands on this gorgeous stick lying in the humidor. Although the cigar is named after Shakespeare’s tragic romance, my relationship with Romeo y Julieta is one of long-term love, that’s for sure.
|Wrapper Origin: Nicaragua||Shape: Toro|
|Length: 6||Ring: 56|
|Wrapper: Habano||List Price: $189 (Box of 27)|
|Origin: Honduras||Strength: Full|
Pull of Cigar
Formerly known as Habana Reserve, the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Toro cigar comes in 27-pack boxes, carrying the brand’s iconic logo. The artisans of Romeo made sure to reward their avid smokers by adding a few more rings to the gauge, resulting in a larger-than-normal Toro. Underneath its beautiful Colorado Maduro wrapper, you’ll find an unrivaled two-country combination of filler tobaccos guaranteed for your smoking pleasure. Allowing my sense of touch to guide me, I discovered that the cigar had an excellent weight balance with no soft spots. The non-protruding veins are also incredible.
Before the light-up, the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Toro greets with scents of leather, black pepper, and hickory. The easygoing draw after slicing the cap off prompts for a great start. As I swirl the cigar in my mouth, the cold draw revealed a robust flavor profile of spices and coffee, allowing my palate to preview what it has to offer. Well, what else can I say? My prized Romeo stick never really failed to satisfy my senses.
A few puffs after lighting the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Toro whisked me away to a parade of fantastic flavors I’d expect from a fine cigar. Initially, it released a robust flavor of cedar that was complemented by cinnamons and had a generous earthy texture. As I continue to savor it, a faint bitterness, which I find interesting, emerged in the background to impress the palate. With plenty of smoke, an enticing note of leather blended with creaminess satiates my taste buds . The cigar had a blade-sharp burn and clean silver-gray ash that held up beautifully at this point. This Toro is indeed an epitome of a well-constructed big-gauge stogie.
When the cigar reached its halfway point, it brought me to a new level of smoking sensation. A delightful nuance reminiscent of sugar cookies coats the palate with sweetness and balances the pepper in the retrohale. My medium-to-full-bodied journey reached its peak with a nutty flavor and a variety of nuances a certified cigar lover can’t resist. When knocking the ash off, a minor touch-up with my torch is required to correct some waviness in the burn.
Toward the end, my Romeo y Julieta Reserve Toro returns to leather, spice, and wood. Although the sweetness faded, the cigar’s toasty finish left a pleasant aftertaste with some bite but is not overpowering.
Romeo y Julieta Reserve Toro most definitely deserves a 90-point rating. It has a lovely aroma, and the flavor is smooth and potent at the same time. As poetic as it may sound, every note it exudes lingers in my head as if it was my first encounter with this stick. It’s a good cigar to enjoy after a hearty dinner when your palate has been exposed to various flavors, which also goes well with scotch. If you’re searching for a well-balanced, full-flavored smoke, you won’t have to look much farther than this cigar. Overall, this is one of the best smokes I had in the Romeo y Julieta lineup.