We sam­ple a se­lec­tion of spe­cial edi­tions from Romeo y Julieta

Length: 162, Ring Gauge: 52

Virtuozity - - FINE TASTE -

Romeo y Julieta is one of the world’s best­known Cuban cigar brands—and with good rea­son. It was launched in the 1850s, though its Aniver­sario Hu­mi­dors ac­tu­ally date from 1875, when the range was fully es­tab­lished. Still, this is one of Ha­banos’ old­est monikers. No won­der, then, that the Cuban to­bacco gi­ant clas­si­fies Romeo y Julieta as a global brand with a ma­jor mar­ket share. Its medi­um­strength cigars are man­u­fac­tured us­ing to­bacco from the pre­mium Vuelta Abajo re­gion of Cuba, and as a re­sult, the brand has gained a strong global fol­low­ing.

How­ever, in the 1980s, Ha­banos sought to shake up the brand a lit­tle, adding a se­lec­tion of new vi­to­las to a range that had, un­til then, been dom­i­nated by pre-1960s re­leases. And in 1999, the Romeo y Julieta range was given another fresh breath of life when Ha­banos de­cided to cre­ate spe­cial re­leases for the brand. This started with the Siglo XXI Hu­mi­dor, which in­cluded a num­ber of Romeo y Julieta cigars.

Since then, Romeo y Julieta has been on some­thing of a roll with its spe­cial re­leases, which are al­most al­ways revered by fans of the brand. What’s more, the brand’s re­cent ef­forts have re­alised new shifts not only for it­self, but for Ha­banos as a whole. With that in mind, we sam­ple some of the more in­ter­est­ing Romeo y Julieta spe­cial re­leases to have come out of Cuba over the past 16 years.

This spe­cial re­lease marked the sev­enth time that Romeo y Julieta was cho­sen for Ha­banos’ an­nual Edi­ción Limitada se­ries, though what was spe­cial about this one, the ‘De Luxe’ was that it saw the de­but of an en­tirely new vi­tola – dubbed the Ca­puleto. Sim­i­lar to a dou­ble ro­busto in shape, the cigar fea­tures a dark, oily wrap­per which ex­udes that clas­sic Vuelta Abajo scent of leather and spice. And on the ini­tial draw, that oh-so-sweet flavour of cedar is added to the mix. This is clas­sic pre­mium Cuba.

Mak­ing your way through the first third, notes of cof­fee are added to the mix, while the cedary flavour ex­udes a lit­tle sweet­ness on the ex­hale. De­spite the bit­ter­ness of the cof­fee, it’s a smooth mix over­all, and the medium-bod­ied pro­file en­cour­ages you to keep on puff­ing to see what other de­lights lay fur­ther down the stick. How­ever, mak­ing your way into the sec­ond third, it’s clear that not much else is com­ing in terms of ex­cite­ment. The cigar chugs away with that stan­dard cedar, leather and cof­fee mix, and it’s cer­tainly very pleas­ant, but a lit­tle ex­tra spice wouldn’t go amiss. In­deed, the flavours fail to morph at all through­out the sec­ond third.

How­ever, to­wards the fi­nal third, things start to pick up a lit­tle. A strong cit­rus burst makes it­self known just as you’re about to give up hope, with strong veg­e­tal notes com­ing and go­ing be­tween puffs. The cedar morphs into more of a sharper wood flavour, which works won­der­fully well along­side the cof­fee. Over­all, it’s a well-bal­anced and ex­cit­ing pro­file—we just wish it kicked in ear­lier on.

RAT­ING – 7/10

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