Sunday, August 10, 2008

Romeo y Julieta Habano Reserve (Grand Corona)

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The Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve Grand Corona is one of the corona sized cigars recommended to me by my local tobacco retailer. This cigar was introduced by Altadis USA in the middle of 2007 and is the first time since the early 1990's that R and J has manufactured a cigar from Honduras. This nicely rolled plump corona measures 45 ring gauge by 5 and 5/8 inches. It sports a thick Nicaraguan wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and a long filler of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos.


The medium brown wrapper on my cigar appeared somewhat dry and veiny. I felt two tiny specks of hard stems on the coarse wrapper. The cap was well formed with two even seams. I chose to do a punch cut and ended up with a very firm draw. No surprise since the cigar did feel firmly packed with tobacco. The aroma on the wrapper and at the foot was pretty faint. It smelled like compost on the wrapper surface and had a faint aroma of sweet tobacco at the foot. Pre-light draw flavor was another story as you get a strong fruity and spicy tobacco taste. Spicy as in spices, not pepper. Lighting the cigar was easy and the burn was even with an even burn zone.


The cigar starts out with charred woody flavors with a slight coffee earthiness. The finish is clean and dry. I detected no pepper or sweetness. The body felt medium and the flavors were still weak but developing. Eventually I began tasting "pencil lead" up front, coffee, vanilla, maybe some cinnamon, along with a toasty finish. I had this cigar with a lite beer and found it to be the perfect accompaniment to this somewhat salty cigar. The cigar burned perfectly with an even burn line throughout forming a compact gray ash. When I tapped off the ash after the first one inch plus, I was surprised to find no ligero. Second ash, no ligero, third ash, no get the picture. I think the roller forgot to grab some to put in the filler of this cigar. Unfortunately, I still have yet to smoke the second cigar I have in my humidor. I will probably let it rest and get a little more humidity since this first cigar looked so dry.


The second third showed more dark coffee taste and a richer earthiness than the first. While not harsh, I found the flavors to be more sharp and acidic. I had to slow down a bit to keep the cigar from becoming too bitter. The sharp leather taste was not the kind I usually enjoy. The beer I drank really came in handy and seemed to go well with the dry crisp flavors of this cigar. The home stretch of this cigar was disappointing. I tasted nice leather and tobacco but it was really ho-hum. I really don't think I hit the sweet spot at all with this cigar because it just didn't have one. To be fair, I will eventually smoke the second cigar and update this posting if this just happened to be a fluke out of the box or not. We shall see. I wouldn't try nubbing this smoke because I did get some harshness at the end. It's really hard to nurse this cigar and keep it from burning hot when the flavors are not that complex.


Overall, I will hold off saying whether I would smoke it again or not, depending on how that second cigar goes. I will say that it does have excellent burn qualities with decent one dimensional flavors. It maybe a good cigar to smoke while watching a game on t.v. or when drinking beer with some friends. I would recommend trying a bigger ring gauge of this cigar. You may get more complexity. Some cigar makers may prefer a robusto size to better showcase their blend. This just may be the case with the Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve.

Check out other reviews done on this brand:

Cigar Jack smokes the Belicoso size.

Cigar Command also smokes the torpedo or belicoso size.

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