Cigar Buying Guides

CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to Romeo y Julieta Cigars

Cigar Advisor’s Essential Romeo y Julieta Cigars Review & Tasting Guide

By the Cigar Advisor Staff

Updated October 2022

Romeo y Julieta cigars have been celebrated as one of the first names in premium cigars, both Cuban and otherwise, on heritage alone. Launched in 1875 and named for the leads in Shakespeare’s epic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet went on to win a slew of tasting awards at worldwide cigar exhibitions within just a few years of their debut.

It’s also the makers of the original Cuban Romeos who coined the term “Churchill cigar” – nicknaming their Julieta No. 2 (7” x 47RG) after the cigar loving British PM, who visited the island in 1946.

Today, there are nearly 2 dozen shapes and sizes of Cuban Romeo y Julieta cigars offered; that’s the distinction between those and the RyJs available here in the States, where the non-Cuban Romeos have expanded into eleven distinct lines under the main Romeo brand. They’ve outgrown their reputation as only making mild cigars – now, each of these Romeo y Julieta cigars has something different to offer, being tailored to the tastes and demands of cigar smokers who prefer a range of options from mild (like the 1875 and RyJ Capulet) to the full bodied (including Romeo Aging Room and Romeo 505 Nicaragua).

With the blenders of RyJ cigars expressing a wider range of creativity and flavors, the Cigar Advisor editors thought it was time to give you a top-to-bottom rundown of all the Romeo y Julieta cigars you can choose from – recognize their differences, and even get a fresh look at some of the newer Romeos you haven’t yet had the pleasure to try. So with the spirit of experimentation in mind, we present our Essential Romeo y Julieta Cigars Tasting Guide, with full reviews and notes included.

Romeo y Julieta Connecticut Nicaragua

By Paul Lukens

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 50 ‘Bully’
Strength: Medium – medium+
Wrapper: Nicaragua Connecticut Seed
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Light blond wrapper, well-packed with no soft spots.
Pre-light flavor: Leather and nuts.
Toasting & Light: Lit easily and evenly, with a smattering of pepper and earth.
Base flavors: Leather, salt, sweet tobacco, nutmeg, pepper.
Retrohale: N/A
Aroma: Sweet and woody with a subtle floral notes.
Burn / Ash Quality: Firm, dense ash with a razor-sharp burn.

Worthy of a spot on our list of top new breed Connecticut wrapped cigars, the Romeo y Julieta 1875 Connecticut Nicaragua is the culmination of nearly 2 years of work by Rafael Nodal and Nestor Plasencia.

Using finely aged, top-grade Nicaraguan tobaccos from the Plasencia family’s private reserves—including a Connecticut seed, Nicaraguan shade grown wrapper aged for 3 years—the results are nothing less than extraordinary. Boasting a wide array of flavors including cedar, salt, leather, nutmeg, and black pepper with a long, spicy finish, the RyJ Connecticut Nicaragua boasts interesting flavor transitions and tangible shifts in the cigar’s body and strength. In the mood for an affordable, complex, Nicaraguan puro with controlled aggression and power—then you won’t regret giving the RyJ Connecticut Nicaragua a go.

Romeo y Julieta Esteli Cigar Review

By Paul Lukens

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Firmly packed. Reddish wrapper with a perfect triple cap.
Pre-light flavor: Earth, sweet tobacco.
Toasting & Light: Lit right up, with black pepper and earthiness.
Base flavors: Earth, pepper, cedar
Retrohale: N/A
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burned evenly with firm, grey ash.

Full-bodied fans rejoice—Romeo y Julieta Esteli is a veritable feast of deep, dark, Nicaraguan tobacco flavor.

Decidedly not mild-mannered, RyJ Esteli comes out firing on all cylinders with a blast of pepper, earth, and cedar right out of the gate. Before too long, notes of dark roasted coffee and a caramel-like sweetness join the mix and provide balance to the heady blend. The flavors dart in and out with the addition of some gritty earth in the second half. The Romeo y Julieta Esteli has everything fans of strong cigars are looking for—an affordable, powerhouse blend with deep and rich flavors, that has potential to buckle your knees. Sounds good? Then add Romeo y Julieta Esteli to your shopping list.

Romeo y Julieta Eternal Cigar Review

By Paul Lukens

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 54 Toro
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Beautiful, seamless wrapper with expertly applied triple cap.
Pre-light flavor: Fermented fruit sweetness.
Toasting & Light: Perfect.
Base flavors: Molasses, earth, nutmeg, raisin, charred oak.
Retrohale: N/A
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn / Ash Quality: Textbook.

Celebrating the brand’s 145-year “passion for cigars,” Romeo y Julieta Eternal is a sensational limited-edition blend—ranking among Cigar Advisor’s 10 Best of 2021—from industry heavyweights Rafael Nodal and Nestor Plasencia.

Using the cream of the crop—from the Plasencia Family’s private tobacco stock—RyJ Eternal ranges from medium to fuller bodied while featuring a luxurious tapestry of flavors including molasses, nutmeg, cedar, and earth with a generous smoke output. Any avid cigar smoker will fall forevermore in love with Eternal’s body, complexity, flavor profile, and overall elegance.

Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua Cigar Review

By Paul Lukens

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 54 Toro
Strength: Medium+
Wrapper: Nicaragua Jalapa
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Well packed, no soft spots.
Pre-light flavor: Leather, cinnamon.
Toasting & Light: Flawless.
Base flavors: Earth, leather, wood, black pepper.
Retrohale: N/A
Aroma: Sweet, almost like graham crackers.
Burn / Ash Quality: Ideal.

When AJ Fernandez and Rafael Nodal come together—the results are bona fide flavor bombs. Add the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua to the growing list of their best-selling and highly rated collaborations.

Reserva Real features prime tobaccos from AJ Fernandez’s estate farms in Jalapa, Condega, and Esteli Nicaragua and opens with leathery and smooth notes with a hearty dose of black pepper. It’s not long before the pepper fades and baking spice emerges along with earthiness, cedar, and nutmeg. Throughout, there were subtle flavor changes and transitions of strength and body—all while remaining smooth and balanced. RyJ Reserva Real Nicaragua is a winning choice for those looking for the real deal in Nicaraguan cigars.

Romeo y Julieta House of Romeo Cigar Review

By Paul Lukens

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: 5 x 54 Robusto
Strength: Medium+
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Honduras Connecticut Seed
Filler: Honduras, Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: Toothy wrapper, well packed and seamlessly rolled with a masterfully applied triple cap.
Pre-light flavor: Leather, peanuts, sweet tobacco.
Toasting & Light: No issues.
Base flavors: Earth, leather, cedar, nuts, black pepper.
Retrohale: N/A
Aroma: Sweet and slightly floral.
Burn / Ash Quality: Very good, with an ash that stays put.

This Romeo is a full house—that is, the fullest-bodied in the House of Romeo series of cigars. Crafted by Rafael Nodal and the blending super team—the Grupo de Maestros—House of Romeo is one of the few cigars that live up to the ‘Cuban-esque’ moniker.

House of Romeo starts off peppery before vanilla cookie sweetness, cedar, and leather get in on the action. As the blend progresses, notes of coffee, and spice make appearances as the House of Romeo exhibits a refined and complex character. Give the House of Romeo a shot if you’re on the hunt for an affordable, smooth flavor bomb.

Romeo y Julieta 1875 Cigar Review

By Fred Lunt

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Bully (5″ x 50 Robusto)
Strength: Mild-Medium
Wrapper: Indonesian TBN (Shade Grown)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: Almost green, very rustic and veiny. Nice weight and feel for the 5 x 50 Bully. I put a small crack in the wrapper by accident, hopefully no burn issues will come of it
Draw: Smooth as butter.
Pre-light flavor: Barnyard, hay, and earth.
Toasting & Light: Toasty with a light peppery tang and a subtle nutty sweetness.
Base flavors: Cedar wood, pepper, tanginess, leather, toast.
Retrohale: Toast, pepper.
Aroma: Sweet and woody.
Burn / Ash Quality: Ash is very tight, pure white, with a clean burn line. Around 2/3 the burn line gets wonky so a quick touch up is needed.

Summary: After the initial puffs fade out, the 1875 leaves me with flavors of tanginess and wood.

A very savory smoke that starts medium-bodied. As it opens up a bit more the tangy pepper intensifies a bit, while the wood notes linger and a slight metallic taste appear. Around the second third a pleasant leatheriness comes into play with a tangy sweetness and cedar wood.

At 2/3 mark the flavors come in clear and distinct: cedar wood, leather, toast, black pepper and a tangy sweetness.

Extremely smooth and creamy smoke.

Around the last third the pepper and spice comes to the forefront with creamy smoke and a more leathery component. While flavors intensify, this cigar remains a nice mellow smoke.

While I’m not well-versed on Indonesian tobacco, I have to say RyJ’s 1875 was one heck of an intro. While I accidentally put a small crack in the wrapper, the construction was perfect overall, having nice weight and feel with a veiny, rustic looking shade grown wrapper. With pre-light flavors similar to barnyard, hay, and earth I gave this premium a generous toasting with a triple flame lighter. A pepper tang kicked things off with a woody sweetness in the background. After the initial puffs fade out the 1875 leaves me with flavors of tanginess and wood.

I was surprised to find this a very savory smoke that starts medium-bodied. As it opened up a bit more, the tangy pepper intensified while woods lingered on and a slight metallic taste chimed in for a minute.

By the second third everything was coming in clear and distinct, cedar wood, a pleasant leatheriness, toast, and black pepper made for a very tangy-sweet smoke that grew smoother through time with healthy doses of creamy smoke.

While the crack didn’t seem to affect the burn line (only one case of canoeing), I did need to touch up this cigar twice as it struggled to stay lit.

Towards my favorite part of this smoke, the last third, the pepper and spice comes to the forefront with creamy smoke and more of a leathery component than before. It’s a flavorful yet smooth intermingling of spice, pepper and all of the previously noted culminating in a fantastic flavor. While flavors intensify, this cigar remains medium-bodied and mellow.

I would recommend this as an alternative starter cigar for someone who doesn’t like sweet cigars or pepper bombs.

Romeo y Julieta Vintage Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: No. 4 (7″ x 48 Churchill)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Dominican Republic (aged 3 years)

Construction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. Wrapper is a bit veiny but entirely even in color. Not one soft spot along its length.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Sweet tobacco, leather.
First few puffs: Ultra-creamy with sweet, graham cracker notes.
Retrohale: Smooth and woody.
Base flavors: Sweet cedar and graham cracker.
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn / Ash Quality: Perfect. Black & grey ash was semi-firm and tapped-off nicely, revealing a perfect cone.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Summary: Rarely do I taste things like “graham cracker” in the cigars I smoke, but yes folks, this one’s got it. Chewy, creamy, medium-bodied smoke prevails with an appealing cedar component, some raw almonds and that cookie-like, graham cracker note. Every puff was perfectly balanced, and despite this cigar’s 7-inch length, I still didn’t want it to end. If I were to recommend a great “first cigar” for the new cigar smoker, this Romeo Vintage would be at the top of the list for its lightness of being, while offering a good amount of flavor. Since this cigar was free of issues on all counts, I would also add the RyJ Vintage IV to my “Perfect Cigar” list.

Romeo y Julieta Reserve Cigar Review

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Churchill (7″ x 54)
Strength: Medium (listed Full)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras

Construction and Overall Appearance: The Romeo Reserve has a nice Colorado color; it’s slightly veiny, but with an even wrap and texture, easily passes the pinch test.
Draw: Firm.
Pre-light flavor: Wet grass, slight barn, tea, chestnut.
Toasting & Light: Lights easily, with a couple of nice rips of smoke right off the bat.
Base flavors: Most noticeable are elements of nut, dried fruit and earth, along with the tiniest bit of spice.
Retrohale: It’s actually very sweet – floral – some red pepper gets in there a bit later on.
Aroma: Mellow and agreeable.
Burn / Ash Quality: All around, a sharp and even burn. Ash is a bit flaky, but surprisingly holds on well.
Balance of flavors: Fruit peel and tea always seem to be present; coming and going are wood, nut and earth. This is a mild cigar to me…it’s fuller in flavor than it is in body.

Summary: Something very interesting about the Reserve that separates it from the other Romeo y Julieta cigars I’ve smoked: a lot of the differences in flavor came when retrohaling this cigar. Sweetness gives way to a floral sensation, then pepper. Not long after, something reminds me of cinnamon, then ginger – it’s like a spice rack. Of course, you can smoke the Romeo Reserve without retrohaling, and you’ll have yourself a nice and straightforward smoking experience, for sure. But you toot a little smoke out your nose, and boy, does that open up some flavors.

A couple of things I noticed: there’s a tanginess, almost fruit peel-ish, that comes in and out all throughout the smoke. I enjoyed that. The smoke is a bit on the thinner side, and not as chewy as some other supposed “medium” cigars give off – but there is a decent amount of it. And towards the end, the flavors cream up and gets toasty around the edges. This is an easy-to-enjoy cigar just about any time of day, and doesn’t demand a lot of your attention to get satisfaction from it – which I’m sure contributes to its high ratings by our customers, at 92. Consider this if mild-medium cigars fall squarely in your wheelhouse, or if you’re new to cigars and want something with a little zip.

Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Cigar Review

By Fred Lunt

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Churchill (7″ x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Ed. Note: Romeo y Julieta cigars’ Reserva Real selection is also available in a Cabinet presentation; each box contains a mazo of 20 cigars, which are without individual cellophane sleeves. slightly different sizes, too.

Construction and Overall Appearance: Wrapped in a fairly veiny and very handsome broadleaf wrapper. Classic Romeo y Julieta cigars stylized band.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor: Grass, hay, and earth.
Toasting & Light: Very mild, slight sweetness with notes of woods and white pepper.
Base flavors: Wood, white pepper, toast, butter.
Retrohale: Buttery, with loads of white pepper.
Aroma: Didn’t leave a lasting or overly notable impression.
Burn / Ash Quality: Fairly tight white/gray ash. Burn line was flawless, no touch-ups needed.
Balance of flavors: Very well balanced, a nice and simple smoke, great for mornings.
Consistency: Nothing disparaging to note, a great smoke.

Summary: Nice and woody, a slightly sweet and fruit-like flavor. Tiny bit of white pepper at the front that quickly dissipated.

Beginning is very mild but flavors gain intensity as it goes along.

Not overly complex, just a smooth smoke. Same flavors intensify a bit more in 2/3. A very buttery note comes in as the sweetness intensifies and a toastiness comes into play.

Toward the close it gets a caramelized sweetness and pepper intensifies; woodiness comes back much more and toastiness is in full swing.

I’ve long been an advocate of quality morning smokes – and with the Reserva Real, Romeo hit the nail on the head. While many cigar smokers fail to put stock in their morning smokes, thinking that they should be cheap, the Reserva Real puts that theory to a dead end. Reserva Real comes with a smooth medium-body; its simple yet flavorful profile is perfect for a morning kick start.

Decked out in a handsome CT Broadleaf wrapper, the pre-light gives way to notes of grass, hay, and earth. Right out of the gate this cigar starts nice and mild with a woody and fruit-like flavor and a bit of white pepper on the tongue. Towards the second third, this cigar really opens up with an amplified sweetness, reminiscent of caramel, and a buttery smoke to boot. The woodiness hangs in the forefront of flavors as well. The retrohale brought out loads of white pepper and a buttery creaminess.

By the last third, Reserva Real remains a medium-bodied smoke but ultimately very toasty, buttery, and sweet with a highly refined peppery aftertaste. This smoke paired perfectly with my morning coffee and the Churchill vitola burned long and cool. In short, this is one fantastic morning smoke with all of the quality you expect from Romeo y Julieta cigars.

Romeo y Julieta Montague by AJ Fernandez Cigar Review

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Toro (6″ x 50)
Strength: Medium-plus (listed Medium)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf (Maduro)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: Dark, oily and smooth – very well packed, too.
Draw: Minimal resistance, where I like it.
Pre-light flavor: Subtle, with an oily mix of minerals and dark chocolate sweetness
Toasting & Light: Opens with a sharp espresso/dark spice shot.
Base flavors: Bold, with dark coffee or espresso and licorice.
Retrohale: Charred wood with plenty of spice.
Aroma: Sweet, warm and very agreeable.
Burn / Ash Quality: White coin-stack ash, burns exceptionally even for a Broadleaf.
Balance of flavors: Leans on the spicy side of full.

Summary: Same name – Romeo y Julieta Montague – but now, with the AJ Fernandez touch. More like the AJ Fernandez closed fist: what was originally blended to be a good “starter” Maduro is now a serious blend for the serious taste bud.

A well-made cigar, this Montague revision combines Nicaraguan and Dominican long fillers under Connecticut Broadleaf; normally I would expect the burn line on a thick Maduro like this to run a little wild…but this Romeo smoked straight, with a nice ash.

But the really big difference is taste: compared with the previous Montague (Original, above), this is night & day. This AJ-made RyJ Montague proceeds to put its boot squarely in the middle of your chest, the moment you light it up – big spice and pepper notes pour from thick, creamy smoke. Once the effects of the front-loading subside, the flavors get a little sweeter, a little more tame; think cocoa powder and bread. Nicaraguan boldness returns at the midway mark: wood, earth, coffee and licorice are here, along with a touch of dried fruit. But what my palate will remember most is the spice that lingers on the finish.

It’s cliché at this point to say “this Romeo y Julieta Montague breaks the mold…” and all that. Of course it’s different – it’s made to be that way, and why AJ called was called upon to do this project for us. Spicy? Yeah. Full? Pretty much – it’s not the Peloton workout that he gives your palate with his tougher blends, but it’s plenty beefy…and one to try, if you’re in the mood for a smoke with big, rich flavors.

Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet Cigar Review

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Toro (6″ x 52)
Strength: Mild-Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Finished in a smooth and velvety Ecuador CT, a few veins but no imperfections.
Draw: Minimal resistance – open draw here.
Pre-light flavor: Nut and leather.
Toasting & Light: Smooth and silky flavors from the outset; good smoke volume from the start, too.
Base flavors: Wood, nut and leather.
Retrohale: Woody, layered with some light spice in there.
Aroma: Nut, toast.
Burn / Ash Quality: Near-white ash, not flaky but not tight. Goes for the better part of an inch before it drops – very thin burn line, only moderately wavy.
Balance of flavors: Very even.

Summary: A word of warning up front – be careful when removing the band and sleeve from the Romeo Capulet, or you will tear this tasty wrapper. Now, on to the smoke… As with most Connecticuts, the flavors are not heady, they are subtle. If I had to sum it up in two words, I’d say wood and toast – making the Capulet a great contender to go with a cup of coffee. For the old hands around here, this makes for a candidate as a morning go-to. For a nice surprise, there’s a sweet spice to the latter half of the Capulet that’s got cinnamon toast on my mind. It’s got a thick and chewy smoke, and probably won’t bite you back for puffing hard on it.

Bottom line: if you like the mellowness that the core lines of Romeo y Julieta cigars offer, and you like to smoke Romeo every day – this might be one to do it with.

Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet 80th Anniversary Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Toro (6″ x 52, box-pressed)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade (Ecuador)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. A slight box pressing gives this 52-ringer a more oval appearance, but the cigar is well-packed and adorned with a gold foil band at the foot to commemorate Famous Smoke Shop’s 80th anniversary in business. The wrapper is even in color, rolled in three turns, has no pronounced veins, and finished with a triple seam cap.
Draw: Very good.
Pre-light flavor: Salted nuts.
First few puffs: Light salt, earth, cashew, plus, light pepper on the finish.
Retrohale: Nutty and creamy with no peppery bite.
Base flavors: Light salt, earth, cashew, oak, caramel, light pepper.
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn / Ash Quality: The burn was mostly even with a slightly wonky carbon line, which virtually disappears in the final inches. Ash was firm and mostly dark grey in color with some black marbling.
Balance of flavors: Very good.

Summary: Starting out with a little saltiness, earth and nuts, this Toro is off to the races with an excellent draw and a good volume of lush smoke. The first stage offered much of the same with more of a cashew flavor, plus a thin ribbon of oak and caramel. Overall, the smoke was smooth, creamy and well-balanced with a medium body and a note of light pepper on the finish.

At the midpoint, the smoke became even creamier, more dense, and carried with it a happy, vanilla toffee note which was well-defined and rode on a layer of earth and oak. All was well in the House of Capulet.

RYJ romeo y julieta cigars guide romeo Capulet 80th anniversary cigar review by Gary Korb
Made in one size, and one size only: this Limited Edition of the RyJ Capulet is a box-pressed Toro, and only a few thousand boxes have been produced. Worth the hunt.

With a 52 ring, there’s going to be a little more heat at the core. So, in the final third more patience was required to keep the sweetness going as the earth and oak elements became more dominant. There was still plenty of smoke volume, but some bitterness arose in the last two inches. Since the smoke was so creamy, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I should add that I smoked this cigar right off the boat. It was very impressive on its own, but with a few months of home aging, this cigar is going to be a stunner. Add all the high points to the affordable price/box, and the Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet 80th Anniversary Toro is an enticing selection.

Romeo y Julieta House of Verona Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Flor de Copan, Honduras
Size: Robusto (5″ x 54)
Strength: Medium, Medium-Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru

Construction and Overall Appearance: Nice looking cigar. Construction is mostly solid; no soft spots. Cigar has nice heft to it. The wrapper had an appealing rosy patina and tight seams, but the triple seam cap was a little uneven.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Woody and spicy.
First few puffs: Cedary, lightly spicy and sweet.
Retrohale: Sharp and spicy.
Base flavors: Cedar, light spice, sweet tobacco.
Aroma: Refined.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn was a little “off” at the start, but quickly corrected itself with no issues after that. Ash was almost entirely grey and very firm.
Balance of flavors: Very good.

Summary: The Romeo y Julieta House of Verona Robusto opens with a solid, medium-bodied offering of cedar, spice and sweet tobacco for a very enjoyable and well-balanced first act. As the cigar works its way into the second and third acts the flavors become more pronounced with the spice and sweetness moving into the foreground. Also in the mix was a note of Cuban coffee – strong and black with a good measure of sugar. A good selection for those who want a Romeo with a little more meat on its bones.

Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Cigars Review

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Robusto (5″ x 54)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Dominican Piloto
Filler: Dominican Piloto, Dominican Olor

Construction and Overall Appearance: Romeo is clad in a silky, rich brown Habano wrapper that’s mostly smooth. Overall, very firmly packed. This is a hefty smoke.
Draw: Firm as well.
Pre-light flavor: Barnyard and dark chocolate.
Toasting & Light: I sense tangy flavors right off the bat; they’re pretty in your face – but the Romeo settles in with some sweetness alongside the base flavors.
Base flavors: Big thick and creamy smoke pouring off with spice and wood notes.
Retrohale: Aroma is mellow and sweet, turning leathery later.
Aroma: Hints of sweet charred wood hang in the air – excellent.
Burn / Ash Quality: Nice sharp and even carbon line, with a tight and nearly-white ash.
Balance of flavors: I didn’t find the Romeo to be radically complex, but diverse enough to keep my attention to the end.
Consistency: Flavor changes were slow and steady.

Summary: Big in body and flavors – there’s a lot going on here with this Romeo, and much of it is pepper and dark chocolate. It would seem that this Romeo is designed to be anything but ordinary or average – and that held true for my experience with this first of the “new breed” of Romeo y Julieta cigars. I think my palate picked up a few new flavors with some of these Romeo reviews: in this case, an almond taste settled in at 1/3, and a spice that reminded me of ginger on a sushi plate came along a little later.

I overheard someone recently say about this Romeo: “I forgot how good this was.” And there’s a lot to like…smoky and meaty, at times showing leather and pepper/spice at others. I found the flavor changes to be transitional, very slow and very satisfying. There are, however, a couple spots where the flavor thins out a little – it did that to me about halfway. Otherwise, this Romeo by Romeo made for a nice and rich smoke that had staying power, lasting well over an hour…though it probably could have gone on longer. If you have some cigar experience, like something with a little more body and want to start developing your palate a little, I’d recommend you put this RyJ on your to-do list.

Romeo 505 Nicaragua Cigar Review

By Fred Lunt

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Toro (6″ x 52)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Habano (Jalapa)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa, Esteli, Condega)

Construction and Overall Appearance: Very rustic looking wrapper, almost like it has a dusting of dark cocoa powder. Offset by the ‘hazard’ orange band, I think I should take this cigar hunting.
Draw: Very easy.
Pre-light flavor: Notes of chocolate, rich tobacco, leather and a slight black pepper.
Toasting & Light: Front loaded with some pepper and leather, a very heavy and cream-like smoke. Very cool aftertaste with a slight peppery tang on the lips, starts with a tingle but turned into an eye-opener just a minute later.
Base flavors: Chocolate, rich tobacco, leather, coffee, and pepper.
Retrohale: Pepper, darky cherry, black coffee.
Aroma: Nothing of note.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burned perfectly, no canoeing or touchups needed and the burn line stayed nice and sharp.
Balance of flavors: While it stayed on the full-bodied side, the balance of flavors was right on keel.
Consistency: This cigar stayed consistent throughout, no harshness or issues with flavor.

Summary: Let me start by saying I love Nicaraguan tobacco, especially when it’s dark, sweet, and peppery like the 505. The Romeo 505 is Romeo y Julieta’s stab into making an all-Nicaraguan premium, taking its name after Nicaragua’s area code.

The pre-light draw has notes of chocolate, rich tobacco, leather, and a nip of pepper. The 505 is frontloaded and I’m smacked across the face with a gob of black pepper which gradually reveals a cedar-like sweetness and a creamy, coffee-like flavor and texture. The pepper notes have now shifted to the back of the tongue while a bready aftertaste is detected. The second third is where things got interesting. For the first time in a review, I detected a nuttiness that was extremely similar to pecans.

As the last third comes to a close the 505 proved to be fantastic, loads of creamy smoke and sweet and smooth flavors with a peppery Nicaraguan kick. A great smoke for Nicaraguan pepper lovers or anybody who likes a dark and complex smoke. Pair with a dark stout or roasted coffee.

Romeo by Romeo y Julieta San Andrés Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Toro (6″ x 54)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morron
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: Nice. Seamlessly rolled and well-packed. Wrapper is very dark, almost oscuro, with a light toothy feel.
Draw: Excellent
Pre-light flavor: Leather and sweet tobacco.
First few puffs: Smoke is voluminous and creamy. Mostly notes of spice, black coffee and light pepper.
Retrohale: Smooth with some caramel, followed by a peppery backlash.
Base flavors: Sweet spice, cedar, black coffee.
Aroma: Sweet
Burn / Ash Quality: Excellent. No issues. Ash is firm and grey-black marbled in color.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Summary: A great example of how much flavor good San Andrés maduro wrapper contributes to a good blend. Overall, the smoke is earthy, dense, yet creamy in texture, and leaves a hint of light pepper on the finish. Sweet spice dominates this cigar, but other flavors you may find in your experience include cedar, black coffee, and nutmeg. The full force of this cigar hits you at its midsection. The peppery finish is longer, too. Best advice is to really let this Toro smoke itself by giving it ample time to rest between puffs; otherwise, you could risk making this cigar turn charry and bitter. For pairing, coffee (little or no sugar), añejo dark rum, and single malts should do right by it.

Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Size: Bully (5″ x 50 Robusto)

Strength: Full

Wrapper/Binder/Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. Well-crafted with a shiny, caramel-colored wrapper that’s topped with a well-applied cap.

Draw: Just right.

Pre-light flavor: Leathery.

First few puffs: Earth, oak, and sweet spice with some interesting tanginess.

Base flavors: Earth, oak, sweet and peppery spice, orange peel.

Aroma: Sharp.

Burn / Ash Quality: Burn is even with a micro-thin carbon line. Ash is mostly grey and flaky at the edges, but firmer at the center.

Balance of flavors: Very good.

Summary: The 1875 Nicaragua Bully gets off to a tangy-spicy start accompanied by a copious supply of smoke that draws easily through the head. Initial flavors of earth, oak, sweet spice, and a citrusy, orange peel-like zest make up the mix with some peppery notes on the finish. The smoke is smooth on the draw and well-balanced throughout. The final stages present more tanginess than pepper or sweetness, while the core layer of oak and spice prevails. A big departure from the Romeo y Julieta main line Bully, this Bully essentially accomplishes its mission—offer a richer, spicier, and more refined smoke for Romeo fans,, who have acquired a taste for heartier Nicaraguan blends. Better suited for later in the day or after dinner with coffee or bourbon.

Romeo Aging Room by Romeo y Julieta Cigars Review (Discontinued)

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Capriccio (6″ x 54 Toro)
Strength: Full
Wrapper/Filler/Binder: 100% Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: A solidly built cigar with nice weight. Wrapper is even in color throughout, a little on the rustic side, and has a slight reddish tint with a well-applied triple seam cap.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Strong flavor of nutmeg and sweet tobacco.
First few puffs: Prominent flavors of wood and sweet spice.
Retrohale: Velvety-smooth with an appealing woody note.
Base flavors: Sweet cedar, oak, cinnamon, nutmeg,
Aroma: Seductive.
Burn / Ash Quality: Very good. Not always even at times, but no burn issues. Ash was moderately firm and mostly grey with black stippling.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Summary: Very much in-tune with his own Aging Room cigars, Rafael Nodal’s work here with Altadis’s Grupo de Maestros makes for a full-bodied masterpiece under the Romeo y Julieta cigars imprint. The Capriccio (a short, lively, free-form piece of music – a la Nodal), took-off from the get-go hitting my palate with a flood of sweet wood and spice flavors. The smoke in the early stages was thick, chewy and medium in body. By the middle stage, a fruity note emerged occasionally, but the sweet core flavors prevailed. During the final act, the plot thickens as the smoke takes on an even bolder character. Hints of espresso enter the fray here, too, making for a more complex, and heady experience. I would seriously suggest taking your time with this cigar. It’s one sweet and highly refined smoke you don’t want to rush.

Romeo Añejo by Romeo y Julieta Cigars Review (Discontinued)

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Toro (6″ x 54)
Strength: Medium body, full flavor (listed Full)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Vintage 2008 Dominican Olor
Filler: Aged Nicaragua & Honduras sun grown

cigar advisor romeo y julieta essential review guide - romeo by ryj anjeo (discontinued) Construction and Overall Appearance: Probably the most refined looking piece of Broadleaf I’ve ever seen. Nice roll, tight seams. Solid packing job.
Draw: For me, spot on.
Pre-light flavor: Strong coffee and earth.
Toasting & Light: Peppery and big earth flavors. Dark chocolate/bitter cocoa/baker’s chocolate all at attention. This cigar lights very easily. Big plumes of smoke from the start, too.
Base flavors: The pepper from the light up trails off; what’s left is some of the earthiness, but more so of the toastiness and cocoa and coffee flavors.
Retrohale: Extra cedary with a very slight floral note.
Aroma: All warm room notes; woody, specifically oak, like a charred barrel.
Burn / Ash Quality: Great burn line, ash is just shy of being solid.
Balance of flavors: The experience is more of a ramp up and ramp down of flavors.
Consistency: The shifts in this cigar are very noticeable from third to third, but the transitions are more subtle than sudden.

Summary: The reviews on the Romeo Añejo are very mixed: some in the past have mentioned this Romeo hasn’t done them a whole lot of favors; others think of it as candy. I, however, think this Romeo has had about enough rest where it’s got some significant flavors to show for itself. Previous reviewers have mentioned a sweetness in this cigar, though I didn’t find any at all – anywhere – until the last third. It looks chocolatey, but a Hershey bar it ain’t.

This is a mouthful when it comes to feel and flavors. The initial sensations ramp down by end of first third. Aged wood flavors take over – the kind you have to sip on, if this were a drink. Malt flavors pour in – think kilned and roasted, almost like hops. As it progresses, the Romeo Añejo tastes of roasted nuts and a very oaked sensation. This is a very different cigar after each transition. Berry notes come in toward the last third; they’re somewhat muted, so not overly sweet; they’re mixed with a dried wood sensation, that eventually take over to the finish.

All the components of this smoke are aged, so everything about it – flavor, feel, everything – is thick, velvety and super smooth, even the wrapper. Broadleaf is usually rustic looking. This one, however, is very nice with minimal veins. The Añejo is tightly wrapped, and burns with a slight wave that is likely a function of the thick outer leaf. Again, it wasn’t sweet to me…instead, more along the lines of “refined.” It’s not for knocking around in the garage, that’s for sure.

This would be awesome with wine; skip the pinot noir and go for a seriously beefy glass of red. Make it something with a hard-to-pronounce name, and take it slow and easy.