Our Top 25 Cigars of 2018 are announced: these are the year’s best smokes, each a new-for 2018 release that more than impressed us…they left a mark. If you’re feeling adventurous for new cigars to try, here’s a quick n’ tidy recap of the selections we think are totally worth your time.
Cigar Advisor Panel: Romeo y Julieta Verona Cigar Review – Video
Cigar Advisor Panel: Romeo y Julieta Verona Cigar Review (Video)
By the Cigar Advisor Staff
The Romeo y Julieta Verona Cigars Back Story
Handcrafted in Flor de Copan Honduras, the Romeo y Julieta Verona cigars selection takes its place alongside the Romeo y Julieta Capulet and Montague cigars with a nod to Prince Escalus, the Verona family patriarch and mediator who demands a peaceful resolution to the ill-fated families of Montague and Capulet in Shakespeare’s classic play.
Adorned with a long, translucent sleeve and blue bands, this medium-bodied blend consists of a three nation core rolled in an oily Mexican San Andrés wrapper leaf.
Sold exclusively at Famous Smoke Shop, the cigars are priced affordably and presented in boxes of 20 cigars, with some sizes also available in 5-packs and singles.
Below you’ll find our written observations, but to see and hear what the panel thought of the Romeo y Julieta Verona Toro, click on the video. As always, we welcome your comments.
The Stats: Romeo y Julieta Verona Toro
Country of Origin: Flor de Copan, Honduras
Size: 6″ x 50
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian
Presentation: Boxes of 20 cigars
Gary Korb’s Tasting Notes…
Construction and Overall Appearance: Well made with a triple seam cap. Wrapper is even in color with an pleasing coppery hue. Few if any soft spots with barely visible seams and no conspicuous veins.
Draw (airflow): Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Leather and spice.
First few puffs: Spicy and woody.
Aroma: Spicy and nutty.
Burn / Ash Quality: Very good burn with a thin carbon line, but several relights were required.* Ash was solid dark grey and relatively firm.
Base flavors: Earthy spice, sweet cedar, toasted almonds, leather, roasted coffee.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.
Observations & Summary
A solid, medium-bodied smoke with crisp, well-balanced flavors of earth, spice, and sweet cedar as hints of leather, toasted nuts and roasted coffee peak-in along the way. The smoke is creamy, smooth, and chewy from end-to-end. Not a complex cigar, but there are enough flavors hitting the palate to keep the smoke interesting and satisfying. Even if you don’t retrohale, you may find the spicy smoke finding its way up into your olfactory senses for some exhilarating puffs as it moves into the second and third acts.
As for pairing, I enjoyed it with my morning coffee, but this cigar will also go nicely with an after-work brew, and an after-dinner Port or dark, aged premium rum.
* My sample was right out of the humidor and a bit on the moist side, which was mostly responsible for it going out occasionally. I would suggest these cigars get a little rest in the humidor before digging in; give them at least two weeks to settle and you’ll be on your way to a truly fine smoke.
Fred Lunt’s Tasting Notes…
Construction and Overall Appearance: Very handsome looking medium brown with two prominent veins
Draw: Very smooth draw
Pre-light flavor: Hay, toast, white pepper
Toasting & Light: Initial flavors of vanilla, rich sweet tobacco, subtle toasty note
Base flavors: Sweet, black pepper, cedar, leather
Retrohale: did not do
Burn / Ash Quality: Very tight white ash, great construction
Balance of flavors: Pleasantly balanced between sweet and peppery.
Consistency: General flavors were similarly identical
- Very pleasant sweet tobacco with leather and a nice peppery after-taste.
- Smooth on a medium body.
- One-inch in, still a nice smooth sweet profile. Notes of leather, toast, and vanilla clinging with a perfect amount of pepper in the after taste.
- The second and final thirds progressed with a bit more intensity and a tiny bit of bitterness.
While the Montague and Capulet are at different ends of the strength spectrum, the Verona adds a nice medium ground to the line. With base flavors of a general sweetness, cedar wood, pepper, and toast, this is a very flavorful smoke.
The pre-light featured a fragrant hay, toast and pepper profile. Upon lighting the notes of toast were at the front of my palate with a sweet vanilla note and a peppery zing. About one inch in this Verona was making a nice creamy smoke with some new leathery and nutty flavors arising. The Mexican San Andres wrapper really added a nice balance to the blend – leading the subtle sweetness to be a base flavor. The Nicaraguan filler had a nice peppery kick, balanced by the smooth Dominican and Peruvian long fillers.
Construction-wise, this cigar was very fresh when I received it. It may have needed a little more time in the humidor to marry the flavors and come to proper humidity. I had a bit of a struggle with these samples staying lit. Give them some time to rest before puffing away.
The medium body of the Verona, coupled with the not-overly complex flavor profile, makes this cigar great for pairing. It won’t overpower you on a lunch break and will match along nicely with your IPA or meal. If you like a nice, medium-bodied stick that can chameleon itself into your day then this your cigar.
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John Pullo’s Tasting Notes…
Construction and Overall Appearance: The Romeo y Julieta Verona is packed firm, and is heavy in the hand for a 6×50 Toro. The San Andres wrapper is a bit veiny to the eye, but the texture is still very smooth save for one ripply lateral vein. As for color, it’s a nice and even medium brown Colorado color across the entire cigar.
Draw: As I said, packed tight; so all of the Verona samples I’ve smoked did so with some resistance.
Pre-light flavor: There’s a whiff of faint cocoa on the prelight; the cold draw has a “beefy sweet” sensation. The dominant flavors on the cold draw are all natural, as in nothing that has been processed (roasted coffee, cut grass, dried flowers). I got hints of citrus, leafy greens and barnyard.
Toasting & Light: Took a bit to get started, but the Romeo Verona came in with some good sized puffs of smoke once underway. One sample was a bit tough to keep lit.
Base flavors: Sweetness everywhere, on top of what I’d call the typical “Romeo” flavors.
Aroma: A bit of hay hangs in the aroma, but that gets replaced pretty quickly with a nice and toasty wood smell that’s actually kind of sweet.
Burn / Ash Quality: Ash is a little flaky throughout; color is a light grey, but not quite white. The burn stays relatively even throughout, but I think the Romeo Verona samples could have used a bit of dry boxing – a touch up was necessary. They are new, after all.
Retrohale: Found some nice pepper in there when I did it.
Consistency: Not overly complex, but a decent array of flavors makes this Verona edition of Romeo a solid medium-cigar that is pretty easy to smoke.
Let me run you through the experience, in order:
- You light up this Romeo y Julieta Verona, it opens a little bitey with a tangy sharp pepper. Sweet flavors abound, tinged with the flavors of meatier nuts…I can’t put my finger on them, but think almonds and macadamias – as in, not roasted or dried.
- Second portion opens with creamy smoke that reminds me a bit of vanilla-caramel Coffee Mate. There’s also something on the finish that makes me think of malted milk balls or a medium roast coffee. A big thick puff every once in a while brings that bitey flavor back, so shallow draws will treat you better here.
- The last third hits me with just a touch of earth, and a grainy aroma; from here, it gets pretty meaty through to the finish.
I like the combo of tobaccos, I like the flavors – and the potential that this Romeo Verona has. My advice would be the same for any “new” cigar on the shelf: pick up a box, and stash them in your humidor…after a week, try one and see if you like how the flavors come together. If they’re where you like them, then go ahead and smoke with reckless abandon. If not, let ‘em rest another week or two and try again. Repeat until you find your sweet spot. With some time to chill out, I think these House of Verona will mature into something truly special.
Tommy Zman’s Tasting Notes…
Draw: Lots of thick smoke
Flavors: Pepper, coffee, cedar, leather
Welcome to the newest member of Willy Shakespeare’s line of cigars from the good people who make that world renowned Romeo y Julieta brand. The Verona is the perfect addition to the line that features the House of Montague and the House of Capulet because its characteristics and flavor profile fall smack in the middle of those two. While the Capulet is a lighter shade and mild to medium-bodied, and the Montague is dark and more full-bodied, the Verona is a straight-up medium-bodied smoke.
A lot of times we talk about cigars that are complex with a myriad of exquisite notes, but you know what, sometimes a good cigar has a few base flavors that carry all the way through and this tasty Verona Toro has got it. The inner blend features a very interesting mix of Nicaraguan, Peruvian and Dominican long filler tobaccos that create a really nice balance of both earthiness and creaminess, while the wrapper is an attractive Mexican San Andres leaf that gives this stick a nice little kick of spice.
It’s nicely constructed and the draw gives off a lot of thick smoke. As far as flavors go, I got hit with pepper up front but it’s not overly spicy. Then, at about an inch in, it settled into some really pleasant notes of coffee and sweet cedar. At around the halfway point the flavor got a little deeper and a bit leathery, which I always like. Once again, not overly complex at all, but more straight forward with flavors that are pronounced and easy to identify.
I like this cigar for a couple of reasons – it’s just a solid medium-bodied smoke for those moments when that’s what your palate craves. It’s also an incredible bargain as far as price goes which makes the Romeo y Julieta Verona one hell of a great bargain as well. Go for it.
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