While 2020 was a busy year for Altadis USA, there was one item that flew under the radar. 2020 would mark the 145th anniversary of the Romeo y Julieta brand. While Romeo y Julieta’s milestone might not have gotten a lot of attention, it was sandwiched between the 175th anniversary of H. Upmann and the 85th anniversary of Montecristo. In terms of activity, there was been a lot of attention adding Nicaraguan-made products in Altadis, and Romeo y Julieta has been no exception – especially over the past year. Earlier this year, it was announced that a Nicaraguan made version of the popular Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real line would be made and known as the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua. It’s a cigar that comes from AJ Fernandez’s factory in Nicaragua. Today we take a closer look at the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua in the Toro size.
For completeness, here is a look a the Romeo y Julieta national releases (shop exclusives not included) that have been produced in Nicaragua for Altadis USA’s parent company Tabacalera USA which includes Santa Clara Cigars as well as Altadis USA. Tabacalera USA has worked with the Plasencia factory and AJ Fernandez Cigars to produce these Nicaragua cigars.
- Romeo 505 Nicaragua (Plasencia SA for Altadis)
- Romeo y Julieta Crafted by AJ Fernandez (Tabacalera AJ Fernandez for Santa Clara Cigars)
- Romeo San Andrés by Romeo y Julieta Toro (Tabacalera AJ Fernandez for Altadis)
- Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua(Plasencia SA for Altadis)
- Romeo y Julieta Crafted by Plasencia at 2019 IPCPR (Plasencia SA for Santa Clara Cigars)
- Romeo y Julieta 1875 Connecticut Nicaragua (Plasencia SA for Altadis)
- Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua (Tabacalera AJ Fernandez for Altadis)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua features all Nicaraguan tobaccos grown on farms by AJ Fernandez.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
The Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua is offered in four sizes. Each is presented in 25-count boxes except the Magnum size which is in a 20-count box.
Toro: 54 x 6
Robusto: 50 x 5
Magnum: 60 x 6
Churchill: 50 x 7
The Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro had a caramel-colored wrapper to it. This was a wrapper that had a very pristine look to it. The wrapper had a light coating of oil on it There were some thin visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams.
The band of the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua has a blue-colored background. The center of the band has a gold oval surrounded by gold rivets. On that center gold oval is the text “1875” in blue font. Just above the gold oval is the text “ROMEO Y JULIETA” in gold font, while just below the oval is the text “MEDALLAS DE ORO” – also in gold font. There are three gold medallions on each side of the concentric ovals. There are additional gold rivets making up the upper portion of the band. The lower part of the band has a pseudo-secondary band design with the text “RESERVA REAL” in gold font and “NICARAGUA” in white font. There is white trim on the upper and lower portion of the band – as well as white trim serving as a divider between the upper and lower portion of the band.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco, earth, and a mixed fruit note. Overall while it wasn’t an exotic pre-light draw, it still was an excellent one. At this point, it was time to light up the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro and see what the smoking experience will have in store.
The Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro started with notes of earth, natural tobacco, fruit, mixed pepper and bakers spice. There was an orange-rind quality to the fruit notes. Early on the natural tobacco and fruit notes moved to the forefront with pepper, earth, and baker’s spice notes setting in the background. By the end of the first third, the natural tobacco took over as the main primary note with the fruit notes also going into the background. Meanwhile, on the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of red pepper with an underlying natural sweetness.
The second third of the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro saw a caramel quality emerge on the natural tobacco. During this stage, there were increases of baker’s spice, pepper, and earth. Of the three notes, the earth notes had the largest increase. By the second half, the earth notes advanced into the forefront. Meanwhile, the fruit notes were also still present in the background with the baker’s spice and pepper.
The last third saw the earth notes have a slight edge over the natural tobacco. The spicy pepper and baker’s spice notes were more prominent by this point – and there still was some fruit sweetness present. This is the way the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro maintained a straight burn path and straight burn line. This was practically a “set it and forget it” burn as on each of the samples smoked, there was little need for touch-ups. The resulting ash was nearly white in color. This was a thick and firm ash. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal. In the end, this burn earns the”exceptional” rating – the highest that a cigar can score on Cigar Coop.
The draw to the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro also performed very well. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance to it – which is a positive. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
There was a little more boldness to the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro compared to what many might be used to on a Romeo y Julieta. The cigar started out medium strength and medium-bodied, but by the end of the first third, the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro progressed to medium to full territory where it remained until the end of the cigar experience.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
If you are looking for a Romeo y Julieta with a bolder Nicaraguan flair, the Romeo y Julieta Real Reserva Nicaragua Toro is going to deliver that experience. The sweetness early on is going to start as a nice gateway to the cigar experience, but as you get deeper into the smoke, there will be more boldness and more spice – giving the cigar the Nicaraguan edge. The excellent construction of this cigar was a nice bonus. Given this is a bolder cigar, it’s one I’d position for a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. At the same time, it’s a great cigar for the novice to “graduate” to something bolder.
This is a fantastic offering by Altadis and a great addition to the Romeo y Julieta brand. It’s a cigar that not only would I purchase again, but it’s one that garners box worthy consideration.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco (Caramel influence) Earth, Fruit (Orange Rind influence), Pepper, Bakers Spice
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium (1st Third), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium (1st Third), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
News: Altadis USA to Introduce Romeo y Julieta 1875 Connecticut Nicaragua
Source: Altadis USA, additional purchased
Brand Reference: Romeo y Julieta
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop