Origin : Cuba
Format : Corona Grande
Size : 6.375 x 43 (162 x 17.46 mm)
Year : 1998
Price : ~$7-10 each
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars...
Summer has never been complete for me without the presence of a glowing campfire. Maybe that explains my affinity to cigars as well but I digress. Recently, the wife, in-laws and I decided to have the 2010 summer initiation of their fire pit. After getting it cleaned, lit and stabilized I found myself fully relaxed, tranquilly looking out across a golden field behind their home. Deciding that it was the perfect setting for a special cigar I opened my humidor and set eyes upon a gift from a fellow BOTL and my next adventure; a 1998 Romeo y Julieta Cazadores.
Admittedly, my experience with cigars from this region is minimal. On inspection, the wrapper of this one looks rugged and imperfect but not sloppy. There is a fair quantity of veins but nothing overly imposing. A couple of seams have a slight wrinkle to them but all of them manage to hold fast and remain cleanly attached. A couple of pencil eraser sized green water spots are intermittently dispersed along the barrel. Age has done a wonderful job of bringing the oils to the surface creating a beautiful sheen on the light brown wrapper. A distinct musty barnyard smell exudes from the foot and wrapper.
Cutting the triple cap and gently toasting the foot reveals a tight draw that still manages to produce dense creamy smoke with a very grassy flavor leaving a subtle tingling on the tongue. Taking a few more puffs unleashes light coffee. The draw begins to loosen at this point leaving behind a dark gray ash. First impressions of this cigar are that it is quite mild but remains flavorful enough.
Moving into the second third, the cigar dispenses a short burst of white pepper when retrohaled through the nose. Mostly, however, the overall profile is slightly bitter hay. At about the halfway mark the burn begins to run off course and starts to canoe. After wrestling with it for a short while, ashing the cigar and providing a touchup with my torch corrected the burn for the remainder of the smoke. Moving into the final third the light pepper becomes more prominent and is accompanied by a soft nutty tone and original hay flavor.
Overall this smoke is incredibly mild. Some flavor changes occur during the course of the smoke but grassy hay dominates throughout. The question that kept popping into my mind every time a new flavor revealed itself is whether or not it was blended to be that subtle or if the twelve years of age had moved it past its prime. If the flavors mentioned above, outside of the hay, were more dominant I think this would have been a much more enjoyable experience. If this was a purchase instead of a gift I would not have been put out by paying the $7 price for this smoke but I would not actively seek out another. An added point worth mentioning is that this cigar was stored at 70% RH so reducing that prior to smoking may have helped the overall flavor. I will likely get a chance to smoke one more of these and plan to let it rest at 65% or slightly lower beforehand.
Overall Rating : (3.25)