Romeo y Julieta Duke 2009 Limited Edition

Romeo y Julieta Duke 2009 Limited Edition

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Grand Robusto
Size : 140 x 21.43 mm (5.5 x 54)
Ring : 54
Hand-Made
Price : ~13€ each

Romeo y Julieta Duke is the biggest of 2009 edicion limitadas. It is a 5.5 x 54 grand robusto, slightly shorter than Montecristo Sublimes that I recently reviewed. This is not the first limited edition from the brand, far from that – Romeo y Julieta have released 7 LEs (more than any other brand), including this one. I cannot say anything about the older releases, but the most recent Escudo seems to be a decent smoke. I smoked two cigars for this review and they were pretty consistent in terms of flavor and construction.

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★½
The looks are there. Duke sports an extremely attractive shiny brown wrapper with several water spots and moderate veining. The sour intense smell has become a standard for any high quality Cuban. The cigar is well-packed without any soft spots. I easily removed the bands, cut the cigar and discovered a very easy, round pre-draw with notes of cedar.

Construction : Rating: ★★★½☆
Although in terms of draw there is nothing to complain about, I was not totally satisfied by the burn on this stick – I needed to correct it several times to avoid funneling. Perhaps the wrapper was too moist and I should have dry-boxed it for a day.

Flavor : Rating: ★★★½☆
It took some time to properly light the Duke but in the end I was rewarded with respectful portions of fresh, spicy smoke. The cedary flavors are not very powerful and provoke a pleasant tingling in the back of the throat. Little evolution until the end of the second third where I detect the addition of leather flavors. Until the very end (I let it rest when the burn arrived to the main band) there is also a faint taste of ammonia which indicates that this cigar might need a few additional years of aging.

Value : Rating: ★★★☆☆
Ranging from $10 to $20 depending on the country and/or the retailer, it’s hard to judge the value of this stick. Is it a box purchase? Not for me, for several reasons – I will outline them below.

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★½☆
I have written several times that I have never been impressed with a single smoke from Romeo y Julieta. Well, sorry to repeat, but it’s again the case here – whereas the Duke unquestionably has great looks and an acceptable construction, it doesn’t deliver in terms of flavor, especially if you paid over $15 for the smoke. Furthermore, a 54 ring gauge is almost ridiculous. On the other hand, this cigar has some ageing potential unlike the 2008 Cuaba. Although I enjoyed the Duke less than the Magnum 48, it might be a good idea to try at least one of these fat babies.