Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. If you missed my first one, I'll throw another little intro here to get you all acclimated to my style. I've been smoking for under a year and, as an exercise to get myself more into the hobby and exposed to more sticks, I've decided to do some reviews on the different cigars I have tried/want to try. My first review was on the Casa Torano, which I really enjoyed and found in the Toranos a "brand" I would like to explore more. For my second review, I'll be looking at the Romeo y Julieta Reserve - another name in cigars I had always heard, but never tried. A 5 pack of these are around 25 bucks.
The Stick Fact:
The "Reserve" line is not a line that I hear about too often, but someone at the CI Super Store had recommended it to me. Note: This is not the "Reserva Real", this is just called the "Reserve". I smoked the Robusto size (5 x 54). This cigar is described as being "full" on the Altadis website, but I would say it is definitely a medium or, maybe, a medium-full cigar at the most. The Reserve is manufactured in Honduras, and made with a Nicaraguan wrapper/binder, and the filler is a mix of Nicaraguan/Honduran tobacco.
The Smoking Conditions:
I smoked the Reserves inside with the windows open with water as my accompanying drink (though I believe a glass of iced tea made an appearance once, as I love iced tea). They were lit with wooden matches from my B&M, and I lit one with my Zippo (which, as I've mentioned before, doesn't really affect the taste for me). The stick took about an hour and fifteen minutes, on average, making it not too long of a commitment.
The wrapper is a chocolate brown, very enjoyable to look at. There were a few little veins, but nothing to complain about. The aroma from this cigar was slightly sweet, with some chocolate or cocoa hints in it. The pre-light draw didn't give me too much, except the tiniest hint of spice. Cut with a standard two blade, I was ready to get this stick going.
The Reserve lit very easily, taking 3-4 matches each time to get going. The burn was very even, no real hills to speak of at all. The smoke from this was pretty hefty, with every draw giving a good mouthful of greyish white smoke. The draw wasn't bad, but it wasn't the easiest I've ever had. I would recommend giving a little pre-puff before each draw to keep it going, at least in the first third. This seemed to move the cigar in a more positive direction. I had to relight one of them, but it was raining out, and I don't know if the wind from the storm contributed to this.
First Third: The first few draws are a pure, medium strength pepper. The smoke was coming out great in the beginning as long as I took a little puff before my larger one. The pepper stayed as pretty much the only flavor in the beginning, with it being very strong through the nose. Moving into the second third the pepper seemed to step back a little, and allow for hints of a creamy smoke to come through.
Second Third: In the second third, the pepper remained in the back, and a mild tobacco taste took over. There was some play back and forth between a pepper on the palette, and a sweetness in the smoke (which I guess explains the smell) and, really, this was my favorite part of the smoke.
Final Third: The final third is where I became a little disappointed in this cigar. I was expecting a strong finish, since I was told it is a full strength cigar, but instead the last third is just more of the creaminess from the first third, mixed with the stronger pepper the cigar began with. The final few draws were not peppery at all, allowing for a smooth, clean finish. I did nub this cigar every time.
The Romeo y Julieta Reserve was a good smoke, but not something that really excited me. I would be more than willing to smoke one, and I am hoping to try out more of the brand, but this cigar is just a little bit too lackluster. However, I would still recommend trying it- just don't run out to do so. I will probably purchase a 5-pack of this cigar in my future, either as a simple "everyday smoke" (although I don't smoke daily), or as a cigar to give to my friends who have a few mild cigars under the belt.
In all I'd give the Romeo y Julieta Reserve a 7.25 out of 10.