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Cigar Review: Romeo Toro

16 May 2012

The Dominican-made Romeo y Julieta brand has been a longtime staple in the portfolio of industry giant Altadis. But over the years, even as the brand grew to ten blends of varying strength, Romeo y Julieta always seemed to be associated with the milder spectrum.

The newest Romeo y Julieta blend, called simply Romeo, aims to change that. “A manly cigar, bold and robust, Romeo is an awesome smoke, rich in complex flavor sensations,” reads a marketing pamphlet from Altadis. “It is, quite likely, the finest Romeo y Julieta ever.”

Romeo is certainly the most modern-looking, sporting a unique band that breaks from the traditional motifs of its predecessors. The line’s sleek, curved boxes are definitely not traditional. And Romeo also adopts the contemporary mantra of “big and bold” with large ring gauges and a recipe of tobaccos that’s evidently built for power.

That recipe includes a dark Ecuadorian Habano-seed wrapper, a Dominican olor binder, and Dominican filler tobaccos of the piloto and olor varieties. The line is comprised of four vitolas that are crafted at the Tabacalera de Garcia in the Dominican Republic: Churchill (7 x 56), Toro (6 x 54), Robusto (5 x 54), and Piramide (6.1 x 52). I sampled three Toros for this review, each—in the interest of full disclosure—provided to me free of charge by Altadis.

The Toro is a clean-looking smoke with a hearty weight and a firm feel from head to toe. The foot confirms a tight cross-section of tobaccos. The pre-light aroma is musty and earthy and the draw is moderate.

After setting an even light, the introductory taste is bold yet stale. By this I mean there’s tons of strength from the smoke but very little in terms of identifiable flavor beyond pure heat. My strategy on cigars like this is to let them rest un-puffed for a few minutes to see if they settle into a more enjoyable profile as the foot cools.

Fortunately, the Romeo Toro does. Before crossing the half-inch mark, tastes of leather, dry wood, and espresso become dominant with a bit of nougat on the finish to add sweetness and balance. The resting smoke is quite sweet. Later, at the midway point, I find the body settles back toward the medium spectrum and some nutty notes take precedence over the leather. The final third features a reprise of power. All the while the construction is near perfect.

Altadis has made a considerable effort to get samples of Romeo in the hands of many internet reviewers, so I expect you’ll see much written about this cigar in the weeks to come. It will be interesting to read all the reviews. From my perspective, this is a fine smoke that will do well on the golf course. I would recommend picking up a Romeo as the blend hits the shelves of a tobacconist near you. I think cigar enthusiasts who typically stray away from Altadis smokes will be pleasantly surprised by the Toro, which is worthy of three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Review: Romeo Toro”

  1. Francisi Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Sounds OK and worth checking out when I see them show up at my local shop. Thanks for the review.

  2. Afficionado Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    I was really looking forward to this smoke, and was greatly disappointed. No spices, very little flavor at all, save musty damp wood, which was vague. The finish was non-existant, but it did leave a loamy paste-like feel on the palate. It did not put out a lot of smoke, requiring double and triple hits to get good smoke even though the draw was fine. I forced myself into the second third, and finally had to put it down shortly thereafter. On the positive side, the construction was very good, and the burn was even. Sadly, this was one of my worst cigar experiences to date. Maybe I just got a bad one, but for the price, I doubt a second act will follow…

  3. Monsterdg Monday, May 20, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Love this one.