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Cigar Review: Romeo San Andrés Toro

19 Mar 2018

Earlier this month, Altadis unveiled the latest in the seemingly never-ending expansion of its highly visible Romeo y Julieta brand. This one is Romeo San Andrés, a collaboration between Rafael Nodal and A.J. Fernandez that adheres to the modern packaging of the Romeo line that was launched about six years ago (and, later, Romeo Añejo and Romeo 505 Nicaragua).

“This elegant cigar, crafted in Estelí, Nicaragua, brings today’s connoisseurs a contemporary take on the rich and robust profiles of the Romeo y Julieta collection,” reads a press release. “This exceptional premium offering employs an aged San Andrés wrapper, considered one of the most flavorful leaves used in today’s premium cigar market.”

In addition to the dark, Mexican wrapper, Romeo San Andrés sports a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. It comes in four sizes that range in price from $9.35 to $9.85: Robusto (5 x 50), Pirámides (6.1 x 52), Short Magnum (5.5 x 60), and Toro (6 x 54).

The latter is a firm, dense, handsome cigar with ultra-thin veins and smooth seams. At the foot, I find mouth-watering pre-light notes of dark chocolate and espresso bean. Once the rough cap is clipped, the cold draw is effortless.

The Toro starts full-bodied and strong with a hearty dose of black pepper spice, espresso, and leather. Background notes of dried fruits (fig and apricot, namely) add balance.

After only a quarter of an inch, there is a noticeable transition. As the spice begins to fade, flavors of cream and roasted cashew emerge. Here, I’d downgrade the body to medium, though the strength remains quite full.

At the midway point and thereafter, there is less and less spice. In its place, there are notes of café au lait, warm tobacco sweetness, earth, leather, and some rustic grit.

All the while, construction is impeccable. The straight burn requires zero touch-ups along the way, the draw is clear, the smoke production voluminous, and the gray ash holds exceptionally well off the foot.

San Andrés can be a polarizing wrapper. I know cigar enthusiasts who love it, and those who dislike it. If you’re in the former camp, give the Romeo San Andrés a try. It’s a very respectable San Andrés specimen and, in my estimation, worthy of three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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