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Romeo y Julieta Viejo

Steve R
90
The Romeo y Julieta Bully was one of the first cigars I ever had. It was about 9 or 10 years ago. I was in Mexico and forcing down my 4th or 5th Corona of the morning. (Before you ask, I brought my own cigars. Never buy smokes in Mexico!) I lit up a Bully from the 1875 line, Romeo’s top-selling blend. It was good...gentle enough for a new guy like me to enjoy with enough flavor to make me really excited about premium cigars. It paired nicely with an empty-stomach morning of partly flavored water.
 
Fast forward to the present. 1875 is still Romeo’s top-selling blend, but our relationship has changed. My palate has grown more demanding, wanting fuller-bodied cigars with a deep array of flavor. I’ve tried every Romeo the Dominican Republic has to offer, but haven’t found one that meets both of these requirements. Now there's the Viejo. A dark, oily, box-pressed Romeo y Julieta that captivated me upon first glance.
 
The Viejo feels great in my hand. It’s heavy and the box-press is slight, contributing to a very comfortable feel. The wrapper is smooth and consistent in color with a little tooth poking through, while the pre-light aroma has a sweet, syrupy quality. The thick maduro wrapper makes me want to take a bite out of the cigar, and I often find myself chomping down on it with each puff. Flavorwise, Viejo is very appealing. The blend is not overly complex, but the Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers are nicely balanced, promoting a smooth and steady flavor from start to finish. Ultimately rich and 'bready' in character, I find subtle hints of wood take center stage, with a supporting cast of caramel undertones and a somewhat sweet aftertaste. Adding to the enjoyment are the pillows of smoke that envelop my palate and linger above my head. I consider this cigar to be medium in body, but surprisingly satisfying. I look forward to more after a generous meal and tasty cordial of aged port.

I may be a huge fan of boutique cigars due to the diversity each maker offers, but the Romeo y Julieta Viejo gives me new faith in one of the industry’s oldest names. Do not confuse this cigar with the Romeo Reserve Maduro...they’re light-years apart. One smells and tastes like feet, the other soothes the restless beast inside.
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