Craig Heap reviews Romeo y Julieta cigarillos and finds them doubleplus ungood
Romeo y Julieta cigarillos
Romeo y Julieta, Habanos SA
Approximate price: £ 5- 6 per pack of 10 cigarillos
This longstanding brand, established in 1875, achieved acclaim toward the end of the 1800s and was later popularised by Winston Churchill to the extent that they named one of their cigar sizes after him. Indeed, surrounding the box cover’s renaissance-style picture of the two eponymous lovers are the many medals Romeo y Julieta as a brand have won. Closer inspection, however, reveals none of these gold medals are more recent than 1900.
Moving past such ill omens, within the white box the cigarillos are rustic in appearance, like most others of their kind. The wrappers are an attractive, butterscotch to golden brown colour. The initial odour is mild but pleasant, with subtle, butter and cream notes, though not much else.
They burn less well than their Montecristo counterparts, the brand considered the benchmark in the cigar world, and two in the pack split and had to be abandoned during smoking. Elsewhere, there was a lack of consistency in the construction, with some being densely packed and another being barely filled at all.
On smoking, the buttery notes are immediately evident in the draw, and promise a satisfying, gentle smoke. As you lean back in your chair and raise a glass, ready to enjoy the delicate flavour, it suddenly vanishes, to be replaced by nothing. The flavour becomes bland and tasteless, and just when you thought you couldn’t be any more disappointed, an acrid bitterness rolls in across the tongue. Where there’s flavour, it’s muted; elsewhere, there’s nothing but a harsh, empty wasteland.
There are no redeemable qualities to these cigarillos – even if they were the only ones in the shop I would rather go without.