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Cigar Review – Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Maduro Amore

I have to be in a very particular mood to smoke a perfecto-shaped cigar. A perfecto isn’t a cigar you want to smoke when you’re looking for a quick flavor fix, for a couple of reasons. First off, it inevitably takes an extra 15 minutes for the draw to open up on a perfecto, and secondly, with a shape like that, you definitely want to see how long you can keep the ash. Today was a slow day, so I sparked up a Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Maduro Amore.

At first glance, I wasn’t sure whether I had to clip both ends, since they were both tapered completely shut. I cut the cap and got whatever I could out of the pre-light draw—I tasted mostly cocoa, though I also got an interesting wine note. The San Andres Morron wrapper was a gorgeous shade of deep-reddish brown with a few fine veins and some oily sheen, and once I cut the cap, I could see the filler swirling nicely inside the cigar.

Once it was time to light up, I decided to take my chances and toast the closed foot to see if it would light itself. After a few futile draws, the cigar opened up almost immediately. Judging from the other perfectos I’ve smoked, I was expecting it to take a little longer for the draw to open up, but this cigar didn’t put up much of a fight at all.

The first few real draws were very chocolaty with some fruity sweetness and a little bit of earth and pepper, probably from the Nicaraguan filler in the blend. The burn was a little rocky as the ash hit the ½-inch mark, but straightened out after a few quick puffs. Around this point the sweetness ramped up, reminding me a bit of figs or dates but with a little more tartness.

Halfway through the cigar, the sweetness died down a little bit, giving way to a really nice buttery note. Red pepper also came into the mix—this, along with the slight remaining sweetness and the butter note, reminded me of a merlot. I’m not a big wine drinker, but I have another one of these resting in my humidor, and I think I’m going to smoke it with a big glass of something red.

As I reached the tail end of the smoke, the sweetness came back with dark chocolate and a very prominent cedar note. While the smoke didn’t become harsh, this cedar note pretty much took over and I wasn’t expecting it to change much, so I put it down with about 1 ½ inches remaining.

As far as perfecto-shaped cigars go, I think Romeo y Julieta has really hit the mark. I’ve had two of their perfectos including this one, with the other being a Habana Reserve Love Story, and they were both impressive. This one had a really nice flavor composition—it eased itself in with some sweet cocoa, made itself known with the butter and red pepper notes, and finished off nicely with the cedar kick. I’m looking forward to smoking another one of these, and I probably will very soon.