Romeo y Julieta Havoc is a new blend from one of the oldest and most well-respected names in cigars, and it’s a bit different than what we’ve all come to expect from Romeo y Julieta. First off, instead of the classic Dominican blends usually found in Romeos, the Havoc is handmade in Honduras using a mix of premium Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos, all wrapped up in a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. Secondly, the Havoc line consists of three all-big-ring sizes, another first for RyJ, a company that usually doesn’t stray far from tradition. For today’s review I pulled out a sample of the Stocky Bully vitola (5×56) to evaluate.
This fat stogie appeared to be solidly rolled with a sturdy triple-cap up top, and was sporting two bands, one with the traditional “Medallas de Oro” logo, and the second emblazoned with the word Havoc . The wrapper of the cigar had a sweet, nutty scent, and pre-light draws gave off notes of nuts, coffee, and sweet spice.
This stick toasted and lit with almost no effort on my part, and before I knew it I was off and smoking. Right from the first puff I got the unmistakable taste of rich Nicaraguan tobacco, and a bit of baking spice flavor. This profile remained consistent for the first inch or so of the cigar, after which I started picking up notes of salty nut and a mild, malty sweetness.
In the 2nd third the burn-line went just a little bit astray, and the smoke became creamier and denser. The nutmeg spice I had detected earlier ramped up a bit in this portion, and subtle notes of roasted dark coffee and cedar joined the fold. The stick had a flaky off-white ash that came off little by little as I smoked, and thanks to its fat 56 ring-gauge this stogie was burning nice and cool.
By the time I burned into the last third the burn had straightened itself out, the flavors all came together in a nice balance, and a new sweetness emerged. For me, this was the most enjoyable portion of the cigar taste-wise, with the dominant notes of nuts, coffee, and spice melding together into one tasty flavor profile. With about an inch left, I finally laid the Havoc down to smolder out peacefully.
The Romeo y Julieta Havoc is billed as medium-to-full bodied, and it definitely has more body than most of Romeo’s previous releases, but not by much. I would say it was closer to medium than full in strength. While not very complex, the Havoc had nice relaxed flavor all the way through. As far as performance, this stick burned evenly enough, stayed cool, and had a wide open draw. Despite the major differences between the Havoc and classic Romeo y Julieta cigars that I pointed out earlier, after smoking this I was left with the impression that Romeo fans would really enjoy this cigar. While it is certainly a change of pace for the brand, it’s not radically different, and it definitely upholds the company’s high standard of quality. I give the Romeo Havoc a solid B+ grade, and I strongly recommend it for Romeo fans, or for anyone who likes chunky smokes and smooth, relaxed flavor.
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