New from Altadis U.S.A., RyJ follows in the footsteps of the recently released Romeo and Havoc lines as a new direction for the Romeo y Julieta brand. RyJ is crafted with 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos from the Jalapa Valley and Esteli and features an exclusive La Comana wrapper leaf never before used on any cigar. For today’s review I pulled out a sample of the Toro (6×52.)
The cigar opened up with a nice kick of white and black pepper spice in front of some crisp cedar and smooth leather. Right away I could tell that this was going to be quite unlike any other romeo I had sampled previously. The cigar was producing a lot of dense smoke through a straight burn and appropriately firm draw. About an inch in the pepper calmed down enough to allow me to taste some nice, sweet cocoa.
A creamy component entered the mix as I burned into the 2nd third. The dominant notes were now of leather, cocoa, and earth, with the spice still present but now buried as a background note. The smoke remained clean-tasting and smooth with a great balance of complimentary flavors.
In the final third the pepper made a bit of a comeback as the earthy notes kicked into high gear and a malty and leathery sweetness began to develop. By the end of the smoke my palate was drenched in the deeply rich flavors of the cigar.
With the RyJ, Romeo y Julieta has managed to create a Nicaraguan puro that totally stands apart from any other Nicaraguan Puro I’ve smoked before, and believe me, there are no shortage of them these days. While not overly complex, the RyJ was far from one-dimensional, as it piped out a continuous array of well-balanced spicy, sweet, woody, earthy, and leathery notes. This stick also packed more formidable strength than I had anticipated, though it delivered it in a slow, sneaky fashion. Instead of being bowled over with nicotine power I was treated to a strong smoke with careful refinement, a characteristic I’m always looking for but rarely find. I personally feel like Romeo y Julieta has achieved a new level of blending with this cigar and I enjoyed it more than the previously mentioned “updated” blends that they’ve come out with over the past couple of years. Based on today’s smoke I award the RyJ Toro an A grade. If you think you’ve seen everything that Romeo has to offer, think again. After smoking this you may come away with a new appreciation for the brand.