Romeo y Julieta is going Mexican. The newest version of this storied line comes draped in a dark, Mexican San Andrés wrapper and should be hitting cigar shops in March. Aptly named Romeo San Andrés by Romeo y Julieta, the new line is made in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez and is the newest concept from Rafael Nodal, Altadis Head of Product Capability. This marks the first time Romeo y Julieta has ever come in a Mexican wrapper.
“San Andrés is arguably one of the best wrappers in the market,” Nodal said. “It has unique characteristics and the ability to enhance a blend if fermented correctly.”
The upcoming brand is set to retail between $9 and $10 and comes in four sizes: Robusto at 5 inches by 50 ring gauge; Toro, 6 by 54; Pirámides, 6 1/8 by 52; and Short Magnum, 5 1/2 by 60. They come in boxes of 20.
“Normally you have a new project in mind and then get to work on a blend for the project,” explained Nodal. But this cigar project was different. “In this case, A.J. [Fernandez] and I were blending some of his aged tobaccos with no project in mind, other than the goal of developing a blend with complex flavors, aroma and exceptional balance.”
After experimenting with tobaccos, Nodal and Fernandez decided on a blend that consists of Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers, a Nicaraguan binder and Mexican San Andrés wrapper.
The Romeo San Andrés by Romeo y Julieta is another example of Altadis U.S.A. contracting with third-party manufacturers to produce modern, more full-bodied interpretations of this iconic heritage brand. It joins other lines such as the Romeo 505 (made by Plasencia Cigars) and Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room Made by Tabacalera Palma, of which the Cantaor size was named the No. 15 cigar of 2017.
For a vertical brand tasting of the new Romeo San Andrés by Romeo y Julieta, see an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider, the semimonthly newsletter from the editors of Cigar Aficionado.