The Romeo 505 Nicaragua is finally shipping to cigar shops. Introduced at the IPCPR trade show in July 2016, the Plasencia-made Nicaraguan puro has been staggered into the market with only sporadic appearances. This month, the cigars will be fully released.
Distributed by Altadis U.S.A., the new line is unique in the Altadis portfolio, as it's the only Romeo y Julieta brand made in Nicaragua solely from Nicaraguan tobacco. The blend consists of Cuban-seed wrappers and binders, both from the Jalapa growing region. The filler tobacco is a combination of tobaccos from Estelí, Condega and Jalapa. Consistent with the Nicaraguan theme, the number 505 refers to Nicaragua's calling code.
The Romeo 505 Nicaragua retails for $10 to $10.75 and comes in four box-pressed sizes: Robusto, 5 1/2 inches by 50 ring; Toro, 6 by 52; Churchill, 7 by 50; and Piramides, 6 1/2 by 54.
This is the third time in recent years that Altadis has called upon the Plasencia Tobacco S.A. factory for its production capabilities and its library of Nicaraguan tobacco. First was for the Espada by Montecristo in 2014 and then Espada by Montecristo Estoque the next year.
The Romeo 505 Nicaragua is another creative initiative by Altadis intended to appeal to modern smokers who appreciate the history of a heritage brand like Romeo y Julieta, but prefer stronger cigars.
The major revamping of the brand started in 2012 when Romeo by Romeo y Julieta was created as a fuller-bodied alternative to milder Romeo y Julietas. The logo was bold, the boxes were glossy, the tobacco was strong and the message was clear: This is a new kind of Romeo y Julieta.
Altadis U.S.A. is marketing the Romeo 505 Nicaragua as medium- to full-bodied in strength. They come in boxes of 20.
For a vertical tasting of the new brand, see an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider.
This article first appeared in the February 7 edition of Cigar Insider.