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Connoisseur’s Corner: Pre-Castro Romeo y Julietas

Romeo y Julieta Dunhill Sun-Grown Breva

Montecristo No. 1 (1989)

This 29-year-old lonsdale is drop-dead gorgeous, with a silky wrapper and superb construction. The burn is even, the draw somewhat firm. It’s quite woody, with hints of almond paste, graham crackers and earth, and deep into the smoke it takes on a light note of cocoa powder. There’s plenty of strength and character in these old leaves. —David Savona

Romeo y Julieta Belicoso (2001)

Even after 17 years in the humidor, this belicoso remains supple and silky. An interesting contrast of dried flowers and exotic incense prefaced the steady core of nutmeg, walnuts and cinnamon. Woodiness was notably absent, as the paper-lined dress box allowed the tobacco to age neutrally. The cigar is superbly crafted, and smoked in three solid ashes. —Gregory Mottola

Paul Garmirian P.G. No 1 Lancero (1991)

This nicely rolled panetela was made in the Dominican Republic 27 years ago. It has a coil cap, and wears a golden-brown wrapper devoid of oils. The draw is firm, but it still delivers plenty of smoke, which imparts notes of soft wood with some toasted vanilla. A bit of toffee and light espresso come through on the finish. —Andrew Nagy