Thompson Cigar is not new to exclusive blends, and last month the Tampa-based retailer added another one to is portfolio.

The Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro is a three-vitola line from Altadis U.S.A. Although it is a line extension of the company’s Romeo y Julieta Aniversario brand, the blend is completely new: a Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper covering a Honduran criollo 98 binder along with filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. In contrast, the original Romeo y Julieta Aniversario is composed of an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over a Connecticut broadleaf binder, with Peruvian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan fillers inside.

The new regular production line is being rolled at Imperial Brands, plc’s La Flor de Copan Cigar Factory in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras and were released on Sept. 25.

The new line is being offered in three sizes, each packaged in 20-count boxes.

  • Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro Robusto (5 x 54) — $8.69 (Boxes of 20, $119.95)
  • Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro Magnum (6 x 60) — $10.13 (Boxes of 20, $124.95)
  • Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro Churchill (7 x 58) — $10.18 (Boxes of 20, $129.95)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: La Flor de Copan Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Honduran Criollo 98
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Robusto Grande
  • MSRP: $8.69 (Boxes of 20, $119.95)
  • Release Date: Sept. 25, 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Visually, the Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro Robusto is physically impressive when held in my hand with a rustic, dark espresso bean wrapper that is extremely rough to the touch. There is very little oil present, and the cigar is extremely hard when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of barnyard, manure, earth, black pepper and mild sweetness, while the cold draw brings flavors of dark chocolate, hay, earth, leather, black pepper and distinct cherry sweetness.

Immediately after toasting the foot, the Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro opens with a number of flavors, all of which are fairly distinct, but none of which could be considered dominant: cocoa nibs, hay, espresso beans, leather and dried tea leaves. There is some very obvious black pepper on the retrohale that interestingly is not replicated on the finish, but there is some slight spice on my tongue. I am also picking up a nice cherry sweetness that seems to have been carried over from the cold draw, a note that seems to be getting stronger as the cigar burns down. Construction-wise, the Romeo y Julieta features an excellent draw after a v-cut as well as a burn that, while a bit wavy, is not bad enough to need correcting as of yet. Although there is plenty of smoke coming from the foot, it is noticeably thin, and the strength fails to reach the medium mark by the end of the first third.

Interestingly, the cherry sweetness from the first third and the cold draw becomes quite a bit more prevalent in the second third of the Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro, leading to a much more complex profile overall. In addition, there is now a dominant flavor—namely freshly roasted coffee beans—followed by notes of licorice, oak, cinnamon, cashews, leather and slight floral. Both the spice and the black pepper are reduced noticeably by the halfway point and both the burn and the draw continue to impress. The smoke production remains both high and thin, while the overall strength rises enough to hit a solid medium by the time the second third comes to an end.

The cherry sweetness in the Aniversario Maduro Robusto dips a bit in the final third, meaning that the profile loses some of the complexity from the second third and resembles the first third more. The freshly roasted coffee beans note still leads the way in terms of flavors, followed immediately by flavors of hay, cinnamon, dark cocoa powder, dried tea leaves and tobacco. Thankfully, both the burn and draw are as wonderful as ever, but the volume of smoke production has decreased noticeably. Finally, the strength takes a major jump right before the end of the cigar, putting the Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro Robusto a bit stronger than medium by the time I put the nub down with about an inch to go.

Final Notes

  • After smoking three of these, the middle third is consistently the most complex in terms of flavors and balance, mostly due to the increase amount of cherry sweetness in the profile.
  • I just cannot say enough about the construction on these cigars: all three had a fantasic draw, and the burn line—while uneven at times—did not need touching up once.
  • Altadis U.S.A. and JR Cigar, both Imperial Brands, plc subsidiaries, advertise on halfwheel.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Thompson Cigar.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 39 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduros, the only place you can get them is Thompson Cigar, and you can find them on the company’s website here.
90 Overall Score

When I think of Connecticut broadleaf wrappers, a few dominant flavor notes immediately pop into my head based on the many examples I have smoked in the past, including strong earth, pepper, hay, espresso beans and sweetness. While the Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Maduro did have all of those notes at various times, none of them were overly dominant over the rest except during the second third and the cherry sweetness that was present in this particular cigar throughout really set the profile apart. In the end, this is a nicely blended, nicely balanced and very well-constructed cigar and well worth trying out if you are a fan of naturally sweeter blends.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.