Growing up in Canada, my first experiences with cigars were fraught with notions of history and romance. Undoubtedly this is because of the predominance of Cuban ciars on the corner store shelves and most notably of the Romeo y Julieta brand. There always seemed to be more of these than the eponymous Cuban brands of Montecristo, Cohiba and Partagas. Sometimes I feel when reading reviews of Romeos that they are slotted a notch below these brands today because they tend towards medium body and don’t have the same distinct strong flavours of many Cubans. Recently I found some aged cigars at my local shop that were discounted because of damage and when I saw a Robusto with the Romeo band I knew it was time to revisit many of my early smoking experiences.
Build: Handmade long filler Cuban
Format: Hermoso #4
Size: 127 x 19.05 mm (5″ x 48)
Price: $15 CAN
This cigar has a few scars that betray its age, with a chunk missing near the foot and a crack near the cap. The wrapper has a distinctly Cuban aroma, that sweet earthy spice that seems to highten all senses and whet the palate. I don’t think I was quite prepared for the initial flavours it gave of pistachio nuts, mate tea leaves and Indian spices. The box code of this Hermoso #4 was 2005 and like good wine age creates a wealth of complexity. It’s tough to remember a cigar that required so much focus to distinguish the many different flavours. Never sweet and never too strong, every puff was a little bit different. Towards the end this scigar was a bit fatiguing, a problem easily solved by sipping some of your best scotch. The scotch in my cabinet really was’t up to the challenge of matching the delicacy and complexity, but I look forward to trying an aged Cuban with an older highland scotch with similar subtle richness and depth of flavor.