Well, here we are in 2018 and the collaborations with AJ Fernandez continue where they left off in 2017. This time the cigar tobacco king has worked again with Altadis USA and included Rafael Nodal in the mix to create the latest Romeo y Julieta cigar – the Romeo San Andrés. You may recall AJ has worked in the past to create 3 other blends for Altadis USA; Gispert Intenso, H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez, and the Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez. This once again shows you can’t go wrong with partnering with AJ Fernandez.
The Romeo San Andrés is manufactured at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua, in Estelí. It hit the shelves in March but I got one at as part of the package at the Smoke Inn – Great Smoke 2018. The sample has been resting in my humidor since then..
The blend of this new classic is described as:
- Wrapper – Mexican Andrés
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan and Dominican
The Romeo San Andrés is avaiabke in 4 vitolas and comes packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Robusto (5 x 50) – (MSRP $9.35)
- Toro (6 x 54) – (MSRP $9.55)
- Pirámides (6 1/8 by 52) – (MSRP $9.70)
- Short Magnum (5.5 x 60) – (MSRP $9.85)
For this review I sampled the Romeo San Andrés Toro.
This is an amazingly good-looking cigar with a dark chocolate-brown, lightly gritty wrapper with tight seams and mild veins. There is a decent oily sheen to the wrapper and the cigar is finished with a double cap.
The band on this cigar continues the bold look that Romeo y Julieta has been using on their Romeo offerings. This time they chose a black and white motif with a little bit of gold trim. The white word “ROMEO” is prominently placed on a black background the words “San Andrés” are printed on the bottom.
The pre-light aromas on this cigar have me wanting to just get right into lighting it with sweet and spicy notes along the barrel and an enticing peppery nut on the foot.
I sliced the cap right along the line of the cap band and gave proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. The draw is perfectly restricted and warmed the palate with notes of earth and cayenne pepper. As I continued to roll it about my tongue and inner cheeks were feeling the warmth of the pepper.
As I said with the pre-light aromas, I just want to fire this up, and now that the early exam is complete to my satisfaction it was time to hit the foot with my 3 flame torch, warming the foot gently and taking in a few early puffs of pepper laden smoke especially on the retro-hale. Follow along as I continue to break this new classic down and turn to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper holds tight for a good half-inch plus
- A salt and pepper ash develops with great form resting on a thin char line
- Cocoa powder and coffee notes enter as the pepper begins to recede
- Citrus fruit enters close to start of second third
- Smoke is medium volume
- Ash fell after first third with a perfectly centered and protruding burn cone
- Cedar notes enter
- Toasted cracker notes enter just before the band
- Spicy nut aroma
- Astringent notes enter end of second third
- Strength is solid medium and growing
- Cocoa notes reappear in final third
- Finishes with citrus, cocoa, and cedar
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes
Overall, Romeo San Andrés by Romeo y Julieta smoked as amazing as it looked. This is certainly one more fine collaboration between three giants in the industry, which I am sure we will see more of as the years go on. The burn and the ash on this gem was all but perfect and what I expect from Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua. The flavors transitioned well and had a fine balance throughout the journey. The astringent note was short-lived and is what I have come to feel is a sign of a transition in flavor. I took this one down to the nub and will certainly find more to smoke.