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Staff Reviews

Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua Toro Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

Hanging Christmas lights on my house is the kind of hard work that calls for a cigar, so I’m smoking one from the legendary Cuban-legacy brand, Romeo y Julieta. I’m enjoying Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua in a 6-inch-by-50-ring Toro. Although most non-Cuban Romeos are made in the Dominican Republic, a Nicaraguan edition exists today as well. Sure, there are plenty of aficionados who only smoke “Cuban” Romeos and spend hours obsessing over the differences between fake versus real Cuban Romeo cigars, but the Dominican and Nicaraguan Romeos are arguably far more consistent, and you can legally buy them at your local retailer.

Previously, I’ve given my take on other popular Romeo y Julieta cigars, including Reserva Real and Reserve, while my fellow Holt’s reviewer, Zack, has put his taste buds to work sampling the original Romeo y Julieta 1875. The brand’s parent company, Altadis USA, tapped the Plasencias to craft the Nicaraguan Romeo I’m smoking today – provided I can keep my balance on the ladder better than Clark Griswold.   

1875 Nicaragua is a medium-bodied cigar, and it’s a Nicaraguan Puro, meaning all its tobaccos – binder, filler, and wrapper – hail from Nicaragua. Its wrapper displays an oily caramel-brown hue with a few faintly detectable seams beneath a pair of white and orange cigar bands. The blend is handmade in a series of classic shapes, and the Toro is a solid fifty-to-sixty-minute smoke, but I may need more than one for today’s herculean endeavor. And, it goes for just under eight bucks a cigar, making it a decent bargain but not quite a yard ‘gar. The price drops a couple dollars, too, when you buy them by the box.

I love to smoke cigars outside ever since I relocated to the burbs where I’ve got a proper backyard. But, not all cigars are created equally for smoking in cold weather. A chilly but bright December afternoon is the perfect occasion for multitasking with a premium handmade, but you need well-made cigar with a resilient wrapper for smoking outdoors, or you’ll find yourself frequently relighting it or fixing an uneven burn. Luckily, it’s not so cold I need to keep my mittens on. Maneuvering my cigar around is critical as I begin to untangle 50 yards of Christmas lights and plot out where to prop the reindeer up to make the front yard flash and glow like a Vegas casino when it’s all said and done.

As soon as I strip the cellophane off and clip the cap, Romeo y Julieta 1875 Nicaragua delivers a blissful profile of oak and graham cracker as I take a few cold puffs before sparking it up with my trusty Jetline Grenade Triple Torch Lighter. Notes of tea, leather, and caramel weave a pleasant tapestry across my palate. Peppery aromas punctuate the nose with sweet, complementary hints of fresh bread and cocoa.

The Toro reveals a nice, even burn and a consistent draw, even with the cigar clenched in my jaw at times. Because 1875 Nicaragua is woody and firm but not too strong, it’s an ideal cigar to puff on passively. It won’t singe your nose hairs or leave an abrasive aftertaste if you like to smoke while you work. The ash stays relatively intact despite a slight breeze, but a few touch ups are required to keep the burn straight as I scale the ladder to hammer in some hooks at the edge of the downspouts. For a few fleeting moments I feel like the supreme commander of my neighborhood, straddling the rooftop and unleashing big white wafts of smoke into the atmosphere while I stare down at my driveway knowing I’ve got way more cigars in my house than all the other husbands on my block combined. Ahhh, Christmastime is glorious.

Chewy notes of molasses, nuts, and white pepper complete the middle third of the cigar with hints of graham cracker and cedar rounding out the profile. I’ve already peeled the bands off in anticipation of smoking my Toro well past the nub. I’ll need every puff as I prepare to unsnarl three boxes of extension cords tangled up like snakes. Hopefully I’ve got enough breath left to pump some air into the inflatable Santa that’s supposed to tower over the front door like a Christmas blimp.

The final draws deliver notes of milk chocolate, baking spices, and wood in a satisfying finish. A second cigar is essential to keep my nerves in check while I figure out how to reach the sockets in my garage. If you’re a dutiful dad like me and you need a good cigar to smoke while you string up your lights this year, consider 1875 Nicaragua, and decide if it makes your list of the best Romeo y Julieta cigars available today. You won’t be disappointed.

Strength: Medium
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan

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