Altadis U.S.A released a limited-edition Nicaraguan cigar beginning this year under the Romeo y Julieta trademark named Eternal in celebration of the 145th year of the Romeo y Julieta brand.
Through the collaboration between Plasencia and Rafael Nodal, the Eternal is built to be a masterpiece. This Nicaraguan puro cigar only utilizes tobacco from the Plasencia family. It is safe to say that there were plentiful options of tobacco for them to choose from, and per Nodal, the wrapper leaf he had chosen was fermented twice as long and aged for 26 months.
The packaging for the Eternal is unique. A box contains 11 cigars, where 1 out of the 11 has a gold ring band on it with gold background with red lettering, while the rest are black backgrounds with red lettering.
According to Nodal:
“Eternal’s gold ring symbolize the strong bond between the Aficionados and Romeo y Julieta… It is a love that has proven to be eternal.”
- Cigar Reviewed: Romeo y Julieta Eternal
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Size: Toro (6″ x 54)
Blind Review: Romeo y Julieta Eternal
Appearance & Construction
The cardboard box-colored cigar feels almost weightless between my fingers. The wrapper is thin enough for me to feel the lumpiness of the filler tobacco. Visually, there are a few minor veins scattered throughout the cigar, but I can’t feel any by touch.
Flavor and Smoke Characteristics
The wrapper has a faint fruity smell, and it becomes more prominent as I get closer to the foot. Due to the thinness of the wrapper, I decide to use my Colibri SV cutter and give the cap a shallow v-cut. With just the right amount chipped off, I take a few puffs of cold draws and taste a hint of sweet hay without any fruitiness from the scent. Unfortunately, tragedy hits early with this cigar. The wrapper is so thin it sticks to my lips as I pull the cigar away from me, and part of the wrapper rips off from the cap. Thank God the cigar is still intact! And to prevent any more wrapper sticking to my lips, I reluctantly over dampened the cigar.
Knowing how thin the wrapper is, I begin toasting the foot with long matches instead of a torch lighter. As soon as I take my first puff, I notice my mouth dries out immediately, followed by a tingling sensation on my lips; assuming pepper spice from the wrapper but not on my palate. Pulling smoke, I taste butter toast, lightly roasted coffee, and a sweetness that carries into the long finish. I found all the missing spices from the palate in the retrohale, with white pepper flooding my nasal passage. Once my senses come to, I am greeted with a cup of morning coffee (light and sweet) and cedarwood at the back end.
Arriving at the second third, the cigar is smoking well, but the ash can’t hold itself for more than half an inch. The burn line is even, and there are no draw issues, and the smoke is plentiful and becomes creamier. I get the taste of black tea with milk, milk chocolate, hay, and light leather. The pepper still resides in the retrohale, along with cedarwood and medium roast coffee.
As I approach the final third, there’s a small canoeing on one side of the cigar but it fixes itself after a few puffs. The flavor profile evolves even further, as it fully transforms into a cup of afternoon tea with milk with added sugar, along with toasted peanuts and cedarwood. When I finally get to the nub, the finish becomes very tart, as if someone squeezed a lemon wedge into my mouth. Ultimately, I take that as a signal to put down the cigar.
Not sure whether it is a common characteristic with this type of wrapper, or because of the extra time it received during the fermentation stage, the thinness of the wrapper leaf almost ruined the whole experience right out the gate. However, looking past that, I tremendously enjoy the evolution of flavors the Romeo y Julieta Eternal offers. Not only is it complex, but the flavors are balanced. It paints a complete picture of afternoon tea time with flavors of milk tea with freshly baked bread. Regrettably, the conclusion of my experience was not a good one. Almost as if this cigar didn’t finish etiquette school and added lemon to a cup of tea with milk and sugar already in it.