The ROMEO line immediately struck as one of the tastiest cigars Altadis USA sells, a product with genuine character from a company that largely serves the mainstream. While some cognoscente dismiss such efforts as "faux," we say the proof is in the smoking. We're already big fans of the Piramide, which is a great looking and beautifully rolled example of the vitola.
Unfortunately, half of our samples were rolled somewhat tightly. (It's worth noting that all of the cigars came from the same box, and also that Altadis has some of the most rigorous quality control measures in the industry, which is why we found this to be surprising.) This held the cigars back a bit, never allowing the aromas and flavors to open as much as they should. Cutting them at the very end of the cap helped a great deal, but this partially defeats the purpose of having a cap in the first place. Speaking of that cap, it had three individual seams, but was a little too sloppy to be described as a true, Cuban-style triple cap. The extra effort is appreciated though!
Despite the slight draw issue, this is a nice smoke that manages to be hefty and substantial despite its small format. It comes from the same school of thought that has produced some of the company's most interesting smokes, including the Jose Seijas Signature Series and Mi Dominicana, which veer from tradition by using rich (rather than mild) Dominican leafs to very pleasing effect.
At its best, the Bocados was intense and leathery but sweet with the mouthfeel of rich chocolate cake. There is black pepper aplenty with just a touch of gritty earth, which became prominent only when unintentionally overheating the cigar (in examples with a tight draw), or smoking too quickly (in those with a perfect draw). It's also an oily, toothy looking cigar with some prominent veins but still very nice attractive and even imposing despite the small format.
The Romeo by Romeo y Julieta is exactly what it looks like: a chunky corona that smokes with the intensity and style of a larger format. If the 5x54 robusto is too thick for your liking, seek out this corona format instead. It's a very nice way to kill half an hour on an unseasonably warm winter afternoon.
B: Dominican Republic
F: Dominican Republic
An oily, chunky and imposing corona that smokes with the richness of a larger cigar. Some samples exhibited a slightly tight draw but we think that's an aberration.