Reviewed by Ben Greisler - October 2002
I was pleasantly surprised when I was picked to be a Taste Tester and was looking forward to receiving the package of my test sticks. Of course shortly after getting the good news, I was sent off to a whole 'nuther part of the country for work and wasn't home to test right away. As soon as I got home and let the sticks rest a bit more in the humidor (66%), I got cracking at doing my duty as a Taste Tester. I know, it is a tough job, but someone has to do it!
The first stick was a bit rough in its appearance with very obvious veining and small bumps. The prelight smell was lovely and I looked forward to the postlight experience. The cigar lit up evenly after a good toast, but my first few puffs were less than exciting. The taste was harsh and tarry. I figured I just goofed during the lighting, but I usually don't have any issues with my microtorch. The taste continued through the first 3/4 inch and then things completely changed. The flavor came around to a very nice medium, complex level. The smoke wasn't very thick, but still it was "chewable" and yielded more and more flavors the longer I held it in my mouth. A downside was that the cigar refused to stay lit once it got to the halfway point and while the flavor stayed very enjoyable through the next inch or so, it disappeared to be replaced with the same tarry taste of the beginning. I gave up on the stick with about 2 inched left. I hate dumping a cigar that early in the game, but between it going out and the taste, I had to. On the positive side, the middle of the cigar made up for all the other failings and I was looking forward to the next two sticks.
The second stick was much prettier than the first. It almost made me wonder if they were in fact, the same cigar. My thoughts were dashed when I had the same postlight experience and the flavor of tar hit me. Don't get me wrong, the flavor was not overwhelming and it was easy to smoke through to the good part in the middle. And the good part is a delight indeed. This stick stayed lit and didn't give me any issues until the last inch and a half when I had to dump it for the same reasons as the first stick. The middle was a joy. The flavors were swirling about in my mouth and the more I tried the more I tasted. It was as if it was a multilayered candy with different tastes at different layers. I liked it.
The last cigar (sniff) went up in a predictable fashion. I got through the first bit of the cigar and to the good part. I had some increased difficulties with keeping it lit, but it didn't seem to hinder the flavor much. I was able to smoke it further than the first two, but not as far as I would have liked. The appearance of the cigar was in between the two previous cigars; Not as pretty as the second, but not as rough as the first. There was a pretty good sized dimple that I thought might cause a hard spot, but it smoked right past it with no issues.
Over all I liked the Cedros 2 and would consider it an excellent everyday cigar. It has a nice combination of flavor and body, but I did find that it had a nicotine punch to it and I had gotten slightly buzzed from it, even after a good meal. I would take that into account of you are affected in that same manner. Its burn and pattern were predictable and repeatable. It is frustrating to know that you'll have to dump it with some much left, but I would like to try some with more aging on them. I can't believe that the 4 or 5 days it took from the first stick to the last had a huge effect on them after being in the humidor for a week, but maybe with a month or so on them, the results would have been different. I don't know how old the cigars were, but I suspect a nice laying down period would only make things better. I would be willing to be a tester for that!
Reviewed by Reuven Zasler ( April 2001)
Upon opening the mysterious package in the wee hours (when I was finally at liberty to do so), I was at first disappointed to discover the three Romeo and Julieta No. 2 De Luxe Coronas, "small" cigars that they were. My imagination conjured up adjectives such as "weak," "tasteless," and "unsatisfying," among others, for you see, I am a patron of the long, thick, rich and powerful.
However, my initial disappointment turned to delight upon realizing that these were Habanos which I had not previously experienced in my twenty or so years as a lover of the Cuban leaf, so it was clear that a bit of objectivity was in order.
Getting down to "work," I took note of the beautiful chocolate brown wrappers and the excellent construction. None of the cigars had hard spots which could spell out "plugged," nor did they feel too soft and spongy. Although none gave off any discernable fragrance, they certainly looked inviting enough - and who am I not to accept such an invitation?
I immediately proceeded to light the first of the trio, even though the time was one a.m. For the sake of variety and curiosity, the other two smokes were enjoyed in the morning and in the early afternoon, respectively, on different days. All three were accompanied by filter coffee, although I "cheated" with the first one and had some great port as well.
Describing one of these R&J's would be describing the lot, since they were all amazingly consistent in their smoking qualities: all had a perfect draw and very even combustion; all sported a fairly solid medium-grey ash and all were as mild and smooth as a babe's tush.
All this had been expected, but I was far off the mark in the flavour catagory: these Habanos were NOT lacking taste, but rather yielded a light, slightly sweet flavour that could best be described as charming. IMHO, these are excellent for beginners, for those who cherish mildness and as a fine morning smoke for everyone. I am therefore inspired to offer some words of appreciation:
ODE TO THE ODIFEROUS
Wisps of fragrant blue arise,
The senses for to tantalize.
Awaken palate, nostrils, tongue -
The bells of piquant charm have rung!
The chocolate silken wand conducts
A philharmonia of luxe.
Rich draws and sips of Nature's favour
Brief candle of incense to savour!
In terms of flavour this little beauty is fantastic. Although mild on the whole there is plenty of soft, sweet spice and, toward the nub, cocoa and coffee. Alas my experience was let down by poor construction; it was rolled far too tightly! On snipping the end it reminded me of twist tobacco and I knew I was in for a tough slog - it sort of reminded me of sucking a thick milkshake through a straw. But despite this I still greatly enjoyed the smoke and I hope that next time I'll get a better rolled stick.
The usual high standard of construction from R y J. Nice rich flavour and steady even draw. 45min - 1 hour smoke time
Good construction with a nice draw. Plenty of good woody flavors with a hint of nuts. Slightly bitter near the end. Very enjoyable.
written by JM USA