Reviewed by Kevin Reed (April 2003)
I feel somewhat cheeky posting a review, my cigar smoking experience being relatively recent and definitely lacking but here goes.
The cigar itself has a nice dark wrapper with a slight sheen to it. Looks really good. The smell coming from it is amazing, definitely the nicest unlit aroma I've come across.
After toasting the end and lighting the cigar, the first puff or two tastes quite bitter but then settles into a taste like wood and leather, producing huge loads of smoke with no effort in the draw.
I find it difficult to separate the moment from the cigar so I should explain that it's now 9.55pm and the other half is scowling at me from the sofa as I have the window wide open and its freezing. The combination of guilt and real enjoyment of this cigar is keeping me going. The situation makes it feel like "forbidden fruit".
After the first third of the cigar, the ash is a nice dark grey with concentric circles in it from every draw I've taken and the burn is completely even. I'm not sure if anyone else does this. I've just left the room for a few seconds so that I can come back in and smell the aroma in the room. The heavy aroma of the "sweet smelling" smoke is pleasant and inviting instead of feeling oppressive.
The first drop off of ash has now happened and I'm approaching the middle of the cigar. The flavour has rounded and some slight spicy after taste is being left in the mouth....very pleasant. The smoke is still cool, the taste is amazing and the other half is now asleep so all traces of guilt have disappeared. The flavour now has a slight taste of coffee and licking the lips gives ????no it can't be??..a hint of the much fabled "chocolate" ?
I'm under an inch away from the band now and the smoke is starting to warm and a little of the bitterness from the beginning has returned but is not unpleasant.
Unable to help myself (being a smoker) I've just inhaled a small draw and there's no harshness. Just a really smooth deep flavour.
The lips are now starting to tingle and not wanting the cigar to end I've just unpicked and removed the band so I can stay with it. The smoke now has a nice warmth and the aftertaste has me craving a nip of rum so back in a moment.
Yep....the rum definitely hit the spot. I now have warm, spicy tingling lips from the cigar and the warmth in the chest from the rum sliding down.
I'm beginning to burn my fingers while drawing now....so it's time to reluctantly lay this one down, close the window and settle into the chair with the rest of the rum.
God I enjoyed that one.....next time I'm going to have to get a bigger Romeo
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Tuesday 16 December, 2014
This is definitely a respectable cigar. However, I believe you have to have an acquired taste to enjoy these cigars... I personally don't enjoy the spiciness and peppery hints this has to offer, but many people think the opposite, its just personal choice I guess...
Rating: [3 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Thursday 26 January, 2012
Had a box of these for my wedding day! All the reprobates with me thoroughly enjoyed them, takes round about an hour to smoke and too good to be rushed!
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Sunday 19 June, 2011
I have conflicting opinions about the No 1. I bought one on the off chance after enjoying the R+J No 3 and I was bitterly disappointed. As Adrian's comments below: the cigar tunneled; it wouldn't stay lit for any more than a minute; and after an initial good earthy taste, it then tasted of hot, burning charcoal just 1/4 or so into it. So imagine my apprehension when I received 3 of these as a gift. After making my excuses of how these cigars improve with age, I eventually found myself in a position when I had to smoke one. And it was an absolute revelation! It was everything it should have ever been. That earthy creaminess remained through the whole cigar, accompanied with changing undertones of coffee, chocolate, spice and even a hint of vanilla. I never had to re-light. The draw was (literally) breathtaking.
So I find myself at somewhat of odds. I'm now onto the third of my three and they have been fantastic. But that first one still leaves doubt. My advice is definitely give the R+J No 1 a chance - but if you're looking for consistent quality, just be aware that these may disappoint.
Rating: [3 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Wednesday 15 June, 2011
I'm new to the world of cubans and purchased a box (x10) of these at the duty free. After several months ageing in the humi I have smoked two of these in the last couple of weeks and have been disappointed on both occasions. On the taste side, after initial creaminess in the first 1/3, the cigar progressed to strong hints of nuttiness/nutmeg, wood and a pepperiness that was present throughout. I later tasted almonds and a hint of spice - taste was mostly no problem. My issue is with the draw and burn - on both occasions the draw has been tight, and the burn uneven. I have had to relight on both occasions, the second time after the cigar tunneled out at 2/3 of the way. The amount of smoke was ok, but the taste became foul and bitter towards the end, becoming hot as well.
Will be interesting to see if things improve with the rest of the box with further ageing, but having read the larely postive reviews here, begining to think i got a dodgy box..!