Romeo y Julieta is, perhaps, the most beloved name among cigar enthusiasts. With a legacy that dates back to the 1800’s, Romeo Smokes are renown for their consistency and blends of flavors. With a style that still pays homage to their Cuban roots, Romeo Y Julieta cigars are award-winning wonders that continue to lead the pack in the highly competitive world of Premium Cigars.
As with other pre-revolution Cuban originated brands, the end of the revolution splintered the brand into two, one produced within Cuba and the other produces Cuban style cigars non-Cuban tobacco, both using the nom-de-plume “Romeo Y Julieta.
The brand, began in the 1850’s and was officially established in 1875 by Inocencio Alvarez and Mannin Garcia. The name is inspired by the infamous star-crossed lovers in the classic Shakespeare play. Legend has it, the story was a favorite among early torcedors, who had it read to them as they rolled cigars, helping to pass the time quickly.
One of the most awarded brands, Romeo y Julieta began winning gold medals throughout the late 1800’s at various tasting exhibitions. Their logo showcases gold coins as an homage to these achievements.
In 1903, Pepin Rodriguez Fernandez took ownership of Romeo y Julieta and transformed the cigar industry. As part of his winning strategy, Pepin began to customize cigars for famous customers, at one point he had more than 2,000 custom cigars! Perhaps the most notable of his custom cigars was the one he created for Sir Winston Churchill, the result was the famous Churchill shape, a 7” by 47 ring gauge cigar, that has survived the trials of time and continue be one of the most popular sizes today.
After Rodriguez’s passing, and the upheaval of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the production of Romeo y Julieta was moved to La Romana, in the Dominican Republic. Production of Romeo y Julieta for many markets continues there to this day, under the ownership of Altadis SA, a branch of Imperial Tobacco.
The Cuban based Romeo y Julieta cigar factory, now called the H. Upmann factory, are now primarily used to accommodate tours for tourists and lessons for aspiring torcedors. That being said, Romeo y Julieta is the number one cigar brand sold in Cuba, when calculating by units.
Outside of Cuba, Romeo y Julieta is held in as high regards as the original brand. Romeo y Julieta is a member of the exclusive ProCigar Association which set high standards of quality for Dominican produced premium cigars. Romeo y Julieta also has a sense of notoriety as they were recoded as the cigars that were used to bribe the infamous New York Supreme Court Justice, Gerald Garson.
Much like the timeless play it was named for, Romeo y Julieta cigars have withstood the test of time. It has created countless love affairs between aficionados, blenders, rollers and their cigars.