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Reader Reviews - Feb 2024

Reader Reviews

This month we take a look at 2 very different cigars, as our insightful and passionate readers review their experiences!

Diplomatico - The Norteño

Josh Patridge

Another day and another cigar this time from the home smoking lounge! Today is the second regional edition I have reviewed from Diplomatico this time from the Canadian region - called The Norteño. This was a 2018/2020 release in the classic Robusto (50 ring gauge by 4 7/8 inches) format and interestingly is the exact same format as a previous Regional Edition from Diplomatico for Cuba from 2015/2017.

I have to say the yellow bands from Diplomatico are one of my favourite visually - it portrays a real sense of class and tradition that is unique to Cuban cigars - though this is somewhat misguided as Diplomatico was a post revolution brand founded in 1966. The cigar starts off quite mild with strong earthy and dry grass flavours with a lovely floral cigar aroma. The retro hale is unique and not at all similar to the Spanish regional from the same brand - it’s intense with mild pepper and an almost ‘alcohol’ flavour in the after taste. Let’s just say it gave me flash backs to my heavier drinking days!

The middle third mellowed and became quite creamy with just a little pepper when holding onto the smoke. The draw was perfect and the burn was a little lop sided but nothing that distracted my attention. The ash does have a nice grey tint and relatively even appearance though not quite to the same level as a LE. The cigar burnt relatively slowly and gave me a good 50-60 minutes smoking time which for a Robusto size was quite long for me. The final third reached the intensity level of medium plus with strong cedar and an almost syrupy/wet texture to the smoke which was very different from the first third that was relatively dry. This was surprising as the cigar has been sitting in my smoking humidor with only 60% humidity for over well over a month. This resulted in the final third taking more time to smoke than the first 2 thirds and noticeably darkened the colour of my teeth a shade or two. I will definitely hunt down another sample so I can see if this is a normal experience from this release or just a unique one off encounter that Cuban cigars can deliver!

Romeo Y Juileta - No.2

Merlins Cigars

My most memorable smoke of January has to be the Romeo y Julieta No.2. It was for two reasons the perfect choice for the evening, first the tubos it comes in because I was visiting two good friends and secondly the creamy and light flavor, I was told it has. I paired it with a Carbonara we made and one of my most favorite everyday wines, a Doppio Passo Primitivo.

Coming out of the tubos it had a beautiful slightly leathery smell and an oily wrapper. The cigar is 13 cm long and has a 42-ring gauge. I cut it using a Punch cut which had just the right size and created a good and even draw, which was a bit on the heavy side but nothing to worry. The first few puffs I immediately tasted the creaminess I was promised along with a little bit of the leather I noticed in the beginning. The construction seems perfect after the first beginning puffs and will stay like this throughout the experience. Passing the first third of the Cigar it starts to get a nutty flavor and even creamier. Along with the flavorful red wine this pairs up nicely. Getting to the middle it is still no hard hitter and keeps its nice aromas. One thing I am noticing nevertheless is that the cigar is beginning to burn unevenly, easily fixed but still noticed.The last third continues the nutty flavor into notes of earthiness. The draw held up great and there is still lots of taste to get considering I am closing in on the one-hour mark. The last puffs I take give up once again a pleasant and creamy mouthfeel and I have to say I am happy. Happy about the choice I made picking this Cuban beaty and happy to be able to go back inside because Germany at this time of the year gets a little bit frosty.

I can’t say, if it was the delicious taste and flavor or the great company I was in, enjoying the cigar that made it my best smoke of January. What’s safe to say is that I would choose it again every time and would recommend it as a perfect travel-cigar and after dinner smoke. One thing I would like to add is that, as I said, I had a big plate of Pasta beforehand so some people might find it stronger than I did.

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