Romeo y Julieta cigars are among the most popular in the world. “But which ones?” you might ask, “the Cuban-produced cigars or the Dominican ones?”The answer is both.The Romeo...
Romeo y Julieta cigars are among the most popular in the world. “But which ones?” you might ask, “the Cuban-produced cigars or the Dominican ones?”
The answer is both.
The Romeo y Julieta Churchill cigar is one of the most beloved smokes in Cuba, and a fine smoke it is. Over in the U.S., you’re more likely to find smokers puffing away on a Romeo y Julieta 1875. You see, much like Romeo and Juliet themselves, circumstances worked to tear the company apart.
Let’s go back to the beginning for a moment, though. This is a company with deep, deep roots.
Romeo y Julieta was founded in Cuba in 1875 by Inocencio Alvarez and Manin Garcia. The name of the company came from the reading material that lectors would shout to the cigar rollers as they worked (if you don’t know, a lector was a cigar factory employee who would read to the workers in the time before there was a radio on every shop floor. Reading material included the daily news, novels, and even Shakespeare’s plays). The company did well, creating cigar blends that won a number of tasting competitions, as evidenced by the gold medals on many RyJ cigar bands.
Ultimately, the historic brand was picked up by Jose Rodriguez Fernandez, who had run the Cabañas factory in Havana. Just like Rocky Patel, he traveled tirelessly to promote the RyJ cigar brand around the world. He was a promotional innovator, to say the least. He had a horse named “Julieta” he would entered in racing events in many places he visited. He also tried to purchase the Palazzo Capuleti, the ancient home of the historical Juliet’s family in Verona Italy (yes, she was real!). When Italian authorities heard he wanted to turn the landmark into a cigar lounge, however, they refused to sell.
Probably for the best.
Romeo y Julieta went on producing premium cigar blends as the decades rolled by, making custom bands for wealthy customers. Their most famous of course was none other than Sir Winston Churchill himself, for whom the company named a size. His favorite was a Parejo (straight sides, rounded head) around seven inches long and with a 47 ring gauge.
After the revolution in Cuba in the 1950s, many cigar makers moved off the island after their companies were seized by the state (or “nationalized,” if you prefer the official-sounding term). In this case, the Romeo y Julieta split into two companies, with one in Cuba and one in La Romana in the Dominican Republic. To this day, both produce fine cigars that are sold around the world.
The company’s current tagline is, “A cigar for every smoker.” If you want an absolutely classic smoke, you’ve come to the right place.