A Captivating Love Story: Romeo y Julieta Cigars
A SHAKESPEARIAN TALE – Inocencio Alvarez and Manin Garcia were two cigar aficionados who created one of the most extraordinarily successful brands in the Cuban cigars world. It was the factory workers, who enjoyed a Shakespeare education and inspired the famous name. They often requested to be read the story of Romeo and Juliet as they were rolling away. Translating the play to Spanish – Romeo y Julieta was born in 1875 and bloomed from there on after. Numerous tasting awards were won - gaining four gold medals between 1885 and 1900. While the partnership Alvarez and Garcia created, indisputably effective and almost as star-crossed as the lovers they named their brand after, it was a well-cultured and affluent businessman, who catapulted the brand into a huge success.
PROMINENCE AMONG THE ELITE – With previous experience in the cigar industry – former head of Cabanos factory in Havana, Jose Rodriguez Fernandez took over Romeo y Julieta Cigars in 1903. Known as a cultured, prosperous businessman - Rodriguez chose to promote his new cigar brand to some of the most respected and wealthy citizens across America and Europe. It’s reported that Rodriguez was incredibly passionate about Shakespeare’s most famous play – even naming his racing horse ‘Julieta’ and opened a shop in Verona, Hotel Capulet. A few suggest he tried to establish his Habanos in the area, where people were dismissive to the thought of their historic town having a piece of its history taken over. Attracting the elite to the brand, it’s even rumoured there was a collection of 20,000 personalised cigar bands were crafted - so the fashionable privileged could use their cigars as a mark of status.
The Famous Former Prime Minister: Winston Churchill.
'THEIR MOST FAMOUS CUSTOMER'
A PRIME MINSTER’S DEVOTION – Winston Churchill soon became their most famous customer. Although smoking Cuban Cigars since his visit to Havana as a journalist in 1895, it was in 1946 that Churchill professed his love for Romeo y Julieta, calling them his favourite. The company produced the Romeo y Julieta Churchills Cigar, to show their appreciation to him. It delivers a burst of complex and rich flavours – imagine sweet vanilla combining delicious chocolate, cedar and fruits. The Habano is 178mm long by a 47 ring gauge. Due to popularity, the range has extended to both petit and wide formats.
THE CHINESE NEW YEAR CIGAR – Besides the Churchill range, Romeo y Julieta has constructed various medium strength cigars, providing satisfaction to connoisseurs across the globe. The Romeo y Julieta Maravillas 8 Cigar is the latest limited edition cigar from the brand - released to commemorate Chinese New Year.
"THE PARTING OF THE BRAND MIRRORS THE SEPARATION OF ROMEO Y JULIET"
CIGAR NATIONALISATION – Fernandez sadly passed away in 1954 - missing the events that changed Habanos five years later. Once Fidel Castro came to power and nationalised the cigar industry, Romeo y Julieta became divided. Part of the brand moved to the Dominican Republic, whilst to this day, the government own the Cuban Romeo y Julieta Cigars. We can’t help but wonder if the parting of the brand, mirrors the separation of Romeo and Juliet.
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