Romeo y Julieta Cigars: Captivating History Behind the Brand
Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills Cigars
A SHAKESPEARE TALE – Inocencio Alvarez and Manin Garcia were two Cuban Cigars enthusiasts who created one of the most extraordinarily successful cigar brands in the world. It was the factory workers – considered illiterate, who enjoyed a Shakespeare education and inspired the famous name. They often requested to be read the story of Romeo and Juliet as they worked. Translating the play to Spanish – Romeo y Julieta was born in 1875 and bloomed from there on after. Numerous tasting awards were won. Four gold medals between 1885 and 1900. While the partnership Alvarez and Garcia created, undisputedly effective and almost as star-crossed as the lovers they named their brand after, it was a well-cultured and affluent businessman, who crafted the legacy Romeo y Julieta Cigars known today.
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 in 1903. Known as a cultured businessman with income to spare, Rodriguez chose to promote his new cigar brand to some of the most respected and wealthy citizens across America and Europe, where he enjoyed travelling. It’s reported that Rodriguez was incredibly passionate about Shakespeare’s most famous play – he named 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 Romeo y Julieta Cigars to the elite, a collection of 20,000 (rumoured) personalised cigar bands were crafted, so the fashionable privileged could use their cigars as a mark of status.
Top Left: Winston Churchill and Bernard Baruch, Bottom Left: Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills Gran Reserva Cosecha 2009 Cigars, Right: Statue of Winston Churchill in London, overlooking Big Ben
"in 1946 that Churchill professed his love"
A PRIME MINSTER’S DEVOTION – As discussed in our post: Romeo y Julieta Cigars: Legacy to Churchill, Winston 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. To show him appreciation, the company produced a cigar in his honour – the Romeo y Julieta Churchills Cigar. With a burst of complex and rich flavours – imagine sweet vanilla combining with a 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. Considered a classic among all cigar aficonados – if you haven’t smoked yet, we undoubtedly recommend, the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills Gran Reserva Cosecha 2009 Cigar. With tobacco from Cuba’s best tobacco-growing region, this cigar has undergone an ageing process of five years, honing its distinctive and delightful flavours.
THE EXCLUSIVE 2018 EDITION – Besides the Churchill range, Romeo y Julieta have constructed various medium strength cigars, providing satisfaction to connoisseurs across the globe. One of our new Limited Edition Cigars – luxuriously exclusive and strongly-sought after – the Romeo y Julieta Tacos 2018 Cigar. Opulently presented in a decorated 25 box count, this cigar is 168mm in length by a 49 ring gauge, and creates a wonderfully, earthy aroma. The fine vitola is taken from a 70’s format, and the cigar – like all Edicion Limitada, has tobacco aged for a minimum of two years. This habano is worthy of smoke and significantly, worthy of being stored in your humidor as a collector’s item. It’s also makes for an ideal gift – if you can manage to part from a box containing such a luxurious piece of art.
The Romeo y Julieta Tacos 2018 Cigar - Limited, specialised and rare - a true cigar enthusiasts smoke
"Romeo y Julieta became divided"
CIGAR NATIONALISATION – Fernandez passed away in 1954, and never got to witness what happened to habanos five years later – perhaps a blessing. Once 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. Still remaining with the respect of boasting some of the best cigars for sale online, we can’t help but wonder if the parting of the brand, mirrors the separation of Romeo and Juliet.
For a dramatic and industry cigar brand history featuring murder, scandal and jealousy, read: Partagas Cigars: Dramatic History Behind the Brand.