Romeo Y Julieta Primer Lote 770, a Mike’s Cigars Exclusive
This week, I bring to you yet another release from Altadis U.S.A.. On the chopping block is the Romeo y Julieta Primer Lote 770, exclusively sold at Mike’s Cigars in Harbour Island, Florida. Mike’s Cigar was founded by Oscar Boruchin in 1950 and now carries an inventory of over 10 million cigars and has a huge online presence, making them one of the largest cigar retailers in the world. Visit Mike’s Cigars at www.mikescigars.com.
Primer Lote 770 is produced in Honduras in three vitolas: Burgundy – Robusto (4 ¾ by 54), Bordeaux – Toro (5 ¾ by 54) and Beaujolais – Belicoso ( 6 by 52). Some literature received with the samples gave some background on the stick:
Unique and special, Primer Lote are first-run, small batches made from exclusive bales of newly acquired limited availability tobaccos. Now, for the first time ever, we have decided to make these limited quantity cigars available to you. Each box is hand-stamped with the special lot number for each batch. Pimer Lote are some of the rarest first-batch tobaccos out there: don’t miss the chance to experience these outstanding cigars….while you can.
Samples provided by Mike’s Cigars
Vitola: Beaujolais – Belicoso
Size: 6 by 52
Binder: Indonesian and Nicaraguan
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 35 Minutes.
The Nicaraguan wrapper on the Primer Lote 770 is oily, veiny, and bumpy The oils can be felt on the tips of my finger as I examine the cigar for soft spots. The traditional red band with white lettering and gold embossment stands out against the dark tan, oragnish wrapper leaf. The lot number is contained on the secondary band that has a less traditional appeal but works well with the cigar. I don’t know why, but I like it.
The wrapper carries aromas of sweet tobacco and pungent barnyard, while thick notes of chocolate and rich cedar are picked up on the foot of the cigar. The chocolate is similar to a chocolate pudding. Clipping away a quarter inch of the pointed cap opens up a wonderful draw. The sweet tobacco, chocolate, and cedar are accentuated on the cold draw, along with exotic, chai tea spices.
Removing the foot band and taking my time evenly lighting the 52 ring gauge Primer Lote 770, the cigar is underway. The cigar begins with a pepper spice that is common in Nicaraguan tobacco but not something that I find in most Romeo y Julieta lines. The smoke moves across the palate smoothly but leaves a small itch at the back of the throat. As the pepper tones down, I note some cedar and grassy flavors, accompanied by a mild sweetness that is rounding out the profile. Jumping back and forth from wavy to even, the burn-line can’t make up its mind. But as long as a touch-up is not needed, I am not bothered by it. The ash is firm holding up to an inch and a half.
Other than the pepper in the first third, the flavors were rather bright, but, as I make my way into the second third, the profile transitions to darker flavors of earth and coffee. The sweetness evolved into chocolate and the cigar continues to build in richness with some clove joining in. The finish is of coffee and cocoa that sits heavy on the palate. At the thirty minute mark, I finally had to touch-up a portion of the wrapper. Things are back in-line and are going well. The pepper comes across sharp and the clove is showcased on the retrohale.
Each third thus far has been characterized by distinct flavor profiles and the final third is beginning no differently. As smoke enter my mouth, rich cedar, clove, and sweet tobacco notes meet my palate. The earthyness that arrived in the middle third has become deisel-like on the finish. A sip of water every few puffs is needed to offset the richness of the cigar.
During my past visits to the local tobacconist, it was rare for me to grab any Atladis U.S.A cigars even though their product took up a quarter of the humidor. Beginning with the Romeo Y Julieta RyJ in 2013, followed by The Banker by H. Upmann a few months ago, and now the Romeo y Julieta Primer Lote 770, my perception of Altadis U.S.A. is changing. The Primer Lote 770 delivered a good performance with medium flavors. But what made this Mike’s Cigars exclusive unique was the distinct flavor profiles in each third. For a price under $8, this cigar falls right into the sweet-spot. Heck, a fiver can be had for under $30. Finally, a big “THANKS” to Mike’s Cigars for providing the samples for review.