Romeo y Julieta House of Montague – Famous Smoke Shop Exclusive
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
Back in January, Jeremy took a look at the Romeo y Julieta House of Capulet, an Ecuadorian wrapped stick made for Famous Smoke Shop, and gave it a positive review. You can find his review here. Recently, I was sent a handful of the Capulet’s brother, the House of Montague, which comes draped in a Brazilian Arapiraca “dark natural” leaf. This blend is not simply a different wrapper around the same innards, however; it is an entirely different blend.
The House of Montague comes in six sizes:
Corona Gorda – 6 x46
Robusto – 5 x 54
Toro – 6 x 52
Churchill – 7 x 50
Magnum – 6 x 60
75th Anniversary – 6 ½ x 54
Prices for singles run from $5.39 for the Robusto to $6.17 for the Magnum, with 5-pack and box prices bringing down the cost considerably.
Thanks to Cory Grover at Famous Smoke Shop for reaching out to me and providing these to me for review.
Samples provided by Famous Smoke Shop
Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca dark natural
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Brazil
Size: Robusto 5 x 54
Price: Single $5.39; 5-pack $20.99; box of 20 $82.99
Smoking time: One hour, fifteen minutes
Pairing: Real Ale 19th Anniversary XIX Baltic Porter (ABV 7.7%)
Not surprisingly, the presentation is similar to what the House of Capulet delivers, but the band colors are reversed and the vellum sleeve reads “House of Montague” instead of “House of Capulet”. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of hiding the wrapper from the view of prospective buyers, but it is a nice look, nonetheless. Sliding off the band and sleeve as one (not the easiest of tasks), I can now see that the dark ruddy brown wrapper is mottled with even darker, nearly black areas, has a couple of small to medium size veins, a stretch mark or two, and is very firm with a few softer spots in the middle of its length. The scent off of the wrapper is a pungent, slightly sour barnyard, while the foot is redolent of rich earthy tobacco and wood. The cold draw produces faint sweet spice on top of natural tobacco and some saltiness.
The Romeo y Julieta House of Montague opens with rich tobacco surrounded by oak, earth, and musk. The smooth retrohale features nice musty tobacco and sweet woodiness with no peppery bite. Each draw is producing a good volume of smoke and the burn, which started out a bit thick and wavy, is thinning out, leaving behind a solid, nearly white ash. While the body of the cigar is on the mild side, the flavors are nicely balanced, with some saltiness coming on at the tail end. The ash taps off in a solid chunk at 1 ½”, with the body now approaching medium.
A bright, nearly citrus note has moved in along with some coffee and cracker-like flavors. The burn has by now completely evened itself out and is humming along nicely. There is an increase in sweetness and a tiny bit of char has crept in, but doesn’t hang around for long. The ash once again taps off at another 1 ½”, and the House of Montague concludes its center section at a solid medium body with not nicotine hit.
As the Montague moves into its stretch run, the flavors have intensified, and some pepper has now entered the picture. Other than a faint sweet nuttiness, no new flavors have come into play, but that’s okay by me, as the balance of those that are there have been pleasant and enjoyable. The House of Montague smokes cool and very firm down to the nub, ending just past the medium mark in body with no nicotine punch, and not a hint of harshness.
Romeo y Julieta is not a brand that I go after very much, since their core lines leave a bit to be desired to my taste, but as with many of the exclusive lines from Famous Smoke Shop that I have tried, I was impressed with the performance of the Romeo y Julieta House of Montague. Construction and burn were great, and while not the most complex smoke out there, the flavors were enjoyable and presented themselves in a well balanced package. I can easily see myself getting more of these to smoke on a regular basis, especially at the more than affordable prices they are going for, and recommend that mild to medium smokers give the House of Montague a shot.
Over the past couple of years, Tony and I have been trading beers, and I have been enjoying the brews from Real Ales of Blanco, Texas that he has sent me. I have not had this particular beer before this, but the flavors of the Romeo y Julieta House of Montague suggested that the Real Ale Nineteenth Anniversary (XIX) Baltic Porter would be an ideal match-up. After popping open the XIX, I found it to have a medium-bodied mouth feel, with dark dried fruitiness and some chocolate, with a tangy finish, all of which went very well indeed with the RyJ House of Montague. This cigar would go well with a variety of beverages, including a strong ale or Scotch ale, a fruity and earthy Syrah wine, bourbon or rum, or a good cup of coffee.