Romeo y Julieta Brand Cigars

As with most of the Habanos brands of cigars, the Romeo y Juieta is authentically produced in Cuba using real Cuban tobacco from the pristine tobacco fields of the country, and in the Dominican Republic using tobacco from that country. This double production is largely due to the import embargoes preventing Cuban products from being sold in the United States. However, they are legally sold elsewhere in the world.

Developed in 1875, the Romeo y Julieta brand immediately showed its high quality and superior taste by winning several gold medals in four different universal expositions between 1885 and 1900. The cigar is named after the lovers in the William Shakespeare romantic tragedy, written around 1596. This cigar brand is traditionally believed to be the first one created in the “Churchill” shape in honor of Winston Churchill, the British statesman. This full-flavored Cuban cigar is one of the most famous and widely appreciated brand in the world today.

The Inception

Inocencio Alverez and Manin Garcia introduced the Romeo y Julieta brand in 1875. The cigar brand is named for the doomed lovers in the famous Shakespeare tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. The gold medals on the band of the cigars signifies the numerous awards the brand has received at various tasting exhibitions.

However, the Romeo and Julieta brand didn’t truly gain recognition until after Jose “Pepin” Rodriguez Fernandez, the former driving force behind the Cabanas company in Havana, took over. He and his company, Rodriguez, Arguelles y Cia acquired the brand in 1903. Pepin was quite the world traveler, and spend much of his time visiting Europe and the Americas. On his travels, he actively promoted his cigars and entered his race horse, appropriately named Julieta, in all types of racing event around the globe.

All of his hard work paid off and the Romeo y Julieta cigar became outrageously popular all over the world. Many of his wealthy customers demanded to have the bands on their cigars personalized. At the height of this trend, the company produced as many as 2000 bands, personalized for various customers. During this time, the brand was also known for specializing in prominent cigars (figurado) such as the perfectos and the piramides. It is believed that over a thousand cigars in these shapes and sizes were in production.

Perhaps the biggest and most famous fan of this brand was Sir Winston Churchill. The flagship vitola Romeo y Julieta brand cigar is named in his honor – the 7 inch long by 47 ring gauge vitola known as the Churchill. The first female in the United States to serve as a state governor, Wyoming governor Nellie Tayloe Ross, was also known to smoke this cigar frequently.

After the death of Rodriguez in 1954, at the age of 88 years, the Cuban Revolution and the subsequent national take over of the tobacco industry, the Romeo y Julieta brand cigar was moved to the tobacco company in La Romana in the Dominican Republic. Under the direction of Altadis SA, the brand is still produced there to this day. The Cuban nationalized version of the Romeo y Julieta brand is still produced in Cuba. It is distributed worldwide, and is one of the biggest selling brands in the world.

A new addition was introduced to the regular Romeo y Julieta line up in 2006. The Short Churchill size, known as the Robusto, was unveiled in 2006 at the eighth annual Habanos Festival held every year in Havana, Cuba.

Along with the hand made cigars, Romeo y Julietas are also produced in three machine made versions known as the Puritos, the Clubs and the Minis.

Romeo y Julieta Line of Vitolas

This is a list of the commercially sold vitolas produced under the Romeo y Juleita brand of cigars. The size of the cigar and the ring gauge is included in both Imperial and metric measurements.

Hand Made Romeo y Julieta Vitolas:

  • Belicoso – measures 51⁄2 inches × 52 ring gauge (140 × 20.64 mm), officially called the Campana, and known as the belicoso by smokers
  • Belvedere – measures 4 7⁄8 inches × 39 ring gauge (124 × 15.48 mm), officially called the Belvedere, known as a short panetela by smokers
  • Cedro de Luxe No. 1 – measures 61⁄2 inches × 42 ring gauge (165 × 16.67 mm), officially called the Cervantes, known as a lonsdale by smokers
  • Cedro de Luxe No. 2 – measures 5 5⁄8 inches × 42 ring gauge (143 × 16.67 mm), officially called the Corona, known as a corona by smokers
  • Cedro de Luxe No. 3 – measures 5 1⁄8 inches × 42 ring gauge (130 × 16.67 mm), officially called the Mareva, known as a petit corona by smokers
  • Churchill – measures 7 inches × 47 ring gauge (178 × 18.65 mm), officially called the Julieta No. 2, known as a churchill by smokers
  • Corona – measures 5 5⁄8 inches × 42 ring gauge (143 × 16.67 mm), officially called the Corona, and known as a corona by smokers
  • Coronita en Cedro – measures 5 1⁄8 inches × 40 ring gauge (130 × 15.88 mm), officially called the Petit Cetro, known as a petit corona by smokers
  • Exhibición No. 3 – measures 5 5⁄8 inches × 46 ring gauge (143 × 18.26 mm), officially called the Corona Gorda, known as a grand corona by smokers
  • Exhibición No. 4 – measures 5 inches × 48 ring gauge (127 × 19.05 mm), officially called the Hermoso No. 4, known as a corona extra by smokers
  • Petit Corona – measures 5 1⁄8 inches × 42 ring gauge (130 × 16.67 mm), officially called the Mareva, known as a petit corona by smokers
  • Petit Julieta – measures 3 7⁄8 inches × 30 ring gauge (98 × 11.91 mm), officially called the Entreacto, known as a small panetela by cigar aficionados
  • Petit Princess – measures 4 inches × 40 ring gauge (102 × 15.88 mm), officially called the Perlas, known as the petit corona by smokers
  • Regalía de Londres – measures 4 5⁄8 inches × 40 ring gauge (117 × 15.88 mm), officially called the Coronita, knonw as the petit corona by smokers
  • Romeo No. 1 – measures 5 1⁄2 inches × 40 ring gauge (140 × 15.88 mm), officially called the Crema, known as a corona by smokers
  • Romeo No. 2 – measures 5 1⁄8 inches × 42 ring gauge (130 × 16.67 mm), officially called the Petit Corona, also known a petit corona by smokers
  • Romeo No. 3 – measures 4 5⁄8 inches × 40 ring gauge (117 × 15.88 mm), officially called the Coronita, and known as a petit corona by smokers
  • Short Churchill – measures 4 7⁄8 inches × 50 ring gauge (124 × 19.84 mm), officially called the Robusto, also called a robusto by cigar aficionados
  • Sport Largo – measures 4 5⁄8 inches × 35 ring gauge (117 × 13.89 mm), officially called the Sport, and known as a short panetela by smokers
  • Wide Churchill – measures 5 1⁄8 inches × 55 ring gauge (130 × 21.83 mm), officially and commonly called the Montesco

Limited Edition Releases of the Romeo y Julieta:

  • 2000 – the Exhibición No. 2 – measures 7 5⁄8 inches × 49 ring gauge (194 × 19.45 mm), officially called the Prominente, known as a double corona by smokers
  • 2001 – the Robusto – measures 4 7⁄8 inches × 50 ring gauge (124 × 19.84 mm), officially called the Robusto, also called a robusto by smokers
  • 2003 – the Hermoso No. 1 – measures 6 1⁄2 inches × 48 ring gauge (165 × 19.05 mm), officially called the Hermoso No. 1, known as the grand corona by smokers
  • 2004 – the Hermoso No. 2 – measures 6 1⁄8 inches × 48 ring gauge (156 × 19.05 mm), officially called the Hermoso No. 2, and known as a grand corona by smokers
  • 2005 – the Petit Pirámide – measures 5 inches × 50 ring gauge (127 × 19.84 mm), officially called the Petit Pirámide, known as the petit pyramid by smokers
  • 2007 – the Escudo – measures 5 1⁄2 inches × 50 ring gauge (141 × 19.84 mm), officially called the Gordito, known as the robusto extra by smokers
  • 2009 – the Duke – measures 5 1⁄2 inches × 54 ring gauge (140 × 21.43 mm), officially called the Duke, and known as the robusto extra in slang

Unlike the tragic end to befall the couple the cigars are named after, the Romeo y Julieta brand of cigars continues to enjoy a long life providing pleasure to smokers all over the world.