Romeo y Julieta Tubos No. 2 (Cuba)
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The Romeo y Julieta Tubos No. 2 wasn’t on my must-try list, but a three-pack was tossed in as a freebie with a holiday shipment. And who says no to free Habanos? (Yes, there is the “Guantanamera exception,” but you see my point.)
Gone are the dull silver tubes that looked straight out of the 60s. Habanos has finally dressed up RyJ’s five tubed vitolas with the snazzy red and white numbers that debuted on the Short Churchill last year.
Upon pulling this 5.12 x 42 corona from the cedar lined tube, I found a lumpy, slightly pale stick, squishy under pre-light inspection. I quickly downshifted expectations, but was pleasantly surprised by a tasty blast of Habano “twang” when I put the light to it. RyJ has a reputation for mild-medium bodied smokes by Cuban standards, but I found the Tubos No. 2 to be feistier than expected. It’s squarely in the medium bodied range, but packs more flavor than its appearance suggested. Around a damp earth core are hints of leather, a touch of sweet cedar picked up from the lining, and some nutmeg in the final third.
The burn line wobbled throughout, requiring two healthy touch-ups. But the draw remained cool and easy. I took this one right down to the nub, which is atypical for me.
CONCLUSION: I’m tempted to score generously because the flavor was solid and it was free. But the Romeo y Julieta Tubos No. 2 is pricey for what you get – $5.56 each by the box, up to an absurd $9.20 by the 10-pack. (Those slick new tubes aren’t cheap, apparently.) Appearance is average at best; construction is merely adequate. The RyJ Tubos No. 2 satisfies in the all-important flavor department, but I probably won’t be reloading any time soon.