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Thoughts on the 2019/20 Romeo y Julieta  Belicoso?

Ken and I are reviewing some August 2020 examples this afternoon as part of the Belicoso series (to be followed by a Robusto series). 

 

Romeo y Julieta Belicoso PSP FEB 21.jpg

 

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Been trying them off and on for years and can't get on board. Always seems the same to me. Burnt toast, dirt, muddled. Never been sure exactly what they're trying to do with this cigar. 

I find the Ex 4 to be better but I'm not a fan of that either (since 1998).

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23 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Been trying them off and on for years and can't get on board. Always seems the same to me. Burnt toast, dirt, muddled.

BBF fan?

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13 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

BBF fan?

Ha, actually I'm not and I do see similarities. In fact, I may have guessed BBF for a RyJ Beli for one of the blind tasting competitions. 

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Some of the first I picked up back in the early 2000's and got the big cherry flavor. Not sure why I haven't kept them in stock over time. Been ages since I smoked one....

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I love RyJ Churchills but I agree with @NSXCIGAR that I've tried the Belicoso many times hoping for something good and I've always been very underwhelmed.  @El Presidente I'm curious why you asked about BBF since I'm also not a BBF fan.  I like plenty of Bolivars but the BBF doesn't do it for me.  To me both RyJ Beli and BBF aren't bad, they're just boring.  Maybe a connection that you've seen before?  

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Agree with @Hoepssa I love the RJ Belicoso, more than the BBF or Sanch Panza currently.  Home run on the berry taste and the ash has been first class.  Plan to order another box soon as soon as there's an opportunity presented (like the one pictured).

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I find RyJ to be the most inconsistent marca by far, across all their vitolas. Every now and then, one has a nice tart/sweet cherry palate with perfect construction, but then the next ones fall flat--the flavor not there, or just an ashy empty taste. The last few I have smoked (2019 Belicosos) have been tasty but underfilled. Better than plugged, but it seems hard to find a RyJ that's consistent. **Comparing RyJ Belicosos to BBF, BBF are much more consistent but also consistently a bit boring and underwhelming. Not a bad cigar but not one I reach for. By contrast, consider the consistency of, say, Partagas Coronas Junior--one of my favorite cigars partly because each one pretty much always tastes and burns the same. 

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I try not to think of them.  ?  When it comes to piramides/torpedoes I don't often indulge.  Outside of the BBF, P2 and VR Unicos I don't find cigars in this vitola to be consistent. (I'm sure it's just me though). Early on when I was interested in trying this, a lot of people told me these weren't worth it.  Even a few LCDH staff!  When I first started out, RyJ was the marca I smoked the most.

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I haven’t tried any in sometime, so I too am interested in your and Ken’s opinions. I really enjoyed a box of 15s and 08s that are now ash.  i gave some to a number of mates and all, to a man, like them.  Some bought boxes for themselves.  I put a couple more recent coded boxes down for aging.
 

 In general, I like em. 

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Ever since I bought a fake box of RyJ Belicosos in the DR on vacation many moons ago, I just haven’t had the appetite to try another box. Not so surprisingly, the imposters were meh cigars. ?

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Been trying them off and on for years and can't get on board. Always seems the same to me. Burnt toast, dirt, muddled. Never been sure exactly what they're trying to do with this cigar. 
I find the Ex 4 to be better but I'm not a fan of that either (since 1998).

Since 98 lol my goodness ....not a huge ex 4 fanboy, but damn they’re pretty decent ...maybe even decent enough to be called decent for the first time since 98 ....but silent clap for you being an ex 4 critic for over 20 yrs


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I like ‘em enough to always have a box in the humi. Perfect when I want something a bit more delicately flavored but pleasant. Plus I’m a fan of the vitola, being a bigger RG that I don’t have to pry my mouth open for.

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3 hours ago, Lrabold89 said:

Since 98 lol my goodness ....not a huge ex 4 fanboy, but damn they’re pretty decent ...maybe even decent enough to be called decent for the first time since 98 emoji23.png....but silent clap for you being an ex 4 critic for over 20 yrs

Pre-99, RyJ Ex 4 were very special cigars. Nothing like today (as is the case with many CCs). The only way I can describe it is like eating a bowl of tropical fruit. 

 

 

12 hours ago, DSegal said:

I find RyJ to be the most inconsistent marca by far, across all their vitolas.

I would agree completely. Personally, I don't think RyJ ever fully recovered from the 99-01 period. It's a terrible shame. RyJ was a wonderful marca with many great cigars. Remarkably consistent and very high quality. I personally loved the Ex 4 most but there were many great RyJ cigars. The Cedros de Luxe line was very good, the PC, Coronas Grandes and Coronas were excellent. The Churchills started to go downhill a few years before that. For some reason, they all had draw issues from 97 on. But there were very few even mediocre RyJ cigars.

I know RyJ does have the cherry aspect, and I'm not saying I don't like that, but an honest look at RyJ's lineup just doesn't give you anything great overall. What's the best RyJ model? Churchills? When you get a good one (which is not a sure thing), how good are they really? I can get the RyJ cherry fix from the Belvederes or the Sports Largos. If I'm splurging the Petit Royales are pretty good. But all the other premiums are just so inconsistent. And I mean like 3 out of 25 are good. I just won't spend that much money on RyJ. They've had some decent ELs in the last 7-8 years but again, how great are they really, and at $25 each? No thanks. I'm disappointed every time I try a Short/Petit/Wide Churchills, Beli, PC, MF, Caz, CdL.

And from what I'm hearing the Linea de Oro isn't blowing people away and the Maravillas 8 and the Fabulosos No. 2 were pretty mediocre. If they can't even deliver on super premiums how can they deliver on standard production?

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I've only had three, ever, all from a FoH PSP 1/4 box. They were definitely quality cigars, just not my cup of tea. Kind of bland until the last third of each, when they became pretty good. I like Petit Royales a lot, but the rest of the RyJ marca is usually just OK to me.

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1 hour ago, Edeustace said:
If you get more like these please let us know, I would want to buy multiple boxes. This is a cigar that ages to become absolutely incredible. I would love to share some of the 2002 samples for you to sample in one of your reviews.


I’ll review one for you

 

2 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:
I would agree completely. Personally, I don't think RyJ ever fully recovered from the 99-01 period. It's a terrible shame. RyJ was a wonderful marca with many great cigars. Remarkably consistent and very high quality. I personally loved the Ex 4 most but there were many great RyJ cigars. The Cedros de Luxe line was very good, the PC, Coronas Grandes and Coronas were excellent. The Churchills started to go downhill a few years before that. For some reason, they all had draw issues from 97 on. But there were very few even mediocre RyJ cigars.
I know RyJ does have the cherry aspect, and I'm not saying I don't like that, but an honest look at RyJ's lineup just doesn't give you anything great overall. What's the best RyJ model? Churchills? When you get a good one (which is not a sure thing), how good are they really? I can get the RyJ cherry fix from the Belvederes or the Sports Largos. If I'm splurging the Petit Royales are pretty good. But all the other premiums are just so inconsistent. And I mean like 3 out of 25 are good. I just won't spend that much money on RyJ. They've had some decent ELs in the last 7-8 years but again, how great are they really, and at $25 each? No thanks. I'm disappointed every time I try a Short/Petit/Wide Churchills, Beli, PC, MF, Caz, CdL.
And from what I'm hearing the Linea de Oro isn't blowing people away and the Maravillas 8 and the Fabulosos No. 2 were pretty mediocre. If they can't even deliver on super premiums how can they deliver on standard production?


I’d have to agree with just about all of this for sure ....the wise Churchill of the last couple years has been quite good tho


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I smoked quite a bit of RyJ last year. Mainly Churchills, short Churchills, wide Churchills and ex4. And I agree about the consistency. Across the board consistency was an issue. But that being said, if they were consistent, I would buy so much RyJ. I never really had a bad one. At there worst, they were good. Then there were great ones. And then really great ones. I smoked through the ugliest box of ex4 ever. Terrible looking wrappers, but gorgeous flavour. Cherry and black tea notes all day. 

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2 hours ago, Lrabold89 said:

the wise Churchill of the last couple years has been quite good tho

The WC has many fans, but it is far too mild for me. I think it's very mild in fact. For me, if a cigar is that mild it has to be extraordinarily complex and pleasant and it's just not on that level for me.

I do think the standard Churchills are very good but they are definitely not strong. I do believe they are the best RyJ, but they aren't earth-shattering. Are they better than a good Lusi, RAG or Punch DC? No. And of course the Sir Winston blows them away. 

Pre-97 RyJ Churchills were really tremendous cigars. In fact, many considered them on par or better than the SW, and they had always been considered the benchmark Churchill at a time when there were over a dozen Churchills in production.

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MUO JUL14 RyJ Churchills  were some of the best this century.

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I smoked one back in fall that was from  a trip to Havana in 2013. First half was light but enjoyable and the last half was a nice medium. Charred cherry throughout. Very elegant. Was about to pick up a box a few months ago of recent production but the vast amount of mostly negative comments scared me off. I can't afford to take a loss on a $300 box and say oh well, it was just a bad box.

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