Smokedown | H. Upmann Shade vs. Romeo Y Julieta Shade

For some cigar smokers, there’s nothing better than a smooth, mild, flavor packed Connecticut Shade! In this Smokedown, we’ll look at shade cigars from H. Upmann and Romeo Y Julieta to see which can truly offer better value.

Romeo Y Julieta Reserva RealH. Upmann Group De Maestros Connecticut
Wrapper: Ecuadorian ConnecticutWrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: NicaraguanBinder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican Republic & NicaraguaFiller: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Strength: mildStrength: mild – medium
Size: 5×50Size: 5×50
Price: $7.81Price: $8.99

ROUND 1: Presentation

Wrapper Leaf: The wrappers on both of these cigars are sharp, clean looking leafs. However, the wrapper on the Romeo Y Julieta edges forward with a nearly flawless presentation, while the H. Upmann displays a few minor bruises. For that reason, the Romeo Y Julieta edges froward and earns this point.

Cap: Both of these blends show off a nicely constructed triple cap (and they both should, they’re made by the same company – Altadis USA). However, the cap on the H. Upmann gets the point here for the little bit of sizzle that it gives off with a very dark oscuro cap topper.

Cigar Ring: Both of these cigars play of the original branding for their brands. The Romeo Y Julieta offers a very traditional look and feel, while the H. Upmann pops with some brilliant yellow. While red is very fetching, I think the yellow band (and the double band for that matter) is an overall more appealing look. So the H. Upmann gets the point here.


ROUND 2: Construction

Ash: The point for Ash is pretty simple. This one is awarded to the cigar that holds it’s ash longer. Between these two cigars, the H. Upmann shows off a nearly 2 inch long ash, while the Romeo Y Julieta has dropped it’s ash shortly after the first third. So the point here goes to the H. Upmann Connecticut.

Burn: Burn is a critical part of any cigar experience (especially because a bad burn can ruin a good flavor). After lighting up these two, I have done nothing to correct or touch up the burn. In the first third that I’m noticing the Romeo Y Julieta burning a little crooked. It’s not canoeing or anything like that, just burning at an angle. So, this point goes to the H. Upmann.

Draw: So far, the H. Upmann has been spanking the Romeo Y Julieta at just about every turn. But when it comes to the draw, I gotta give the point to the Romeo. The H. Upmann’s draw has been pretty snug. The draw isn’t so bad that I can’t enjoy it. However, the draw on the Romeo Y Julieta is nearly perfect. It requirs a perfect amount of resistance to get a good draw.


ROUND 3: Flavor

Wrapper Sweetness: This is a critical element of flavor for a lot of cigar smokers. A quality wrapper leaf should have some inherent sweetness. And when it comes to these two cigars, it’s the Romeo Y Julieta that has a lot more to offer in this arena. The H. Upmann is a little spicier, which cast a shadow on any sweetness that might have been there. So this sweet point goes to the Romeo Y Julieta.

Consistency: This is the measure of how quickly a cigar provides full flavor after light up. A cigar that’s bursting with flavor, even as you’re still lighting it, has great consistency. A cigar that takes a while to come to life has terrible consistency. Between these two shade blends, both are doing reasonably well in this area. But it’s the Romeo Y Julieta once again that takes the point. It offerss more of a complete profile closer to light up. I didn’t have to wait at all to taste everything that blend had to offer.

Complexity: This point is an interesting one to award as both of these blends offer a different shade of the same flavor. Both are mild cigars. The flavor on both cigars has a predominantly Cedar and Almonds profile. In addition, the Romeo Y Julieta offers a mild floral note, while the H. Upmann presents a clear Graham Cracker note. In the end, this point goes to the H. Upmann. It’s the cigar with a more dynamic flavor profile. The Upmann has all the best elements of a mild cigar, but it also has some other features in the flavor that make it more interesting. The spiciness and Graham Cracker notes give it more diversity, and the point for complexity.


But again, this is all just my opinion. Drop a comment down below with your ideas about these two cigars.

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