A shorter version of its celebrated 1946 blend named after its most famous patron, Winston Churchill, is the Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill is a great alternative when you’re short for time?
In this article, you will discover the Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill as we review it according to the following considerations:
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- Brand: Romeo y Julieta
- Range: Petit Churchill
- Reviewed Vitolas: 4 x 50 Gordito
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuban
- Factory: H. Upmann, Havana, Cuba
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Medium
- Estimated Smoking Time: 30 Minutes
- Pricing: $16 / Single
Released in 2012, the Petit Churchill marketed itself as a 20-minute version of its older and longer sibling. Indeed, its gordito or short robusto vitola may be best suited to younger and modern cigar smokers who have less time to spare. Therefore, could it be a Cuban alternative to Nub Cigars?
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Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Makore
- Rolling Consistency: Mostly Straight
- Spring: Firm
- Aromas: Cinnamon, Brioche, Brandy Butter
First of all, I was quite impressed by the straightness of the roll, there are no soft spots on the Petit Churchill, but it’s not as hard as the H. Upmann Magnum 54 that we previously reviewed. The spring is overall on the firm side.
In terms of the hue, we’re looking at a makore wood colour and it does give off a nice oily sheen in the light. Its aromas are gourmand and very flavoursome. You’re looking at some cinnamon spice, yeasty brioche, and brandy butter.
The latter produces a creamy booziness that really adds substance to the overall bouquet. As for the veins, it’s well-constructed. There aren’t many visible veins, but occasionally you may find a couple on just one side.
Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill Review
As is the case with all the Cuban cigars that we review, the Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchills were stored in a different acrylic humidor to the new world cigars. Here, they were stored at 65% RH rather than 69% RH, which is better suited to Cuban cigars.
- Draw: Ideal
- Aromas: Dry Clay, Cardamon, Buttercream
The draw is ideal and produces a great airflow. In terms of the aromas, it’s quite spicy again. However, this time it’s more like cardamom alongside a hint of cinnamon too.
There’s also buttercream as it’s not as boozy as the aromas on the foot. And, of course, we have the terracotta clay Cuban mustiness, you can taste it in the dry draw of the cigar. The flavours are quite rich and very inviting.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Walnut, Charred Bay Leaf, Turmeric
The first third started with a perfectly straight burn, but it started to get wavy after a short while. Nevertheless, it didn’t quite need touching up. Meanwhile, the ash is impeccable.
Overall, the first third is very complex with a rich gourmand presence. It’s very balanced and the primary flavour delivers a generally umami experience, but you do have a twang of sweet spice every now and then.
It can be summarised by herbaceous and almost botanical notes. The most distinctive note is charred bay leaf. There are also hints of fresh walnut and pleasant turmeric spice, which leaves an interesting coating on the lips. It’s just a shame that the first third is so short!
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Coffee Grounds, Nutmeg, Rye Bread
The second third is far more savoury. There’s a mild increase in body and the mouthfeel has a greater weight on the palate.
Overall, it’s dominated by espresso coffee grounds and nutmeg spice. Earlier, there was mention of brioche on the foot. However, while still quite yeasty, the second third is savoury. As a result, there’s a note that bears a closer resemblance to rye bread.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Coffee Grounds, Earth, Toasted Rosemary
Coffee grounds persisted all the way to the final third. There’s also a distinctive earthy note. However, it’s closer to moist compost earth rather than the dry terracotta Cuban note that we often talk about.
Furthermore, the body and flavour profile as a certain meatiness that’s hard to describe. It’s savoury and flavoursome with a heavy mouthfeel. Yet, if I were to identify a specific note, it’s quite aromatic and reminiscent of charred rosemary.
Despite being a short cigar, it’s wonderfully complex. While it may have a bit of roughness around the edges, the mouthfeel is quite smooth. Meanwhile, the astringency and palate stimulation both lean towards the lateral front that does produce some dryness.
Its lifecycle is intricate with pleasant evolution and changes of flavour throughout the cigar. It also leaves a pleasant and lingering finish on the palate after you finish the cigar.
- Ash Backbone: Mostly Strong
- Burn Angle: Mostly Straight
- Temperature: Mostly Cool
- Draw: Ideal
- Final Smoking Time: 30 Minutes
There were some mild burning issues during the cigar but it generally corrects itself quite easily. The ash backbone is strong and clings on well. Meanwhile, the draw offers just the right of resistance to give you a good airflow.
It’s also quite cool and doesn’t easily heat up if smoked too quickly. Speaking of which, although it’s marketed as a 20-minute cigar, it’s best enjoyed within 30 to 40 minutes. You’ll be rewarded for smoking it slowly.
The Petit Churchill has two bands. The main one is a slightly modernised version of the original. Meanwhile, the second band reads “Petit Churchill” in gold. It looks both stylish and elegant.
Meanwhile, the cigars were purchased in a 3-pack of tubos. The tubes are elegant and offer solid protection. However, I recommend that you carry the cigars in a travel humidor or case if you don’t plan to smoke them within an hour or so of taking them out the humidor.
The packaging features the classic illustration seen on most Romeo y Julieta boxes of the balcony scene in William Shakespeare’s eponymous play.
Admittedly, these cigars are quite pricey given their small size. You’re looking at prices between $12 and $16. Of course, buying Cuban cigars in the USA is always a touchy subject. However, if you’re willing to take the risk despite the legally grey area, they can be found at iHavanas, Montefortuna, and Bellhop.
While a versatile cigar, it’s best reserved for special occasions. For a short robusto, it isn’t particularly cheap but it does offer a luxurious experience. Consider smoking it in the evening as a digestif following an early meal.
Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill Pairings
You can consider snacks like walnuts or pretzels for accompanying the cigar. While the former will bring out its nuttiness, the latter will help enhance its yeasty character. It would also be an excellent digestif after a large roast dinner! As mentioned earlier, the final third has a somewhat meaty property, which can help extend the meal’s flavours.
As for beverages, a Highland single malt will fare very well. Alternatively, the Swedish Mackmyra in the photo above is a great choice, too. If you have a preference for rum, opt for an English-style libation such as the Appleton Estate 21 from Jamaica.
Coffee is also a great choice. I’d suggest double espresso but an Americano will be less likely to take away the cigar’s nuances.
While perhaps more expensive than most gordito-sized cigars, the Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill is a far more elegant choice. If you want a short cigar for a special occasion, it’s probably one of the better ones to choose.
"An elegant gordito that offers a short albeit rich experience for when time isn't on your side."
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