Romeo y Julieta Condes. Unidentified cigars from 70's

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Can anyone tell me about these cigars? I couldn't find any information in the sources we all know not in MRN book and CCWsite nor in Internet. The box was purchased over 20 years ago. Box is still sealed. Stored in pristine conditions all this time. Machine-made? Long filler? I would appreciate any help! Thank you!





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This is quite peculiar. If the box is genuine, It does look like the box characteristics are quite consistent with other RyJ models in this era, particularly in cellophane:



I would speculate that this may be a distributor or special model release for a particular vendor or retailer. As there's no record of a RyJ cigar with this name I would guess this was some kind of special release for a particular customer, be it a distributor, vendor or private customer or a one-off purchased in Cuba, but that's less likely. I can't think of anything that appeared only in Cuba and not in catalogs but I suppose it's possible. I'm also not seeing any other examples of a RyJ model with this name, so provenance and history if available could be very interesting.

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5 hours ago, Mrcpt said:

Is it possible that 10 condes is a literal translation to “10 count” and it’s a ten count dress box of Mille Fleurs, Belvederes, or Excepcionales?

Don't think so. As can be seen in the box I posted the name of the cigars (Sports Largos, hard to see but I know it is) are on the same red sticker on the front of the box just like the OP box. 

Also I don't think the translation of Conde, which is "count" is the verb as in "count cards" but the noun or title of nobility of "count" as in Count Dracula.

Although this guy might be both:


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The earliest post-Rev catalogue that displays close to the complete range is 1975, which has about 450 cigars of a range which was probably around 500 at the time. The earlier Cubatobaco catalogues only have about 150. I don't have any good records of the Romeo line pre-Rev. If anyone else does please let me know.

A lot of pre-Rev stuff was produced special order for different markets / retailers etc, which continued into the 70s. MRN and CCW are only as good as the catalogues, so I would say that there are probably at least 100 post-Rev Cuban cigars the details of which lost to history, probably more.

Which is to say, I have never heard of an RyJ Condes before, but I don't think that means anything much. The box dressing is consistent with Romeo cigars of the period.

The box is the cleanest example of a 70s box I have ever seen - it must have been stored wrapped in wax paper and untouched since new or something like that. Or possibly it's fake, although it seems like a bizzare thing to make as a fake if you had the capability. Aside from the cleanliness, it otherwise looks all correct for the era.

Very rough ballpark based on the box size, it would be something like 140mm x 36. As for whether it's machine-made or long-filler, I think the only way to know is going to be to crack the box and take a look. I assume the OP doesn't want to do this with an idea to retaining value - well, while it may attract some premium as a historical oddity, there were plenty of smallish Romeos in the line at that time. I don't think you're going to make your fortune off this box.

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11 hours ago, ATGroom said:

Very rough ballpark based on the box size, it would be something like 140mm x 36. As for whether it's machine-made or long-filler,

Looks about right. Considering it's virtually identical to the 70s Sports Largos box above which was machine-made I would expect these Condes would be as well. 

11 hours ago, ATGroom said:

MRN and CCW are only as good as the catalogues, so I would say that there are probably at least 100 post-Rev Cuban cigars the details of which lost to history, probably more.

I'm not sure I would put the number that high. How many confirmed post-Rev cigars have you come across that weren't listed in MRN? I honestly can't think of any offhand. If there had been that many from as recently as the early 1970s surely they would have popped up by now. I don't think custom or private commissions were common at all post-Rev. I can't recall seeing any from the 1960s-1980s and even into the 1990s. Something like the Uday Hussein Double Lanceros were and still are very unusual. I'm sure some other VIPs received things but I've yet to see anything appear for the most part.

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18 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

The condes sticker is over and should be under if it were truly the name of the cigars, no?  Looks like an after though sticker.

The Sports Largos I posted are identical. I did see that as well but apparently that was standard, at least for machine-mades of the time.


Interestingly, these are labeled "Sport Largos" and not "Sports Largos" as they should be. Cuba being Cuba was probably much worse in the early 70s than now, and we know how it is now.


On 5/25/2021 at 10:22 PM, ATGroom said:

There are easily 50 cigars from post-Rev Cubatabaco catalogues that aren't in MRN or CCW. If you don't count the 1962 catalogue, which is post-Rev however isn't really post-Rev as it's before the American brands were discontinued, then then there are probably 15 or so, mainly from the 1971 Spanish catalogue.

I'm only talking about post-Rev of course. I'm sure there are hundreds of pre-Rev carry-overs that were never actually produced. I trust MRN and Adriano Rius' research on that and what ultimately made it into the book. 

From the 1971 Spanish catalog I count Cifuentes Husares, Cifuentes Monacos, La Escepcion Brevas, La Escepcion Palmas No. 1, La Flor de Cano Triples, La Flor de Cano Palmas, Fonseca Palmas, H. Upmann Dobles Coronas, Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Cetros, Por Larranaga Coronas Inmensas, Por Larranaga Cinco Vegas, Por Larranaga Transparentes, Por Larranaga Super Cremas, Por Larranaga Cubanos No. 1, Los Statos de Luxe Pensamientos.

So, that is 15. Now, I have a few issues with this. Most of these are machine-mades that were very possibly only available in Spain or discontinued well before then--possibly pre-Rev. Also not included in MRN are most of the Maria Guerrero and Troya lines. Now, we know from MRN that Maria Guererro had virtually disappeared before 1970. This is according to Rius, who would certainly have known about what was leaving Havana at that time. It's likely the entire brand was unavailable even in Spain at that time--certainly everything except the Bouquets and Grandes de Espana. If that's the case with Maria Guerrero--an entire brand--what other models in that catalog could that apply to?

Same with Troya. Almost all models are omitted by MRN. Troya was only imported into certain countries, the primary being Spain. Almost all machine-made and who knows what was gone by 1971. Again, I would defer to Rius on what was coming out of Havana post-Rev and very possibly most of those were not. 

My point is that while there are those 15 major brand cigars omitted from MRN and two minor brands I would wager that the cigars omitted were probably never produced post-Rev or produced in such limited quantities in such specific regions they are practically irrelevant. Most were cheap machine-mades so most if not all would surely have been smoked quickly and unlikely to survive for 50 years in any collection. 

I'm still at a loss finding any evidence of any cigar that was actually produced post-Rev that MRN omitted. Show me a picture of HU Dobles Coronas or PL Coronas Inmensas. I would posit that these cigars were never produced post-Rev despite being in that 1971 Spanish catalog. These RyJ Condes would be the first evidence of a cigar clearly produced post-Rev that MRN omitted. 

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