In my review of the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro I noted that the wrapper used for that cigar is the same as the one used for the Onyx Reserve (as well as the delightful Backwoods). At the time I expressed surprise because the Romeo tastes nothing like the Onyx. After trying this Onyx, which has been idling in my humidor for about a year, I think I will have to back off a little from that statement.
The Onyx Reserve, like the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro, is made in La Romana, Dominican Republic, for Altadis USA. The wrapper is Connecticut broadleaf maduro. The binder is Nicaraguan, and the filler is a three country blend of Nicaraguan, Dominican, and Peruvian leaf. Yes, it’s the same combination used in the R y J Reserve Maduro. Could they be made in the same factory, even? Perhaps.
The wrapper is a solid dry maduro with just a touch of dust. I’m not sure if this is plume or what, but it gives the cigar a very matte black look. The first taste is rich and earthy, similar to but not quite as bold as the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro. (Keeping in mind the age of this sample, it may have mellowed a bit.) The earth blends in well with the sweetness of the maduro.
It gets woodier and takes on a little pepper at the half-way point. The funky overtones give way to bittersweet chocolate, and this flavor pretty much takes it to the finale. It’s a little salty on the tongue, and the aroma is very cedary and at times even floral. The only real drawback is a bitter aftertaste.
The construction on this stick was perfect. The draw is generous and the burn is even all the way. It forms a respectable dirty gray ash that has a yellowish tinge.
This is a great medium bodied cigar, in the same class as the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro and K. Hansotia’s Signature 101, but better. Considering how close it is to the R y J in flavor and composition, and the fact that the Onyx sells for about a third less than the Romeo, I know which one gets my vote.