This release by Pete Johnson is part of the “exclusive series” line (think Barclay Rex or Federal Cigars) which in my opinion tend to generate strong interest among fans of his cigars. Personally, I’ve enjoyed several of his “exclusive series” line even more than the Halloween line so I certainly can’t complain. Essentially, the brief history behind this cigar was that at the annual TAA meeting which occurred in Cabo this year is that Pete Johnson asked all attending retailers to put down the number of boxes that they would like to have of this special release and that’s what happened.
Production count for the Tatuaje TAA was around 1500 boxes only for the retailers who attended AND signed up for the cigar. Supposedly the blend was to be similar to a Barclay Rex and Pork Tenderloin and judging by the wrapper and texture, this could be somewhat true. On to the review.
Tatuaje TAA 2011
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Size: 5 5/8 x 54
Vitola: Box Pressed Toro
Smoke Time: 1hr 45min
Location: Blowin Smoke
The Tatuaje TAA has a firm feel to it with some give. The appearance is doing a wonderful job of selling the cigar to me with it’s “rugged” texture, dark wrapper ending with a closed foot. Many cigars nowadays are going to the move of having a closed foot and for the rollers, it is the same amount of work and creates more “desire” for the cigar fan so everyone wins. The band has the exclusivo series label which also tends to create some demand or so I have seen. The box pressed Tatuaje TAA over all, is a very appealing cigar.
Prelight draw is very smooth with the flame lighting up the closed foot in an accepting manner. The burn in the first third was wavey at times but it did correct itself. Some people may have issues with burns on a box pressed cigar but for the most part the Tatuaje TAA burned evenly. What is more impressive is the draw being consistently smooth never requiring a more or less of a breath. If I had to sum it up in one word: ideal. The ash throughout the smoke was firm holding on for about an inch to an inch and a half.
The aroma of the Tatuaje TAA reminded me of sweet notes, mainly chocolate and wood. In fact, I spent a decent amount of time just absorbing the aroma which was simply quite delicious. The first third has brief stints of a sweetness which I could not pin point but there was plenty of spice combining with some nuances of earth and wood again. Almost finishing with the first third, I am picking up some sweet coco or chocolate.
In the second third, while the puff starts with sweetness, it ends with some pepper and spice on the tongue. I am certainly enjoying the 2nd third much more as the contrast in the two main flavors are contrasting well balancing each other out. On the retrohale I picked up a decent amount of pepper which didn’t surprise me at all. This cigar is hitting it’s stride as it enters the first third.
The last third was certainly enjoyable as spice isn’t as abundant allowing the chocolate notes to shine through lingering on the tongue. One of the biggest bright spots is that the cigar never got too hot and tasted as if you could be smoking too fast at the end.
Smoking a few of these for the review, one contrasted with the other two exhibiting a bit more spice and pepper and a little harshness as well. For the most part, the flavor profile was well balanced with a wonderful draw to go along. Certain flavor points may have reminded me of the Barclay Rex but if I didn’t know that, perhaps I wouldn’t have picked that out. However, I certainly feel the Tatuaje TAA can stand on it’s own and with another year of rest, might bring out a better flow of flavors. I would certainly purchase a five pack or a box and see the improvement.
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