Up until a few years ago, the Tatuaje Brown Label ‘series’ used to be a Nicaraguan Puro with a Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 as the wrapper. Pete Johnson has since switched to an Ecuadorian Corojo ’99 wrapper.
Noella “5 1/8 x 42″ $8.00
Regios “5 1/2 x 50″ $10.00
Especiales “7 1/2 x 38″ $10.00
Tainos “7 5/8 x 49″ $12.00
Unicos “6 1/8 x 52″ $11.00
Havana Cazadores “6 3/8 x 43″ $10.00
Petit “4 1/2 x 32″ $4.50
Besides the ‘regular’ production cigars mentioned above, Pete Johnson has released many variations of the Brown Label with a different wrapper on them. The Cojonu series, which has received probably the most attention have used various wrappers from Ecuadorian Sumatra, Connecticut Broadleaf and others. Please note that the cigar mentioned below are regular production.
Cojonu 2009 “6 3/4 x 48″ $13.00
Cojonu 2006 “5 1/2 x 52″ $13.00
Cojonu 2003 “6 1/2 x 52″ $13.00
Gran Cojonu “6 1/2 x 60″ $15.00
RC184 “7 1/4 x 57″ $20.00
RC233 “9 1/8 x 55″ $22.00
7th Reserva “5 7/8 x 46″ $9.00
7th Natural “5 7/8 x 46″ $9.00
Tatuaje Seleccion de Cazador Especiales
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
Size: 7 1/2 x 38
Time In Humidor: 4.5 Years
Smoke time: 1 hr 50 min
Number of Cigars Smoked: 3
Pairing: Water, Sumatra Coffee
The wrapper is light in appearance, veiny with water marks scattered throughout. While the Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 wrapper is somewhat toothy, the surface is lumpy and inconsistent. The veins are fairly smooth to the touch. I like the feel of the Especiales when squeezed as there aren’t any noticeable soft spots. The nipple on the head looks sharp in style not in texture and the cap has a squarish appearance when looking at it from the side. Overall, the Tatuaje Brown Label Especiales comes off as elegant yet still looks formidable due to the overall length.
I went with a guillotine cut on the head which gave me a crisp slice and even though the pre light draw was tight leading me to believe I might need to make another cut, the overall draw was manageable. The burn is almost razor sharp and it didn’t burn as fast as one could expect. The cigar puts out an average volume of smoke with gray and white color while the ash is very fragile, lasting up to 1/2 inch before falling.
The pre light aroma from the wrapper is of cedar and cinnamon while the foot displays some mellow notes of cocoa and wood. I didn’t get that typical ‘Pepin’ blast in the initial few draws either showcasing cedar, sour dough and a touch of pepper. The touch of pepper is relative to what I really expected. In the first third, I get a mix of coffee, bread, nuts and white pepper on the finish. The notes are balanced and nothing is dominating the overall feel. I surprised at the mellowness from the Especiales. The strength halfway to medium while the complexity is about average.
In the second third, the cigar takes on more of a wood and cedar base. There is a small dose of leather sitting on the notes along with white pepper which does linger but certainly isn’t potent. The body is increasing, the strength is up to a medium and the cigar is a tick above average for complexity. I am enjoying the cigar but surprised by the lack of punch. In the last third, similar flavors of wood, oak, cedar, leather and coffee continue as the main flavors. The years on this cigar really mellowed out the flavors. With less than an inch left, I decide to put down the Brown Label Especiales.
- Excellent pre light construction on the cigar. I did notice a piece of wrapper slightly unhinging but can’t really pin point as to why it happened. The draw was initially tight but did open up enough which I thought was very good especially for the lancero. I tend to prefer a draw on the tighter side when smoking a lancero because I don’t want the cigar to burn too fast. The ash didn’t last long on the cigar as well.
- The flavors were generally enjoyable. This Tatuaje smokes like an aged cigar. Critically speaking, I would have preferred a flavor such as the coffee notes to step forward and play a solo but that didn’t occur. Similar to a team working together in a cohesive manner, there wasn’t a “Star” that took the lead when needed.
- For this review, I took the opportunity to smoke this cigar in the morning and in the evening; performance was not affected nor was my observations any different. This cigar has lost a few notes of intensity; how you view that is up to you.
- This is a review of the Tatuaje Brown Label with Nicaraguan Corojo ’99. The current Brown Labels feature an Ecuadorian Corojo ’99.
- With an msrp of $10.00, I believe they are worth the money with less age on them. Some of my favorite blends are not my favorites once they start accumulating age. I notice that a few blends start fading after the 2.5- 3 year mark. Please note, my experience with the Brown Label Especiales right out of the box is different.