Tatuaje Verocu #5
So as I stated in my previous review, I have had a really bad case of gout lately. It’s going on 3 weeks now. I’ve been getting better, slowly, but I am not back to full steam yet. So bare with me. The combination of the pain and the unheard of snow and record low temperatures (we are recovering from literally the coldest few days every recorded in El Paso) has made it hard to get to a review. Hence why I am taking up Daniel’s normal “slacker” post late in the week.
This week’s review is one that Daniel has teased me about. I have been trying to get to this review for weeks now but every time I fire up one of these cigars I decide I much rather kick back, relax, and smoke it instead of writing up a review. Either way, it’s better late than never. I bring you, Tatuaje’s Verocu #5.
The Good Stuff: The Verocu line is basically a spin off of Pete Johnson’s already existent Havana VI line. Pete wanted to extend the line so he, and master blender Don Pepin ramped up the blend by adding enough Ligero to coin the Verocu as a “Havana VI on steroids”. The #5 is the newest size in the Havana VI series. This short, stout little cigar is jam packed with more flavor than most cigars three times it’s size. These cigars come in cabinets of 50 and run around $195 for the box.
Size: 4×40 – Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan
Prelight: The Verocu #5 is a perfectly constructed little cigar. Judging by some of the other smaller cigars I have had I would assume that smaller vitolas are hard to roll. They just usually seem to have some sort of flaw in one way or another, but these cigars are spot on. I absolutely love the wrapper on these cigars. The consistent, dark, almost milk chocolate looking wrapper looks almost good enough to eat. The wrapper leads up to Pepin’s famous, Cuban style, round triple cap. On most of these cigars I found it harder to find larger veins. Only a few sticks had more prominent ones. The only thing that would make this cigar look any better would be a band. No idea why Pete decided to keep the bands off these cigars, but I personally would have liked to see them.
The body of the cigar gives off a very sweet, chocolatey aroma where as the foot tells a very pepper filled tale with notes of tobacco and cocoa. The cap was pretty easy to cut using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw gives off a very peppery and spicy first impression with little notes of tobacco and a bit of fruit shining through.
First Smoke: The Tatuaje Verocu #5 lit up with extreme ease using my single torch flame. Right away you are greeted with this just, immense pepper flavor. Enough to give you a bit of a tingling sensation on your lips and tongue long after each draw. After sorting through the strong pepper punch I was introduced to very sweet, tobacco, cocoa, and even berry like undertones. The draw on these Verocu #5’s are badass. Don’t let the size fool you. They pump out a thick cloud of smoke just like the big dogs. Not only is the draw large, but the cigar pushes out a mean trail of woodsy/tobacco scented stationary smoke. The ash the Verocu leaves behind is a very bright white, with a few greyer spots, very tightly compacted all the way up to the perfectly even burnline.
Halfway There: The Verocu #5 is still kicking out quite a bit of pepper. Not as much as the first third, but it is still a major player in the flavor race. There is still some spice creeping in with the subtle cocoa and berry flavor but there is also this coming and going of a very slight perfume/floral type after taste. I love it. This tiny cigar is just jam-packed with tons of flavors. I am not really feeling any nicotine off this cigar, and quite frankly I’d be surprised if a cigar of this size gave me more than a slight nicotine kick if any at all. The retrohale is very sharp coating my nasal passage with just tons of pepper at this point and a lingering woodsy coating.
Finish: That floral taste has surprisingly married up with the sweetness of this cigar and have completely dominated the pepper and the spice. The only undertones now are a bit of berry mixed with some dark chocolate. This is one hell of a mash-up. I am still not feeling any nicotine off this little guy either. The burnline has been just spot-on the entire way. I had a tiny bit of unwrapping at the cap of the cigar, but that was more than likely due to the way I clipped the cigar combined with the dryness of my humidors right now. It’s impossible to keep those things above water in the winter here. This has been just an all around smooth smoke. There was very little harshness towards the end, however once I got down within the final inch the head of the cigar really heated up. I took it down as far as I could without burning my fingers off. The heat was nice though as its freezing cold outside. And by freezing, I mean like 45 degrees. Call me what you will but I’m a desert boy used to the warm weather.
Overview: The Verocu #5 is one hell of a cigar and could quite possibly be the best drive-home cigar I have ever had. It’s definitely up there with the Tatuaje Pettit Cazadore, Illusione Epernay Pettit, and the 7-20-4 Dogwalker. The only main difference between the Pettit Cazzie and the Verocu is I personally think the Verocu is quite a bit bolder and hold much more flavor. So it just depends on what you are into. I seriously smoked about half a Cabinet of these bad boys in a matter of a month and I will be buying another one in the near future. This is a must have in ANYONE’s regular rotation. The cigar is nothing short of amazing and the price is much lower than what I would personally pay for one of these.
Pairing: I am still not 100% sure I should be enjoying a drink, but screw it. I have been alcohol free for far too long. Beer really screws up gout so I reached for the wine in this case. Hopefully I’ll be back on the beer wagon before next week’s review. The wine in question was a nice little glass of Enchantment Vineyards Chocolate Port. This is a favorite of mine and I love to pair this with more flavorful cigars. The Chocolate, Raspberry, dark grape, and black cherry notes are bold enough to overpower any lighter cigar. In this case, the risk paid off as the wine paired perfectly with the floral and berry notes the Verocu had to offer. Another great pairing would be some dark coffee, or a nice little stout. Brooklyn Brewing makes a badass black chocolate stout that would pair wonderfully with this cigar.