Cigar Reviews

Tatuaje TAA Exclusive 2011

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Don’t forget that we’re still running a huge contest for my Movember campaign. Please make sure you donate on my Mo Space page here, and you could win a 5-pack of The Maldonado Dynasty “The Mogul” or a special 5-pack from my own personal humidor. Click the links of the prize packs above to see how you can win. Thanks for everyone’s continued and awesome support!

Today we have a fairly limited cigar up for review that I actually don’t think got all that much Press. It comes from the B&M Exclusive line by Pete Johnson of Tatuaje. If you haven’t stumbled across any of these before, you can find one of the previous ones reviewed here on Casas Fumando, it was the Tatuaje Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary. Pete Johnson continues this line with the Tatuaje TAA Exclusive 2011.

The TAA in the name actually stands for the “Tobacconists Association of America” and unlike his previous B&M Exclusive releases, you will actually be able to find these in more than just 1 store. The total distribution went out to 40+ TAA retailers across the United States of America. There was also a larger production turned around for this cigar with numbers totaling up at 30,000 cigars. This worked out to 1,500 boxes of 20 cigars per box, and if you had a retailer in your area, they would have sold between $10 and $11 per cigar.

As with most exclusives from Tatuaje and Pete Johnson, they don’t last too long on shelves and are already fairly scarce in most areas. One thing that made them a bit of a draw to Tatuaje fans is that Pete hinted the blend was similar to that of the Pork Tenderloin and the Brex. Both of those were limited releases from Tatuaje that were difficult to track down. Pete also decided to change up the shape of this cigar a little bit. You can find that it is a slightly rectangular box-pressed shape and the 5.675 x 54 vitola is also non-standard. I actually found the vitola here to be a good balance between a Toro and Robusto.

The cigar itself comes wrapped in an interesting Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Now the wrapper alone doesn’t make the cigar, but both Tony and I both seem to have a great appreciation for a lot of Broadleaf cigars so I’m hoping this continues the trend. It’s terribly cold out here today but I’ve got my propane heater to keep me warm from the outside and a nice tall bottle of beer to keep me warm on the inside. So let’s see what the Tatuaje TAA Exclusive 2011 has in store for me!

Cigar: Tatuaje TAA Exclusive 2011
Drink: Wychwood Brewery Bah Humbug Christmas Cheer
Vitola: Box-Pressed Toro/Robusto hybrid (5.625 x 54)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: About $10
Burn Time: 1.5 hours

Construction:
• The Tatuaje TAA is actually a tad rough looking on first glance with a few medium to large sized veins and some uneven areas in the diameter
• The wrapper looks like a tasty chocolate bar with a bit of toothiness and I’m actually getting some sort of glitter type effect on it, could just be my lighting (I later realized the glitter was likely caused by the temperature being so cold that the humidity droplets were icing over…)
• The cigar sports a closed foot and a box pressed shape, the triple cap ties up the presentation nicely
• There is a bit of inconsistency with regards to firmness on the cigar too with some areas being soft and springy while others are very firm
• The cap clipped away fairly cleanly with my double-bladed guillotine cutter, I’m met with a bit of an open draw here that concerns me
• The draw remains very open which is disappointing

Burn:
• I actually peeled away the closed foot pieces to reveal a nice clean foot for my toasting since I’ve had terrible luck in the past with closed feet
• This resulted in a nice and evenly toasted foot and kicked me off to a great start
• A bit of a wave started after the toasting, we’ll see how it progresses
• The wave is progressing to be worse and will definitely require some touch-up soon
• The cigar almost went out and needed a fairly hefty touch-up, but we’re chugging along again now
• The draw seemed to get a bit tighter after my relight/touch-up and the burn has been a little more consistent, although still a tad wavy

Smoke & Ash:
• There is an absolute insane amount of smoke coming from each draw of this cigar, I could make smoke signals rivalling campfires with this cigar!
• Surprisingly, there isn’t much resting smoke coming off the cigar, just a moderate amount giving off a burning wood aroma
• The ash appears nice and clean so far with a light grey color tone
• First ash lasted just about an inch before falling off into the ashtray
• Second ash seemed to keep with the 1 inch mark as it’s standard

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper has very little aroma, maybe just a bit of sweet tobacco
• Since the foot is closed, there isn’t much variance on the aroma but I do get a little bit of spice there
• The pre-light draw brings more sweet tobacco and spices, both in greater intensities now
• The initial draws offer an interesting mix of spices dominated by a white pepper type of flavor, mixed in there is also some cedar woodsiness that balances it all out
• The array of spices keeps changing as I smoke the Tatuaje TAA, there’s a variety of cloves, nutmeg and raw cinnamon along with the white pepper
• The initial sweetness I detected is pretty much gone but the cedar flavors seem to be balancing out the profile for now
• There is a very small bite on the retrohale and the finish is a nice smooth cedar flavor
• The body seems a little hard ot place right now, but I’ll say we’re near medium so far, I suspect that will increase soon though
• As I approach the half way mark I can’t say I’m getting much else in the flavor department, still spices and cedar
• It’s not a bad profile but I’m hoping it changes up a bit soon to keep me interested
• The balance of the cedar seems to be fading away and I’m getting more into a bland tobacco flavor paired with some mixed spices
• The Tatuaje TAA never really passed the medium threshold, stayed in the range until the end with only a slight buildup
• I really wish that initial sweetness made a presentation here, it would really bring a nice dimension to this cigar…
• Flavors going into the last 1.5 inches are really fading away, mostly getting a burnt woodsiness and some leathery flavors
• Had to put the cigar down a bit early as the flavors started getting harsh

Final Thoughts:
The Tatuaje showed some promise initially and I was enjoying the flavor profile from the start. Unfortunately, that profile didn’t change much as the cigar progressed and actually got a little bland shortly after the halfway mark. I also had a few issues with the burn and an extremely open draw. I think the cigar had some potential and maybe needed a little more rest time in the humidor, I’m not too sure. I’ve come to expect a higher calibre of cigars from Pete Johnson’s B&M exclusive lines and I don’t think this one lived up to the expectations I had. I’d definitely want to try another couple after they’ve had time to rest though and see how age treats them.

Pairings:
As we all know, Christmas is just around the corner and that means by favorite time of year in the brewery world! Christmas and Winter ales are probably my favorite seasonal brews and there’s always cool gift packs available too. You may recognize the Wychwood Brewery name from their famous Hobgoblin ruby ale which I’ve enjoyed in my review of Illusione 888 Slam and it’s own review here. This offering is called “Bah Humbug Christmas Cheer” and is one of theie seasonal ales. I actually found the flavors to be very similar to the Hobgoblin and not as “heavy” as you might expect. It’s basically got that smooth ruby ale character with an added touch of spices common in winter seasonal ales, such as cinnamon. I found it to be a very tasty pairing to the Tatuaje TAA since it offered a change of pace from the cigars profile and kept the whole experience a little more interesting.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

13 Comments

  1. czerbe

    November 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Hey Buddy Great Review, your pictures seem to get better and better every time. PJ makes great sticks no question but you have to wonder with all the limited editions, monster stuff, core lines, if there is starting to be some rushing of products and not focousing on quality. Great review

    • Dalamscius

      November 18, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Thanks Czerbe! I actually thought these pictures were kinda sub-par. The lighting at night where I do my reviews is pretty terrible. 🙁
      I have to agree with your thoughts there, PJ makes some great stuff but every once in awhile there’s a dud thrown in the mix. It might just be a matter of different preferences, someone else might think this is awesome.
      I got the Wolfman lined up soon…

  2. Daniel

    November 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve recently had the Hobgoblin and Bahhumbug beers. Amazing stuff. Really tasty with the added comedic factor. I have yet to try any Tatuaje, but hopefully i’ll get my hands on something soon!

    • Dalamscius

      November 20, 2011 at 12:48 am

      Nice Dan! The selection of beers for Christmas is growing at the LCBO, make sure to pick up a few while it lasts. They usually disappear after Christmas. Maybe we need to get together for a cigar so you can try a Tat, I have a few in my humi…

      • Dan

        November 20, 2011 at 3:09 am

        For sure man! Hopefully when the weather gets warmer? Or we’ll just crash at Tony’s. He seems to get from great to awesome weather for cigar smoking down in The Paso.

        • Tony Casas

          November 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm

          el paso weather rocks! Haha there is always room for you guys!

  3. Tadd

    November 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    This has been my consensus for the most part with alot of these LE’s from tatuaje. So many people raved about these, and I was a little unimpressed. So many people likened it too the Barclay Rex release, and I wasn’t overly impressed with that also….Now things I did like….. I am a huge sucker for a shaggy foot on a smoke and I wish it did have that sweetness in the finish that it does start with. I have a couple left to smoke at a later day. Wolfman was good, just not phenomenal…. I am not a sumatra guy….

    • Dalamscius

      November 20, 2011 at 12:49 am

      I gotta agree Tadd. I thought the Barclay Rex was not bad, but I wasn’t a fan of this or the Anarchy. I actually find the shaggy feet annoying! lol I plucked it all away before lighting up 😛
      I have a couple Wolfman cigars, haven’t tried one yet though

  4. Eric

    November 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Well im gad to see you actually give honest reviews daniel unlike tony overthere who seems to “enjoy the heck” out of every cigar he smokes. Keep up the good work…

    • Tony Casas

      November 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      You must of skipped over my Cain Daytona review 😉 I actually had a “heck of a” good cigar streak! 🙂

    • Dalamscius

      November 20, 2011 at 12:51 am

      LOL Eric, I was actually on a good streak for awhile too. I think we both do enough reading that we try to avoid crappy cigars if possible, but every once in awhile you take one for the team or you try one out in the hopes that your opinion is different from someone elses. In this case, I read bad things and hoped for the best, but I was let down. Oh well! Thanks for the comment!

      • Dan

        November 20, 2011 at 3:10 am

        If you want a real dirty stick, try the “Bravos” from Loblaws’ “Holy Smokes”….lol

        • Dalamscius

          November 20, 2011 at 11:16 pm

          Thanks Dan but I’ve unfortunately had one of those before… And I’d rather smoke some rolled up maple leaves next time! lol

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