Tatuaje Reserva RC233
So here is this weeks second half of the Tatuaje reviews. Just for clarity, I actually started smoking/writing my review before Tony did. So technically, he copied me. Now that we have that out of the way, I dug deep into the humidor and pulled out this special cigar, the Tatuaje RC233.
The RC233 is part of Tatuaje’s Reserve lineup and is essentially the bigger brother of the RC184. And this is definitely the BIGGER brother, measuring up just over 9 inches and a 55 ring gauge. That’s a lot of tobacco! This particular cigar is rolled at the El Rey de Los Habanos factory in Florida, which is headed up by the infamous Don Pepin Garcia. So you know you are getting a high quality cigar here from some of the best people in the business.
You might be wondering where this name came from? It’s actually an Acronym of “Retro Cuba” followed the length measurement of the cigar in millimeters. Also, these are not a one-time limited production cigar. They are produced regularly but the quantities are fairly low so tracking them down can be a bit of a challenge.
It’s pretty easy to tell by the sheer size of this cigar that I’m going to be in for a long smoke here, so if you do happen to light one up make sure to have enough time to enjoy the whole thing. I for one can’t stand re-lighting a cigar that’s been sitting for awhile. So I picked out this cigar today because it is probably that last warm day of the year here and I wanted to enjoy the weather. So here we go!
Cigar: Tatuaje RC233
Drink: Mill Street Brewery Cobblestone Stout
Vitola: Perfecto (9.125 x 55)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Burn Time: 2.5 hours
• A fairly clean tapered cap with one large leaf that blends into the rest of the cigar
• The has a deep golden brown color to is with some definite oily shine to it
• The part under the foil was different though, it didn’t have that same golden glow but more of a dull deep brown
• There is a definite soft texture to the whole cigar when squeezed and it’s pretty darn consistent from edge to edge
• The foot is too tapered to tell how packed in the filler is
• I’m surprised to see there are so few veins on this massive cigar, definitely took some top quality wrapper leaves to put this together
• The cut was nice and easy and left me with a very nice draw despite the very tapered foot
• The tapered foot is very easy to light up since it’s so small so the toasting was super fast
• As with most tapered foots like this, the burn always goes a little lop-sided right at the start so I needed to do some corrections
• Through the first couple of inches, the burn is a little wobbly but it holding strong
• The Tatuaje RC233 sorta stopped burning around the midway mark so I needed a bit of touch ups to help nudge it along
• After about an hour, I’ve hit the halfway mark and the cigar is burning nicely with only 2 small touch ups so far
• Burn continued going strong right on to the end with no more touch ups needed, a pretty darn great burn considering the size and complex shape of the cigar
Smoke & Ash:
• This cigar is an absolute smoke factory right from the start, tons of thick some coming off of each draw
• The ash started off a bit messy, probably due to the relights at the foot
• Color-wise, the ash is pretty much dark grey with some lighter grey spots and holding clean so far
• I tapped the first ash off after about 1.5 inches but I think it could have even held on a bit longer
• Second and third ash were just about the same length showing some good construction here
• There were lots of ashes on this cigar and they were all easily passed the 1 inch mark, great construction here throughout
• The draw stayed perfect right to the end with no issues at all
• The wrapper had a fairly woodsy aroma to it, lots of cedar
• The foot brought a little more spice to the table along with the woodsy aromas
• From the pre-light draw, the spices were really standing out with a tingle on my lips
• The initial draws brought a hefty burst of pepper out, some thing I always get from Pete’s cigars
• The pepper notes settled down a bit but are definitely still hanging around along with lots of cedar notes and a bit of a meaty taste
• I’m starting to pick up some light espresso notes as the cigar keeps burning nicely
• There is definitely some strength to this cigar right from the start, easily in the medium range already and I predict a ramp up towards the end
• The retrohale has a nice bite to it but a smooth cedar finish, very nice
• As I approach the halfway mark, there is some leather mixing in with the coffee, cedar and meaty flavors and they are all balancing out nicely
• The espresso flavors are really developing nicely with a bit of a nutty flavor making an appearance too
• The spices started to make a big comeback in the last 3rd and the body is getting into the full range as well
• Spices and cedar took over in the flavor department near the end, making this one strong stick, be sure to have a good meal and pairing on hand!
• The strength at the end was very full but surprisingly I didn’t get the nic-kick I was expecting from this behemoth of a cigar
Now I’ve had my ups and downs with Tatuaje cigars and that’s expected, not all profiles will appeal to all people. But today, the RC233 was definitely a bug up in my books. This cigar had a ton of flavors that kept changing and they were always tasty. The quality was definitely top notch and construction was excellent with only a couple minor touch ups the whole way through. I had high hopes for this rare (and massive!) cigar and it did not disappoint. It did have some age on it which I think really helped with the whole experience. If you do happen to have one hiding in your humidor I think it’s an excellent time to bust it out and enjoy, or if you stumble across one somewhere, make sure you grab it! There are still many around if you look, but they aren’t super widely available from what I can tell.
Mill Street Brewery is probably a name you’ve seen in some of my reviews before. They are situated right in downtown Toronto so I love to support the local businesses whenever I can. They have some pretty high yield batches but they still seem to maintain a craft brew flavor to a lot of their varieties. The Cobblestone Stout is one I hadn’t found in the store before so when I saw it I knew I had to grab it. This is a classic stout with lots of deep malty and smoky flavors and even a touch of coffee, but not too much. It’s got a ton of head when you pour it and a bit of a dry finish. It paired well with the Tatuaje RC233 but I think a Port would have gone great to combat the full flavor and strength of this cigar.