Tatuaje – Petite Cazadores Reserva Cigar Review
We had a pretty historical weekend here in El Paso. First, the world-famous Asarco smoke stacks where taken down to complete the cleanup on the smelter site. Then our city hall had been demolished to make way for a new AAA ballpark a block away from my work. It’s about time El Paso stepped it up. Change is near. That being said, the weather was perfect for everyone who enjoyed the moments. Me? I stayed in for them. Safe and sound, while enjoying this week’s review, Tatuaje’s Petite Cazadores Reserva.
The Good Stuff: The Petite Cazadores Reserva was released by Tatuaje in 2010. At that time it filled a much needed gap in Tatuaje’s line; and affordable, short smoke. Since then Pete Johnson of Tatuaje has also released a favorite of mine, the Verocu #5. You can check that review out here. The Petite Cazadores Reserva is an extension to the infamous “Seleccion de Cazador” or “Brown Label” line. It’s based on the same blend but features a beautiful Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper vs. the traditional Ecuadorian Habano.
As always, Pete worked with the Garcia Family to create this blend. As stated above, the blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and Nicaraguan binders and fillers similar to the Seleccion de Cazador blends. The cigar comes packed in cabinets of 50 and run about $225 a cabinet. They have been out for some time, but I still find it hard to get a hold of these cigars at times. I purchased these recently from Atlantic Cigar. I have always had terrific customer service from these guys and i know Jeremy used them on a purchase from one of his next reviews and had nothing but great things to say about them as well. Awesome prices, and great selection. You can check them out here.
Size: 4 x 40
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Pairing: New Belgium Lips of Faith Cascara Quad (Belgian Style Quad 10% ABV)
Prelight: The Tatuaje Petite Cazadores Reserva isn’t much to look at. In fact, this is a pretty ugly looking cigar. But that doesn’t mean it’s due to bad construction. On the contrary, the construction on this cigar is spot-on and that says a lot for a cigar of this size. Must have had a lot of little, nimble fingers rolling these guys up. When I say it’s ugly, it’s mainly the wrapper, it’s character, and the different foot-style on this cigar. The wrapper is very, very toothy and has a very rough texture with a few larger veins. While being very dark in color there are some darker, and some lighter spots as well as a few reddish-brown areas spread throughout the dark brown wrapper. The Petit Cazadores sports un unfinished foot where the tobacco is gently laid over the foot of the cigar adding some extra character to the stick. The cigar is finished off with a little, round, triple cap. The cigar is very light and small but fits very comfortably in your hand. Although it’s small, you don’t have to be afraid to handle it at all as it feels very durable and gives very little as I squeeze it between my fingers.
The wrapper lets loose a very pungent, very strong sweet tobacco aroma while the foot of the cigar matches the sweetness and adds just a little bit of spice. The cap cut clean and easy using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw boasts of strong tobacco, strong sweetness, berry, and leather.
First Smoke: The cigar is very easily to light up with my butane lighter. Word to the wise, pay close attention to the length of your flame on your lighter. Since this cigar is so small, you might end up burning your eye brows off. The Petit Cazadores starts out with a nice little pepper blast before fading into a much sweeter profile. The cigar starts with some very sweet tobacco, brown sugar, cherry, and a little bit of leather to finish off. The draw on this little guy is enormous. Each, tiny, little puff kicks out a mouthful of thick smoke. The burnline is dead even and razor sharp which is always a concern of mine with cigars that have closed, or unfinished feet. The ash is bright white, incredibly compact, and held on for almost an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: Into the second third of this Petite Cazadores and the flavors haven’t really changed up too much. The pepper at this point is no where to be found while the cigar continues to gradually ramp up in sweetness with the cherry, brown sugar, and leather all remain in the mix. I probably could have done this cigar in two different sections instead of my normal three, but that just wouldn’t be me. I pull out some nice, woody flavors in the retrohale that aren’t very present in the actual experience, but not as much of the sweetness that I had hoped for. I am feeling absolutely no nicotine kick at this point, and I doubt I will be once I finish. The burnline is still dead even, but beware of the ash. Although it looks extremely tight, it’s actually pretty weak due to the small ring gauge. I quickly found this out as I ashed into my lap. I wonder how crappy the finish picture is going to turn out.
Finish: Down to the final third of this Tatuaje Petite Cazadores Reserva and it’s still going strong. It’s crazy how much flavor this little cigar pumps out draw after draw. As mentioned in the previous stage, the sweetness has increased steadily the entire experience making for a wonderful finish while the cherry, leather, and brown sugar are all still present as well as a slight cedar which made it’s way from the retrohale into the mix. The cigar took about 35 minutes to take down and didn’t require a single touch up or relight. I also didn’t encounter any nicotine kick, harshness, or heat.
Overview: Yeah, I love these cigars, no doubt about it. I ended up purchasing a cabinet of these due to the fact that I had run out of my second cabinet of Verocu 5’s and needed a drive home cigar. While I loved the Verocu 5’s, the Petit Cazadores Reserve makes for a totally different experience. The Verocu is much more full strength, and spicy while the Reserva is much more flavorful, and milder. Most of the time you consider cigars of this size to lack good construction, but I find that these are on par with just about every other cigar coming out of the My Father factory. And the price? Well, these are way lower than what I would pay. But don’t let Pete know that. I don’t know how else to explain the value on this sticks. This cigar is box worthy for sure and will satisfy any seasoned cigar smoker as well as showcase an excellent cigar to those who just picked up the hobby. Another word to the wise concerning the Petit Cazadores Reserva. TAKE YOUR TIME WITH IT. Treat it well, and it will treat you the same. I’ve smoked a ton of these and despite it being a “quick” cigar, the length and ring gauge can produce a little bit of harshness and heated burn if you smoke it took quickly. Taking my time this cigar will usually last between 30 – 45 minutes which is absolutely perfect for me.
Pairing: Cascara is an experimental Belgian Quad style ale brewed over at the New Belgium Brewery in For Collins, Colorado. Coming in at a whopping 10% ABV New Belgium describes this brew the best:
“Local roasters Novo Coffee turned us onto Central America’s Cascara, the fruit or husk the surrounds coffee beans. When dried, it can be made into a tea with hints of cherry and tobacco. Blend that into a Quad fermented with gorgeous malts and Date Sugar for a crazy complex beer to warm your winter nights.”
I know, it’s not winter, but it doesn’t need to be. Just reading that statement makes me crave a cigar and I couldn’t think of a better cigar to pair it with. The Tatuaje Petit Cazadores Reserva already has the sweetness, sugar, and cherry so it blended in perfectly with the cherry, date sugar, and tobacco hints of the Cascara Quad. Seriously, this beer is amazing by itself and pairing it with any respectable, sweet cigar only heightens the experience.