Not long ago I wrote up a review for Tatuaje’s Black Tubo. By far, one of the better Tatuaje sticks I have had. Within the comment section of that review our good friend Brooks over at Smoking Stogie offered up a very rare gem. The most sought after vitola in the Tatuaje Black line, The original Jar Release Corona Gorda.
The Good Stuff: First of all, let me start off by saying that because of the rarity of this cigar I will only be smoking one (probably ever). That being said, this is more of a crash course on my thoughts, and less of a review. So I won’t be going in as detailed as usual, but with a chance to smoke a cigar like this why wouldn’t I do some sort a review? I’ll also appologize in advance for some of the photos. I did this review later in the evening (usually I do them midday) and the sun set halfway through.
The Tatuaje Black label is labeled as Tatuaje creator, Pete Johnson’s personal blend. The Corona Gorda was actually Pete’s private reserve and for a while was only given out by Pete at his events. In mid 2008 Tatuaje decided to distribute these cigars in a 19ct black Jar. I believe there were only 1,000 jars ever released and the purchasing frenzy only lasted a few days before this size/blend was completely sold out. During my review of the Tatuaje Black Tubo our buddy Joe, over at ubicigar.com chimed in a shared a bit of his Tatuaje Black expertise in the comment section:
The Black Label was created by Don Pepin Garcia and Pete Johnson to mimic a blend he had whilst on vacation, I believe in Nicaragua. He would smoke a cigar, drink coffee, and read the paper on his porch each morning, and discovered from a man who came by each day on a bicycle that, though they rolled cigars all day, when the torcedors returned home, they would roll their own ‘personal blend’ to suit their tastes. Pete Johnson and DPG recreated that, using an ugly (yet beautiful in it’s wholesomeness) wrapper with an unfinished foot. He has said that this cigar is to celebrate that sometimes, as Freud said, a cigar is just a cigar.
Size: 5.65 x 46 - Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo - Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan - Body: Full
Prelight: The Tatuaje Black Jar Release is a very shabby, offputting, looking cigar. The wrapper is composed of a very thick and delicate looking calico colored leaf with only very slight veins. The wrapper is extremely toothy and almost feels as if dust is rubbing off on your finger tips upon touching. The Tatuaje Black gives a ton of tightly packed resistance when slightly compressed. As stated above, if in fact this blend had the idea of trying to look and feel shabby then they really pulled it off. Judging by the quality of creativity and quality produced by Pete and Pepin I think that very well may be the angle they took. The cigars foot is a covered by a shaggy, folded over portion of the wrapper as the head of the cigar is polished off by an inverted pigtail. The wrapper on this cigar gives off little to no aroma outside of a bit of tobacco as the foot of the cigar only increases the potency of the tobacco scent with a dash of spice. The Tatuaje Black clipped with extreme ease using my double bladed cutter. The cold draw was extremely tight (more than likely due to the enclosed foot) but to my surprised produced a massive amount of sweet, sweet spice with cinnamon and a bit of cedar.
First Smoke: The Tatuaje black starts off with just a very slight pepper punch then leads into a much smoother flavor assortment consisting of creamy, sweet tobacco, cinnamon, and cedar with very earthy undertones. Despite the lack of a cold draw, I am having no trouble getting an effortless draw from this cigar that produces a massive, brown, tobacco scented cloud of thick smoke. The Tatuaje Black gives off little to no stationary smoke. The burnline is remarkably even and leaves behind a brilliant trail of bright white, tightly compacted ash. The ash surprisingly only held on for about ¾ of an inch before giving way. I suspect the slight wind outside was partly to blame for that.
Halfway There: The flavor of this cigar had a massive switch up in the second third. The spice and sweetness is still there but the earthy, tobacco flavors have morphed into this very interesting floral mix up. This has to be the taste of the wrapper really shinning through on this smaller ring gauge, one of the many reasons why I have been leaning towards corona vitolas as of late. The retrohale on this cigar rocks, giving off a very smooth and flavorful spice and floral prime. I am finding myself retrohaling this cigar at least every other draw. The burnline is still rocking, the draw is still easy and plentiful, no nicotine kick as of yet just an incredibly smooth and flavorful experience.
Finish: What a flavor-bomb. This cigar is just non-stop action. The finishing third was jam-packed with floral, sweet natural tobacco, and strong cedar flavors backed by a soft cocoa and earthy hints. This cigar burned perfectly, from start to finish with a perfectly paced burn. It took me about an hour and a half to take down this Tatuaje Black and what an enjoyable hour this was. There was absolutely no harshness built up towards the end, no heat could be felt even into the nub, just smooth sailing with not signs of any nicotine.
Overview: I have to tell you, I feel like a total dumbass for not jumping on these while they were available and I can’t think Brooks enough for giving me the opportunity to smoke this bad boy. Anyone who has these should feel privileged. I may be going out on a limb here, but I can honestly say this just may be my favorite Tatuaje of all time. Again, I only had this one but if it has anything to show for the rest of the Jar Release CG’s out there then it says a lot. Smooth from start to finish, packed with very pleasant flavors around every turn, solid burn with absolutely no problems, with no harshness what so ever. I nubbed this thing down until my fingertips were begging for mercy. If for whatever reason you do stumble across any of these, PICK THEM UP. ALL OF THEM. AND SEND ME SOME. I can’t stress that enough.
Pairing: This Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda was paired off with some of Enchantment Vineyards Chocolate Port. Yes Daniel, I understand this is a “fortified wine” and not a port based off of the country of origin but you know what? It was awesome, and I have some and you don’t ! Ha, anywho the chocolate port is a very smooth, and sweet tawny port with strong black cherry, dark grape and cinnamon notes finished off with a light and smooth chocolate aftertaste. With an flavor profile such as that and a ABV of 19.26% this port makes for an almost perfect match up with just about any cigar I can possibly think of.
Again, big thanks goes out to a great BOTL, Brooks over at SmokingStogie.com. If you haven’t checked out this guy’s site I strongly suggest you do so. Not only does Brooks have by far, the best photography I have ever seen on a cigar site, but his honest reviews, cigar insight, and ability to get his hands on pretty much every stick known to man make his site a must read.
Also, I wanted to give a quick shout out and Thanks to Tom over at Tomscigars.com. We were recently elected his “Cigar Review site of the Month”. You have no idea how pleasant of a surprise this was for both me and Daniel. If you haven’t read Tom’s blog, check it out. Tom is known for telling it like it is, and should I say “going where no man has ever gone before”. Great reviews, and a great guy. You can also find him on twitter here.