Tatuaje Black Tubos
As some of you may know, I was out of town the last week or so getting my design on at the HOW Design Conference in Denver Colorado. Daniel filled in my spots as I was gone (thanks man!), but I am glad to be back and bringing you this next review.
This review is dedicated to the late Aaron Boyd. A great BOTL, and friend who was killed in a motorcycle accident this passed weekend. He was a self proclaimed “Tatuaje Whore” and in fact sent me a package a while back containing a few hard to find Tatuaje sticks. This Tatuaje Black Tubos in which I will be reviewing was amongst the many cigars Aaron packed up for me. You’ll be missed bro.
The Good Stuff: There isn’t a whole lot of information out there on this stick, outside of its release in 2009. The Tatuaje Black Tubos was released with a sister blend, the Tatuaje Verocu (or red) Tubos and sold only in boxes of ten. They are a very limited release, and only 4,600 boxes will ever be made. The Black Tubos is actually labeled as Pete Johnson (creator of Tatuaje Cigars) own personal blend.
Size: 6.15 x 52 – Wrapper: Sun Grown Criollo – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: Full
Prelight: The Tatuaje Black Tubos comes packaged in a sleek, and semi-odd looking Tatuaje branded Tubo with the Tatuaje logo on one side, and the Fluer de lis in silver paint on the other. The screw off cap has yet another Fleur de lis embossed in it. Inside you will find a beautifully cedar wrapped Tatuaje Black. The cigar itself carries a very dark, consistently chocolaty brown wrapper. This particular cigar has a little bit of age and signs of plume are already starting to show. The Black Tubos has quite a few soft veins running through it that I don’t think will become a menace in any way. The cigar is then polished off with a nice, quadruple wrapped torpedo style cap. The cigar is very firm to the touch and there are absolutely no signs of softspots or misconstruction. One item to note is the fold over style foot this cigar carries. The wrapper smells of a very soft pine wood with perfumy almost floral notes, where as the foot carries an identical aroma with just a splash of spice. The cap was a bit tough to cut using my Cuban crafters double bladed perfecto cutter (I usually use my trusty Palio but alas, it is no where to be found). The cold draw is a bit tight, and pumps out a very sweet tobacco taste, with notes of pine and other floral instances.
First Smoke: It took a little while to get the Tatuaje Black Tubos lit under my triple flame butane torch, but when it did finally light up it was off like a rocket. I was curious about the draw since I wasn’t able to get much from my cold draw and was quite surprised how effortless it was. The Black Tubos produced a great mouth full of thick, brown, lingering smoke with every puff. The stationary smoke fluctuated quite a bit, one minute it was pumping out tons of smoke, the next it was as if the cigar went out. The smoke was pretty pleasantly noted with hints of pine, flowers, and cashew. I love the flavor this cigar started out with. VERY floral, with tons of other flavors mixed in. A bit of cashew, pine, cocoa, lemon, and even just enough pepper to set a nice tingling sensation dancing down the back of my throat. The burn was almost so sharp it was invisible, and dead even. The ash produced by the black Tubos was a very light grey, with bits of darker grey mixed in, very lightly packed, and very pretty. The ash lasted about an inch an a half before falling to its fate on my patio floor. I’ve been really bad about catching ash in my ashtray lately.
Halfway There: just a note, but the Black Tubos burns ridiculously slow in comparison to a lot of the other Tatuaje I have had lately. This is a GREAT thing. Tatuaje cigars are usually milder, with a ton of flavors and usually burn out leaving you craving more. The pepper held its own in the first third and is barely now making its exit. The flavors have now morphed into a smooth woodsy flavor, dominated by floral and spice with a bit of chalkiness mixed in. The Black Tubos is a really dry smoke, make sure you have a refreshment on stand by. The retrohale on this cigar is awesome, very smooth and it helps you pick out even more of the woodsy and cocoa flavors. There is a slight crack forming on the head of this cigar, but nothing too alarming. Its mostly just wrapper and the binder is doing a good job containing any stray smoke. The burn line is producing some very slight waves, and is still incredibly sharp.
Finish: The Tatuaje Black Tubos required a bit more attention towards the end. It didn’t get as bad as too need any touch ups or relights, but make sure you hit this bad boy often or it will go out on you. Towards the end the most dominating flavor is the sweet, sweet organic tobacco flavor I have learned to love from most of Pete’s cigars. It’s almost a trademark for him. The sweet tobacco lies in the hands of soft cocoa, the floral flavors that always stayed evident and center stage, as well as pine and even a bit of pepper that made its return in the final third of this cigar. All in all I felt a very slight nicotine buzz from this cigar. It was smooth all the way through and had only a light harshness into the last inch. All in all, this cigar took about 1.75 hours to finish. Quite impressive.
Overview: This was a great cigar, I loved it from start to finish. I am really happy that it did in fact carry a much slower burn giving me just enough time to sit back and enjoy it. The only Tatuaje Blacks that I have had have been in Tubo form. I know Pete mentioned that he would not be doing Tubos ever again, so I need to start a search for some of the other Black vitolas that are out there. I would purchase these again hands down, and I would eve go as far as saying these stick are definitely box-worthy. Find them, smoke them, enjoy them. They would appease any cigar smoke for a novice, well into any aficionado.
Pairing: I decided to pair this Tatuaje Black Tubos with an all time favorite beer of mine, Delirium Tremens produced by the Huyghe Brewery in Melle. The name Delirium Tremens actually refers to a condition also known as “the shakes”, “the fears”, or “the heebie geebies”. Not to be confused with its sister brew “Delirium Nocturne”, Delirium Tremens is a strong golden ale boasting with a lovely alcohol content of 9%. This fruity, tart, ale produced a very interesting, and almost counterbalancing act for the smooth and shy Tatuaje Black Tubos. The floral hints from the Black Tubos married up very well with the floral aftertaste the Delirium Tremens gives off. Honestly, I would recommend something very soft to pair with the Black Tubos. Water, Tea, or even cranberry juice. Anything with a bit more punch may just overpower the complexity that this cigar contains.