Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2009
For today’s cigar we will be hitting up one of Pete Johnson’s cigars, it is the Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2009. I was pretty excited to get to this cigar. I had purchased a few back June and let them rest. I even sent one down to Tony who gave me a sneak peek into what I should expect but I won’t say what he said cause that’ll ruin the surprise! (Not that his opinion matters a whole lot around here 😉 )
The L’Esprit de Vérité and the La Vérité cigars are part of what Pete Johnson has coined as his “Vintage” line. Now don’t think “Vintage” as in grungy jeans, think “Vintage” in terms on Wine. Just like a winery offers vintages of it’s wine (ie. the year the grapes were grown), Tatuaje is using the same idea and applying it to their tobacco crops. So what does that mean to you and me? It means that every year will be slightly different. As you can appreciate, different weather will affect how the tobacco leaves grow and therefore will affect their flavors. The same percentage of a blend may not work as well the next year due to these subtle changes.
With that knowledge, it’s also worth knowing that all the tobacco leaves also come from the same farm in Esteli Nicaragua, making each one of these a Nicaraguan Puro. The 2009 vintage cigars were actually rolled in 2008 and aged for a year. Tony also did a review on the Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2008(http://www.casasfumando.com/?p=698) last year so take a read through his review first then come back here and see how it compares. I am also reviewing the L’Esprit de Vérité vitola which is the Robusto. The other size is a Churchill and is called the La Vérité. The two words stand for “The Truth” and “The Spirit of Truth”.
It’s worth noting that the blend did change from 2008 to 2009 quite a bit. In the 2008 vintage, the cigar contained 100% Habano leaf so it was all from one type of plant. In the 2009 Vintage, there is actually a mix of 4 different leaves. In the La Vérité it’s 45% Habano, 40% Criollo ’98 and 15% Pelo De Oro. In today’s cigar, the L’Esprit de Vérité, we have 50% Habano, 40% Criollo ’98 and 10% Pelo De Oro. The difference isn’t much but it’s worth noting. Now you might raise an eyebrow at the Pelo De Oro tobacco? Thats because it’s pretty rare and the only cigars I’ve had that contained it were the My Father Le Bijou 1922 and the My Father Limited Edition 2010. To tie all that information together, it’s becomes clear when you know that this cigar was made at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua. You’ll also notice the addition of a second band that just says “Tatuaje” and has Pete’s initials on the back side.
So I hope that’s not too much info but I found it pretty interesting to hear the history of this cigar. If I haven’t lost you yet or you just skipped to the last paragraph cause my rambling looked long, let’s just get right into the actual review!
Cigar: Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2009
Drink: Great Divide Brewing Co. Yeti Imperial Stout
Vitola: Robusto (5 x 55)
Price: Currently MSRP is $20
Burn Time: 1.5 hours
• A wonderfully constructed cigar that has a perfect diameter from end to end with a wrapper that has almost no veins
• The color of the wrapper is a very warm golden brown color and the texture is slightly rough, like a very soft sand paper
• The top of the cigar is finished with an expertly applied triple cap that blends in extremely well
• The firmness is consistent from end to end with very little spring and the tightly packed foot explains why
• The cap took a little effort to clip off and made a bit of a mess
• The toasting of the foot was a slightly slow process but resulted in a perfectly flowing foot
• Through the first inch the L’Esprit de Vérité 2009 is smoking super razor sharp
• Not much I can say here, super sharp through the first half and it’s staying lit with ease, no need for extra draws
• I should also note it’s burning at a nice slow pace and I feel I’m getting more time out of this cigar than I expected based on seeing it’s length
• Not a single issue with burn right to the nub, I wish more cigars were like this
Smoke & Ash:
• The smoke on each draw is just about right, it’s not overly thick and full but it’s not light and airy, a nice middle of the road here
• The resting smoke is very minimal, mostly jsut immediately after taking a draw then within a few seconds it looks like it’s not even lit
• The ash on this cigar looks fantastic from the start, it’s clean and tight with a glowing white color
• The ash continues to impress, it’s stayed strong and clean through 2 inches without a problem
• Ash was consistently about 2 inches so I only had to ash twice through the whole smoke, great construction here
• The wrapper aroma is giving off an almost citrusy cedar smell that is very pleasant and inviting
• From the foot you pick up more cedar with some mild tobacco and a small touch of spice
• The pre-light draw has surprisingly little flavor to it, maybe just a touch of cedar and mild spice
• Initial draws bring more of the aromatic cedar flavors I was picking up with maybe just a slight touch of nuttiness
• The finish on this cigar is extremely smooth with a fantastic creamy cedar flavor
• The cigar has been in the high range of mild so far with a smooth and bite-free retrohale
• I’m picking up some coffee notes peeking around here and there, but nothing solid yet
• The cedar remains prominent through the first half and it’s a very flavorful cedar
• Some other flavors like the mild spice, nuts, coffee and even a bit of earthiness are helping keep the cigar interesting and well balanced
• The coffee notes seem to be shining through just past the half way mark
• As the coffee takes charge I’m still picking up cedar, nuts and some earthiness, and they are all balancing fantastically
• As I approach the last third the cigar has settled comfortably into the medium range and I’m getting a slight bite on the retrohale with a smooth aromatic cedar finish
• The wonderful balance of flavors continued through to the nub with each slowly getting more substantial
• There was almost no harshness or bitterness right to the end so I enjoyed it until my fingers were burning
This was a very enjoyable smoking experience from start to end. The flavors were tasty, consistent and well balanced from start to finish. Although there was nothing that jumped out of this cigar it all molded together to make a great smoke. The construction was fantastic, it burned exceptionally and the price is well placed among limited edition cigars (although this is still high for the average consumer). It also let me enjoy it right to the nub with no issues at all. What probably surprised me the most about this cigar was its easy smoking profile. It had a smooth and relaxingly creamy profile from end to end. This was unexpected for me as I’ve come to know a blast of pepper and spice from a lot of Tatuaje cigars. This is definitely not a bad thing, I really enjoyed what this cigar had to offer and it’s good to see something a little different in the Tatuaje inventory. I’d highly recommend grabbing a few of these before the 2009’s are sold out. I can’t really say anything negative about this cigar, I will definitely be seeking out some more for my humidor.
Today we have one a brew from the Great Divide Brewing Co. and it’s called the Yeti Imperial Stout. The brewery hails from Denver Colorado and I think this is the first beer I’ve had from that state. We actually don’t get any brews from Great Divide up here in Ontario so this is another one I picked up while down in Florida. The stout is very full and thick, it coats your whole palate and the flavors linger long after. From each sip I get a strong malty coffee flavor with some dark chocolate thrown in the mix. It’s really a great stout and I enjoyed it. As for the pairing, I think the brew overpowered the cigar a bit. The cigar has some great flavors but it was not full bodied or overpowering so possibly a dark beer may have played nicer and allowed you to enjoy the flavors the cigar had to offer. I also think a cup of coffee would be a great pairing. Even water would go well with the smooth profile of the Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2009.