After a day of grilling in the 110 degrees heat I decided to remain out back with a Tatuaje Negociant and a bottle of La Cumbre Fievre D’ Apricot Saison.
The Good Stuff:
The Tatuaje Negociant is the first real collaborative release between cigar powerhouses Tatuaje and L’atelier. While Tatuaje is ran by Pete Johnson, Pete also worked with his brother K.C., Dan Welsh, and Sean “Casper” Johnson to form L’atelier. While the companies use similar factories and sale representatives, until the Negociant they never had a true collaborative effort. The term “Negociant” comes from a winemaking term which describes someone who takes grapes from other farmers, and then turns around and makes their own wine with said materials. The Negociant starts with an Ecuadorian Shade wrapper, dual Mexican and Nicaraguan Binder, over all Nicaraguan fillers produced at the My Father factory in Nicaragua. The Negociant comes in 3 sizes: Monopole 1 (5 x 52), Monopole 2 (5.75 x 52 belicoso), and the Monopole 3 (6.25 x 48). The cigars come packaged in boxes of 25 running between $10 – $12 a stick. I purchased mine over from our friends at Ford on Fifth.
Size: 6.25 x 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Shade
Binder: Mexican and Nicaraguan
Pairing: La Cumbre Fievre D’ Abricot (Saison 7.5% ABV)
The Tatuaje Negociant starts out with a very mild, yellowish, light brown wrapper which is incredibly consistent in color. The texture on the wrapper is very smooth and silky with a decent amount of oils and almost no toothiness. The wrapper feels very thin and delicate as the cigar feels a bit soft as I squeeze it between my fingers. The wrapper is laid so seamlessly over itself its hard to find exactly where it begins and ends. There are only very mild, slim, short veins located in only a few places on the cigar’s long body as it leads up to the cigar’s round double wrap cap. The cigar is then polished off with a white, black, and gold version of the iconic Tatuaje band we have all grown to love.
The wrapper on The Tatuaje Negociant gives off some light honey, cedar, and grass aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more bold letting loose a ton of spice, tartness, musk, and natural tobacco aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw releases some nice musk, cashew, grass, and spice flavors.
The Tatuaje Negociant led off with a huge blast of black pepper which quickly faded into deep cedar, cashew, musk, citrus, bold spice, tartness, and some slight saltiness on my lips. I was not expecting the cigar to start off as bold as it did. The draw is perfect as each little puff kicks out just the right amount of thick, white smoke which quickly dissipates while the cigar releases very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is a bit wide, but dead even leaving behind a trail of semi-compacted dark gray ash which tumbled into my ashtray about an inch in.
Into the second third of The Tatuaje Negociant and the flavors haven’t changed up much at all. And that’s not a bad thing. The cigar leads with heavy cedar, cashew, and musk backed by citrus, tartness, salt, and spice. The retrohale brings more of the spice to the front of the smoke with the addition of the pepper I picked up early into the smoke. The cigar is still burning perfectly while I close out the second without anything in the nicotine department.
The flavors in The Tatuaje Negociant are well into the medium/full range now as I venture into the final third. Lead by a real strong cedar and musk backed by citrus, tartness, and some slight pine the flavor profile is really fantastic. It’s not often that a shade cigar produced this much flavor. It took me about an hour and forty five minutes to take this cigar down to the nub. I experienced no harshness nor extended heat. I actually used the nubber on my newly acquired redeemer (Thanks Jason!) to take this bad boy down as far as I could go. I closed out the cigar with only the tiniest bit of nicotine kick.
It’s not often that I find shade wrapper cigars venture into the medium/full arena and whenever I do it seems those cigars become the basis in which I compare all shade wrapped cigars on. The Tatuaje Negociant did just that. It’s bold, flavorful, and burns like a dream yet still holds onto what a true shade wrapped cigar is meant to be. Easy smoking, and rock solid. This is a cigar I could find myself going to again and again. I could easily smoke it after a cup of coffee in the early afternoon or even after a decent dinner. Another box-worthy addition to my everyday rotation. On a side note, this is very different then pretty much any other cigar in Tatuaje’s portfolio.
La Cumbre’s Fievre D’ Abricot is a 7.5% Apricot based Saison brewed at the La Cumbre brewery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. La Cumbre is a brewery I always make time to visit at least once a year and is in my opinion one of, if not the best brewery in New Mexico. The Fievre D’ Apricot leads with some sour tartness, lots of ripe apricot, sweetness, slight funk, and great citrus backings with a very light mouthfeel before finishing crisp with more sweet apricot, sour tartness, prune, and funk. It’s not a very complex beer, but it doesn’t need to be. I’ve always enjoyed pairing fruit beers with shade wrapped cigars and this was another great example of that pairing gone right. The apricot added to the citrus flavors found in the cigar while the beer helped add a bit of the missing sweetness to the mix. The Tatuaje Negociant added a layer of cedar and wood to the beer and the outcome was perfect.