Tatuaje TAA 2015
Sorry about missing last week, I was still recovering from a bit of a sinus infection and didn’t want it to interfere with the review. Coming in hot this week I venture out back with a Tatuaje TAA 2015 in one hand and a bottle of Founders KBS 2016 in the other.
The Good Stuff:
It’s better late than never I guess. I know this cigar created a ton of buzz and was one of the most highly acclaimed releases last year. While I did smoke it, I didn’t get around to reviewing it until now. The Tatuaje TAA 2015 is the fifth release in an exclusive annual release that Tatuaje has done each year since 2011 for the Tobacconist’s Association of America. These releases are only sold at TAA retailers across the US. While we have only reviewed the 2011 release in the past, Jeremy and I have had the pleasure of smoking all of the other releases between us. The Tatuaje TAA 2015 is actually based off of two other highly acclaimed releases Pete Johnson of Tatuaje had released in the past, the Pork Tenderloin and the Barclay Rex. The Tatuaje TAA 2015 is manufactured at the My Father Cigars S.A. factory in Nicaragua. The blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with Nicaraguan Binder and Filler. The blend comes in a single 5 3/8 x 54 with only 3,800 boxes of 20 released with run $11 per cigar.
Size: 5 3/8 x 43
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Pairing: Founders KBS 2016 (Imperial Stout 12.4% ABV)
The Tatuaje TAA 2015 starts out with a beautiful soft-box press and a covered foot. The wrapper is folder just as carefully over the foot, as it is laid seamlessly over the body of the cigar. The wrapper is a very, very dark, brown which is very consistent in color. The wrapper’s texture is toothy and grainy with only a few medium sized veins running through the body of the cigar. The veins look a bit large in the photo, but they are so smooth you can’t even feel them when examining the cigar. The cigar is polished off with the standard gold, white, and black TAA crest we’ve seen on most of the previous Tatuaje TAA releases backed by the red white and blue color bands behind the crest. The cigar isn’t too stiff, but the wrapper is extremely dense and very hard to the touch.
The wrapper on the Tatuaje TAA 2015 gives off some great cocoa and sweetness aromas while the foot of the cigar is very similar only with a bit more spice seeping through the wrapper which covers the foot. The cap cut very clean and easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter. Even the cold draw is remarkable in this cigar leading with some great cocoa and espresso with some berry and natural tobacco backing.
The Tatuaje TAA 2015 starts out with a good amount of cayenne pepper on the lips and tongue which lasted for the first few puffs before diminishing. What I was left with was an awesome mixture of espresso, cocoa, cedar, black cherry, and musk. The cigar starts out very full in the body arena right off the bat. The draw is perfect. Each puff kicks out a great amount of very thick, white smoke. The soft-box press also fists very comfortably in both my hand and mouth. The burn line started out a bit whacky but completely corrected itself before the first ash and is now burning dead even and razor thin while leaving behind a trail of medium to light gray ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Tatuaje TAA 2015 and this cigar is still pouring on the flavors. The cigar now leads with the musk and black cherry backed by some potent cedar and espresso over soft cocoa and sweetness. I am really enjoying this flavor mixup. The retrohale adds a really interesting floral flavor to the mix as well which just makes a great cigar even better. The burn line is still dead even and razor sharp. I am not really feeling too much in the nicotine department as I close out the third.
The Tatuaje TAA 2015 finishes off with a bang as both the body and strength have really ramped up. The body is now deep into the “full” area while the strength is at the crest of “medium/full”. The flavors haven’t changed much from the second third, and I’m ok with that. Leading with the black cherry and musk backed by cedar, espresso, cocoa, sweetness, and a good amount of spice that I didn’t pick up until now. It took me an hour and a half to smoke this cigar down to the nub and I loved every second of it. I close out the cigar with absolutely no signs of harshness or extra heat, and a decent little nicotine kick.
This cigar gathered a ton of buzz last year, with good reason. The Tatuaje TAA 2015 is a solid cigar every way you look at it. The price, the flavor profile, the experience, the fact that it supports the TAA retailers, just everything. The only bad thing that comes to mind is how limited this run is. I’ll be on the hunt for more, thats for sure and if you happen to stumble across them, snatch them up!
Ah yes, the famous KBS. I look forward to this release every year, and never does it disappoint. This particular bottle is from this year’s release so it’s pretty damn fresh. Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast stout is an imperial stout brewed at the Founder’s brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The beer is brewed with massive amounts of chocolate and coffee then aged in bourbon barrels stored in caves. Not even joking. This year’s release comes in at a whopping 12.4% ABV and leads with tons of roasted malt, espresso, cocoa, and sweetness with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing with even more sweetness, brown sugar, espresso, and cocoa. This beer is to die for. It’s easy to see why I paired it with the Tatuaje TAA 2015 since it shares so many similar flavors. I think this cigar would also pair good with a Belgian quad with a ton of spice or some strong, sweet, black tea.