Tatuaje Escasos N
This will be my last review of the year! Thanks for sticking it in there with me. My next post will be my cigar of the year post! That will be an interesting one to put together as this wasn’t anywhere close to a normal year. This week I am taking a look at the Tatuaje Escasos paired with my all time favorite winter beer, St. Bernardus Christmas Ale.
The Good Stuff:
The Tatuaje Escasos is not to be confused with the Cazadores line. while they share similarities in look and blend, they are different cigars. While the release details are a bit dark, the Escasos had made brief appearances in the past few years as very limited US and European releases. Pete Johnson explains that he will release the Escasos in very limited 50 box runs from time to time. The Tatuaje Escasos starts out with an Ecuadorian Rosado Habano Claro wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan Filler. While on paper, the Cazadores line features a similar blend, Pete Johnson has confirmed that the Escasos blend is slightly different. The cigar is offered in six different formats: HC (6 3/8 x 43), U (6 1/8 x 52), N (5 1/8 x 48), T (7 5/8 x 49), E (7 1/2 x 38) and the R (5 1/2 x 50). The letters spell out “HUNTER”, much like the first letter in each name in the Cazadores line. Hunter is none other than Pete Johnson’s dog. Gotta love that dog love. Each format comes packaged in boxes of 25 ranging between $10 and $14 a stick. Big shout out to JG who passed a few of these over my way as I am not sure these are available in the US at this point.
Note: Just after posting this I read the Halfwheel article found here where Pete Johnson has added two new sizes to the Escasos line: the Robusto Especial and Toro Especial. They also mentioned that the Escasos line is going through a blend change that replaces the Ecuadorian Rosado Habano wrapper with Corojo 99 on any Escasos cigars with a box date of April 2020 or later. The cigars smoked in this review in fact have a box date of April 2020 so I have updated the blend below to reflect the corrected change.
- Size: 5 1/8 x 48
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Body: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $10
- Pairing: St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (Abbey 10% ABV)
The Tatuaje Escasos starts out with a very rustic, patchy looking wrapper that’s mostly a mixture of light brown and off-orange colors with darker browned scattered throughout. The wrapper’s texture is very smooth and silky with only light tooth, and a good amount of oils. The wrapper itself feels very thin and brittle while the cigar as a whole feels light yet nicely compacted. There are a few very minor veins and naturally tobacco webbing in the wrapper leaf as it’s laid seamlessly over itself leading up to the cigars round, triple-wrapped cap. The cigar is polished off with the standard brown and white band we find on the Miami/Cazadores blends along with a gold and black secondary band with a scripted “Escasos” crest embossed in the front.
The wrapper on the Tatuaje Escasos gives off very little aroma with only hints of natural tobacco while the foot of the cigar releases only light musk scents. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw surprisingly releases a ton of cinnamon, musk, and natural tobacco flavors.
The Tatuaje Escasos starts out with a quick, immediate black pepper burst which only last through the first few puffs allowing the cigar to showcase some great musk, pecan, and light black coffee over dry herbal/earthy flavors with a very light floral undertone. The draw is absolutely perfect. Each tiny puff kicks out a massive cloud of thick white smoke which hangs around for a considerable about of time before dissipating while the cigar itself releases a whole mess of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burnline is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted light gray ash which held on for about and inch before giving way.
Into the second third of the Tatuaje Escasos and the body of the cigar has really ramped up. The pecan and musk are still in charge here backed by a ton of earthy flavors over light cinnamon and floral flavors. The retrohale brings out some spice that seems to be buried deep within the smoke and I find myself doing it quite often as it adds a step of extra complexity to the experience. The burnline is still dead even and I close out the second third with only a very minor nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the Tatuaje Escasos and not a whole lot has changed here. the Pecan and musk are still the dominant flavors backed by a very dry mixture of earthiness, hay, oat and floral flavors. It took me an hour and a half to smoke this cigar down to the nub. I experienced no harshness, nor any extended heat. There was a bit of sap towards the end which just reminded me to slow down my smoking speed. I close out with only a very light nicotine kick.
To me the Cazadores line always had this nice sweetness to it, but the Escasos is a much more dry experience in a very special way. The cigar is complex, and the flavors are very enjoyable. While the blend is similar in some aspects to the Cazadores, the experience is not. This blend actually seems like they took a more Cuban spin on the Cazadores line, which may be why it’s been circulated more in Europe as they tend to smoke more Cubans that us Americans do. Either way, its a great, special cigar and I can’t wait to get my hands on more.
St. Bernardus Christmas ale is my favorite winter beer and one I drink at least a few time every year. This 10% ABV Belgian Abbey ale leads with tons of apple, pear, caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a heavy mouthfeel before finishing with more pear, caramel, and a bit of yeastiness with an overall sweet composition. I love this damn beer and it made for a great pairing with the Tatuaje Escasos as it really helped the dryer cigar move into a more sweetly-balanced pairing without overpowering the cigar.