Cigar Reviews

Tatuaje Reserva Cojonu 2009

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So I was a bit of a slacker this week, yes I was. But here I am, better late than never. And to make up for it I am bringing you a nice Limited Edition cigar from Pete Johnson of Tatuaje cigars. This particular cigar comes from the Reserva series and is called the Cojonu 2009.

Now the Tatuaje Reserva Series is an extension of the popular brown label line called La Seleccion de Cazador. A few years ago, Pete Johnson started a limited release cigar called the Cojonu that would be released every 3 years. This is the 2009 edition and as I write this I believe most stores have already started receiving the recently released 2012 edition. One quick note on the year in the name, it’s not related to the tobacco leaf age or anything like that, it’s specifically linked to the year it was released.

The Tatuaje Cojonu 2009 was released on March of 2009 so as I smoke this it has just recently passed its 3 year anniversary. The blend in the Cojonu’s have an increased amount of Ligero over the brown label versions and are touted to be a fairly strong blend so nicotine sensitive cigar enthusiasts may want to tread lightly here. The 2009 edition is rolled at Don Pepin Garcia’s factory located in Miami, Florida, the El Rey de Los Habanos Factory.

There are a total of 4 cigars in the Cojonu line, the Gran Cojonu, Cojonu 2003, Cojonu 2006, Cojonu 2009 and the most recent Cojonu 2012. The Gran Cojonu is the only one of the line that has no band. the other 4 cigars have the standard brown Tatuaje Label and on additional band. The black and gold band is standard for most of the Reserva lines and in our case today it simply says Cojonu 2009. Now let’s get to setting the flame to this cigar!

Cigar: Tatuaje Cojonu 2009
Drink: Quinta Do Noval Black Porto
Vitola: Belicoso (6.75 x 48)
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: MSRP $13
Burn Time: A little over 1.5 hours

• Here we have a fairly rough looking cigar with a milk chocolate colored wrapper and some hints of golden tones
• the veins on this Tatuaje Cojonu 2009 are somewhat medium sized and the wrapper has some interesting toothiness to it
• The cap is finished with a cleanly wrapped single leaf, not perfect but it’s nicely bound
• The cigar is firmer than a baseball bat from end to end, I could probably hurt someone with it, hope that doesn’t affect the draw here
• Despite being super firm, the foot did not appear overly packed which is a good sign i think
• After trimming the tapered cap a bit with my double bladed guillotine cutter I was glad to be welcomed by a draw that felt just about right
• Before even reaching the half-inch mark there was some tar buildup which was tightening up the draw. I may have made too small of a cut so I trimmed a bit more and we’re off to the races again
• The body started picking up shortly after I passed the mid-way point but it’s still within the medium range I’d think
• Some of the spices started coming back too, more of a light white pepper at the moment
• There was a bit too much glue on the secondary black band and it tore the wrapper a bit

• The foot of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2009 was actually very stubborn on the toasting, the middle of it refused to light up, I switched up my culinary torch to a more focused single flame torch and that seemed to do the trick
• After the tough start the burn line was a bit wavy but nothing that needed attention
• Seems that within the first inch there were already a couple times where the cigar felt like it was almost burning out and needed me to take a few extra draws
• In the second inch the wave got a bit out of hand so I needed to give it a little touch up
• The cigar continues to feel like it’s going out and requiring extra draws which is really taking away from the experience here
• The last third of the cigar required multiple touch ups to keep it burning properly

Smoke & Ash:
• So far there isn’t a ton of smoke coming off each draw, it’s taking a few attempts to get a decent volume
• There is a fair amount of resting smoke after setting the cigar down each time and it seems somewhat consistent
• The ash through the first inch is sort of starting to “bloom”, not too strong or clean and a lot of flaking all over the place
• The color of the ash is mostly a nice light grey but there are quite a few black accents all over the place
• I tapped off the first ash after about an inch because it looked like it was getting really weak and messy
• The next ash reached the same 1 inch mark, even though this one was a lot cleaner it still lacked strength so I tapped it off to save it from a deadly plunge to the concrete!
• The third went back to being messy and weak, probably due to multiple touch ups and only lasted about an inch

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper has almost no aroma to it, just a bit of woodsy notes and some tobacco leaf
• The foot brings more of the woodsy notes and adds to that an interesting sweet cinnamon type of aroma
• The pre-light draw has a bit more cinnamon spice to it along with the woodsy and just a touch of sweetness, maybe even a touch of pepper there on the tongue and lips
• The initial draws jump out with some of the signature Tatuaje/Pepin spices, mainly pepper, followed by the cinnamon and woodsy flavors I was getting on the pre-light inspection
• After the initial spices died down I’m left with nicely balanced blend of espresso, woodsy and sweet cinnamon flavors
• As for the body, I’d say I’m at the low end of medium right now and the retrohale started with a kick but now it’s a smooth coffee finish with no bite
• The espresso flavors have toned down a bit and it’s getting replaced by an interesting dark chocolate flavor that is really mixing nicely with the sweet cinnamon
• All the flavors really mixed together nicely and balanced well in the last third, especially the dark chocolate and espresso notes
• I have to say I’m not getting the huge hit of strength I was expecting from ligero packed cigar but that might be because it’s 3 years old now
• Despite all the touch ups, the flavors are still enjoyable and constantly changing
• There was a slight build up of harshness near the end but nothing overpowering, most likely due to the re-lights I had to perform here
• I put down the cigar a little short due to all the re-lights but the flavors were present and enjoyable right to the end

Final Thoughts:
This is one of those cigars I was really trying to enjoy. It had a lot of the right elements but the whole package together didn’t sing huge praises for me. On the flavor front, there were some very enjoyable notes that kept me on my toes, that’s the part of this cigar I really enjoyed. It was the burn and draw issues that hampered the experience for me here. I did have a few samples before reviewing and it was the same story for the majority of them. So the flavors were awesome but the burn and draw left something to be desired, and at a price point of $13.00 I would have liked the whole package to be neat and tidy. I still think this is a worthwhile cigar to try and I will still seek out the 2012’s but I think Pete has some much better sticks under his belt that I would rather enjoy.

Today’s pairing is yet another new port that I stumbled across at the store. It’s from Portugal, as are most ports, and the winery is called Quinta do Noval. Although it’s name is just “Black”, this bottle is another standard Late Bottled Vintage Porto with some nice labels and marketing to it. There’s actually a embossed bird on the glass near the bottom, not sure if it’s visible in the picture but it’s pretty neat. So this porto is not all marketing, it’s actually got a decent product in the bottle as well. At it’s base is a nice, full-bodied red that seems comparable to a Merlot. On top of that are some excellent dark berry notes and a hefty helping of oak flavors that make up for a delicious treat. At only $17 a bottle, I can’t complain at all here, this was a great but and pairs perfectly with most any cigar. As you can guess, it made a great compliment to the Tatuaje Cojonu 2009. I think a nice scotch or strong espresso would also have gone well here.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter


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