Category Archives: Tatuaje

Drinking Age by Tatuaje (Guest Review by Timbo)

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Rating – (9) Rocky IV

Strength – (3) Sylvester Stallone

Vitola – Robusto Extra (5 ½ x 54)

Price – $10.50

Wrapper –  Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Drink – Off Color Brewing Dino S’Mores Stout

Let me start off by introducing this awesome and unique beer from Off Color Brewing in Chicago, Illinois. It is a 10.5% ABV Russian Imperial stout with marshmallow fluff, vanilla beans, molasses, graham flour, and cocoa nibs added.

The Drinking Age was one of Tatuaje’s more limited 2015 releases at 300 boxes of 21 cigars (6,300 total cigars). I hadn’t smoked one in awhile so I thought it would be a great opportunity to revisit this stick.

From first glance the wrapper on this cigar deviates from my typical broadleaf cigar, but this cigar kicks you in the mouth with flavor. Right off the bat I’m getting a little bit of black pepper accompanied by a nutty flavor. The nutty flavor complemented the beer quite nicely. It was almost as if there was peanut butter added to the S’mores. Now I am starting to taste notes of a smoked wood, which matches the S’more aspect of the beer beautifully. Through the rest of the cigar I am getting the same flavors, except the pepper starts to subside.

All in all, this was a wonderful cigar and definitely worth trying. As for the beer, if you are in the Chicagoland area get yourself a 4-pack! I could argue that even people who don’t particularly like stouts, would enjoy this beer.

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TAA 2014 by Tatuaje (Guest Review by Timbo)

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On one of our recent podcasts we discussed how prevalent cigar and craft beer pairings have become in the cigar community. Since we admittedly do not partake, we recruited our buddy Tim to write about such a pairing. Thanks Tim!

Rating – (9) Rocky IV
Strength – (3) Sylvester Stallone
Vitola – Toro (6×52)
Price – $11
Wrapper –  Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder – Nicaraguan
Filler – Nicaraguan
Drink – Jackie O’s Barrel Aged Champion Ground

The Tatuaje TAA cigar line was started in 2011 by Pete Johnson to reward shops that are Tobacconists Association of America (TAA) members.  The blend is based on two Tat “unicorns” the Pork Tenderloin and Barclay Rex.  Tatuaje has done a TAA release every year since, and the line has consistently gained popularity.

Upon pre-light examination of the cigar I found the biggest vein I have ever seen on a wrapper, which particularly excited me because I am a sucker for a mean looking, dark wrapper.

Time to light this box pressed, closed-foot bad boy up!  This cigar started with very earthy notes, which is expected from its broadleaf wrapper.  On the retrohale there was a strong cocoa flavor that complemented the coffee notes from my beer pairing beautifully.  Through about an inch of the cigar, I realized that this cigar has definitely mellowed out compared to the Tatuaje TAA 2015.  I found the mellowness helped improve this cigar by eliminating any harshness, which I attribute to the aging of the cigar (~1.5 years).

So I’m about 2/3’s into this Tat and all of a sudden I am getting buttery popcorn notes on the retrohale.  I have discovered these notes in another Tatuaje cigar, which was the Anarchy 2015.  As I am enjoying the buttery popcorn flavors, the coffee flavors from my beer starts to shy away, while the robust bourbon barrel stout flavor moves to the forefront, which I attribute to the beer warming up to room temperature.

The construction on this cigar was impeccable, and did not require any touch ups, or re-lights.  The draw was fantastic so much so that I would consider this a “smoke bomb”.  If you are a Maduro guy and have not tried any of the cigars from the Tatuaje TAA line I highly suggest you give them a try.  The TAA 2015 is still available in several online cigar shops.

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Tattoo by Tatuaje

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Price – $5-6
Beverage – Bottled Water
Size – Caballero (5 X 50)
Strength – Demi (2/4)
Rating – Rambo (7/10)

Ingredients:
Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano
Filler – Nicaraguan

Due to a change in my living situation I’ve been regulated to smoking outside in a communal parking lot on weeknights. As such, I’ve been on the hunt for more robusto sized cigars that are quicker smokes. We here at the Sultans of Smoke are high on utility and function when choosing cigars. Here are my thoughts on the Tattoo:

1) Good burn, construction, and draw.

2) This is a solid medium strength cigar, could teeter on a stronger medium for some folks.

3) Flavor wise, I found the Tatoo to be a predominantly peppery and earthy smoke.

4) My smoke time was one hour

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke it again? Yes

Would I give it humidor space? Yes

Since we started this site, we have always talked about maximizing your cigar dollars and building a diverse team of cigars in your humidor that can serve various roles in different situations. The Tattoo has provided me with an affordable smoking option that tastes pretty good and is quick. Even though the price tag says budget, this is not a budget smoke. In fact, let’s be real here, a $5 Tatuaje that smokes like a more expensive cigar is a deal anyone should at least try. If you don’t like it, you can still find a way to make your car payment without taking an additional bank loan.

Until next time friends!

7th Reserva by Tatuaje

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Price – $10
Beverage – Bottled Water
Size – Corona Gorda (5 5/8 X 46)
Strength – Demi (2/4)
Rating – Rambo (7/10)

I picked this stick up at Casa de Montecristo and was excited to give it a whirl. I have found myself becoming a fan of the Connecticut broadleaf wrappers and thought to myself this has a chance to fit into my wheelhouse. Here are my thoughts:

1) Good construction as has come to be expected from Tatuaje. Good burn, easy draw.

2) Strength wise solid Demi, nothing more and definitely nothing less. I would compare it in strength to the Cojuno or Frank Pudgy Monster, but maybe a notch below.

3) Good taste, I felt it a had a solid coffee like flavor to it, I really did enjoy this cigar.

4) My smoke time was 35 minutes and you could probably stretch it to 45 if you coddled it a bit.

Now to the two questions:

1) Would I smoke it again? Yes, it’s a good smoke

2) Would I give it humidor space? Yes, but that comes with a caveat. I personally liked the Tat Black corona gorda better and that would be my go to quick smoke at roughly the same price point. If you can’t get your hands on one of those, this is not a bad substitute price wise or smoke time wise, but it is a different taste in my opinion.

I’m not a huge fan of the price point on this cigar, but like championship teams, there are certain roles that need to be filled in your humidor and one of those roles is quick smokes. Think of them like those guys who come off the bench and score 10 to 15 points in limited playing time, microwave cigars if you will. There are other options for quick smokes, as mentioned above the Tat Black as well as the Drew Estate Papas Fritas among others, but this was a good smoke and would fit nicely into its proper role if you don’t mind the price tag.

Jekyll by Tatuaje

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Rating – (2-3) Arnold’s Governship
Strength – (2) Demi
Vitola – Jekyll
Price – $13
Drink – Dr. Pepper

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Wow that’s all I can say to this cigar, I am very disappointed. That’s not a good wow either. Let me start off by saying that I have smoked many Tatuaje’s and never had anything that was remotely bad, until now. So I fired this one up with Brock again tonight at the local B and M and from first light it was not good. I’m not sure if it’s cause I didn’t get my regular Dr. Pepper slushy or what but it started bad and didn’t really get any better. The draw on this cigar was great very smooth, the after taste of this cigar was freaking terrible to say the least. It felt like I was being punched in the face everytime I took a puff. I had to force myself to at least make it to the halfway point and even that was a stretch. Now let me say that this wasn’t a bad cigar it just had a terrible after taste to it that made it a bad cigar. I will not be smoking one of these again and would not suggest anyone pick these up as well, I guess I know why there was almost a full box left of these and it’s now January.

Havana VI by Tatuaje

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Price – $9 ($8/stick for a single @ Famous Smoke)

Beverage – Mountain Dew Baja Blast

Strength – Bruce (1/4)

Rating – Rambo IV (9/10)

Vitola – Almirantes

The Havana VI are made in Esteli, Nicaragua at the Tabacalera Cubana factory overseen by Don Pepin Garcia and that made me excited. Here are my thoughts:

1) Nice, toasty looking wrapper

2) Smooth draw, excellent burn, beautiful ash, and lots of smoke on this bad boy

3) I found the Havana to taste about the same the whole way through the cigar. In this particular case a lack of flavor transitions didn’t hurt my rating since I liked the taste so much.

4) I’m calling this a Bruce because it’s just medium and smooth to me and unless you don’t smoke any medium body cigars, I find it hard to believe most smokers would consider it stronger.

5) One of the smoothest cigars I have smoked in a while

6) The price of this stick makes it instantly box worthy and this might be one of the best bargains I’ve come across. I think I literally felt my wallet getting bigger because this thing can be had at such a great value. The price point was the main factor that pushed this from an Expendables to a Rocky IV.

7) Expect to spend about 45 minutes smoking this cigar.

So let me get this straight, an $8 Churchill (7 X 47) sized Tatuaje? It’s almost too good to be true, but that’s what you have here. It’s like those Taco Bell Crunchy Wrap commercials where it says, “makes you feel like you’re getting away with something”. This is a smooth stick at an amazing price, no comparisons needed here, buy and smoke my friends.

Pick these up now over at Famous Smoke!
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Pudgy Frank (Part of the Pudgy Monsters Series) by Tatuaje

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Price – $11

Beverage – McDonald’s Coca-Cola

Strength – Demi (2/4)

Rating – Expendables (8/10)

After enjoying the Pudgy Jason, I decided to grab another Pudgy Monster this past weekend while in the Vintage Room at Casa de Montecristo. Here are my thoughts:

1) Nice box pressed shape, excellent draw and burn with great flavor transitions.

2) Beautiful Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper makes for an appetizing appearance.

3) Nice quick medium/full smoke, I’m calling it an upper level Demi, could be a Sly for some smokers.

4) Tasted almost exactly the same as the Cojonu 2012 and to a lesser extent the Sindicato Maduro both of which I previously reviewed, which is a good thing.

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke it again? Yes

Would I give it humidor space? Like the situation with the Jason and the Fausto, this is so similar to the Cojonu that I think it would be one or the other. If your humidor is lacking solid, quick smoke options go with the Frank. If on the other hand, your humidor is lacking solid hour plus sticks, go Cojonu.

All in all the Frank delivered a tasty experience just as Tatuajes usually do. Yes, it is a bit pricey for the size of the stick and with the Cojonu about $2 more, it makes it hard to justify taking the Frank over it. However, in this case it is important to assess what your situation is, ie quick smoke vs hanging out with friends for a long HERF and purchase accordingly because as I said they are pretty interchangeable taste wise.

Jason (Part of the Pudgy Monsters) by Tatuaje

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Price – $11 (I think)

Beverage – McDonald’s Coffee w/Cream

Strength – Sly (3/4)

Rating – Rambo (7/10)

The Tatuaje Jason is a shorter version (5 1/2 x 52) of the Tatuaje JV 13 and was released as part of the Pudgy Monsters series in August of this year. This Jason comes beautifully wrapped in a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper and evoked thoughts of the Liga No. 9 and Tatuaje Fausto from an appearance perspective.

This cigar is pegged as a medium to full strength stick, but make no mistake about it, this thing packs a punch and I’m saying this even after my nutritious Burger King lunch and a nap. Similar to the Fausto, I would have a meal before firing this stick up and in my opinion this is a legit Sly. If I can go back and do it over, I would have paired this with a Dr. Pepper versus coffee, which I feel better compliments the subtle sweetness of the cigar. Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke this again? Yes

Would I give it humidor space? Yes, however this comes with a bit of a caveat. I found the Jason to smoke and taste a lot like the Fausto by Tatuaje which I reviewed not long ago. So much so that for humidor space, it would be one or the other for me, but not both, which just shows how interchangeable these cigars are in my opinion.

The Jason is a solid smoke and has motivated me to try some of the other offerings of the Pudgy Monster series by Tatuaje. I think the price point is a little high, but Tatuajes are not cheap cigars in general and I feel the quality in this specific case justifies the price. As a fan of the Tatuaje Fausto, I enjoyed this cigar, and I even would go as far as to say if you like the God of Fire that I reviewed earlier or the Serie R by La Gloria, you will like this cigar as well. If you’re looking for a hard hitting, flavorful cigar, I’d pick one of these up, but if you have a milder palate, I’d avoid it.

Buy the JV before they are gone NOW!
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Fausto (Short Robusto) by Tatuaje

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Price – $10 (I think)

Beverage – Dr. Pepper

Strength – Sly (3/4)

Rating – Expendables (8/10)

It had been quite a while since I’ve smoked one of these cigars, the last time being while I lived in Tulsa. So I had posted a picture of the Cojonu on Dojo that I smoked the other day and my boy Drawshankredemption suggested I smoke this, so here we go with my thoughts:

1) This is no doubt a full body cigar, an upper level Sly, bordering Arnold. If you don’t normally smoke full body cigars and fire this up, I suggest doing so after eating. Strength wise, it’s almost on par with the Serie R by La Gloria I reviewed, but much smoother and has more flavor complexity.

2) The Fausto comes beautifully wrapped in a rich looking maduro wrapper, the oiliness almost reminds you of a Liga No. 9.

3) I found the draw to be a little tight, but I don’t remember having that issue on the one I smoked before.

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke this again? Yes

Would I give it humidor space? Yes I would and I plan on purchasing more

The best way to describe the Fausto is rich, smooth, and flavorful. This is a great cigar at a fair price point and I’m really becoming a dedicated Tatuaje fan. If you get a chance to smoke one of these, do it, but I suggest eating first. Until next time friends!

Black Label (Corona Gorda) by Tatuaje

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Price – $10-$11

Beverage – Chocolate Protein Shake

Strength – Demi (2/4)

Rating – Rambo IV (9/10)

The story goes that Pete Johnson (the man behind Tatuaje) was on vacation when some guy handed him a hand rolled cigar which he loved. From there, Pete Johnson set out to replicate that taste and this cigar was born. The Black Label also comes in a petite lancero.

I’m calling this a Demi, but may very well be a Sly for a lot of cigar smokers. This cigar has all the attributes I look for in a cigar. It’s full body, tasty, and really an all around excellent stick so I’m just going to jump right into the two questions:

Would I smoke it again? Absolutely

Would I give it humidor space? Yes, I plan on getting more to stock away.

I pulled a Drew and smoked this stick to my fingers, simply put this is an awesome smoke. The only factor keeping it from getting an Escape Plan rating is that $10 for a corona is a bit pricey in my opinion and might be a deterrent for more budget conscious smokers. If you have a chance to smoke one of these, do yourself a huge favor and fire one up!