I’ve always been a cigar geek, and it annoys Mr. Jonathan to no end. If it’s a new stick I want to smoke it, usually just once, 2-3 times if I will review it. That makes me the worst cigar customer in the world. There is no brand loyalty from me, and that makes me a bad customer. Why you may is? The answer is simple, when I jump from brand to brand, I am part of the problem of merchandise staying on the shelf, and forgetting what has become in my mind yesterday’s news.
The Limited Edition cigar is my best friend, and a shop owners nightmare. Heaven forbid a customer loves a stick, and then can’t get it anymore because it sold out. What does he do then? It is a no-win situation. The consumer gets upset at the retailer for not having any more, when he should be upset at himself for not buying more when they were available.
The flavor of the month, latest limited edition to hit the market is the Tatuaje TAA 2014, and I am lucky enough to work for a TAA Retailer, perhaps the grand-daddy of them all Two Guys Smoke Shop. So as these sell out, I snagged one to smoke and review.
Cigar: Tatuaje TAA 2014
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
The Look: The band that Pete Johnson uses for his limited edition cigars reminds me so much of the championship belt worn by Rocky in the movies, so much so that I am humming eye of the tiger as I write the review. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that adorns the box pressed TAA 2014 from Tatuaje is dark with minimal veins. In the hand the cigar is firm to the touch, with no soft spots and a closed foot which I love for the ease of light.
The Notes: The aroma off the wrapper is that of milk chocolate, especially goobers the chocolate covered raisin candy. Due to the covered foot getting a cold draw was tough but it had notes of dark chocolate with a hint of leather. Once the cigar is lit there are notes of chocolate and leather and the classic Nicaraguan spice.
Working into first third, the sweetness of the milk chocolate experienced on the first third is front and center during the first inch, but there is also a hint of steak like meatiness, or perhaps my mind is just thinking about the Delmonico steaks going on the grill in a little while at my job for Friday’s lunch.
As we begin the second half, the ash falls off into the ashtray on its own, and the cigar remains meaty with some sweetness lurking in the background. Around the midway point, the cigar begins to lose its sweetness and takes on the almost bitter like qualities of dark chocolate with hints of coffee and some continued steak.
As we transition into the last third of the Tatuaje TAA 2014, the notes take on that of a roasted coffee bean with a touch of leather and a return of the sweetness experiences on the first third. As we smoke closer to the band the sweetness becomes a well-defined mocha.
The Burn: The draw of the box pressed Tatuaje TAA 2014 might be worrisome on the prelight draw, however once you light the foot, the cigar opens up to the point of perfection. The medium gray ash holds for a third at a time, and the burn line is fair but from an aesthetics standpoint the changing of the color of wrapper near the foot makes you wonder how naturally dark the cigar actually is.
The Finish: I am a Tatuaje fan boy, and this release is a throwback to Tatuaje of yesteryear when it ruled the boutique marketplace. The cigar was exceptionally smooth with a lot of subtle characteristics and a great steak like note that dominated. I bought my box, and I suggest you do the same before they are gone and you have no one to blame but yourself.