In 2011, David Garofalo (Two Guys Smoke Shop) and Pete Johnson (Tatuaje) teamed up for the creation of the M80. Originally pitched as the Firecracker, Pete Johnson passed on the project that was initially done by Pepin. Following up on that cigar the two came up with the M80 concept and the original 500 box order sold out in 48 hours.
Fast forward to the fall of 2014 when Pete and Dave worked out the details for a new release. The Tatuaje M80 is once again limited to 500 boxes and 15 cigars per box. As for wether or not it will become a yearly release remains to be seen but Pete did mention to me “maybe in 2016 we can do it as a Connecticut”.
According to Pete Johnson the blend is the same as the original release.
Cigar Review: Tatuaje M80
Size: 4 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Oscuro
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop
The Look: The band of the cigar has changed which makes it easier to tell the difference between the two release. The band which I refer to as the Rocky belt, has gold red, white and blue with M80 in black text on a red background. The long pigtail creates a fuse like aspect, The dark brown wrapper has thin veins and some crystallization on the flawless wrapper. In the hand the cigar is firm with no soft spots.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Tatuaje M80 has elements of earth, cashews and some subtle pepper notes. Taking in the aroma off of the foot there is more earth and hints of cedar. Once the cigar is toasted there are noted of crushed red pepper through the nose.
Smoking the first third of the cigar sees the red pepper notes through the nose and on the palate with an occasional dark chocolate note that is both bitter and sweet. The finish of the cigar has some wood notes that border on mesquite.
The second third of the m80 continues to be nutty with elements of red pepper as a dark coffee note begins to emerge. The cigar holds on to some dark chocolate notes as well. The finish has a combination of coffee and leather that is fairly lengthy.
The last third of the Tatuaje M80 2015 edition sees a new note enter the mix and it is licorice while the notes of dark chocolate remain. The red pepper notes fade on the palate but remain on the retrohale. The finish remains of coffee and leather though it is a bit shorter at this point.
The Burn: A slow burning cigar with a white ash, the M80 has a perfect draw with the right amount of resistance. In the first half inch or so the cigar burned slightly jagged before correcting to a near perfect turn. The firm ash held for half the cigar before I decided to ash it, and it remained lit from start to finish.
The Finish: Smoking the M80 reminded me more of the T110 but that could be because recently I have smoked a few of the original releases that David Garofalo has aging in his personal humidor. The cigar is a spice bomb and strong and is exactly what you expect the M80 to be and then some.
Price: $109.99 Box/15