Each year some of the nation’s top retailers and manufacturers get together for the annual Tobacconist Association of America convention. At this mini-trade show, a group of manufacturers get together and create some of the most sought after limited edition cigars. Arguably the most anticipated is from Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje. This year, the 2017 TAA release is a redux of the 2014 and is based on the Pork Tenderloin and Barclay Rex blends.
No new blends can be released at this point due to FDA regulations and with other companies not placing 2017 on their limited edition releases Tatuaje has followed suit as the boxes and bands are branded 2014.
Cigar: Tatuaje TAA 2017
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: : Nicaragua
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: The 20 count Tatuae TAA comes in slide top boxes. Inside the 20 cigars are wrapped in foil, and inside the foil the cigars come sans cello where they are held together by a ribbon with a cedar sheet located in the middle of the 4 rows of 5 cigars. The release is branded TAA 2014 on both the box and the band of these box pressed sticks. The broadleaf wrapper has a brindle like effect to it, and feels like velvet under the fingers. It’s firm to the touch, with no soft spots and a covered foot.
The Notes: Once the cap is clipped the cold draw of the Tatuaje TAA 2017 is easy despite the closed foot. There are notes of nuts, and chocolate that reminded me of a Mr. Goodbar candy bar. The aroma off the foot and wrapper is milk chocolate sweet and upon first light the first notes are that of red pepper.
As the red pepper fades, notes of chocolate emerge with touches of cedar and earth. As the cigar progresses it begins to remind me of a steak cooked on the grill; specifically the grilled edges that have some char on it. As the first third comes to a close the red pepper notes return with a chocolate finish and nuts on the retrohale.
The second third of the cigar begins to develop a robust espresso note with a subtle sweetness in the background. At the halfway point the cigar takes on a dark chocolate component with hints of earth. The nuttiness remains on the retrohale and the cigar has a long finish that is earthy with notes of espresso.
The last third of the TAA 2017 release from Tatuaje is the smoothest portion as some of the charred steak notes return as the dominant profile. There is some nuts and espresso on the finish which has grown shorter while the retrohale is a pepper bomb.
The Finish: After this review was completed, I went back and looked at the review I wrote for the Tatuaje TAA 2014 to see how much they compare. While some of the notes are similar, I am not sure if it is the throwback to the golden days of the brand that I alluded to on that review. It’s still an excellent cigar that I opted to buy a box of and I plan to sit on them for a couple of months to see how they age.
Price: $11.99 / $214.99