Team Cigar Review: Tatuaje TAA 2015

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Cigar Details: Tatuaje TAA 2015

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 5.62″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Blender: Pete Johnson
  • Price: $11.00
  • Release Date: September 2015
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a dusty, dark chocolate consistent color. There are shiny specks evident across all of the wrapper. The veins are well pressed and the wrap lines are nearly invisible. The caps are very neatly applied. The foot is closed with excess wrapper leaf. The band is very simple and concise and looks very nice with how the colors of the band contrast with the color of the cigar. The aroma from the wrapper and foot (since it’s closed) is a very faint dry earth aroma. The pre-light draw gives a sweet raisin flavor with a bit of pepper on the lips and tip of my tongue.

Pre-light Experience

The Tatuaje TAA 2015 has a dark espresso brown wrapper shade. The wrapper, true to a Connecticut Broadleaf, is thick, rustic and hearty. The cigar feels well rolled and hefty with tobacco, having no soft spots, veins well pressed, seams very tight and almost invisible. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. The wrappers aroma consists of dark cocoa, cedar, flowers and slight barnyard. The foot smells just like the wrapper as the foot is entirely closed off by the wrapper. The cold draw namely tells saw dust, lip tingly black pepper spice and cedar.

First Third

Upon lighting, and while smoking the highest concentration of wrapper, the mouth feel is very gritty earth with some mild pepper. A little bit of coffee is dancing in and out on various draws. The mild pepper really coats my mouth and has a long finish. The retrohale brings a mellow, smoky oakiness. As things settle down smoking past the closed foot, the pepper pretty much disappears and this smooth out to a nice cedar and earthiness mixture. There is still a gritty mouth feel with the smoke. About a half inch in, the coffee comes back along with some creaminess and the slight spiciness of the cedar. The retrohale is a smooth, creamy coffee without the spice. About an inch in, the cedar changes to oak and the earthiness is dialed back some. The retrohale is now primarily oak as well. Nearing the end of the third a creamy mintiness is present which is very nice. There is also a meatiness to the smoke now and the retrohale is very creamy with an oaky finish. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

First third starts off right out of the gate with a thick and weighty medium-full bodied smoking experience. The top tier of flavors (ie most dominant and noticeable) consists of very sweet creamy milk chocolate, gritty dirt and minerality. The second tier of flavors (ie less noticeable) has light oak and ripe stone fruit. I don’t get much (or any) spice aside from the retrohale. When retrohaling, black pepper spice is realized as well as an amplified ripe stone fruit. About an inch and a half in, more black pepper spice and oak is realized, giving the cigar profile a greater reach of depth. Also within this point, the body increases to full, as the smoke, in a way, is a lot like drinking heavy whole milk. The strength is at a solid medium throughout the entire first third.

Second Third

Moving into this third, oak is the primary flavor along with a retrohale consisting also of oak with a little creamy mintiness. Half an inch in, the cigar begins to really mellow out with a creamy oak that is identical on the retrohale. Halfway through, the mintiness returns on the retrohale. Some hints of coffee hop in and out as they did in the first third. At the middle of the third, the oak and mintiness are playing very well together in the flavor and retrohale. With an inch left, the mintiness fades away and the oak is now carrying a slight bit of char with it. A little creaminess joins in as the third finishes. This third remained at medium strength.

Second Third

The first half of the second thirds flavor and body profile mimics the last half of the first thirds profile. Still prominent black pepper spice, oak and sweet creamy milk chocolate. The profile builds on this in the second half of the second third with palate casing tannins and mushroom-like musk. The strength is still at a medium but knocking on medium-full’s door.

Final Third

As this third begins, the char on the oak picks up a bit and a little bitterness creeps in as well. The bitterness quickly goes away and the char leaves as well. The oak is now a bit drying on my palate. The oak flavor is overtaken by cream as the primarily flavor which also makes the retrohale very smooth. A few draws further and the creaminess backs off a bit to be more of an even mix with the oak and a bit of earthiness now. Passing the halfway point, a little bit of mineral makes its way into the retrohale. Nearing the end of the third, the mintiness returns to go along with the oak, some creaminess and the mineral flavor. The strength remained at medium.

Final Third

The last third again transitions. What is the same is still the full bodied, medium strength profile. Further, still the same flavors of black pepper spice, oak, gritty dirt and mushroom-like musk. What has changed is the tier one flavor of sweet milk chocolate is no longer present as well as the palate engulfing tannins. Instead, it has transitioned into a semi-sweet dry cocoa.

Burn

The burn stayed very straight with just a slight waver here and there. The ash held for about one inch increments.

Burn

The burn was fantastic. I think I could have won a longest ash contest with this cigar. It is apparent the harvest, curing, fermentation and aging of these leaves was on point. Incredibly sturdy and tight ash marks of 1.5 to 2 inches. Awesome.

Draw

The draw was a bit tighter than I prefer, and got incrementally tighter as it smoked along, but it was still OK and didn’t hinder the overall performance, just a bit of an annoyance.

Overall

Flavors were very good in the first third and then dropped off a bit for the remainder of the cigar. Performance was pretty good, so nothing really taking away from focusing on the flavors. This was a good smoke, I just wish things had kept going as they had started. This cigar is probably for the more experienced smoker. Even though the strength wasn’t that high, I just feel the darker flavors this cigar exhibits might not fit for a newer smoker. This is a cigar that would probably work better as an evening smoke or one that you want as a second (or later) cigar of the day as the flavors would be able to be picked up by your palate.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very Good Pre
Light
Good
Very Good First
Third
Very Good
Good Second Third Very Good
Good Final
Third
Good
Very Good Burn Amazing
Average Draw Subpar
Good Overall Very Good

Draw

The draw was the only true let down. Even after smoking through the enclosed foot, the draw was still tight. The head of the cigar had a tightness to it, which I assume contributed to the tightness of the draw. Not very typical of what I have smoked from the My Father factory.

Overall

Factoring in the depth and intensity of flavors, full body and just a well executed version of a Connecticut Broadleaf, this is one of the best offerings of Tatuaje I have smoked. The only gripes I have is the poor draw and wished the finish was longer. Would love to chase down a box of these to smoke now (if I can even find them at this point). Nicely done Pete!

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.93

Cost/Point

$1.59

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.53

Cost/Point

$1.46

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Tatuaje TAA 2015

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