Team Cigar Review: Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

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Cigar Details: Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Length: 6.12″
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father
  • Blender: Pete Johnson
  • Price: $13.00
  • Release Date: October 2023
  • Source: Developing Palates via Corona Cigar Co.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: The wrapper on the Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille is various grades of medium brown depending on the portion of the wrap. The foot is covered by excess wrapper that is folded over. There are some decently raised veins present, the seams are slightly raised while the caps are well applied. The band is black gold and white and denotes the company name and line. The aroma from the wrapper is musty cedar and earth while the covered foot brings a light mix of cedar and earth. The pre-light draw brings cedar and stone fruit sweetness.
Seth: The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille is a great looking cigar. The wrapper has small to medium sized veins throughout. Tooth present throughout with a nice, fine gritty texture. Coloring is that of dark Natural, and it has this great dark brown leather color. Great aroma of sweet spices, leather, tobacco, rich earth and wood. Firm throughout.
John: The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille comes in cellophane and has a UPC sticker that tears in half when opened. The cigar has a single band, and for artisanal complications it features a closed foot. I weighed the cigar at 14.3 grams and measured the humidity at 64.8% with the HumidiMeter Pro. Aromas from the wrapper included tobacco sweetness, earth, bread and wood. As the foot was closed, I couldn’t pick out anything distinct.
Jiunn: The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille has a near Colorado Maduro wrapper shade. The wrapper is very oily on the fingertips. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and the head is well wrapped. Aromas provide pungent barnyard, cedar and subtle dry red pepper spice.

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with musty oak and baking spice. At a half inch in, some light earth joins the profile. At an inch in, the baking spice has transitioned to black pepper. The retrohale is lightly toasted oak, mustiness and lightly zingy black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the musty, lightly toasted oak is up front, with black pepper in the middle and some earth in the background. The strength was right at medium.
Seth: The first third starts out with a nice honey and sweet spice profile. Bits of cinnamon and red pepper. Leather and tobacco are present as well with some coffee, dry earth and wood on the finish. Bits of mocha as well. Medium-full in strength and body. Great start!
John: Creamy tobacco gets the first third started with sweetness, bread and mild tannic wood to finish. Some medium strength baking spices move into the retrohale straight out of the gate. Chocolate ends up combining with wood through the retrohale by roughly an inch into the review. Wood is at the front of the profile as the first third continues. By the halfway point, bread and tannic wood have combined on the retrohale.
Jiunn: The first third initiates the palate with a blast of palate caking fierce dried red pepper spice. About half an inch in, the pepper is more mannered, creating a richer flavor experience with vanilla cream, cedar, leather and herbal tea. Retrohaling gives spicy cedar and dried red pepper spice. The finish is long with a lingering combination of leather and dried red pepper spice. Strength is medium-full, and body is medium.

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, the black pepper mellows a bit. At a quarter inch in, the mustiness increases a bit. The retrohale remains lightly toasted oak, mustiness and lightly zingy black pepper. At an inch and a quarter, the mustiness mellows a bit and the toast level increases a bit. At an inch and a half in, the black pepper picks back up a bit. As the third comes to a close, the toasted oak is up front, with black pepper in the middle and earth and mustiness in the background. The strength remained at medium.
Seth: The second third continues to deliver that honey and sweet spice profile. Lots of mocha, wood, leather, tobacco and earth as well. Great smoking cigar. Medium-full in strength and body.
John: My initial second third flavor impressions are creamy bread with baking spices both through the retrohale. A sweet and tannic wood settles into the center of the profile at light plus strength. I find the start to the second third far more restrained than the first third. Earth joins the finish as the cigar progresses to the halfway point. The overall profile is stable through the remainder of the second third.
Jiunn: The second third’s profile melds together more so than the first third. The combination of especially spice and cream is more harmonized. There’s also intermittent black coffee notes. Strength and body remain medium-full and medium, respectively.

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, the earth has become very light. At a half inch in, the earth picks back up to just shy of the middle of the profile. The retrohale is now toasted oak, mustiness and light earth. At an inch in, a light vegetal bitterness joins the profile. As the cigar wraps up, the toasted oak is up front with black pepper, earth and vegetal bitterness in the middle and mustiness in the background. The strength bumped up to slightly above medium.
Seth: The final third delivers those honey and sweet spice notes with coffee, mocha, earth and tobacco. Mineral spices on the finish. Leather and tobacco as well. Medium-full in strength and body.
John: The last third gets going with creamy baking spices. Medium earth and wood moves into the post draw after a few puffs. Earth rapidly moves to the front of the profile as the last third continues. By the bottom half, hay has joined the finish and lingers into the post draw.
Jiunn: The final third becomes more linear. The flavors have condensed to cedar and dried red pepper spice. Strength and body remains medium-full and medium, respectively.

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Burn

Aaron: The burn was a bit wavy throughout, and the cigar went out once, requiring a re-light. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.
Seth: Great burn throughout.
John: The cigar had some waviness through the first and last third. In the second third, the cigar went out, requiring a re-light.
Jiunn: Burn performance was nearly perfect. Just a quick touch-up was needed to the overall wavy burn.

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Draw

Aaron: The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.
Seth: Perfect draw.
John: Initially, the draw had some resistance to it, roughly 2-1/2 to 3 notches towards the resistant spectrum. Roughly an inch into the first third, the draw opens to 1-1/2 notches into the resistant spectrum.
Jiunn: The draw performance was spot on, striking the ideal balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with musty oak and baking spice. Some earth joined in fairly quickly and the baking spice transitioned to black pepper. The second third saw the pepper mellow and the mustiness increase. The final third saw a vegetal bitterness join in and build up. The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille had a nice profile through the first two thirds with good balance and delivery. The final third took a step down with the vegetal bitterness joining in. A nice showing for an anniversary cigar, and one I’d come back to as the price point is also attractive. Definitely looking forward to the Miami made version when it’s released.
Seth: The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille is a fantastic release and one of the best Nicaraguan releases from Tatuaje in some time. Maybe even My Father as well. The blend was complex and grabbed my attention throughout. It was balanced while still delivering a nice strength and body level. Right around that medium-full level from start to finish. I loved the size, this long corona gorda, and I think it helps in letting the blend take it’s time and open up with the vitola offering. The blend really hit all areas, and it did so throughout. I am not sure if I would try out the larger offering, just because I enjoy this size so much, but with only two vitolas being released, and this being an anniversary cigar, I imagine the quality is just as high.
John: The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille is another strong release from Tatuaje. The first and second thirds were the most engaging for me with the second third throwing a change up and being considerably lighter than the first third. The draw had some resistance to it and the burn had some waviness and required one re-light. For an anniversary release, the price point is quite attractive and the vitola format is something that I gravitate towards. I will definitely seek out more of these in the future. Total smoking time was a slow 2 hours and 27 minutes.
Jiunn: The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille showed a stronger and bolder Tatuaje offering. The boldness of the dried red pepper spice harmonized well with the softer notes of vanilla cream, black coffee, leather and herbal tea. There is complimentary strength to the boldness of the profile as well, which worked quite well. This cigar is well worthy of a monumental 20th anniversary.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
GoodBurnVery GoodBurnGoodBurnVery Good
Very GoodDrawAmazingDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
GoodOverallVery GoodOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.47

Cost/Point

$2.01

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

7.78

Cost/Point

$1.67

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.47

Cost/Point

$2.01

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$1.94

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

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