Team Cigar Review: Tatuaje TAA 2020

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Cigar Details: Tatuaje TAA 2020

  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • Length: 5.62″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father
  • Blender: Pete Johnson
  • Price: $11.95
  • Release Date: April 2020
  • Source: Corona Cigar Co.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The Tatuaje TAA 2020 has an oval press with a wrapper that is medium brown with some darker marbling and freckles. The foot is covered by excess wrapper folded over. There are some lightly raised veins present and the seams are easily visible as they are also slightly raised. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. The band is black and gold in front and carries the TAA logo and name along with the year for this release. The sides and back of the band carry red, yellow, white and blue stripes and denote the name of the company. The aroma from the wrapper and closed foot is musty earth. The pre-light draw consists of a lightly airy cedar.

Pre-light Experience

The Tatuaje TAA 2020 is finished with a great triple cap and has a nice slightly closed food. There are few veins present throughout and those present are small in size. The wrapper is silky in texture and it has some lovely tooth present as well. It has a dark Colorado coloring to the wrapper, and some reddish hue with dark brown. The aroma is that of sweet spices, tobacco, leather and stone fruit, and I am getting that on the foot and wrapper.

Pre-light Experience

The Tatuaje TAA 2020 has a milk chocolate colored wrapper, with firmly pressed veins and a closed foot. Nosing the cigar, I was able to pick up aromas of aged wood and faint baking spices. From the closed foot, at most I could get was faint herbal notes.

Pre-light Experience

The Tatuaje TAA 2020 has a nice oily Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even with a good amount of give and head with a deep layered cap. Aromas from the wrapper give graphite minerality. Aromas from the partially covered foot gives red chili paste and cedar. Cold draw tells some dusty wood, must and nuts.

First Third

The cigar begins with spicy cedar that has a good amount of depth to it. At a quarter inch in, a light mustiness joins the profile. At a half inch in, the spiciness has mellowed a bit. At three quarters of an inch in, the spice is pretty light. The retrohale is musty cedar. As the third comes to a close, the profile is musty cedar with very light spice. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third opens up by delivering some sweet spice notes, cinnamon and pepper, and it is paired with some stone fruit and mocha flavors. There are touches of leather present as well and it has a nice smooth finish. I would classify the cigar as being just over medium in body and strength, and the flavors are right there as well.

First Third

The first third beings with flavors of milk chocolate, trailing cedar and then baking spices on the post draw. On the retrohale, there is a cream and bread combination, along with graham cracker. As the first third settles in, some light plus leather takes up the middle of the profile. As the cigar continues, the bread flavor intensifies to medium strength by the thirty minute mark. By the one hour mark, cedar and some dryness has settled into the post draw.

First Third

The first third has a medium body and strength profile. Flavors consist of a plethora of minerals and dry red pepper zing. Embedded in those main flavors are over extracted coffee (and it’s associated bitterness) and roasted nuts. Retrohaling gives a bigger dose of the dry red pepper spice and cedar. The finish has the pepper spice and cedar sitting on the rear palate.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the cedar gains a slight bit of char and the spice morphs into a dull black pepper that has a long finish. At three quarters of an inch in, the char picks up a bit. The retrohale is musty and slightly charred cedar. The third finishes out with charred cedar and mustiness along with the dull black pepper in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

The second third shows a rise in the stone fruit notes and I am picking up currant and cherry qualities. The mocha flavors are still present as well and the finish is that of leather and sweet spices. Like before, the cigar is just above medium in body and strength, and the flavors are right there as well.

Second Third

Bread and cedar combine on the retrohale moving into the second third. Lingering cedar takes up the post draw, and shortly after, mild earth joins as well. Mild cedar settles into the middle of the profile as the second third progresses. By the halfway point, bread settles just under the wood notes in the center of the profile. Baking spices return to the retrohale in the bottom half of the second third.

Second Third

The second third has a bigger bite to the overall profile than the first third. The over extracted bitterness of coffee and wood bitterness seeps into the finish that much more. The finish picks up some nice tannins which I enjoy, but the bite takes away from the overall enjoyment. Strength and body are still medium.

Final Third

The final third continues on with the charred cedar and mustiness while the black pepper is quite faint now. At a half inch in, the black pepper leaves the profile. The retrohale remains charred cedar and mustiness. At three quarters of an inch in, the char has increased some more and the cigar warms up a bit, bringing some mintiness to the profile. The cigar wraps up with the heavily charred cedar and mustiness along with some mintiness in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

I am in the final third now and I am seeing some change in the flavors. There is a mineral quality present and with that are some sharp spices and stone fruit qualities. There is a touch of leather and earth on the finish, and it is a dry finish. Like before, the cigar is just above medium in strength, body and flavors.

Final Third

Transitions in the last third include an earthy finish to the retrohale, which drops off quickly in the post draw. Cedar still makes up the middle of the profile. Some char joins the post draw as the cigar progresses. Hay joins the middle of the profile by the halfway mark.

Final Third

There’s less of the bitterness within the final third but more tannins on the finish. Also, the overall profile becomes a bit muddled with less fullness in flavors. The coffee, cedar and roasted nuts become one big unit as compared to being able to identify each single note. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn was a bit wavy throughout. The cigar went out near the end of the first third and required a re-light. There were times where smoke production was low and frequent draws were necessary to keep things going. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn was very good from beginning to end. It required no touch-ups and while the burn was line was not razor sharp, it was far from being wavy or a problem.

Burn

The burn line is extremely straight with ash holding up to 1-1/2 inch increments.

Burn

Burn performance was just shy of perfect. The only negative was minor chunks of unburnt wrapper. Aside from that, cool burning temperature, ample smoke production and never needing to touch my lighter after the initial light.

Draw

The draw was fairly snug throughout and may have played a bit of a role in the times of low smoke production.

Overall

The cigar began with spicy cedar. Some mustiness joined in fairly quickly. The second third gained some char and the spice morphed into a dull black pepper. The final third saw the char increase throughout and some mintiness joined in as the cigar warmed up. The construction was OK with some burn issues and a tight draw. Strength built from slightly below medium to slightly above. The Tatuaje TAA 2020 had a nice start with some depth to the cedar and a nice spice level. As char joined in the second third and then built up over the final third, the enjoyed waned a notch in each. Definitely not my favorite TAA release from the brand, but fans of Tatuaje will likely find something they enjoy here. Probably not a cigar I’ll likely return to.

Draw

The draw was very good on the cigar and it had a nice level of resistance from start to finish.

Overall

The Tatuaje TAA 2020 is a solid release from Tatuaje and I am sure it will do well for TAA. I have a feeling that it will age well, and while I wish there was a little more body and complexity to the cigar, it was a solid release. I like that Pete went with a Sumatra wrapper, but I do feel that the wrapper is not what it use to be for him with past releases. The mocha and stone fruit notes were enjoyable and they paired well with the body of the cigar. I am looking forward to seeing how this cigar smokes with age, as I believe it will improve, but I am still disappointed in the softer body and strength and the profile from the Sumatra. Tatuaje use to have great Sumatra offerings, but I don’t think the quality in terms of flavors and strength is what it use to be with the tobacco.

Draw

The draw has some resistance to it, roughly 1-1/2 to 2 notches.

Overall

The Tatuaje TAA 2020 is an enjoyable release with a complex flavor combination of baked goods. The strength settles roughly around the medium mark and I never found my palate overwhelmed. I think Tatuaje fans will be happy with this release and with the approachable profile should bring in other cigar smokers to the brand as well. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 52 minutes.

Draw

The draw was perfect. The ideal amount of air flow and resistance.

Overall

The Tatuaje TAA 2020 is a decent offering. It does fall short as compared to previous years. This version had a bit too much sharpness and bite given the over extracted bitter coffee and wood bitterness. For me, whenever this happens, it is difficult to have other softer notes (roasted nuts, sweetness) shine. I think it’s best to grab a couple to try before committing to a box.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
SubparFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Average
GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnVery Good
GoodDrawVery GoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.25

Cost/Point

$2.28

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.20

Cost/Point

$1.93

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.67

Cost/Point

$1.79

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

$1.99

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Tatuaje TAA 2020
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Tatuaje TAA 2020

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