Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tatuaje "Retro Cuban" RC184

Country: USA
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 7.25″x57

Presentation: These guys are presented as though they are something quite special. Dressed in a manner reminiscent of the Cuban Bolivar Gold Medal, with a foil wrapper covering half the vitola, and the band in the middle securing it, at least aesthetically, this cigar looks like it should be something special.

Appearance: The cigar itself was something to look at itself. The wrapper, cinnamon hued and glistening, without a vein or noticeable flaw to be seen, was begging to be sparked up. Overall initial impressions was that this cigar looked to be a great example of a well rolled figurado, firm and evenly filled with no noticeable soft spots.

Pre-Light: The clip was nice and easy and the pre-light draw seemed just right, offering the tiniest bit of resistance needed to be a good smoke. The pre light draw consisted of light earthy and woody notes.

Burn/Draw: The draw on this cigar was just right, the burn was cool and this cigar produced plenty of cool, flavorful smoke. Now the burn, on the other hand, was another thing entirely. Specifically, it was a disaster! It started burning lopsided and never really recovered. It got really bad at time but with some judicious touching up I kept it from being completely unsmokeable. Overall I found this to be tremendously annoying and detrimental to the overall experience, but bad burns bother the heck out of me. The ash was rather dark and mottled and firm, and this was a bit of a plus because the longer I left the ash on the more it helped the horrible burn.

Flavor: This cigar, from the flavor aspect, was something special. The two halves were like completely different cigars! The first half was mild/medium in nature and very very refined. Notes of wood, sweet tobacco and almond. The smoke was rich and round and flavorful despite the mellow nature.

During the second half of the smoke, this cigar decides to remind you that it is a Tatuaje! The power level kicks up like three notches and the flavors get big and bold. At the halfway point the spice and earthy notes ramp up decidedly, followed by the cigar increasing in complexity. Pepper and sage burst to the forefront, followed by sweet tanginess and leathery notes. Over the last third of the cigar, a charred oak woodiness comes to the forefront which hits the magic four notes my friend MikeD and I determined you find in almost every Tatuaje cigar in some amounts (Tanginess/Pepper/Wood/Leather). This is in no way a bad thing, this is one delicious cigar.

As a final summation, I found the wonderful flavor experience of this cigar tempered by the dreadful burn. I hope this was just anomaly was just specific to my cigar, but I can't answer that question for sure. If you don't have a problem with a funky burn I say go for it, this cigar tastes great. Me, as much as I enjoyed the flavor, at the asking price, I kind of expect a better burn and might be hesitant to invest in the cigar again. My verdict is, the Jury is still out.


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