Tatuaje J21 (Guest Review)

This review comes courtesy of Rich (BootyRock)
from the Stogie Review Fan Forums

The Reserva line of cigars is an extension of Tatuajes Selección de Cazador line (Miami or Cabinet if you prefer). There are 4 (5 if you count the SW Maduro) sizes: The SW (“Sir Winston” a churchill), A Uno (“A”), Noellas, and the J21 (robusto). The Reserva line is blended to be a milder version of the Miami, yet with added complexity. The blend is identical in each and every size with the exception of the J21 which uses a different wrapper. In lieu of the Nicaraguan Viso priming used in the other sizes, the J21 adorns a Ligero wrapper, just like the Cojonu’s (which are another extension of the Miami line, blended to be the most full bodied/strongest cigars Tatuaje produces). The name “J21” is a little bit of a mystery. Its seems that no one knows for sure what it means, but the most widely spoken (blogged) theory is that “J” is for Johnson…and “21” is Pete’s (Johnson) favorite number. So anyone that has the opportunity to talk with Pete in the future, ask the man!

ENOUGH! Time to smoke!

Tatuaje Reserva J21

Guest - Tatuaje J21 - 1 Guest - Tatuaje J21 - 2

Cigar Stats:

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo (Ligero)
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5″x50 (Robusto)
Factory: El Rey De Los Habanos
Produced: August ’08 (box date)
Price: $11.70 in shop
Pairing: Sweet Tea, Water

Guest - Tatuaje J21 - 3

First Impressions:
The J21 is a dark rough looking cigar. Its clearly well made, with the traditional triple cap, but the wrapper leaf is mottled and splotchy. Very smooth on the surface, tightly packed, with no noticeable soft spots.
The wrapper has an aromatic cedar smell, and the foot a sweet woodiness, with an unusual whiff of menthol/mint.
The cold draw is perfect, slightly firm, but not difficult. Its a clean sweet draw with hints of black pepper, cumin and cedar.

The cigar lit up fairly easily, and gives a nice full spice, with a dominant wood flavor on the first couple puffs. There are hints of molasses, and graham crackers. The smoke has a slightly sweet character.
About a quarter of an inch in, the initial spice settles down to a nice warm tingle across the palate. The smoke is slightly sweet and heavy in the mouth, and is great for smoke rings. Through the sinuses, gives a nice citrus hint, and slight whiff of honey. The finish is thick and savory on the tongue, and lingers with a nice total mouth spice.

Guest - Tatuaje J21 - 4

1/3:
The mellowing out process continued through the first third. It has a very smooth feel, and carries more sweetness now. The molasses has become more of a front row flavor now, it wavers between an obvious sugary cookie flavor, and a more floral honey flavor. The are occasional whiffs of chocolate which lead me to get a nostalgic feeling of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. The spice has all but left the stick, its not even really hanging around the finish. The burn thus far has been just fine, and the ash holds on for a solid inch but can get slightly flakey. The aroma however, is not the best in the world. I like to test this by walking out of my office and taking a few “nostril cleansing” whiffs, and then evaluate the aroma of a stick, and this one isn’t that great. Its nice while puffing, it compliments the cigar, but after it settles a bit, it becomes quite stinky. Not recommended for smoking around non-smokers.

Guest - Tatuaje J21 - 5

2/3:
The second third brings back some of the spice found at the very beginning of the stick, but cigar is still burning nice and cool. There are now more notes of chocolate, and occasional hints of espresso coming into the already complex cookie concoction. The is a slight woodiness to the finish, and it has become slightly drier than previous installments. The burn line has remained virtually perfect, no corrections, or really any turning needed to keep this stick on track. The ash has cleaned up its flakey act, to be very nice and firm, again holding to just over an inch. The body on this stick has moved to the solid full spectrum, where in the 1/3 it hovered nicely in the med-full. There is a slight nicotine kick by now, but is not overpowering, its just letting you know that its there.

Guest - Tatuaje J21 - 6

Last Bit:
Finishing off, the espresso flavors are beginning to take over, leaving a less sweet taste on the palate. Woody notes are still around, and I can still find the honey/molasses hints while retro-haling. As the stick heats up a little in the last inch or so, the flavors really flip flop, an sweet espresso on puff, switches to a savory woodiness the next, both complimented with the full force spice that now hovers on the finish. As I nub the cigar, it turns into a leather bomb…wow.

Guest - Tatuaje J21 - 7

Final Thoughts:
The Reserva J21 is a spectacular stick. Hands down my favorite Tatuaje, if not my all time favorite cigar. Its a very complex stick with flavors that just make it an absolute joy for me to smoke. It goes great with coffee in the morning, and holds its own after a hearty steak dinner. The ligero wrapper gives it an extra pop that the rest of the reserva lines do not have for me. Where the others strike me as a medium bodied stick, this one without a doubt is in the full range. The one slight drawback to this stick is its cost. At around $12/stick at the B&M its hardly a daily smoke, but they can be found online in the $10 range, which really isn’t that much better. But for all the other sticks in the price range, this one for me stands out as being worth the price.

Liked it: Oh did I ever!
Buy it again: The only cigar I have purchased multiple boxes of
Recommend it: Absolutely, without a doubt! If you are a fan of Tatuaje, this is one stick you cannot afford to miss out on.