Tatuaje TAA 2016

Tatuaje TAA 2016

Lately, I’ve been smoking a lot of the limited releases from cigar companies for the Tobacconists’ Association of America or TAA.  Only select shops can carry these cigars as they have to be a member of TAA.  These limited releases are usually very good cigars, though hard to find.  You can find a list of the shops that are TAA members here.  These shops have an option to buy these special release cigars and, now that I’m in Houston, I have access to them through Serious Cigars.  They have 5 locations now with the closest to me being Serious Cigars Clear Lake.  I’ve decided to do a review of each of the TAA cigars they carry, except the Herrera Esteli, which Walt already did here.  I came to Serious Cigars today to review on these, but ended up changing the one I was going to do because one of the most highly anticipated TAA cigars arrived at the shop today:  Tatuaje TAA 2016.  For me, the Tatuaje TAA cigar, each year, has been amazing.  It’s the one that I seek out the most because the flavor is always outstanding.  Here are the specs:

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  • Year: 2016
  • Size: 6 1/4 x 50
  • Wrapper:  Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
  • Binder:  Nicaraguan
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan
  • Price:  $11.95/single, $226.95/box available at Serious Cigars

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** FYI, this is a first impressions review as this is the first one I’ve smoked.  As I stated above, it’s not the one I came to the cigar shop to initially review, but seeing as they just arrived and are selling fast, I figured I better go ahead and do this one now. **

Construction

As good as these historically taste, they, especially this year, will never win any beauty contest.  Being Connecticut Broadleaf, the wrapper is very veiny (is that a word?) with a dark maduro hue.  The closed foot is a nice touch that I always like.  The soft box press is nice as well with a well applied cap.  The draw is perfect with pre-light flavors of rich earth and cedar.

First Half

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As I lit the cigar, the first flavors I got was a rich earth, cedar, bitter dark cocoa and leather.  On the retrohale, I get a ton of black pepper.  I get loads of voluminous smoke and the cigar is full bodied.  As it nears the midway point, the cigar gets sweeter as the cocoa note because less bitter and more sweet like milk chocolate.  The leather note gets stronger and I’m getting a rich molasses note as well.  The burn is a little uneven, but it’s not too bad.  I never had to touch it up as it self corrected every time.

Last Half

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As the cigar burned down, I got more leather, molasses and black pepper with a hint of cayenne pepper, which is the best way I can describe it.  I got a sensation on the tongue and flavor that, they best I can relate it, reminded me of cayenne pepper.  Maybe, I’ve eaten too much crawfish or gumbo, but it was the first thing that popped in my head.  It’s faint, but it’s there.  Mostly it’s molasses and leather at this point.  At the end, the dark chocolate makes a comeback adding a little bitterness to the cigar along with the leather and molasses.

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Overall

This was a very good cigar, which is not a surprise.  The 2016 version is modeled after the 2012 version which has reached legendary status.  The cigar had rich flavors of rich earth, cedar, black pepper, dark chocolate, molasses, leather and hints of cayenne pepper.  The body was full and produced voluminous smoke.  I really enjoyed the cigar and I’m wishing I had a big steak dinner before it which would be a perfect accompaniment.  It’s a big cigar and would pair well with a rye, bourbon, coffee or a bold cabernet wine.  I suggest you seek this out as soon as possible because they are already selling fast and I doubt they will be around long.  Another winner from Pete Johnson and Tatuaje……..shocker.