This cigar was created for a limited number of Tobacconists' Association of America (TAA) Members (about 40 retailers total). Part of the "Exclusive Series", there were only 1500 boxes of 20 cigars created. Pete Johnson has described it as a cross between the Barclay Rex and Port Tenderloin. I have only smoked the Barclay Rex so I will not be able to completely comment on the accuracy of this statement. However, if any readers or listeners have a Pork Tenderloin they would like to send me, I would be happy to revise this review (Hint Hint). This cigar was given to me by a friend for my 40th birthday. Thanks Al!
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Vitola: Parejo (Boxed Pressed)
Size: 5 5/8 X 54
I listed the vitola of the cigar as a Boxed Pressed Parejo, but there is a slight tapering from the foot to the cap that is similar to a Pyramid. The pre-light aroma is full of Nicaraguan sweetness including rich chocolate and espresso. The wrapper is rough and there is a fair amount of sponginess to the stick. Once lit, the cigar opens with a blast of pepper and spice. Flavors include espresso, earth, and some faint leather. The draw is fantastic but the burn is a little quicker than I prefer. I find this common in some Tatuaje cigars but I also have a habit of smoking too quickly, especially when i am enjoying a cigar. All the same the stick remains cool and ash holds for about an inch. The spice quickly settles down and the strength is a solid medium, as is the flavor.
The second third has a bit more sweetness to it. I am detecting some powdered cocoa. This powder also extends to the finish, which is dry but does not remain long on the palate. I have forced myself to slow down, but the burn is still a bit aggressive. The cigar remains cool, the draw is great, but the ash does not seem to want to hold.
During the last third, the flavor and strength picks up and there is a bit more bite. This part of the experience is reminiscent of the flavor profile of the Barclay Rex, but not as full bodied. There is a fair amount of red pepper. The burn has slowed down a bit or maybe I have due to the increase and strength. I find myself wishing the cigar was a bit larger as I nub it. The nub remains firm and cool until I burn my lips.
I would give the Tatuaje TAA a Stogie Geeks rating of 4 "Box Worthy" on our rating scale. I enjoyed the flavor profile enough and found it kept my attention long enough to enjoy on a Friday evening or special occasion. While the price point is a bit more than I prefer to spend, I felt the stick was worth it. If you are interested you better act fast however, as 30,000 cigars are not going to last very long.