For the second year in a row, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje has created a limited edition release for retailers who are a member of the Tobacconists' Association of America (TAA). I reviewed the original release, a 5 5/8 Parejo, more than a year ago and deemed it "Box Worthy". The 2012 release returns in a different vitola, a 6 1/4 x 50 Box pressed Toro, but features the same blend and wrapper as the 2011 release. Last year’s release was extremely popular and sold out quickly. It is my understanding that production was increased slightly this year and they appear to still be available at the time of this writing. Let's burn this baby and find out if they are worth chasing down!
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Vitola: Parejo (Boxed Pressed)
Size: 6.25 X 50
Age: Box Date April 2011
Number Smoked: 2
Like it's older brother, the 2012 Tatuaje TAA, has a milk chocolate brown wrapper with a fair amount of veins. The pre-light aroma from the foot of the cigar is full of rich chocolate and espresso and makes my mouth water. I remember the 2011 release having a fair amount of sponginess to it but this years release seems well filled.
The first third opens with some espresso, pepper, and leather. Initially, I would describe both the strength and body as being a solid medium. Like the 2011 release, the smoke is smooth and flavorful without being overpowering. This quickly changes about a half inch into the smoke, where unlike the 2011 release, the flavors become more full bodied. The espresso and leather take turns being in the forefront with the pepper staying backstage except on the retro hale. The finish is very long. The burn line is very wavy but the draw is good. The ash is deeply striated and flakey but does hold for about an inch before falling. The flavor profile settles down towards the end of the first third and becomes more medium in strength.
I had mentioned last year, that I found the TAA burned a bit fast and the 2012 is no different. This does not seem to effect experience, however. It remains cool and the draw is perfect. The flavors of leather, pepper, and espresso swap for dominance on the second third. At the halfway point, I begin to detect the powdery cocoa I fondly remember from last years release. I am really enjoying the complexity of this smoke.
The last third brings an increase in strength and body again. The flavor profile is more similar to the first third but I can detect the additional of some wood. There are some minor burn issues but the draw remains good and I burn the cigar down to about the one inch mark. The nub remains firm and cool.
The Tatuaje TAA 2012 is a solid release in my opinion. It has a lot of those typical Broadleaf flavors that some enjoy and some do not. I, personally, am in the former category. I think this year’s release has more to offer than last year in terms of complexity and flavor. It is more full bodied and stronger in strength from what I remember from last year’s release, but is very enjoyable. In conclusion, I am going to give the Tatuaje TAA 2012 a Stogie Geeks Rating of “Box Worthy”. If you enjoy a medium/full bodied smoke with lots of rich Broadleaf and Nicaraguan flavors, I suggest you seek some out before they are gone.
Until next time, keep burning!