Tatuaje Reserva J21

Tatuaje Reserva J21

TatuajeOrigin : USA
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.0″ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo (Aged Ligero)
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $10 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje J21 Reserva cigars...

By now most avid cigar fans are very aware of Pete Johnson, Pepin Garcia, and the Tatuaje brand of cigars. The Tatuaje brand is the marca responsible for Pepin Garcia’s big breakout to fame in the cigar industry. Now the man makes an impressive number of cigar lines for an array of different cigar marcas. Most every cigar he puts out is received with praise and excitement, but the original Brown Label Tatuajes and their premium extension the Reservas are still the best cigars Pepin makes in my opinion. I have talked before about the meaning behind the names that Pete Johnson gives to his cigars. The meaning behind the J21 on this cigar seems to be a bit more cryptic. I have seen a number of explanations for this moniker, from 21 being Pete’s favorite number or 21 being the number of people in his family. Whatever the 21 stands for it seem that most agree the “J” is for Johnson.

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Tatuaje (Black Label) Private Reserve

Tatuaje (Black Label) Private Reserve

TatuajeOrigin : USA
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8” x 46
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $13 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...

The mystical, almost mythical Tatuaje Private Reserve, or as it is more commonly referred to the Tatuaje Black Label. Arguably the most sought after cigar of 2008, this cigar was originally made as Pete Johnson’s private cigar. It just seemed natural to me (after much internal debate) that I mark my 100th cigar review here at Matt’s Cigar Journal with a review of a rare and highly coveted Tatuaje. After all, it is my favorite brand of cigar, and I did obsess and dream of the Black Label and its beautiful Jar for 6 months before I finally got my hands on it.

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Tatuaje “The Frank”

Tatuaje “The Frank”

TatuajeOrigin : USA
Format : Double Corona
Size : 7 5/8″ x 49
Wrapper : Sun-Grown Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $13 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...

Plucked from its blood splattered coffin, it is time to put this green banded monster to flame. OK, the truth is I couldn’t bring myself to break into the coffin yet so this one is an extra single I picked up but it came from a coffin too, just not mine. The Frank is a special ultra-limited release from Pete Johnson and his Tatuaje brand. Using the blend for the Tatuaje Taino, the corojo wrapper is replaced with a sun-grown broadfleaf wrapper and in place of the brown band is a ghoulish green band adorned with the Tatuaje name and trademark flor de lys. They were released as a first in a series of 13 special Halloween cigars from Tatuaje. Only 666 boxes were made and they were released to just 13 retailers selected by lottery throughout the States. In the coffin shaped box are 13 monstrous cigars. I was lucky enough to have my local cigar shop, Empire Cigars, selected as one of the 13 retailers to get The Frank. What makes me even luckier is that I was able to get myself a box of these rare and special treats.

Box of Tatuaje The Frank

Since Empire was one of the 13 to get The Frank, they will not be eligible for next year's release which will be “The Drac”. The Drac is reported to be a torpedo that is banded at the foot and placed into their coffins upside down just like the way Dracula was reported to like sleeping in his coffin. We’ll have to wait and see how lucky I am next year at trying to get my hands of a box of those. For now, it is time to get back to The Frank…

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Cabaiguan Guapos 46 Maduro

Cabaiguan Guapos 46 Maduro

CabaiguanOrigin : Miami, FL
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 143 x 18 mm
Ring : 46
Wrapper : Dark Natural Conn. Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8.50 each
More info about purchasing Cabaiguan cigars...

As a fan of the Tatuaje and Cabaiguan lines, I was excited to hear that Pete Johnson was extending the Cabaiguan line to include several vitolas with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. I find the Cabaiguan guapos with the sungrown wrappers to be spicy and delicious, so it wasn't a tough decision to buy a box when I found them available. Since the purchase, I've smoked a handful of the sticks from the box marked July '08, and they've been very consistent, which should be expected given the credentials of the Pepin/Johnson team that created them.

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Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro Belicoso

Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro Belicoso

Don Pepin Garcia cigarsOrigin : USA
Format : Belicoso
Size : 5.7″ x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Maduro
Filler : Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $8 each
More info about purchasing Don Pepin Garcia JJ cigars...

The Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ is the Premium version of the DPG line of Cigars made by Jose “Pepin” Garcia. The JJ is a collaboration between Jose and his son Jamie, hence the “JJ”. This is the newer maduro version of this cigar and is to the best of my knowledge, the only maduro besides the EO 601 Maduro that is made by Pepin.

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Tesa M3

Tesa M3

Origin : Calumet City, IL
Format : Robusto
Size : 130 x 20 mm
Ring : 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua?
Filler : Nicaragua?
Binder : Nicaragua?
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5 each

We rarely do this, but here is a review of a cigar that only few people know about. Let me quote Heather Haddad from FumeeWorld:
Tesas are made in Calumet City, IL by the Kelly’s. They owned a cigar shop and started Tesa as their house blend. They’ve been trying to take it national for a couple of years now. The blender is the son, Chris Kelly, who is only like 22 years old. They have their own factory in Nicaragua and their cigars are pretty good, but largely unknown.

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Tatuaje Cabinet Noella

Tatuaje Cabinet Noella

TatuajeOrigin : Miami, FL
Format : Corona
Size : 130 x 19 mm
Ring : 42
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje Noellas cigars...

It was not very easy to find these sticks. Produced in Little Havana, only a limited amount is available (yearly production is around 27.000 as far as I remember) and since Tatuaje's popularity is growing, Cabinet Noellas become hard to get. I wonder whether it has affected the quality; I have smoked some Tatuajes during the last few years and I sincerely felt no significant difference, although I heard others say that the construction today is worse than what is used to be.

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Tatuaje Havana Cazadores

Tatuaje Havana Cazadores

TatuajeOrigin : USA
Format : Lonsdale
Size : 63/8 x 43
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan Long Filler
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $10 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje Havana cigars...

The Tatuaje Havana Cazadores come in cedar cabinets of 25 and are packaged in the old Cuban style. They are packed wet and wrapped in foil with a yellow ribbon around the bundle. Here are some pictures I took back when I bought them. You can click the pictures for an enlarged view.

Tatuaje Cazadores Box

Read the full review of Tatuaje Havana Cazadores...

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