Ambos Mundos by Tatuaje

Ambos Mundos by Tatuaje

Ambos MundosOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.0″ x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatran / Nicaraguan Habano
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $5 each
More info about purchasing Ambos Mundos cigars...

Ambos Mundos, which means both worlds is the newest line of cigars from Pete Johnson and Tatuaje. Made, like all of Pete’s cigars, by Pepin Garcia this line of cigars is an economy cigar whose release is aptly timed given current economic conditions. Pete had this to say about it:

“My original idea for the Tatuaje brand was for it to be not as expensive as it turned out to be,” said Johnson, “but having it made in Miami kind of set that expensive precedent, so I made this cigar partly due to the economy and partly because this is where I originally wanted the cigar to be priced.”

I find that to be interesting. I am not sure how a cigar the quality of the original Tatuaje could ever be a cheap economy cigar regardless of where it was made so this doesn’t make much sense to me. It implies to me that if the Tatuajes were made in Nicaragua they would be $5.00 cigars. Boy I wish. I am sure that isn’t exactly what he meant but anyway…
(edit: The more I read that quote from Pete the more I am convinced I just misread and misunderstood it. He obviously wasn’t saying he originally intended the Tatuajes to be $5, but rather was pointing out that is where he wanted the Ambos Mundos to be. He was just saying that he wanted the Tatuajes to be cheaper than they are, but the fact they are made in Miami precluded that. So now I get what he was saying and my original comments look kind of stupid to me now…).

Ambos_250

The Ambos Mundos are long filler cigars that use tobacco from the same farms as the Tatuaje's but instead of the Grade A tobacco used for the Tatuajes, these use grade B and C tobacco. It is tobacco that might have cosmetic differences or might need additional fermentation. That is the how and why the price points are where they are. They are available in two sizes and two wrapper types. All of them use Nicaraguan filler and binders, but one version uses a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper and the other an Ecuadorian grown Sumatran wrapper, hence the “both worlds”. The sizes you have to choose from are a bit boring in my opinion. They are the cliche 5×50 Robusto and 6×50 Toro. The Toro is $5 and the Robusto comes in a quarter cheaper. The Ambos Mundos were released this past February (2009). They suggest that you age these cigars a bit to allow the tobacco to finish fermentation due to the use of the lower quality tobacco. That might explain some things, but really, who wants to age an economy cigar?

I smoked the Habano wrapped version with the creme colored band first. Both of the samples I tried were Robustos. The Habano is a Nicaraguan Puro. I have to say, I found this cigar to be nearly unsmokable. It was sour and bitter and very unpleasant. I did my best to try and smoke the whole thing but a little more than halfway through I had to give up on it. This is the first cigar I have tried that is made by Pepin Garcia that I thought was a bad cigar. I find it hard to believe that anything about this smoke is at all related to the Tatuajes I love so much. Maybe it really does need to be aged some but I am not sure how much help that would be to this cigar. To truly age it in any meaningful way means you need to set them down for at least a year, closer to two years probably. Anything less isn’t aging, it is merely acclimation to your humidor. Plus, like I said, who wants to age a $5 economy smoke. The humidor real estate is too valuable and better used aging a box of quality top shelf cigars. As it is today, I have to give this cigar an F.

Next up is the Sumatran which sports the dark red band. Wow what a difference a wrapper can make on a cigar. This was a much better experience. Still not what I would call a good smoke, at least this one was enjoyable enough to smoke the entire cigar. I could see the potential for this one to become a fairly decent smoke if it were allowed to age. It had a spicy bite with an earthy core complimented by notes of cedar and flashes of coffee. There were still occasional hits of sour flavors but it was not nearly as harsh and bitter as the Habano. Because of the potential I can see for this cigar to get at least a little better I can rate this version of the Ambos Mundos as a C.

I wish they didn’t associate this brand so closely with the Tatuaje brand. These are not Tatuajes, and they don’t taste like even a distant cousin to the Tatuaje brand. It hurts me to say it because I am such a huge fan of everything else Pete and Pepin have done, but these cigars just don’t live up the standards they have set with their other lines. Truth is, I find the mixed filler Tatuaje P Series to be a far superior cigar and they cost about the same amount, cheaper in some cases as they are available in a better choice of sizes. I think the concept for these cigars was a nice idea, but I also think it is really hard to make a good cigar at this price point. Fact is, nobody I have come across does a better job at a $5 cigar than Oliva. That is probably because they have a huge advantage given the large quantity of tobacco they have at their disposal (and yes I mean the Oliva Cigar Family and am not referring to the other Oliva tobacco family).

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9 Comments on “Ambos Mundos by Tatuaje”

  1. Matt,

    I’m really surprised by your experience. I have smoked 5 or 6 of each wrapper and size and liked them all and found them to be very close to a Tatuaje.

    I hope you just got a bad batch but a good, honest review!

    Long Ashes!

  2. I smoked two of each and had the same experience both times. Everyone’s palate is different. These cigars just don’t suit me I guess. I have heard others say they enjoy them as well. I will probably give them one more shot at some point just because they are made by my favorite cigar maker.

  3. Matt you are not alone in your assessment of these new cigars by Pete. Neither are close to Tatuajes for me either. The flavor profiles just don’t match the cigars that carry the Tatuaje name. I also would agree the Series P is much more comparable to Pete’s other cigars than either of the Ambos Mundos. I can’t imagine that these cigars are simply lesser grade tobacco leaves than the ones that go into the standard
    Tatuaje lines.

  4. Matt,
    I agree with this review 100%. Not good.
    I bought a box of the habano and do not think they taste like a Tatuaje at all.
    I am curious as to which $5 Oliva that you like.
    I read all of your reviews (just cannot afford all of the cigars!)….
    Thanks.

  5. I like the Oliva Serie G, and the El Cobre which is made by Oliva. Some of the Flor de Oliva cigars are decent as well. All of them can be had for around $5. Heck, even the Oliva Serie V can be had for under $6 in a couple sizes and that is a really good smoke.

  6. Oliva Serie V belicosos & double robustos are 5.30 per stick by the box, 5.90 for the single at Famous Smoke Shop; Every size of the Serie G is $4 per stick by the box or 5-pack. Probably even cheaper elsewhere online. Those are phenomenal cigars – the Serie V I choose over plenty of $10 sticks. I’m just sayin’; $5 is far too much to pay for even an okay cigar, let alone a marginal or disappointing one. Life’s too short, and much as I like PJ’s Tatuajes, I can’t spend money on a brand affiliation.

  7. I don’t necessarily disagree with some of your assessments:there are rough notes here and there, the tobaccos simply aren’t of the usual Tatuaje quality, etc…But I whole-heartedly disagree with the tone of the review. I think this is one of the best 5 dollar smokes on the market. Good flavor, full of spice and cocoa (though I was thinking the exact same thing: needs a year or so in the humi to smooth out the rough edges and become a really great cigar) the ash holds up really well, the draw and construction are excellent…I really think this is a good cigar. I simply would not say the same of the series P, it burns poorly, ages poorly, and I find the rough notes more noticable.

  8. Thanks for the comment Ernie. At the time this was my honest assessment of the two cigars and I have since revisited each of them a few times and I have to say my opinion hasn’t changed much. I think there are several cigars in this price range that are far superior to the Ambos Mundos and would list these very near the bottom in that category. However, the Sumatran version has proven to be a little better after having just a few months to rest in the humidor. Not aged mind you, but a few months to acclimate seems to settle it down a bit. I still wouldn’t rate it much better than I did though, and the Habano remains just a horrible cigar to me. I have yet to smoke one all the way through. Unless handed one, I probably won’t revisit the Habano ever again. I guess the Ambos Mundos just don’t suit my palate.

  9. That’s fair, Matt. Sometimes I need to be reminded that taste is subjective lol…I think that there are some better buys in this price range but not many. For instance, the casa magna colorados are phenomenal in the robusto, torpedo, solomon, and to a lesser extent, the grand toro sizes. I can’t get over how good these taste, how beautiful the bands are, how oily the wrapper is, etc. Head-to-head, I don’t think the Ambos mundos stands a chance against that stick…

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