Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6.5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$12-13
The Tatuaje Cojonu 2003 is part of a line which was, back in time, an extension of the original La Seleccion de Cazador Reserva line (Pete Johnson’s first line). Cojonu, short for cojonudo which is Cuban slang for “ballsy”, was supposed to be stronger and fuller than other Tatuaje cigars. There were several releases within this line since, which were extensively covered on CigarInspector.com: we have reviewed the Tatuaje Cojonu 2009 twice and the Cojonu 2012 Reserva.
When I saw the 2003 version in Brussels, I immediately acquired three of these beauties. Don’t get too excited though, the “2003” on the band doesn’t mean that they were rolled 11 years ago, it’s just the year they were blended. Furthermore, these cigars originally featured a Nicaraguan wrapper and now sport an Ecuador-grown leaf. Quite a neat marketing trick!
Appearance : Rating:
You do not get a finer looking stogie than this. The wrapper is a medium to dark brown, rich in color, with a few prominent veins. There is a slight roughness to its appearance, but nothing too rustic; the Tatuaje band is simple and does not distract the eye. There is a sweet honey smell on pre-light.
Construction : Rating:
Overall, construction was pretty good, with a few minor flaws. The draw was perfect, but the burn did need several corrections, and I actually had to relight it a couple of times. This was slightly annoying, but in light of everything else about this cigar being very good, not much of a complaint.
Flavor : Rating:
Starting out, there is an immediate blast of pepper and an abundance of smoke. It’s strong, just as I had expected, but still manages to catch me off guard. In the first third, there are a variety of flavors working together—coffee, cocoa, wood, leather, honey. The pepper is still in the foreground, however. The same flavors remain prominent during the middle third, but the pepper drops back a bit and the profile is more balanced. There is some solid gray ash hanging on, and still a lot of aromatic smoke. In the final third, the pepper comes back with a rich earthy backdrop.
The honey I smelled so prominently on pre-light is not nearly as prominent as I would have guessed, but now and again I catch a faint whiff of its sweetness lingering in the backdrop. Even though the same flavors play off of each other throughout the smoke, they are continuously shifting and changing, which makes for some great variety.
Overall Rating : Rating:
I really am hoping I get a chance to try another of these again sometime soon. This is a medium to full-bodied smoke, and both the strength and the flavors are potent, so be ready for that. If you enjoy a rich interplay of notes and a strong stogie, I think you will really like this one.