Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Double Toro
Size : 6.5 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $13ish. Released in books of 24 with the Cojonu Capa Especial
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...
Back around January, I was able to obtain a sampler pack of the pre-release 2012 Tatuaje Cojonu through my membership with the Saints and Sinners Club (exclusive Tatuaje fan club). This year they will be in three different blends: Miami brown label Cojonu, Connecticut Broadleaf Reserva and the Sumatran Capa Especial. Just recently, these sticks were released in a beautiful book of 24 cigars by some of the big named B&M’s across the country. I waited until now to acquire more of the releases and do a thorough review instead of smoking one pre-release and writing about it. I was really psyched to see that the pre-releases were just like the actual release,… something that I can’t say about a lot of limited release cigars. So how did the Cojonu 2012 Reserva fare?,...
Appearance : (3.75)
The stately Cojonu has a thick, dark, and dry toothy wrapper which is indicative of Connecticut broadleaf. There are some pretty large veins that run its length and hopefully they don't give me burn problems. It is also in a box pressed shape with a good amount of give when squeezed. The new band is black, white and gold to differentiate it from the Miami Brown Label Cojonu and the white and gold label Capa Especial (Sumatra Wrapper). The secondary band looks almost identical to Habanos S.A.'s Edicion Limitada secondary band - a fine ode to Pete Johnson's influence. The wrapper smells of sugar and earth, while the foot has the aroma of black tea.
Pre-light construction is typical of the My Father factory's prowess. The box press has a perfect triple cap and the seams are pretty much invisible. The pre-light draw is Padronesque in its wind tunnel effect of being extremely liberal in delivering a huge amount of air and smoke later on.
The burn started off really straight, all the way down to half the cigar, then wavered and went out. The rest of the cigar burned funny and smoke production was spotty and had to be touched up here and there.
Flavor : (3.75)
Of course, after the spark, I was hit with a black pepper blast straight to the back of the throat, then some dark berry notes , and then pure sweet earthiness,... all within the first three puffs. The flavor is pretty straightforward of Connecticut Broadleaf, a la Casita Criolla. The spice does seem to linger and continue every couple of puffs. The body of the cigar is a solid medium+ to almost full through the first third. The dark berry notes come and go and I notice a hint of sourness on the palate.
Reaching into nearly the second third, I can detect good amounts of subtle nuance. Now this being a pre-release sample, it still tastes awfully young with the sourness a clear indication of its youth. I get hints of the Miami brown label’s licorice, coffee, and dark chocolate notes, and also mixed in, I get flashes of Yerba mate and toasted nuts. I am not totally saying this thing is complex, but with some more down time, there are flashes of promise. The one consistent attribute is the scratchy pepperiness that persists through the stick.
The last third is like Pete was taking notes from the Padron playbook (not a bad thing). The body is full now and flavors jump to dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and touches of herbs. The final is marked by a Graham cracker-ish, malty, dark coffee, and bitter cocoa combo - pretty damn good.
At $13 bones, this is Cojonu! (which means "ballsy" in Spanish) This is a long smoking stick, about 1.5-2 hours for me + it's a huge cigar. I bought a Padron Exclusivo Maduro the other day for 12 bucks so I can't really complain a whole lot on the price of this Cojonu release. Plus, if my predictions are correct and this cigar ages phenomenally then I don't see why 13 bucks was much of a stretch. Step up to the craps table and roll the dice in my opinion.
Overall Rating : (3.75)
I find the Cojonu 2012 Reserva to be a full flavored stick with the nicotine content kept under control,... which is difficult most of the time with Nicaraguan tobacco. I was able to smoke this at 7 in the morning, with coffee, on an empty stomach without puking or getting that lower bowel thump (you all know what I am talking about!). I really enjoyed most of its straightforwardness and smokeability. I can see a lot of Padron fans loving this stick as it is the closest thing in comparison.
With that said, this cigar is just plain out YOUNG. There is a possibility that with another 6 months to a year that this could become a really good cigar (probably not fantastic though). While reading other fellow reviewers' notes on this stick, I think most of us hit the same snag in the construction. There seemed to be a small void half way down the stick in the filler that made the cigar burn funny or it just plain went out. It's kinda disappointing that I have the opinion that Tats don't have the construction they used to, but I believe they are more flavorful than before (better tobacco crops lately? I don't know). Nevertheless I am curious to see where these sticks go in their evolutionary journey from pre-release to full production, and beyond. I would have loved to have given this stick a much higher score for potential, but I have to refrain and just judge the cigar that is in front of me. If everything pans out for the blend, this could be a 4.25-4.5 star cigar. I will definitely be smoking more of them in the future, and I hope you all out there do the same. Keep smoking my friends,...