Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Firecracker
Size : 4 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador Habano Maduro
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $6.67 ($99 for a box of 15)
More info about purchasing Tatuaje cigars...
Awhile back Two Guys Smoke Shop in New Hampshire had Don Pepin Garcia make them an exclusive Blue Label cigar called the “Firecracker.” The “Firecracker” was a 3x50 pepper stick with a long fuse coming from the cap. This June, Two Guys commissioned Pete Johnson and Pepin to do another firecracker-like stick, this time just a tad bit longer- 4x50. They named this one the ubiquitous “M80.”
I thought the 3x50 “Firecracker” was just ridiculous. This is a little more tolerable looks wise. The packaging is very unique and the fuse tucked into the band is pretty neat. The wrapper is a thick, dark maduro brown with some gnarly veins. The wrapper has a nice oily sheen that makes my mouth water. Not a whole lot to smell on the wrapper and foot other than some leather and coffee notes.
Construction : (3.75)
Construction of Tatuajes is not what they used to be in my opinion. I have had inconsistent burns on a lot of the new releases from Pete Johnson. This cigar started off razor sharp through the first ash two inches in. Once I bumped off the ash the cigar started to waver a bit and needed a touch up. Into the last third the cigar began to tunnel. I purged and relit and smoked it to the nub before it began to tunnel once again. This is the point where I had to chunk it. This occurrence happened in one out of three samples. The draw had a nice pull to it throughout the entire smoking experience.
I lit the M80 with a soft flame lighter that came in my Saints and Sinners membership kit. I was afraid a torch would burn through the filler tobacco causing the stick to become very bitter. The cigar started off hot nevertheless, but it did not stay this way for long. About 5-7 puffs in, the heat went away but the spiciness remained. This cigar had a good amount of spice right from the start. The flavors were spot on and pronounced with rich leather, flowers, nutmeg, and dark chocolate coming out. An inch in, the stick has this great meaty character coming out that I really liked.
2nd third continues the meaty and chocolate notes. The vividness of the flavors is surreal. The strength of the cigar can be felt at this point and the fullness of this cigar has me staggering a bit. Retrohaling is only recommended on the last little bit of smoke on exhalation otherwise you risk some serious nasal blowout.
The last third really smacked me with loads of strength and returning spiciness. The flavor profile remained solid with dark chocolate and spicy beef jerky.
The depth and vividness of flavors in this cigar are amazing. So $6 and some change is not a problem for me to shell out on a cigar of this caliber. This cigar is one hell of an exciting ride but a short one, much like your first sexual experience. At least you can relive the moment 15 times for 99 bucks.
Overall Rating :
I would love this cigar so much more if it was a longer stick. The short and sweetness of it leaves you wanting more every time you step up to the plate to smoke one. Construction inconsistencies aside, these were still pretty trouble free smokes. Pete has a winner with this stick. Hint, hint, Pete,…take this blend to a larger format. So if you like huge flavors and a lot of strength, give the M80 a go. Aftermarket searching should reward those daring enough with a wonderful smoke.