Origin : Miami, FL
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$9-10 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje J21 Reserva cigars...
This is my review of the Tatuaje Miami Reserva Series J21 Robusto (5x50). After trying a sampler of these I ended up picking up a box. They work out to about $9 a cigar.
The J21 has some interesting backstory. It's a Nicaraguan filler with a Nicaraguan wrapper, and it's blended by Don Pepin and rolled at the Little Havana section of the El Rey de Los Habanos factory in Miami for Pete Johnson.
A nice smell of tobacco mixed with hints of cedar and dark rich earth. The nose is quite pleasant but subdued.
Construction was good throughout, there were only a few instances of bumpy veins. Foot isn't nicked in any way and the cap is nice and tight. The wrapper feels consistent and there are no soft spots that I can detect. The wrapper has a nice smooth even brown color to it throughout with no imperfections visible.
Flavor : (4.25)
Since I already own a box of these, it's a bit of a spoiler as to what I would be expecting.
A few puffs to get this lit and it's a blast of pepper. Having already enjoyed several of these previously I was completely prepared, but it would be quite intimidating for your first experience. You're a bit surprised at just how much spice and pepper hits you and you're wondering if the entire first third will be this intense, but after a few draws it falls back into balance with the flavor profile. Once the spice and pepper fall away, you get some nice rich earthiness and wood that mix in.
As I'm finishing the first third and moving into the secord third the pepper quietly falls off and the complex earthiness becomes intermingled with a rich creamy tobacco flavor. That continues to swirl around on your taste buds until you get into the last third.
Once again as I'm transitioning thirds, the earthiness falls off and out of nowhere I'm getting this dried fruit and raisin mixed with aged leather. Completely unexpected but an interesting counterpoint to the creamy tobacco flavor. This continues on until your fingertips can't take any more, or in my case the weather threatens to carry me away to Oz.
The J21 is a pretty interesting taste experience.
Burn / Draw :
I found the draw on this cigar to be quite loose. It seemed to work for the J21, as I was more apt to take my time with my draws instead of rushing it. Given the full flavors this is definitely a cigar you want to slow down and take your time with. The burn was fairly even, and the smoke produced was quite satisfying after it got going.
Smoking time was bit rushed on this one due to the impending rainpocalypse that was looming. Just over an hour and twenty minutes.
Value : (3.75)
Approx. $9 a stick when purchased by box, these are not going to be an everyday smoke for most BoTLs. A box of 25 will typically run you over $200, and while that does push them into the higher price point they hit the right notes for me on flavor. Originally another BoTL sent me 2 sticks to try as a part of a trade, and that was enough to prompt me to add a box to my humidor.
Overall Rating : < 19.5/25 || 78%* >
The Miami Reserva Series Reserva J21 is for aficionados who enjoy complex and full flavors. This is not a stogie that a beginner should be picking up, unless they're looking to be blown away with an explosion of pepper. I would draw a parallel to more expensive bottles of scotch whose nuances you can only appreciate after having developed an experienced flavor palette. The J21 is not a stick I'll have on a regular basis, due to the price point, but it has been sitting in my top 10 'go-to' list ever since I pulled the trigger on a box.
If you like intense, complex, full flavors and lots of spice, this is a cigar for you.
* Any cigar below 60 will be in the 'yardgar' category. Between 60 and 74 should be an every day smoke. Between 75-85 should be in the great smoke category, and anything above that should be in the excellent smoke category.