Origin : USA
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.0″ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo (Aged Ligero)
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $10 each
More info about purchasing Tatuaje J21 Reserva cigars...
By now most avid cigar fans are very aware of Pete Johnson, Pepin Garcia, and the Tatuaje brand of cigars. The Tatuaje brand is the marca responsible for Pepin Garcia’s big breakout to fame in the cigar industry. Now the man makes an impressive number of cigar lines for an array of different cigar marcas. Most every cigar he puts out is received with praise and excitement, but the original Brown Label Tatuajes and their premium extension the Reservas are still the best cigars Pepin makes in my opinion. I have talked before about the meaning behind the names that Pete Johnson gives to his cigars. The meaning behind the J21 on this cigar seems to be a bit more cryptic. I have seen a number of explanations for this moniker, from 21 being Pete’s favorite number or 21 being the number of people in his family. Whatever the 21 stands for it seem that most agree the “J” is for Johnson.
The Tatuaje Reserva J21 looks very different in comparison to the other cigars in the Reserva line of Tatuajes. The wrapper on the J21 is much darker and rougher in appearance than the wrapper on the Reserva SW or the “A” Uno. The wrapper is much lighter, smoother looking on those other Tatuaje Reservas. This is because the other two Reservas use a lower priming (visio) for the wrapper where the J21 uses the highest priming (ligero). The extra exposure to sun and elements makes for a darker rougher leaf. It also produces a more robusto and potent leaf. Pete uses a ligero wrapper on the Tatuaje Cojonu cigars too which are the strongest and most robust cigars in the Tatuaje line. This is intriguing because the Cojonu is blended to be a very strong cigar where the Reserva line, in the case of the SW and the “A” Uno, tend to be the mildest (but by no means mild) of the Tatuaje lines. So here with the J21 you have what I am assuming is the refined and elegant blend of the Reservas with the wrapper of the brash, robust Cojonus. I imagine the two must meld together for a very unique experience for a Tatuaje. I can hardly wait, so it’s time to spark this robusto up. I’m using the “Three Match Method” on this one.
The first third smoked just like a Cojonu. Lots of black pepper and strong wood. It was very robust and brash. The second third was a bit more dynamic changing as the smoke progressed. It mellowed out a bit like the cigar was trying to let me know it was a Reserva. It was still much more full bodied that the other two sizes in the Reserva line. The flavors were still predominately woody with a slight sweetness that was unlike anything I’ve tasted in a Tatuaje. As I passed the halfway mark the flavors became more dry with notes of leather and toasted tobacco and a slightly earthy finish. In the last third it began to pick up again and the black pepper returned.
The J21 is an excellent smoke that to me resembled a Cojonu more than it did a Reserva only it didn’t have as strong a nicotine buzz as the Cojonus tend to have. It is a full bodied and robust smoke with decent complexity and excellent flavors. The burn was a bit odd on this smoke. It meandered a lot never really burning straight but always managing to even itself out before requiring a flame to touch it up. As thin and delicate as the corojo wrapper leaf is, you’d think it wouldn’t have a problem burning straight, but odd burns seem to be fairly common with corojo wrapped cigars in my experience. I’d recommend this cigar to any Tatuaje fan. You won’t be disappointed. If you like the bold in your face flavor of a Cojonu but would like it in a smaller format, the Reserva J21 will satisfy your craving.