021 – Tatuaje TAA 2011 – Cigar Review

by Bill on January 15, 2012

Tatuaje Tobacconists’ Association of America 2011

Size:  5-5/8 x 54
Wrapper:  Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder:  Nicaragua
Filler:  Nicaragua


Pete Johnson created this special blend for the Tobacconists’ Association of America in 2011.  The Tobcacconists’ Association of America (TAA) is a trade group that was established in 1968 by a group of tobacconists.  According to the TAA website, their mission is “To provide an open forum of ideas, strategies, and problem solving between retail tobacconist and vendors to the trade.”  Only 1,500 boxes of this special release were produced, and they are available exclusively at the Tobacconists’ Association of America retailers across the country that attended the TAA show in 2011.

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This box-pressed cigar had a deep chocolate brown wrapper with a slight toothiness.  The foot was closed, meaning that the wrapper on the cigar was cut a little long and then folded over the foot.  There was a patch down by the foot that measured about 1/4- inch by 1/8-inch.  The cigar was solid and well-constructed, with no hard or soft spots.  It had the red, white, and blue Tatuaje special release band that said “Tobacconists’ Association of America” and featured their Indian Head logo.

AROMA:  The prelight aroma was mainly subtle leather with a nice creamy undertone.  I also noticed a barnyard component, along with an almost floral-like background note.

TASTE:  The prelight taste immediately assaulted my palate with a strong blast of pepper spice.  It was enough of a surprise that it almost caused me to cough.  There were some rich black cherry flavors, along with a deeper, heartier leather background.

The cigar started off relatively powerfully, with some deep earthy flavors.  There was also a nice bite of black pepper at the very back of my palate and in my throat.  In addition, there was a noticeable sweetness on the wrapper.  The finish was medium in length with the earthy components lingering, along with some grassiness that I also detected in the retrohale.  The ash was medium gray in color and relatively firm, but not solid.


The flavor elements mellowed out a bit, and began to mesh together.  Though mellower in their attack, the leathery and earthy flavors retained their depth and complexity.  In addition to the sweetness that I still tasted, a dry cedary flavor emerged in the finish.  The peppery spiciness faded in the second third, almost to the point of non-existence.


In the final third, the strength and body continued to be a solid medium to medium-full.  The subtle yet deep flavors of earth and leather continued and the sweetness faded.  The dry cedar in the finish evolved into what reminded me of what I would best describe as finished furniture – almost like the experience of walking into a nice furniture showroom.  The flavors intensified as I approached the end of the cigar, and remained in balance at the same time.  I smoked this cigar fight down to the nub with no harshness or bitterness at all.


Overall, this cigar started out with what I would pretty much classify as the “typical” Tatuaje flavor profile with the addition of a couple of extra flavor notes.  The flavors were good, but in the first third they were not meshed and working together.  The second third is where this cigar really started to shine.  The profile started to come together and exhibit some deep complexity that I found to be a pleasant surprise and change of pace from the typical Tatuaje.  It was a very pleasant smoke overall, with the balance and profile particularly good in the second and final thirds.  If this were a regular production cigar, I think that it would do very well, and rightfully so.

Recaps from previous episodes:
– Feedback from CigarJohn in WI
– Lots of Feeback about my Top Cigars of 2011 According to Everyone Else
– Charlie’s article on Halfwheel.com – The Consensus: 2011 Awards
– Question from Jimmie in NJ about retrohaling.
– Voicemail from Chris in NJ
– Doc’s 300th Stogie Fresh 5 Episode and my message to him.

New this episode:
– My Coffee Rant:  Some tips to enjoy quality coffee, along with my recommendation that you try coffee from www.ourcoffeebarn.com

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

CigarJohn January 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

Pete really puts out some good stuff not to mention he is a marketing genius. I read Pete is also coming out with the Monster series mini’s and I must admit I would not mind trying a few of the monster series in a small size.



Peter Glad January 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

Great review, loved the podcast too!

Peter G


Jimmie the Mum January 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Pete always has great stogies. My only point is I wouldn’t go out of my way trying to obtain them. If I come across a box, I’ll scoop them up in a heart beat but I won’t go nuts.


saundha January 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm


I finally found a site that still has the Tatuaje TAA’s. Most sites are out of them.


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