Great review Brooks! I had the opportunity to have one of these too and I think you hit the nail right on the head! I am hoping that the little bit of rest that that they are undergoing will help develop the flavors into a more complex stick. Even without the aging....I still enjoyed the stick and it looks like you did also! Great job brother! Nick
Review: Tatuaje L’Espirit de Vérité 2008 (Preproduction)
[Editor's Note: As with all Preproduction cigar previews, this one will be a list of information about the upcoming cigar and general impressions from smoking it. There will be no final rating given, as I believe it is not to rate a cigar that has not yet been finalized and released to the public. Having said that, initial general impressions are almost always accurate. ~ed.]
I was lucky enough to be sent one of the first Tatuaje L’esprit de La Vérité preproduction sticks released into the wild by Pete himself, and decided to burn it as soon as I could.
For those of you who don’t know, the new line will encompass two separate cigars: the La Vérité, which ship in cases of 100 for $25 per cigar, but will be broken up and sold in the aforementioned 100 count boxes, (2) 50 cabs, (4) 25 boxes, or (10) 10 count boxes, and a less expensive option, a Robusto size called L’esprit de La Vérité, which is the one I smoked for this review. The price for the Robusto will be around $13 each.
The interesting thing about this release is that the La Vérité will have “futures” sold before the actual cigar is released, similar to how wine futures are sold (basically, it refers to buying wine after it is made, but before it is bottled.) According to Pete Johnson, the futures price will be about 25 to 30% lower than the published $25/stick.
Now, anytime I am given a preproduction stick, I am careful with how I judge it. On the one hand, you want like hell for it to be a great stick; but on the other, it has not been officially released into the public yet, and will most likely change quite a bit before the masses get their hands on it, mostly due to proper aging…
The ground is littered with preproduction sticks that were hyped to high heaven before they were released, but ended up being a huge disappointment when they finally made their way to me in the final version. (I am looking at you Cohiba Pirámide EL!)
Due to the unique way these cigars are going to be marketed (see above), the buzz around them is going to be unreal. Just remember as you read this review, that this is NOT the final version of this stick, and I will obviously revisit the cigar review once it is released to the public.
Now, having said all of THAT, let’s get down to business.
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje L’Espirit de Vérité
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua – (All from finca La Estrella)
- Binder: Nicaragua – (All from finca La Estrella)
- Filler: Nicaragua – (All from finca La Estrella)
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: Variable (See above)
When I got the cigar in the mail, I was immediately struck by how well made it was. The cap was perfect, the roll seemed great, it had a really nice sheen to it, and the stick had a slightly spongy feel to it. When I smelled the wrapper for the first time, there was a slight sweet smell that had me pumped about lighting it up. As always, I waited two weeks to burn it, keeping it in my Vinotemp at 65/65.
I chose to punch this one, and did so easily. In the first puff I got what I now call the “Tat Tang”, which is what I used to describe the really nice tingle on my tongue and mouth from alot of Pete’s cigars… However, unlike one of his stronger cigars (like say the SW Maduro), the Tang was lighter, almost muted, like Pete decided to tone it down on purpose.
Interestingly, the Tang did not stick around long… The first third had a very strong tobacco flavor, not bad, but not one of the usual tastes that I find in his sticks… There was a little bit of pepper, but not much at all… Confirming my observation about the construction, the draw and burn were perfect.
The Second Third of the cigar changed totally for me, taste wise. The tobacco flavor left (very suddenly, I might add) and in came a very woodsy taste… NOT cedar, but a taste of more generic wood. Not wholly unpleasant at all… the spice in the the cigar started to abate at this point, but did not totally leave.
The Final Third was still that woodsy taste, but the spice/pepper started picking up a little, Right at the end, the cigar started burning EXTREMELY hot, almost to the point where I could not nub it (although I did manage. The tastes starting running together at the very end, and it did get a little bitter.
- As I said before, this was an almost perfectly constructed smoke… Perfect burn, draw, and ash made it a pleasure to smoke.
- The flavors in this stick did not really change all that much and seemed to be quite a bit more mellow then most of Pete’s other sticks. A very interesting proposition, and I think (although I am just guessing here) that is what Pete WANTED with this cigar, a more refined Tatuaje, with less of the spice/pepper his cigars are known for.
- The Final Smoking Time for this stick was exactly 1 hour and 28 mins.
The Bottom Line: I liked this smoke, it was a change of pace from what I usually have…However, it was not a blow your mind smoke (in terms of flavor or strength)…I have a feeling that some more time resting will help the flavors in this cigar meld together more…but I will withhold final judgement until the final version of this is released.