Posted by Jack | in Tatuaje | on 30 Aug 2013 | at 4:54 PM | 2448 views
Last night the Wharf hosted an amazing Tatuaje event.  A gathering of some of the finest cigars in the industry for folks that were either Tatuaje enthusiasts like I am or new to the brand completely.  Looking at the table loaded with Tat products, I was shocked to find that there is only one on the table that I hadn't tried.  So, stopping into the shop today I bore witness to the devastation to the Wharf's stock....which just means they will be re-ordering very soon.  I grabbed the last (or almost last as I later found out) J21 Reserva for a review so let's check this cigar out....
Construction: The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper on the J21 is a little dry in appearance.  Quite leathery.  The cigar is also very light in hand.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Leather, barnyard, and sweet tobacco hit the nose from this beauty.  Using my new idiot proof cutter sporting the Tatuaje logo, I was able to snip the perfect about off the head.  As you might have guessed....perfect draw.  However, not as wide open as most Tats usually are.  Since the cigar is so light that will mean it won't burn like a house afire.
Light and Burn: Lighting is a snap of course and the burn starts out perfectly.  However, it does become a bit wonky after about a half-inch but it corrects itself thankfully.  I have had some issues with previous J21s in the burn area before but I can't cry a single tear about it.
Tasting: Starting off, the J21 gives a nice smooth woody spice.  It really shows off the blending skills of Pete Johnson and Pepin.
The first third beings with a rich earthy character laced with white pepper and a touch of leather.  While not as rich as say, the Reserva Regios 2013, the J21 is still exceptionally decadent.  The smoke pouring from this baby is nicely aromatic too.  I am getting a nice roasted nut and cedar on the finish.  Starting off the J21 is smack dab in the middle of the medium strength.
The middle third softens a little and there is a strong note of light roast coffee, nuts, cedar, and oak.  There is another very clean flavor in there that reminds me of spring water.  I know that sounds a bit odd but that is the only thing I can equate it to.  There is a very unique flavor to Tatuaje cigars.  A richness caused by the complex array of flavors that is totally Tatuaje and the main reason that Pete's cigars are my favorites.
The final third begins with the complexity of the first two-thirds while adding a flavor set that I personally love...cocoa and citrus.  The strength kicks up a bit while more of that light roast coffee.  If you have had Starbucks Veranda blend then you can imagine what the flavor is.  The complexity of the J21 is pretty staggering overall.  Even with all of the Tatuaje cigars I have smoked, this one surprised even me.
Value: For a rather hard to find limited release, the J21 will run you around $11 and change.  Not at all hateful for something so good.
Final Thoughts: This is a cigar that I could smoke every day and be happy as a clam. The richness and complexity are among some of the best you will find anywhere - any brand.  While still not as complex as the Cojonu 2012 Sumatra, I feel this is easily right on its heels.  If you are a lover of fine cigars this one should be on your list.  Highly recommended!
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Size: 5 x 50
Nice and rustic looking with that fairly dry wrapper leaf.
New cutter - love the idiot proof cutting depth.  Not much good for torpedoes but....
Just a terrific looking cigar all around
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