Posted by Jack | in Tatuaje | on 27 Jun 2014 | at 3:34 PM | 2778 views
I know I am a bit behind on reviewing the Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda released last fall and this spring.  I have smoked several and I think the time is right.  The past few months have seen a slew of Tat releases and I have tried hard to review as many as I can.  The Tattoo and Pudgy Monsters are on my list of upcoming reviews.  As with many cigars, some time in the humidor has done wonders for these and they are only a couple of months old.  I felt them to be a tad harsh at first smoke but they have already simmered down a bit and...well, let's just get to the review....Better late than never.
Construction: This particular specimen contained a hint of bloom/plume already.  Honestly if you haven't shopped at The Wharf before...they have more bloomed cigars in one shop than I have ever seen.  Anyway, the reddish brown wrapper is a bit lumpy, uniform in color, and contains only very mild veins.  The cap is a gorgeous nipple shaped affair with the wrapper leaf creating a closed foot.  Very rustic.  Very attractive.  The band is new as well.  The standard black band has been redone in gloss with a silver ribbon around the top and bottom.  Personally, I love it as much as I love the 10th anniversary band design.  Very elegant and simple.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: No cellophane covers this cigar.  Aromas of cinnamon, pepper, and leather are the predominant notes on the nose.  The wrapper, for being uncellophaned, is very strong in aroma.  The sun grown aspect surely helps with that.  The draw, as should come as no surprise, is wide open.
Light and Burn: A solid performer from start to end here.  Open draw, even burn, copious amounts of aromatic albeit peppery smoke, and a beautiful white/gray ash.
Tasting: Best described as a pepper bomb, the black label corona gorda hits hard and fast with loads of black and red pepper.  Notes of cinnamon, orange peel, and leather start things off.  You really need to pay close attention to this cigar as the pepper flavors are so strong that is can be hard to find other flavors in there.  I notice that the overall character is fairly dry and because of the peppery spice, hot.  Body is medium-full off the start.  As the first third closes out some of the pepper drops and some coffee and more prominent orange zest appear.
The middle third starts off a tad sweeter but still covered with that peppery spice.  The core is leathery and rich...which is the single word I would use to describe Pete Johnson's cigars....Rich.  Time sitting in the humidor has done wonders for this cigar.  The flavors have married perfectly and I find it to be more balanced than the first few of these I smoked.  Notes of cream, cocoa, a less orange citrus, and a mild toffee flavor appear as well.
The final third offers up roasted nuts, toast, cedar, cocoa, and some herbal notes on top of the peppery leather core.  It does get a bit hot towards the end but overall it is so tasty it is hard to smoke it slow.  Fantastic cigar!
Value: At around $10, the Black Label Corona Gorda is fairly priced for such a good cigar.
Final Thoughts: So, as many reviewers have done, I pose the question to myself....Do I like this better than previous Black Label releases?  It is an altogether different cigar than the petit lancero released in the past few years...so it is hard to judge, really.  I enjoyed every puff.  Now, the intensity of the pepper notes would actually keep me from smoking this release daily - I like the reserva line for that - but given the choice, I think I would select this Black over the other readily available petit lancero, yes. The corona gorda size is second on my list of favorites only to the lonsdale, so that certainly factors into the choice as well.  If you haven't had the pleasure of smoking a Black Label release yet, this is one to try.  Very highly recommended.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo Estelí
Size: 5 5/8 x 46
Love that rustic look.  The photos don't show it well, but the bloom was starting as a nice pearl white haze in spots.
The new band...simple...awesome
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