Posted by Jack | in Tatuaje | on 21 Feb 2013 | at 1:47 PM | 2269 views
The closest translation of Cojonu? Ballsy.  And that is exactly what Pete Johnson is with his cigars.  He tries different things, breaks boundaries, and helped revolutionize the cigar industry.  This guy is simply amazing and I am a huge fan of his Tatuaje and L'Atelier lines.  I am always pleased to see his cigars score highly and even more so when he hits Cigar Aficionado's top 25.  Something he has done every year since at least 2007, according to the CA website.  The Cojonu cigar series for 2012 consists of  Habano, Connecticut Broadleaf, and Sumatra wrapped blends.  I have had the broadleaf version and it was easily a 90....I just didn't review it for some reason.  Now that Pete has cracked the top ten with the Sumatra version, I thought I would give it a try.  How was it?  Let's see....
Construction: The Sumatra Cojonu is a leathery looking beauty with a soft box-press shape.  Perfect, as always in the construction arena.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: No cello on this big mamajama.  The aroma is cedary and sweet overall.  Can't wait to put it to the flame.
Light and Burn: Lighting is a snap with a couple of matches.  The burn is nearly perfect all the way down.  Two very minor touch ups thanks to my OCD, but nothing to detract from my rating.
Tasting: The opening starts off with that Pete Johnson/Don Pepin spicy blast.  As the first part of this cigar starts up there are some terrific spicy notes accompanied by a sweetness underneath.  I pick up some intense pepper and woody spices that are actually very creamy.  It's a very slow smoker for such an open draw.  The smoke from the Cojonu is thick and cloying...and highly aromatic.  This is a very rich cigar in flavor and body.  Into the second third I get a dense sweet coffee flavor with loads of earth and spice.  Sometimes I forget just how good Tatuaje cigars are in terms of quality and the sheer number of flavors they are capable of containing.  However Pete does it, I am glad he does it so well.  There is an interesting hickory smoke flavor in here now.  Makes me want some barbecue and a beer.  As the final third of this terrific cigar starts, I get a blast of something like dark chocolate and cappuccino - I can even taste the steamed milk.  As I smoke it to the nub, I find myself longing for another one.  Well done, Mr. Johnson.
Value: A Cojonu will run you around $12.  And trust me, this cigar is worth every cent.  While that price tag may keep it out of your regular rotation, it is a great way to treat yourself when the need arises.
Final Thoughts: To be honest with you, I think this should have been the number three cigar of the year.  It's clearly a superior cigar to the Romeo by Romeo y Julieta in every way possible.  This cigar makes it easy to see what all the hubbub is about with Tatuaje cigars.  I have said it before and I know it will not be the last time - yes, they really are that good.  These Cojonu 2012 selections are sure to sell out fast, so if you get your mitts on some hoard them, my friends!
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Strength: Medium to full
Size: 6.5 x 52 soft box press
This is a beautiful cigar.  Rustic and well proportioned.
I love the simplicity of the label scheme.  As you can see below - only the secondary band differs across all three versions.
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