Tatuaje 2012 TAA Exclusive
Year of Production: 2012
Date Smoked: September 7, 2014
This is part two of my four-part Tatuaje TAA review series leading up to the Tatuaje TAA 2014 which we should expect to see hit shelves towards the end of this month or into early October. To read part one of the review series (Tatuaje TAA 2011) or to read more about the TAA (Tobacconistâ€™s Association of America), click here!
After the success of Tatuajeâ€™s 2011 TAA exclusive, the TAA asked Pete Johnson to release another exclusive for 2012. There were a total of eight TAA exclusives for 2012: ACID Big Bang Robusto, Ashton VSG Robusto Especial, Jamie Garcia TAA Exclusive, La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Maduro Torpedo, PadrÃ³n 1964 Toro, Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary TAA Exclusive Robusto Grande, Romeo y Julieta Magnum Exclusivo and the Tatuaje TAA 2012.
The Tatuaje TAA 2012 is very similar to Tatuajeâ€™s 2011 TAA exclusive as they both use the same blend, same style band and are both box pressed, the only differences are a slight change in size and there were 2,500 boxes of 20 released for 2012 instead of only 1,500 that were released for 2011.
Vitola: Box Pressed Toro (6.25×50)
Blend: Nicaraguan filler and binder wrapped in a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper
Appearance: As was the case with the Tatuaje TAA 2011, the Tatuaje TAA 2012 is a great looking cigar! It is a little more box pressed than the 2011 release, which was only slightly box pressed, and it is slightly longer, but beyond that, it is the same in appearance. Minor veins present on the toothy, dark chocolate brown wrapper, a beautiful closed foot and a great looking red, white and blue band with the TAA logo on the front.
Pre Light: The Tatuaje TAA 2012 gives off a very classic aroma of cedar, earth and leather. The cold draw presents notes of cedar, hay, black pepper spice and cocoa.
First Third: Upon lighting the cigar, I anticipate a blast of black pepper spice; however I am pleasantly surprised to be greeted with deep earthy notes, cedar and coffee with a moderate amount of black pepper spice, primarily on the retrohale. The cigar leaves a pleasant, slightly sweet mocha flavor on the finish which helps balance out the spice. The cigar has a solid ash, great burn line and does not require any touchups during this third and the draw is perfect â€“ just enough resistance without being too restricted.
Second Third: As I get into the second third of the Tatuaje TAA 2012, the flavors become more complex and some nuances begin to come forward as the black pepper spice fades slightly. When I look back at notes I took while smoking this cigar close to the time of its release two years ago, I had picked up a lot of earth, leather and rich red fruit at this point in the cigar. But now that it has been two years that this cigar has aged, many of the flavors have changed. The black pepper has faded slightly on the palate but remains strong on the retrohale, espresso and leather become more prominent and there is a wonderful honey note left on the finish. The ash remains solid and falls about every two inches, the burn line is great, still requiring no touchups and not needing to be relit. The draw remains perfect and the smoke output is average.
Final Third: Not much changes from the second third into the final third. The black pepper spice remains on the retrohale and notes of espresso, dark chocolate, earth and leather become the prominent flavors with honey remaining on the finish.
Closing Thoughts: The Tatuaje TAA 2012 was very similar to the 2011 release in almost every way â€“ the only difference being the year of production and a slight change in size. The construction was flawless on every one I smoked, the flavors were very similar and the cigars were always consistent. As aforementioned, I did notice quite a few changes in this cigar from when I smoked it two years ago and when I smoked it today. The black pepper spice was not as strong, there was a different sweetness on the finish, some of the more bitter notes seemed to have balanced out better with age and there were small nuances that I picked up on the two I smoked for this review that I did not pick up on the ones I smoked two years ago. Of course, there are many factors for why I noticed these changes, beyond the age of the cigar, including a change in my palate as it has developed over the years. Needless to say, this was a great cigar at the time of its release and it remains a great cigar today.