Size: 9 1/8″ x 55
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Behind the Stick: From interviews I’ve read and listened to, it appears to be pretty obvious that one of Pete’s passions is Cuban cigar culture. He’s branded many of his lines after old Cuban cigar marcas and many of his cigars are standard sizes that match the classic Cuban vitolas. The RC line is no stranger to Cuban influence either. According to the Tatuaje wiki, The RC233, which stands for Retro Cuban and it’s length in millimeters, is a massive figuardo styled after the diademas vitola. The Tatuaje site even describes the Reserva line as “An old world full bodied Cuban style cigar” that is “blended in the style of the flavorful yet medium bodied Cuban cigars.” These are not a limited edition single release cigar, however they are not always easily obtainable since only a limited amount of them are made each year in their Miami factory.
Construction: With half of the cigar hidden by foil and held in the middle by a very retro looking band, the part that’s visible is large enough to be a full smoke by itself. Once you unwrap the other half the reality of how big this cigar is really hits you. The wrapper is a little veiny, however for a cigar this large I’m guessing a large leaf with a few veins would need to be used. Otherwise the wrapper is great looking – seamless, soft smooth oily feel, and a beautiful figuardo shape. There is an easy draw even with the perfecto style foot. There also aren’t any soft spots throughout the entire cigar (which is a lot of cigar!).
Flavor: Prelight draw brings sweet hay and tobacco to the tongue with a light spiciness coating my tongue like you found a jalapeno piece in your food when you ordered no jalapenos, not bad but you know it was there. Initial light brings more of the spice with hints of vanilla and caramel, even though there is very little smoke. Once we get past the very end of the cigar and it opens up, the smoke was plentiful, although it seems the flavors have mellowed out severely from the first 5 minutes. Having been kept in a box with it’s own humidification device inside my cooler I’m afraid this might be a tad over humidified. Nothing too severe, probably only high 60’s, but I really enjoy my smokes around 60%. The ash is a very dark grey/black and is holding nicely. After not much flavor at all I’m getting what I can only describe as the faintest whiff of baking sweet bread. Not overpowering, but kind of in the background and it’s nice. For the most part I’m tasting a slightly nutty, mild, coffee flavor that hasn’t varied much. Almost halfway through and nearly two hours in the burn has gone quite crooked, but after I touched it up and the flavors have evened back out. Trying to review the second half is difficult since it’s almost like I’ve smoked an entire cigar already and I’m trying to discern flavors with an already smoked out palate. What I can still taste however, it’s more of the same mild coffee flavors. From what I’ve read, other people have experienced the flavors really picking up in the last part of the cigar. Not so for me. The RC233’s middle name should be “Consistent” because while not bad, the slightly sweet, nutty coffee flavor has been there throughout most of the cigar.
Overall: If you’re a fan of mild cigars, this should be your smoke that you hit up in the mornings with your coffee when you have two and a half hours to sit down with it. Unfortunately I didn’t pair this with coffee! With a price tag around $20 I was really hoping for more out of the cigar, but if price wasn’t an issue I would gladly smoke these most Saturday mornings as I sit outside with my coffee and a book. However since I can easily find smokes I enjoy with a significantly smaller price tag, this is probably a cigar I won’t buy very often. I’m glad I tried it though, and I suggest that you should at least try one. On a side note, having heard the RC184 is more flavorful, I have that on my plate to review next. With only a few dollars difference in the price of those two however, it will be interesting to see if the RC184 can beat it’s bigger brother in bang for the buck. Look for the review of the RC184 here soon!