Nicaragua Cigar Review

Cigar Review: Tatuaje 20th Anniversary Grande Merveille

The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary celebrates an iconic milestone. It’s hard to believe that Tatuaje has been in business since 2003. I remember sitting in a cigar store in New York City  and friends of mine making fun of the name and how in 5 years no one will have ever heard of Tatuaje. The difference was they were old school cigar smokers brought up on legacy brands like Romeo & Juliet, Montecristo, Etc. I was a new school cigar smoker. I had more options available to me than they did when they began their journey and one brand I gravitated to from almost day one was Tatuaje.

Pete Johnson isn’t your typical cigar maker. Once the bassist in a hair metal band called Hung Jury (yes, that is Pete in the black & white shirt), a road that took him to Hollywood, California. Struggling to get by and working as a bouncer at a strip club he would eventually make connections and begin working at the Grand Havana Room where he would stay until 2006, three years after the start of Tatuaje.

Like all other cigars in the Tatuaje line, the Tatuaje 20th is made at My Father Cigars.

Cigar Review: Tatuaje 20th Anniversary
Size: 6.25 x 46 (Corona Gorda ak Grande Merveille)
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano Seed)
Binder: Nicaragua (Double Binder)
Filler: Nicaragua
Debut: October 2023
Box Count: 20

The Cigar: The black, gold and white cigar band denotes (tattoo, the translation of Tatuaje), the brand name and the number 20 with where it was made (Esteli). The milk chocolate brown wrapper with a closed foot is absolutely flawless with a nice amount of oils present. In the hand the cigar is firm to the touch and no voids of tobacco and a hefty weight to it for the size.

The Taste: The cold draw of the cigar is tight but that is most likely due to the closed foot of the cigar. It serves up notes of cashews, cedar and sweet cream. The aroma off the wrapper and foot is mouthwatering cocoa something I find often on the Seleccion de Cazadores line. Once the cigar is toasted and lit the draw opens up with notes of cedar and a huge blast of cayenne pepper.

Smoking the first third sees the pepper notes pull back considerably revealing notes of cedar and baking spices. A few puffs into the Tatuaje 20th Anniversary it becomes more complex with mocha and leather with a touch of clove that is especially noticeable on the retrohale and finish.

In the second third, for those with OCD the burn caught up and is now perfect. I am a big proponent of not being married to your lighter and let the cigar self correct which is almost always does. The second third sees big notes of dark chocolate and coffee with a subtle floral component. As the second third comes to a close notes of pecans and marzipan begin to develop while the retrohale sees a moderate pepper with hints of clove.

As we conclude the cigar the final third sees notes of coffee, nuttiness and a subtle leather component. There is a lingering mocha on the finish of this well balanced and complex cigar that is enjoyable. As we move past where the band once was pepper forms on the palate bringing the cigar full circle to the first light where it is intensified on the aroma and retrohale.

Conclusion: The Tatuaje 20th Anniversary is classic Tatuaje. Reminiscent of the Seleccion de Cazadores line (aka brown label) the 20th stands above. It is smooth and complex with a huge flavor profile which I have come to expect from the brand. The cigar is an excellent tribute to their 20th Anniversary.

Score: 94
Price: $13.00 (Before local & state taxes)



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