L′Esprit de Vérité – 2008 Vintage

Tatuaje’s La Vérité brand borrows a concept from the wine industry – namely the single vineyard/single farm concept.  Wine enthusiasts have always been intrigued with the idea of making a wine taking a single year’s crop from a single
vineyard/farm.  The equivalent in the cigar industry involves harvesting
the tobaccos from a single farm from a single year to produce a cigar
blend.  In 2010, the first blend from the La Vérité line hit the retailer shelves – the La Vérité 2008 series.  Recently, I’ve revisited the robusto size of this blend – the L′Esprit de Vérité 2008.  Overall, this cigar was an example of one that got considerably better with age, and this resulted in a very good smoking experience.

The La Vérité 2008 series gets its name because it uses 2008 tobacco from Don Pepin Garcia’s La Estrella farm.  The tobacco was aged and the line was released in 2010.  After the release, the feeling among many cigar enthusiasts was that the La Vérité series was a little green and needed some age.   When I started sampling the La Vérité 2009 series, I was hearing from several people that the La Vérité 2008 series had gotten better with some age.  Therefore, I decided to revisit this blend again.

Blend Profile

Given all of the tobacco comes from the La Estrella farm, the La Vérité 2008 seies is 100% Nicaraguan puro.  As par for the course with Tatuaje, these cigars are blended and produced in a collaboration with the Garcia family.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: La Estrella Habano Criollo
Filler: La Estrealla Habamo Criollo

Vitolas Available

There were only two sizes produced in the La Vérité 2008 series:

L′Esprit de Vérité 2008 (Robusto): 5 x 50 (20,000 cigars: 400 boxes of 25; 1000 boxes of 10)

La Vérité Churchill: 7 x 47 (30,000 cigars: 480 boxes of 25; 1000 boxes of 10; 100 boxes of 50; 30 boxes of 100)

Appearance

As mentioned this cigar assessment will cover the L’Esprit de Vérité  robusto.  The wrapper to the L’Esprit de Vérité is a natural color with a slight colorado tint to it.  The wrapper is rough to the touch, but still has somewhat of an oily complexion when you look at it.  There are some visible veins and some wrapper roll marks that are visible.  The aroma by the foot has a feint hint of cinnamon.

The band features “2008” in burgundy font on a white circle.  The white circle is adorned with burgundy and silver around the rest of the band.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2008, I placed a straight cut into the cap and proceeded with a pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided a nice mix of flavors including wood, butter, baker’s spice, and cinnamon.  While I normally do not factor a pre-light score into an assessment, this one was very good.   This provided a nice appetizer, so it was now time to light up my L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 and see what it would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

The initial flavors of the Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 provided me a dose of cinnamon and pepper.  The cinnamon dissipates quickly and is replaced by more of a berry sweetness.  The berry notes took center stage as the flavor in the forefront.  Around 15 percent into the cigar experience, the berry sweetness diminished and the pepper notes became more cedar spice-like.  The berry and cedar notes pretty much maintained an equilibrium as far as which flavor was in the forefront.

For the most part, the berry and cedar flavor profile would hold for the remainder of the smoke.  Toward the end the spice picked up a little more.  It did provide a spicy finish.  The finish was a little rough, but not overly harsh.  The nub was cool and slightly soft.

Burn and Draw

For the most part, the burn of the Tatuaje  L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 was good.  It did require several lighter touch-ups to keep it burning straight – and these touch-ups seemed to do the trip.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.   The ash started out tight, but got slightly flaky as the burn progressed.  As for the draw, no issues with the L’Esprit de Vérité 2008.  It was an excellent draw and made this cigar a very easy cigar to smoke.

Strength and Body

Prior to smoking my first L’Esprit de Vérité 2008, I had heard reports that this cigar would not overwhelm you in terms of strength and body.  While there is some truth to this, I felt the L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 did have more to offer in both of these attributes than originally advertised.   For a nicotine standpoint, I felt the L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 had enough pop to qualify it as medium to full in strength.  As for body, there was enough depth in the flavor notes to qualify this as medium to full-bodied.  There was excellent balance between the strength and body of the L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 as neither component overshadowed the other.

Final Thoughts

The Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 is a classic case for a cigar that required some age. Time was very kind to this cigar.  While some may disagree, the age made this a better smoke than the L’Esprit de Vérité 2009 and La Vérité 2009 Churchill.  As for the single vintage/farm concept with cigars, I’m not sure I ever will understand it – and I’m not sure what it brings to the table over blending across the spectrum.  I can tell you that in this case, the L’Esprit de Vérité 2008 was very good.  While this is a cigar that an experienced cigar enthusiast would appreciate, I also think this cigar can appeal to novice enthusiasts looking for a fuller strength, fuller bodied cigar.  Hopefully, I can come across some more of these – because I would love to smoke it again.

Summary

Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Memorable
Score: 90

Source: This cigar was purchased at Barclay Rex in New York, NY