Tatuaje L’Esprit de Verite 2009

The idea of blending a wine taking a single year’s crop from a single vineyard/farm has always intrigued wine enthusiasts.  For cigar enthusiasts, this concept can also be easily applied – namely harvesting the tobaccos from a single farm from a single year to produce a cigar blend.  A couple of years ago Tatuaje unveiled a limited release cigar that reflected this principle called the L’Esprit de Verite 2008.  That cigar used 2008 tobacco from a single farm.  This year, Pete Johnson and company have released the second edition of the La Verite series.   In this assessment, I will discuss one of the vitolas – the Robusto size.  It is important to distinguish the vitolas here as there are blend variations.

It’s been a while since I smoked the L’Esprit de Verite 2008.  When I did have it, it was out of the box and it did seem a little green.  This consensus was shared by many cigar enthusiasts – although I have been told they have gotten better with some age (I have another one tucked away in my humidor that I will smoke sometime this year, so I will be able to comment more closely).   The good news is the L’Esprit de Verite 2009 is much better out of the box.  Let’s take a look at this cigar more closely.

Blend Profile/Vitolas Available

As I mentioned there is a variation in the blend where it comes to the vitolas.  Normally I separate the “Blend Profile” from “Vitolas Available” section, but given the variations, I thought it would be appropriate to combine these sections.  The variance comes in the proportions of the tobaccos in the filler  Another noteworthy point is that the Churchill vitola is just called “La Verite 2009”.

While the 2008 version was all La Estrella Habano Criollo, the 2009 blends have additional tobaccos.  These tobaccos still come from the La Estrella farm in Esteli Nicaragua.

L’Esprit de Verite 2009 (5 x 50 – Robusto)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: La Estrella Habano Criolla 98
Filler Nicaraguan Habano (50 percent), Criollo 98 (40 percent), Pele D’Oro (10 percent)

La Verite 2009 (7 x 47 – Churchill)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: La Estrella Habano Criolla 98
Filler Nicaraguan Habano (45 percent), Criollo 98 (40 percent), Pele D’Oro (15 percent)

For the L’Esprit de Verite 2009, the plan is for 20,000 cigars to be produced.  For the La Verite 2009, the plan is for 30,000 cigars to be produced.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As mentioned above, this sample will focus on the Robusto.  I placed a straight cut into the Robusto cap and began the dry draw ritual.  The notes I detected were wood, cherry, and some pepper spice.  Lately I have been having some pretty robust draws on the pre-light draw.  I wouldn’t categorize the L’Esprit de Verite 2009 dry draw as robust, but it was still satisfactory.   It was on to light this cigar and see what came flavors would come to the table.

Flavor Profile

The L’Esprit de Verite 2009 had a mix of old school and contemporary taste to start.  I’ve been throwing “old school taste” term a lot lately in my cigar assessments, and I refer to that as what I term the traditional flavors that come out of a cigar.   For the L’Esprit de Verite 2009 the traditional flavors are the wood and pepper I had on the pre-light draw.  On the contemporary side, there is a touch of honey sweetness – it’s not overly sweet and it blends very well with the old school flavors.

By the midway point, the sweetness got a little more pronounced and hints of citrus joined the honey notes.   There was a slight increase in the pepper spice.  By the final third, the pepper spice became the dominant flavor note.  The finish was not harsh.  I got a firm nub, although it was a little warm.   I didn’t find the L’Esprit de Verite 2009 the most complex cigar, but the flavors I got were solid.

Burn and Draw

While the burn of this cigar was sharp and did not require any touch-ups, I did feel the cigar burned a little faster and a little hotter than it should have.  I will caveat this by saying I had only one sample, so given cigar construction is a handmade process – things happen and this might not be a regular occurrence.   Overall, the draw was excellent – no issues there.

Strength and Body

From a strength standpoint, I assess the L’Esprit de Verite 2009 to be in the medium to full range.  I’ve been told the Churchill La Verite 2009 has some more strength, but I still have yet to sample one.   The body of this cigar was squarely in the medium range.   Toward the end, the body did creep toward the medium to full range.  Overall the strength and body balance nicely on this one.

Final Thoughts

This is a solid limited edition cigar by Tatuaje – and for an out of the box smoke, there are definite improvements over the 2008.   The price point is high for these cigars – and could range as high as $20.00 to $25.00 (depending your the tax rate and vitola size).  Ultimately, I’d like a little more complexity when a cigar starts to hit that range.   Still I would smoke this again – and recommend it to others.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium
Assessment: Nice to Have

Source: This cigar was purchased at Tobacco Plaza in Great Neck, NY.   I cannot remember what the price was there, so it is quite possible it is not in the range I describe above.