|Tatuaje La Criolla Casita|
When I reviewed the Tatuaje Fausto a couple of days ago, I mentioned that one thing Tatuaje Cigars has been doing in 2011 is focusing some attention around their core lines. While Tatuaje has always had a solid reputation for their regular production cigars, they have also built a reputation around many limited production and retailer exclusive cigars. At IPCPR 2011 – in addition to the Fausto line, Tatuaje launched a second new line of cigars. This other line is known as “La Casita Criolla”. In addition to having the Tatuaje name behind it, the La Casita Criolla is gaining a lot of attention because it is all Connecticut Broadleaf puro – something not too common in the marketplace. With the La Casita Criolla, this gives another solid new line by Tatuaje – complementing the Fausto line perfectly. Overall, I found this to be a solid release by Pete Johnson and his team.
La Casita Criolla translates from Spanish to English “The Little Native House”. I’m not sure if I have seen another major or boutique produce with a Connecticut Broadleaf puro or an all-American puro for that matter. Regardless, it’s clear to me Tatuaje is venturing into a road not traveled all that often. Will other cigar manufacturers follow Tatuaje’s lead? Time will tell.
The surprise of the blend was already spoiled if you read the introduction. This is Connecticut Broadleaf through and through. One note is that this wrapper appears a little lighter than most Connecticut Broadleafs that are commonly seen.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Connecticut Broadleaf
The cigar will be available in 3 vitolas and sold in boxes of 25. Another interesting note is that this cigar is currently not available in a ring gauge larger than a 48.
HCB (Corona): 5 1/8 x 42
HCBC (Corona Gorda): 5 5/8 x 46
HCBF (Short Churchill): 6 1/2 x 48
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I admit, the one thing that disappointed me is the lack of a bigger ring gauge. Therefore, I defaulted to the largest ring gauge in the La Casita Criolla line – the Short Churchill sized HCBF. I placed a straight cap into cap and started the prelight draw. The dry flavor notes yielded notes of sweet chocolate, leather, and a touch of spice. I found this to be a solid prelight experience. The next step was to light the La Casita Criolla and see what else I was in store for.
The initial flavor notes once I lit up the La Casita Criolla gave me notes of leather, mild pepper spice, and a mildly sweet espresso syrup. Around 5 percent into the smoke, I detected some cherry and cream notes that soon complemented the initial notes. By about 10 percent into the smoke, the cherry sweetness moved to the forefront.
During that first third, there were times I also detected some citrus sweetness The citrus sweetness never got overwhelming and complemented the cherry notes very nicely. The second third of the La Casita Criolla saw the espresso notes transition to more of a traditional cocoa taste. The cocoa notes slowly emerged to the forefront with the cherry, leather, and lingering pepper-spice notes.
In the last third of the cigar, the spice notes really kick it up a notch. In fact, the La Casita Criolla really was spicy at the close. The spice had pepper notes, but I also picked up some baker’s spice notes as well. The finish to the cigar had no harsh notes, but was all spice. The nub was firm and cool – the staple of a well-made cigar.
Burn and Draw
The burn did go uneven on me at times and required some touch-ups. The touch-ups did the trick, but it did require a little bit of work to keep the burn straight. No issues with burn rate or burn temperature with the La Casita Criolla. There were no issues with the draw – in fact, the draw was outstanding.
Strength and Body
This was not a very strong cigar. From a nicotine standpoint, the La Casita Criolla is a solid medium. This provides good balance to the other new Tatuaje blend, the Fausto – which is much stronger. The La Casita Criolla had some nice depth on the flavors. The body definitely falls into the medium to full range. Overall, a good cigar that balances strength and body.
For a cigar that is all Connecticut Broadleaf, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of complexity the La Criolla Casita brought to the table. This is the perfect cigar for both novice and experienced cigar enthusiasts as I think both types of consumers will enjoy what this cigar brings to the table. This cigar is also very worthy of a box purchase. This is one I recommend picking up.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have