Tatuaje La Verite 2009

Back in July, I put up a cigar assessment on the Tatuaje L’Esprit de Verite 2009.  This was part of the second blend of Tatuaje’s La Verite Vintage series.  The La Verite Vintage Series uses the concept of harvesting  tobaccos from a single farm from a single year to produce a cigar blend.  This is similar to what is in the wine industry by using a single year’s crop from a single vineyard.  The first release, the 2008 series was done in two vitolas -a Churchill and Robusto.   For the follow-up release, the 2009 release – there are also two vitolas.  This assessment will focus on the 2009 Churchill simply called the Tatuaje La Verite 2009.  In my opinion, this is the better release of the 2009 series.

There will be times I am going to draw comparisons to the robusto size blend – the Tatuaje L’Esprit de Verite 2009. While I felt the Tatuaje L’Esprit de Verite 2009 had good flavors, it lacked complexity.  I  was told the La Verite 2009 Churchill had some more strength and body than the  L’Esprit de Verite 2009 Robusto (which was medium to full in strength and medium in body in my book).  Therefore, I was curious to see if the La Verite 2009 lived up to what I was told.

Let’s break down the La Verite 2009 cigar into some more detail:

Blend Profile/Vitolas Available

An important point to note about the 2009 La Verite Vintage series is that there are variations on the blend based on the vitolas.  I wouldn’t categorize it as a major variation, but nonetheless it is still a variation.   Therefore, I am combining the “Blend Profile” and “Vitolas Available” section into one.  The variance in the blend comes in the proportions of the tobaccos in the filler.

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.  The names might be a little confusing – the Churchill has the shorter name and that’s the one I’ll be assessing here.

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)

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)

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

To start the cigar experience, I opted for a straight cut into the Churchill-size La Verite 2009.  The pre-light draw provided some cedar spice that had more of a feel of classic pepper on the after-draw. Like its robusto cousin, the L’Esprit de Verite 2009 – I did not categorize the dry draw as robust, but it was satisfactory.   It was on to light this cigar and see what came flavors would come to the table.

Flavor Profile

The initial start to the cigar provided a mix of cedar notes and raw honey.  There were some secondary notes of  cherry and wood.  The honey notes moved to the forefront quickly.  Around 10 percent into the cigar experience, I detected some pepper on the after-draw (similar to what I found on the pre-light draw).

In the second third, I saw the emergence of citrus notes.  I categorized these citrus notes to be grapefruit in flavor.  The citrus notes joined the other notes, and most notably meshed with the honey and pepper notes nicely.

While the La Verite 2009 was a different smoke than the L’Esprit de Verite 2009, I did not find this to be all that different in terms of the types of flavors it produced.   The pattern of honey flavor earlier followed by the emergence of the citrus notes seemed to be a common denominator with both cigars.

Burn and Draw

When I smoked the L’Esprit de Verite 2009, while the burn was good, I felt the cigar burned a little too fast for my liking.  No issues with the La Verite 2009 – this burned at the right rate and right temperature.  It required little to no touch-ups.  Overall, I assess the burn as excellent.  The draw also followed suit – this cigar was a pleasure to smoke.

Strength and Body

I’m not going to say I’m an expert in what Pele D’Oro tobacco brings to the table, but the adjustment of putting a little more into the filler really seemed to do wonders with this blend.   The La Verite 2009 definitely had more strength and more body than the L’Esprit de Verite 2009.   I would say the La Verite 2009 was medium to full in strength and the body of the flavors was full-bodied.   There is a nice balance between the strength and body as one does not overwhelm the other.  The increase in strength and body made a huge difference and I think made for a better cigar.

Final Thoughts

Overall I thought the La Verite 2009 was a positive smoking experience.  I definitely preferred it better than the Robusto-sized L’Esprit de Verite 2009.   The knock I have on the La Verite 2009 is the lack of complexity.   The La Verite 2009 is priced with ultra-premium cigars (i.e. it could hit $20-$25 in some markets like New York).  While I have no issue pricing cigars high, I do expect more complexity from my cigar for the price.  I do think experienced cigar enthusiasts would like this cigar, but like me might be disappointed from it lacking complexity.   I probably would gravitate a novice toward the L’Esprit de Verite 2009 robusto blend as it is amp’d down in terms of strength.   As for myself, I would smoke the La Verite 2009 again.


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

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from W.Curtis Draper in Bethesda, Maryland.