Tatuaje Tattoo

The Tatuaje Tattoo is another limited production cigar by Pete Johnson and Tatauje earlier in 2011.   This cigar was only limited to a select few “top-tier” Tatuaje retailers.  The cigar is a part of the “Exclusive Series” by Tatuaje that typically are earmarked as retailer exclusives.  The word is that a vitola in this line will be released on an annual basis in a similar fashion. If you have read this web-site, when it comes to Tatuaje, I have thrown around an expression “release a limited cigar and they will come”.   This is a play on my expression “build a core line and they will come”.  In fairness, Tatuaje has been focused a lot on their core lines in 2011, but they haven’t kept their eye off the retailer exclusives.   The net/net of the Tatuaje Tattoo is that this was an nice smoke, but not one that completely wow’d me.

Tatuaje is Spanish for Tattoo, so the cigar’s name is a play on the company name.   There were a total of 5100 cigars produced and they were sold in bundles of 15.   If you estimate about 20 retailers got the cigar, that’s 340 bundles produced for an average of 17 bundles per retailer  Don’t take that as an exact science, but you get the idea the demand outpaces supply.   In other words, based on the time I authored this assessment – good luck finding these around.

Blend Profile

The Tattoo features a Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper.

Wrapper: Habano Rosado Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

There is a single vitola available and that is a 7 1/2 x 38 box-pressed lancero.  A lot of retailers complain they cannot sell lanceros, yet how many would jump at the chance to sell this particular cigar.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For the Tattoo, I opted to put a straight cut into the triple cap.  Upon commencing with the pre-light draw, I was treated to dry notes of  earth and wood.   The wood was more of a secondary flavor when compared to the earth.  I wasn’t doing handstands over the flavors of the pre-light draw, so I moved right on to firing up the Tattoo and beginning the smoke.

Flavor Profile

Once I took the first draws into the Tatuaje Tattoo, I picked up flavors that were much better than what the dry draw offered.   The start of the cigar had notes of chocolate, citrus, and a little pepper spice.  I definitely picked up more spice through the nose than on the tongue.  The chocolate notes were not what I would term “rich chocolate notes”

Around 10 percent into the cigar experience, I noticed the earth notes that were present on the dry draw had crept their way back into the flavor profile.  It was around this point where the citrus notes could be more specifically identified as almost a lemon-like flavor.  For the remainder of the first half of the smoke – the chocolate, earth, and lemon notes alternated  on which one was in the forefront.

The second half of the smoking experience saw the emergence of cinnamon notes and cherry syrup-like notes.  These flavors would join the other flavors and move to the forefront.   The finish to the cigar was not harsh.  The nub I got at the end was soft, but cool.

Burn and Draw

No issues for either category with the Tattoo.   The Tattoo did require some touch-ups, but nothing that my butane lighter could not fix.  The cigar burned at a good rate and proper temperature.   As for the draw, it was outstanding.   I was concerned a box-press lancero draw might be too loose, but there were no issues.

Strength and Body

A lot of people had told me this cigar was a cigar that was on the fuller side in terms of strength and body.  However, my experience with the Tattoo was not the case.  I felt it could have actually used a bit of a boost in both of these attributes.  From a nicotine strength, this cigar fell squarely into the medium range for me.  As for body, yes there were nice flavors, but the flavors weren’t quite as developed as I would have liked.  I also put this as a medium for the body attribute.

Final Thoughts

This cigar had a lot to offer from a complexity profile.   However, this cigar doesn’t mean that a complex cigar is going to be a memorable smoke.  At the same time, it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this cigar – because I did.  Ultimately I would have liked the flavors to develop a little more.  If this cigar had more depth and robustness to the flavors, we’d be talking about a very good smoke.   While I think a novice can enjoy this cigar, they may need some more experience to pick up the nuances of this cigar.  I think experienced enthusiasts would enjoy this cigar – with the understanding that this is a medium strength, medium bodied cigar.   Still, if you find this cigar, I’d say check it out.


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

Source:  This cigar was gifted to me from my friend RR from New York.   Thanks RR!