|Tatuaje Havana VI|
As Tatuaje Cigars continues to grow its line of both core and limited edition cigars, there are many existing lines that sometimes get overlooked. One such line is the Tatuaje Havana VI line – or more commonly known as the “Tatuaje Red Label”. There is some reasoning behind the name Havana VI. First up, this cigar line is touted as being a cigar made in traditional Cuban “Havana” style. As for the “VI”, this goes back to the fact that originally there were six vitolas made available (since then there have been more). There actually is a third twist to the name (I’ll get to that later). As for the smoke itself, the Tatuaje Havana VI proves to be an outstanding core line in the Tatuaje portfolio and one that can appeal to a wide range of cigar enthusiasts.
Tatuaje Havana VI was introduced back in 2006, so the blend has been around for quite a while. Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson once again teamed up with the Garcia family to produce the Havana VI. The Tatuaje web-site listed this cigar as being made at the My Father Cigars factory and blended by Jaime Garcia.
Let’s break down the Tatuaje Havana VI and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Overall, the blend is not a very complicated one, but it does get the job done:
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Originally, the Tatuaje Havana VI was released in six vitolas. The core line of this blend has been extended to eight. There have been some variations in limited releases, but we will focus on the core vitolas here:
Original Core Line Vitolas
Hermosos – Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
Angeles -Petite Corona: 4 5/8 x 42
Victorias – Corona Especial: 6 x 38
Artistas – Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52
Nobles – Robusto: 5 x 50
Almirantes – Churchill: 7 x 47
Added Core Line Vitolas
Gorditos – Toro Grande: 5 1/2 x 56
Verocu No. 5: 4 x 40
If you look at the first letter of each of the original six core line vitolas, it spells out “H-A-V-A-N-A”, thus a play on the name Havana VI.
For this cigar experience, I sampled the Nobles vitola – which is a classic robusto size. The Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles is highlighted by its Habano wrapper. The wrapper has a natural color that has a slight caramel look to it. It is also slightly oily in appearance, yet feels slightly rough to the touch. From inspecting the wrapper, it has some veins and a toothy appearance to it. The cap is a classic Cuban-style triple cap
The band has “Tatuaje” in a white font on a red background – thus the name “red label” has become common.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles, I went with my normal straight cut into the Cuban-style cap. I commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes treated me to a healthy dose of black pepper followed by some caramel sweetness. Overall, I considered this to be a solid pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to fire up my Tatuaje Havana VI and begin the full cigar experience.
The start to the Tatuaje Havana VI continued the mix of black pepper and caramel sweetness. There was definitely a classic Garcia pepper blast to start. The mix of pepper and caramel fuses to more of a unique sweet spice. This sweet spice holds for the duration of the smoking experience.
From time to time throughout the smoking experience, occasionally the caramel sweetness that was present early on does resurface for a quick spurt. As the Tatuaje VI enters the second third, there is more of a woody element that is present with the sweet spice. This flavor profile holds until the end of the smoking experience. While I wouldn’t categorize the finish to this smoke as “smooth”, it certainly is not rough or harsh. The Nobles vitola finished with a nice firm and cool nub (Note: the Artisas torpedo vitolas did not have as good a finish). This is the way a cigar should finish.
Burn and Draw
This cigar lives up to Tatuaje’s reputation for high quality – and this is reflected in the construction attributes of burn and draw. The Tatuaje Havana VI Nobles burned relatively straight requiring very few touch-ups. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. The draw was very good on this cigar. In the end the draw of the Havana VI made a very enjoyable smoking experience.
Strength and Body
When the Tatuaje Havana VI line was introduced, this was meant as more “medium” alternative to the Tatuaje Cazadores (Brown label line). The Havana VI lives up to this reputation from a strength perspective. I’d categorize this as a classic medium-strength cigar. At the end of the cigar, the strength does cross over to medium to full. However, the flavors to the Havana VI should not be overlooked. I found many of the flavors to be bold throughout the smoking experience. I’d still classify the Tatuaje Havana VI as a full-bodied smoke. The strength does not overshadow the body – allowing the flavors to shine on this cigar.
I started this assessment by saying I thought the Tatuaje Havana VI blend was one of the underrated lines from Tatuaje – and I stand by that statement. This cigar delivers very good flavor – without overpowering you. The one knock on this cigar I can think of is that it is not the most complex cigar in terms of flavor transitions. I also mentioned this cigar can appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts. This is the perfect cigar to graduate the novice cigar enthusiast to something full-bodied without overwhelming them. This is also a perfect “any time of the day” smoke for the experienced cigar enthusiast. Overall, I found this to be a very positive cigar experience – and one I look forward to experiencing again.
Strength: Medium (Medium to Full at the end)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: This cigar was gifted to me in a cigar exchange.