Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial

A couple of days ago, we assessed the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Reserva.  Today, we turn our attention to another one of the blends in the series – the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial.  While the experience with the Reserva was good, the one with the Capa Especial was even better.

This might be a rehash of some information we provided when we assessed the Cojonu 2012 Reserva, but it is relevant with looking at the 2012 Cojonu Capa Especial:

Starting in 2003, Tatuaje fans have been able to count on a triennial release known as the Tatuaje Cojonu.   In each of these three year cycles, a different blend with a different vitola has been released (note: Although it technically is part of the series, I am not counting the Tatuaje Gran Cojonu releases with this cycle).   Each cigar was named with the year it was released (i.e. Cojonu 2003, Cojonu 2006, Cojonu 2009).  As 2012 is now upon us, it comes time for another release of the Tatuaje Cojonu.  For this particular series, Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson mixes things up for us.  The 2012 release will actually feature three different blends, and introduce some new wrappers not seen in the Cojonu series before. 

In the previous triennial releases of the Cojonu series, each of the three vitolas used Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.  For the Cojonu 2012 releases, there will be three different wrappers used:  Connecticut Broadleaf, Ecuadorian Sumatra, and Ecuadorian Habano.   At the time of this writing, the Connecticut Broadleaf and Ecuadorian Sumatra blends of the Cojonu 2012 have been released.  The Ecuadorian Habano Cojonu 2012 will be released later this year.    The Connecticut Broadleaf release is called the “Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Reserva” while the Ecuadorian Sumatra release is called the “Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial”.  Like all Tatuaje Cigars, the Cojonu 2012 series is blended by the Garcia family. 

Sibling cigar to the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial – the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Reserva

The initial release of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 packages both the Cojonu 2012 Reserva and Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial in a limited edition book-like box called the “Tatuaje Cojonu Two 12s”.  Each of these boxes will contain 12 cigars of the Reserva and Capa Especial blends.  The plans are for traditional boxes for each of the blends later in 2012.

Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Two 12s box (sawdust on it as photo taken at My Father Cigars factory)

With the preliminaries covered on the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 series, let’s take a closer look at the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial.

Blend Profile

As mentioned the Cojonu 2012 series will feature, three different wrappers.  These wrappers will be over a common binder and filler.  The Capa Especial uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

For the first time, a box-press vitola will be used in the Cojonu series.   Each Cojonu 2012 blend is box-pressed 6 1/2 x 52 toro vitola.  This size will be consistent for the whole Cojonu 2012 series.


The Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial has a medium brown colored wrapper.  The wrapper does have some visible darker spots on it. There are a few visible veins and very few wrapper seams  The wrapper of the Capa Especial has more oil to it than the Cojonu 2012 Reserva wrapper did.  As mentioned above, the cigar is in a box-press shape.

The cigar features two bands.  The first features the Tatuaje band commonly found on the Seleccion de Cazador series.  That band contains a brown background with Tatuaje in white scripted font.  There is a secondary band under the brown band.  The secondary band has a white background with gold striping.  On that band it says “Cojonu” in gold font.  Under that text it says “2012” in smaller gold font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Like I did for the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Reserva, I went with a straight cut into the cap of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial.   The pre-light draw provided me notes of citrus, wood, and cedar spice.  Overall I considered the dry draw of the Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial to be satisfactory.   It was now time to light the Capa Especial and see what the smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

I found the start to the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial to provide the pepper blast that is common to cigars blended by the Garcia family.  The difference with this is that the pepper blast lasted longer than most pepper blasts I have gotten on Garcia family-blended cigars.  I categorized this more as a citric spice – as there definitely were citrus notes mixed in with pepper.  I also detected secondary notes of earth and leather.

The pepper blast lasted right into the 15 to 20 percent mark of this cigar.   Around the 20 percent mark, the pepper subsided into the background and it was a heavy lemon citrus flavor that moved into the forefront.  Also in the background were some hints of caramel sweetness.

At the start of the second third, the flavor profile had lemon citrus notes as primary and the caramel notes joining the pepper as secondary notes.  I also detected some teritary notes of chocolate.  By the halfway point, the chocolate notes had progressed to a primary note – joining the lemon citrus.  Meanwhile the secondary caramel notes had faded and were replaced by some earth notes (that I had detected in the early stages of the smoke).

Around the 60 percent mark, the lemon citrus notes diminished into the background.  The chocolate notes remained in the forefront and jwere joined by the earth notes.   The profile of chocolate, earth, and pepper holds until the end of the smoke.   The finish was more on the smooth side.  The resulting nub was firm to the touch, and slightly warm (but not overly hot).

Overall, I found a superior flavor profile to the Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial to the Cojonu 2012 Reserva.  The Capa Especial had better flavor and much more complexity.

Burn and Draw

For the most part the burn of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial was good.  It did require more touch-ups than I would have liked, but the touch-ups did keep the burn straight when applied.  The burn rate was ideal.  Despite a little bit of warm temperature on the finish, I considered the burn temperature ideal for the Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial.

No issues with the draw on the Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial.  It was a joy to puff on from start to finish.

Strength and Body

The strength of this cigar should not be underestimated.  I felt from a nicotine standpoint, this cigar had just enough pop to be considered a full strength cigar for most of the cigar experience.  You can certainly make the argument it is not full strength to start, but it will progress quicker than you might think.

The flavors are extremely robust: right from the pepper blast at the beginning and all the way to the finish.  This is definitely a full-bodied smoke from start to finish.  Overall, a lot of strength and a lot of flavor -and good equilibrium between the strength and body attributes.

Final Thoughts

I recently made a comment that a change in wrapper can have a completely different effect on a cigar.  The case of the Tatuaje Cojonu Capa Especial is a prime example.  The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper provided a fuller strength, fuller-bodied, and more complex cigar than the Reserva.  This is going to go against the popular grain as the general consensus is the Reserva is better than the Capa Especial.  As always, you should make your own decisions on this as this is just one reviewer’s opinion.   As for the Capa Especial, this is a cigar that is positioned more for the experienced cigar enthusiast than the novice.  As for myself, I would smoke this again.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Full (Medium to Full Start)
Body: Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: Memorable
Score: 93

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina