|Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano|
The 2012 IPCPR Trade Show saw the launch of the long-awaited Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano. This is the third of three Cojonu 2012 blends that have been released. The differentiator for the Cojonu 2012 Habano is that it has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Earlier this year, a batch of the Tatuaje Cojonu Capa Especial (containng an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper) and the Tatuaje Cojonu Reserva (containing a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper) had been released in limited quantities. The plan all along was for the Cojonu 2012 Habano to be launched at the trade show. In my opinion, this cigar was worth the wait as it definitely is the shining star among three solid blends in the Cojonu 2012 series.
The Cojonu Series made its debut in 2003 and has been released on a triennial basis. 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). For 2012, Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson mixed things up by providing the three wrapper options. Like all Tatuaje Cigars, the Cojonu 2012 series is blended by the Garcia family.
|Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial
(Ecuadorian Sumatra Wrapper)
|Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Reserva
(Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper)
Let’s take a closer look at the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano and see what this cigar delivers:
As mentioned up-front, the Cojonu 2012 Habano uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. This is consistent to what was done with the Cojonu 2003, 2006, 2009, and Gran Cojonu releases. The filler and binder to the Cojonu 2012 Habano are analogous to what is what is a part of the Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial and Cojonu 2012 Reserva.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Each Cojonu 2012 blend is box-pressed 6 1/2 x 52 toro vitola. This size is the same for the whole Cojonu 2012 series. The Cojonu 2012 releases are the first box-press vitolas in the Cojonu series.
The Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano has a light coffee bean-colored wrapper. There are a few visible veins and wrapper seams are well hidden. I found the wrapper to be smooth and oily.
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 gold background with black striping. On that band it says “Cojonu” in black font. Under that text it says “2012” in smaller black font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano, I went with my usual straight cut into the cap. I commenced with the pre-light draw and was treated to some interesting dry notes. These notes seemed to be a combination of caramel and citrus. There also was a hint of pepper spice. Overall I was pleased with this pre-light experience. It was now on to toasting the foot of the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano and seeing what the smoking experience would be like.
The start to the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano provided notes of coffee and citrus. The citrus notes seemed to be skewed more toward a lemon taste. The trademark Garcia family pepper blast started about a minute into the smoke. It was a very quick pepper blast and by the second minute, it had already diminished.
As the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 moved through the first third, the flavor profile moved to a combination of coffee, citrus, and raw caramel. The pepper remained on the back-end of the smoke. By the end of the first third, the coffee notes became more of a classic chocolate variety. At the midway point, the chocolate and caramel flavors moved into the background with the pepper notes.
The pepper notes moved to the forefront by the last third of the smoke. The primary notes that still remained were the citrus ones. The chocolate and caramel still were secondary notes. Toward the end of the smoke, I also detected some grass flavors in the background. The spice didn’t get overwhelming at the close of the smoke. In fact the end of the Cojonu 2012 remained quite smooth. I also got a perfect finger-burning nub – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Habano gets high scores for the construction attributes of burn and draw. The burn was truly a low maintenance burn requiring minimal touch-ups to keep it burning straight. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color, but was also tight. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. The draw was outstanding – making the Cojonu 2012 Habano a joy to smoke.
Strength and Body
The Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial provided a full strength, full-bodied smoke. The Cojonu 2012 Reserva started out as a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke, but progressed to medium to full in both categories. I was a little surprised that the Cojonu 2012 Habano remained a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke from start to finish. However for this Cojonu 2012 Habano’s flavor scheme, the medium/medium profile worked perfectly. It provided just the right amount of strength and the right amount of flavor. Both the strength and body balance each other nicely with neither attribute overpowering the other.
The three blends of the Cojonu 2012 series were all outstanding. Of the three, I do have to give an edge to the Cojonu 2012 Habano as the best of the lot. I found the Cojonu 2012 Habano to be an incredibly smooth smoke, and one that really delivered a total cigar experience. It also is a textbook case for how a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke should go. This is the kind of smoke that can appeal to a new cigar enthusiast because it does not overpower you, but delivers nice flavors. Experienced cigar enthusiasts will appreciate the nuances and smoothness of this cigar. As for myself, this is definitely a cigar I would purchase again – and one that is certainly worthy of getting a box of.
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.