The Tatuaje Apocalypse is the fifth release in South Florida retailer Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series. The series was created to commemorate Smoke Inn’s 15th anniversary. The concept involves Smoke Inn teaming up with some of the biggest names in the cigar industry to produce a one time limited run exclusive to its shop . Tatuaje collaborated on the first release of the Microblend Series – resulting in the Tatuaje Anarchy. That cigar proved to be one of the best cigars of 2011 as we ranked it as our #3 Cigar of the Year. The Apocalypse is billed as a sequel to the Anarchy. I have had an opportunity to sample a pre-release of the Tatuaje Apocalypse. The Microblend Series has proven to be a rock-solid series of cigars and the Apocalypse adds another outstanding release to this series.
According to the recent press release for the Tatuaje Apocalypse, here is how the name came about:
December 21, 2012 marks the conclusion of the 13th Ba’ak’tun in the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. It is believed that Armageddon would overtake the peoples of the world and all creation at this time. On December 14th, be prepared to smoke the last cigar you will ever have: the Tatuaje Apocalypse.
On midnight after Thanksgiving, Smoke Inn will put the Tatuaje Apocalypse on its web-stite for pre-order. The cigar will have a national launch at Smoke Inn in West Palm Beach on December 14th. Cigars for pre-order will begin shipping on December 17th.
Let’s take a closer look at the Tatuaje Apocalypse and see what this cigar brings to the table. Since we are basing this analysis on a pre-release sample, we will default to a pre-review. A pre-review will allow us to share some thoughts and perspectives. When the final cigars make it to Smoke Inn, we will revisit the Apocalypse and provide an assessment rating and score at that time. Finally, this cigar analysis is based on a single cigar smoking experience.
The Apocalypse differs from the Anarchy in that it uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper as opposed to an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The size of the cigar is also slightly smaller.The bunched blend has also been tweaked. As with the case of all Tatuaje Cigars, the Tatuaje Apocalypse is made by the Garcia family at the My Father Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
In addition to the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the Apocalypse features Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
As with each release of Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series, there is only vitola made available per blend (The Padron SI-15 had two blends: a natural and a maduro – thus two vitolas). The Apocalypse comes in a single vitola which I categorize as a “petit salomon” . The Tatuaje Anarchy also had a cigar in this shape, but the Apocalypse is actually slightly shorter. The official measurements are 5 1/4 x 48-52. (The Anarchy was 6 1/8 x 48-52).
|Tatuaje Anarchy (Top), Tatuaje Apocalypse (Bottom)|
The plan is for 1300 boxes of 15 to be produced for a total of 19,500 cigars. With the Microblend Series, a single batch is produced so once the cigars are gone – they are gone.
|Packaging of the Tatuaje Apocalypse – photo
from Smoke Inn made available to media.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the Tatuaje Apocalypse has a rich roasted coffee bean color. There is some oil on the wrapper and certain areas had more oil than others. There are some veins and wrapper seams that are visible. Some of the veins give certain areas of the wrapper a toothy appearance. On the cap is a coil-styled pig-tail cap. This petit salomon vitola is well packed with no soft spots. From the footer is a nice cocoa aroma.
|Coil styled pig-tail cap to the Tatuaje Apocalypse|
The band is a converse of the Tatuaje Anarchy band. While the Anarchy band had a red anarchy logo on a black background, the Apocalypse has a black anarchy logo on a red background. The text “Tatuaje” is embossed on each side of the anarchy logo. On the back of the band is a Tatuaje tattoo in black.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoking experience of the Tatuaje Apocalypse, I opted to use a straight cut to remove the coil-styled tail on the cap. Once it was removed, I moved on to begin the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes yielded subtle notes of cocoa, espresso, wood – with a little bit of pepper in the background. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. I’ve been getting into a habit of completely toasting (much more so than with a parejo) the foot of salomons and perfectos – and did the same with this cigar. Once properly lit, it was time to see what the actual smoking experience would bring to the table.
The start to the Tatuaje Apocalypse yielded some coffee notes. It took a minute or two, but the traditional pepper blast found on cigars made by the Garcia family surfaced. The pepper blast could be detected on the tongue and on the nostrils. The pepper settled down and by the five percent point of the cigar some nut flavors emerged. The nut flavors – along with the coffee and pepper were the primary flavors. The flavors worked together in harmony with no flavor overshadowing the other.
In the second half of the cigar experience, things started to change a bit. The nut and pepper notes moved to the forefront. The coffee flavors went into the background and morphed into more of a dark chocolate flavor. I found this background chocolate flavor balanced what was going on in the forefront very well. This was the way the flavor profile would hold until the close of the cigar experience. The end of the cigar definitely had some spice on it. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
One reason I am not a fan of salomons is because many of them do not burn well. The Tatuaje Anarchy surprised me as it has consistently delivered an excellent burn. As for the Tatuaje Apocalypse, it seems to follow the same trend. The Apocalypse required minimal intervention to keep its burn line straight. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. It was particularly pleasing that the burn did not get too hot on this cigar as this is sometimes a problem with salomons. As for the resulting ash, it was on the grayish side. It was a firm ash that had virtually no flaking.
The draw to the Apocalypse was outstanding. This cigar was the kind of cigar that was not high maintenance to draw on.
Strength and body
When I assessed the Tatuaje Anarchy, I felt it was a cigar that started out medium to full strength and full-bodied that progressed to full strength and full bodied in the last third. From a strength perspective, the Apocalypse follows a very similar pattern. While both the Anarchy and Apocalypse both started medium to full in terms of strength, I felt the Apocalypse was a little more dialed-back at the start. In the last third, there is a kick in nicotine of the Apocalypse that progresses it to full strength – equally as strong as the Anarchy.
From a depth of flavors standpoint, the Apocalypse definitely starts out dialed back from the Anarchy. I felt the Anarchy delivered a full-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. The Apocalypse starts out medium to full-bodied, and it is in the last third it progresses to full-bodied. The Apocalypse does an outstanding job at balancing the strength to the body – providing a real nice smoking experience.
The Tatuaje Apocalypse is a different cigar than its predecessor – the Tatuaje Anarchy. The big question is whether or not the Apocalypse is a better smoke than the Anarchy. Right now it is too early to tell. This analysis is based on one pre-release sample, and I smoked many more Tatuaje Anarchy cigars. From the sample I smoked of the Apocalypse, it provided a very good smoking experience. One early observation I have is that while the Anarchy did more in terms of flavor transitions, the Apocalypse changes up more in terms of strength and body. Another observation is that the Apocalypse seems to balance the strength and body a little better. There still is enough strength to the Tatuaje Apocalypse where I probably would only recommend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a very cigar and one that I would smoke again.
Strength: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last 1/3)
Body: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last 1/3)
Source: The cigar for this assessment were provided by Smoke Inn Cigars . These samples were initiated by Smoke Inn Cigars in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.