|Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza DD
(Original release – “dry pack”)
The Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza DD is a retail exclusive cigar to Great Neck, NY retailer Tobacco Plaza. It was first released in 2012. The Tatuaje Exclusive Series is a umbrella used by Tatuaje for special release cigars such as retail exclusive and special limited run cigars (i.e. the TAA releases). The cigar was released to commemorate Tobacco Plaza’s 40 years in business. The Tobacco Plaza DD gets its name from one of its owners, Danny Ditkowich. If the name sounds familiar, that is because Ditkowich is the father of Arielle Ditkowich – the brand manager for La Sirena Cigars. Today we take a look at a smoke from the original release of the Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza DD. Overall, this is a cigar that should keep Tatuaje fans hungry for more – and is another great addition to the Tatuaje Exclusive Series.
There were actually two batches of 500 boxes of the Tobacco Plaza DD that were made. The original batch (sometimes called the “dry pack”) was the initial release done in March, 2012. In June 2012, an additional 500 boxes of the Tobacco Plaza DD were done, but these were wet-packed. With wet packing, the cigars are packed in foil immediately after rolling as opposed to taking them to the drying room for additional aging. Wet packing has been seen on cigars such as the Tatuaje TAA 2011. The wet-pack DD cigars come unbanded. For this assessment, we are focusing on the original release (a.k.a the dry pack) – which used a traditional drying technique.
Without further adieu, let’s break down the Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza DD and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Tobacco Plaza DD features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler. The blend is identical to the original release and wet-pack release. The cigars are made by the Garcia family at the My Father Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Both the original release and wet pack release are a 6 x 58 bellicoso. This is the only size that was made for the Tobacco Plaza DD. There were a total 1000 boxes (500 original release, 500 wet pack) of ten total for a total of 10,000 cigars.
There are two distinguishing characteristics of the Tobacco Plaza DD. The first is the cigar has a covered foot. The second is that this particular belicoso tip is smaller and has less tapering on it. This played an important role in the smoking experience.
|Covered foot to the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD|
The wrapper is a classic dark coffee bean color. While it has has coarse feel to it, there still is some oil to its complexion. There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The cigar is big and is very well packed – including at the tip of the belicoso.
The band itself is a similar to many of the bands that Tatuaje uses for its Exclusive Series. It features the red, white, and sky blue stripes found on those bands. There are also gold and black stripes across the top and bottom. On the white stripe it says “TATUAJE” on both the left and right side in black font. On the blue stripe, it says “EXCLUSIVE SERIES” in white font. There is a Tatuaje tattoo logo on the right side. The front of the band has a large circular white field with the text “TOBACCO PLAZA DD” in black font. There is gold surrounding the circle as well as the edges of the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Given this was a belicoso, I defaulted to a straight cut. Since this was a smaller belicoso tip, I did not have to cut too far down from the tip. Since this was a covered foot, I wasn’t expecting too much from the pre-light draw, but the Tobacco Plaza DD did surprise me. I got some nice flavors from the dry draw including notes of coffee, cherry, and leather. As I continued the pre-light draw, I soon detected some pepper. Overall I found this to be a very good pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to fire up the Tobacco Plaza DD and see what the cigar experience would bring to the table.
Overall I did not find the Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza DD to provide a lot of major flavor transitions, however the flavors that it delivered were superior.
Given this is a Tatuaje cigar made by the Garcia family, the start gave me a classic Garcia family pepper blast. The blast was short and once it subsided, flavors of coffee joined the pepper in the forefront. I also detected some background cherry sweetness. The pepper could still very much be felt through the retro-hale. It was a sharp pepper, but yet provided a pleasant pepper spice to it.
The second third saw the coffee and pepper remain primary, but occasionally alternate in terms of which flavor had a slight edge. At times the coffee flavors took on more of an espresso syrup taste to it. The cherry sweetness remained in the background and complemented the primary notes very nicely. This pattern pretty much continued right until the end of the cigar experience.
While there was some spice at the end, the Tobacco Plaza DD never got overly spicy – and exhibited no signs of harshness. The resulting nub was a little soft, but it was cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
If you read many of my assessments, you know my feelings on torpedoes and belicosos – namely I feel they do not perform as well as a parejo when it comes to burn and draw. I was a little concerned with a 58 ring gauge belicoso, but the Tobacco Plaza DD came through with flying colors. I attribute this to the smaller tip on the belicoso.
Keeping the burn line straight was low maintenance from start to finish as the Tobacco Plaza DD required minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. There was a slight amount of flowering during the burn, but nothing major – and no flaking. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Tatuaje Exclusive Series
Tobacco Plaza DD
The draw was simply outstanding. It had a touch of resistance – which I think is ideal. In fact the draw was as good as any parejo I’ve smoked – this made the Tobacco Plaza DD a joy to smoke.
Strength and Body
The Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza Double D is a strong smoke. It provides a kick from the beginning and pretty much stays full throttle throughout the whole smoking experience. I assessed this as a full strength cigar. The flavors also have some nice depth to them. They start out on the upper end of medium to full-bodied. By the second third, the flavors become full-bodied and stay there for the remainder of the smoking experience. This cigar has a slight edge with strength over body – even once the flavors become full-bodied.
Overall, this was a very good cigar – and a very good retail exclusive cigar. Tobacco Plaza definitely has a winner on their hands. I was impressed how well this big-ring gauge belicoso smoked. While it isn’t going to deliver a lot of flavor transitions, the flavors delivered were outstanding. I liked how this cigar delivered a lot of power – and it works well with this blend. Given this is a full strength cigar, I would only recommend this for a more seasoned cigar smoker. As for myself, this is a cigar I would seek out and definitely smoke again.
Body: Medium to Full (1st third), Full (remainder)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: All of the cigars were gifted to me by friends who purchased these from Tobacco Plaza. Thank you BS and JP.