Tatuaje Noellas Reserva 2013

The Tatuaje Noellas Reserva 2013 is a cigar that fits in with Tatuaje’s focus for its 10th anniversary.  Tatuaje Founder Pete Johnson has stated several times that his Seleccion de Cazador (a.k.a Brown Label blend) would be the focus around much of what he is doing for his tenth anniversary.  One of the vitolas in the original Seleccion de Cazador line is a corona-sized vitola called Noellas which features a Habano Ecuador wrapper.  In 2006, a special limited edition “Noellas Reserva” came out consisting of a Habano Ecuador Maduro wrapper.  The “Noellas Reserva” returned in 2009 for another limited run – this time with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.  Now in 2013, the Noellas Return is once again back – and still sporting the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.  I recently had an opportunity to smoke the 2013 incarnation of the Tatuaje Noellas Reserva.  This is a cigar where the blend seems tailor-made to the vitola as this is an outstanding cigar.

The Noellas is one of two Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper Reserva cigars to be released in 2013. The other is the 5 1/2 x 50 robusto-sized Regios.  The plan is for both of these vitals to have a production run of 2,000 boxes (of 25) released twice per year.

If you go to Tatuaje’s web-site, the Tatuaje 7th Reserva falls under the “Reserva” line.  In general I’ve found the “Reserva” line to be a little confusing to follow when it comes to Tatuaje lines.  To avoid the confusion, I have come to consider the “Reserva” line as special variations of existing blends. Some cigars classified as the “Reserva” such as the Gran Cojonu, Cojonu 2003/6/9,  and RC Series have an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.  Others (that actually say “Reserva” in the name) such as the Tatuaje Petite Reserva, Tatuaje Petite Cazadores Reserva, and Tatuaje 7th Reserva feature a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Without further adieu, let’s break down the Tatuaje Noellas Reserva and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

While we’ve highlighted the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the Noellas Reserva features Nicaraguan binder and filler.  These inner components are common to the core Seleccion de Cazador line.  The cigar is made at My Father Cigars SA in Esteli Nicaragua.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf USA
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

Since there are a lot of variations in the Reserva line, we will just focus on the Noellas Reserva 2013 cigar.   As mentioned at the top of this assessment, this is a 5 1/8 x 42 Corona.


The Tatuaje Noellas Reserva has a dark natural coffee-colored wrapper.   The wrapper has a slight amount of oil.  The complexion has a rugged feel to it – definitely a classic Broadleaf wrapper. There are not a lot of veins and the wrapper seams are well-hidden.  

There are two bands on the Tatuaje Noellas Reserva.  The first features the Tatuaje Seleccion de Cazador brown band (with white font).  This is consistent as the Noellas Reserva also has the same binder and filler as the Seleccion de Cazador line. There is a second band directly under the brown band.  It has a black background with gold striping.  Prominently featured on the black background is the text “Reserva” is on the black background in gold cursive font.&nbsp

Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Tatuaje Noellas Reserva, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap.  It was then on to the pre-light draw.   The dry draw notes provided me a mix of coffee, dark chocolate, wood, and pepper.  Overall, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw.  At this point I was ready to light up the Noellas Reserva and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
Flavor Profile
The start to the Tatuaje Noellas Reserva starts out with a short burst of pepper to start.  The pepper receded quickly and was joined by notes of chocolate.  The chocolate notes quickly morphed to more of a mocha flavor.  There was an inherent, yet not overwhelming sweetness from the mocha notes. These mocha notes went primary early with the pepper notes a close second. In the more distant background were some cream notes.  Meanwhile the pepper was present on the retro-hale – and stayed there for the majority of the cigar experience.
The second third saw some earth notes join the mocha notes in the forefront.  The pepper spice took on some cedar-like characteristics.  Meanwhile the cream notes significantly diminished.
In the final third, the pepper notes slowly increased and eventually moved into the forefront.  The mocha and earth notes now played a secondary role.  This flavor profile held until the close of the smoking experience.  There was some spice, but no harshness at the end.  The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Tatuaje Noellas Reserva is a well-constructed corona-sized vitola -and is reflected in the burn and draw attributes.  From a burn standpoint, the Noellas Reserva performed quite well.  The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups.  The resulting ash was tight with a nice white color.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
Burn of the Tatuaje Noellas Reserva 2013
Overall, I found the draw to be excellent as well.  I found the Noellas Reserva to be a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
The Tatuaje Noellas Reserva had nearly an ideal dose of both strength and body.  It was a case where you get “just enough” of both attributes to satisfy.  I assessed the strength of the Noellas Reserva to fall in the medium to full range.  I also assessed the flavors of this cigar to be medium to full-bodied.  The strength and body have nearly a perfect balance – with neither attribute overshadowing one another.
Final Thoughts
Whether it is a core line or Reserva, the Seleccion de Cazador (Brown Label) blend really has some nice differences from vitola to vitola. Overall, this blend with the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and the corona vitola seemed to work very well.  The Noellas Reserva might not be overly complex, but it delivers some very good flavors.  I would not hesitate to recommend this to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast – namely because I think this cigar has a lot to offer.  As for myself, this is one I would definitely smoke again – and keep several in my humidor at all times.
Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: Memorable
Score: 92
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.