|Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva
The Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva marks the latest entry in Tatuaje’s Avion series. The Avion is an off-shoot of the Tatuaje Fausto line consisting of a series of annually released box-pressed perfecto vitolas. The series started with the Avion 11 in 2011. The Avion 13 (2013) is the third size to be released and (at press time) according to Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson, it appears to be the last size. The Avion 13 Reserva is different than the previous Avion releases in that it uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper as opposed to an Ecuadorian Habano leaf. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Avion 13 Reserva. Overall, I’ve found this year’s size to be my favorite in the Avion series, and the Avion 13 Reserva delivers a solid smoking experience.
During production of the Avion 13, Johnson was originally planning an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper release. Production had started and during the process, Johnson made the decision to change the wrapper to Connecticut Broadleaf. Since some of the Habano wrapper cigars were already made, Johnson decided to do a limited release of what was made – which would become known as the Tatuaje Avion 13 FF. The Connecticut Broadleaf ones would become the more widespread release and become known as the Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva.
|Tatuaje Avion 13 FF (Top), Avion 13 Reserva (Bottom)
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
The Avion 13 marks the longest version of the Avion to date. It does not have the tapering along the whole body and is more of a classic perfecto. The Avion 13 Reserva and FF both come in the same sizes. For historical purposes we list all of the vitolas, but note the Reserva is the only Avion with a Broadleaf wrapper.
Avion 13 – Perfecto: 6 7/8 x 52 (Reserva: Connecticut Broadleaf, FF: Habano Ecuador)
Avion 12 – Perfecto Grande: 5 5/8 X 52
Avion 11 – Perfecto Grande: 6 3/4 x 52
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper to the Avion 13 Reserva has a classic coffee bean color. Upon closer examination, there is some darker marbling that can be seen. There are some veins, but the wrapper seams are well hidden. The footer is more open on this installment of the Reserva. Like the Avion 13 FF, this vitola flatter than the Avion 11 and Avion 12.
The band is the same Avion band that was on the Avion 11 and Avion 12. It has a red, gold, and black color scheme. A large bird in gold is on the front of the band. It has large wings that spread over a red oval background. That red oval is also surrounded by a gold boarder. To the left of the ring it says “AVION” in gold font on a black stripe. To the right it says “TATUAJE” in gold font – also on a black stripe.
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.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went for a straight cut to start things off. Once the tip of the Avion 13 Reserva was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw was outstanding to this cigar. I detected notes of espresso syrup, floral, and there was a slight tingling pepper spice on the cigar. With a solid pre-light draw, I was more than ready to light up this cigar and see what the overall experience would deliver.
The start to the Avion 13 Reserva started with a short blast of black pepper. The pepper was soon joined by notes of mocha. There also was a slight cream note in the background. On the retro-hale I could detect both the pepper and cream.
As the Avion 13 Reserva moved through the first third, notes of earth joined the mocha in the forefront. The pepper receded into the background joining the cream notes. Heading into the second third, the mocha notes began to move between the forefront and background while the earth notes remained a constant primary note. I also found the mocha was lending some sweetness to the flavor profile.
In the second half, the earth notes took over as more of a primary flavor. The pepper notes slowly increased again. The mocha notes had a much reduced role in the second half and the cream notes dissipated. The earth and pepper pretty much drove this cigar to a finish. The end of the cigar was flavorful and exhibited no harshness. The resulting nub was slight soft, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The original Avion 11 gave me fits in terms of burn and draw. I found these issues went away with both the Avion 12 and Avion 13 FF. The Avion 13 Reserva also follows suit here and delivers a solid burn and draw. I found the Avion 13 Reserva to deliver a straight burn requiring miminal touch-ups. This was definitely the firmest ash I had gotten on any of the Avion releases. The ash was a white color with gray stripes. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva
The draw was outstanding on this one. It was not too loose and not too tight. The tip of the perfecto also did not get soft – making for an enjoyable smoking experience.
Strength and Body
Both the strength and body for the Avion 13 Reserva fell into the medium to full range. Overall, I found that both attributes balanced each other very nicely with neither the strength nor body overshadowing one another. While this was a medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied smoke, I still found this particular blend to be the most dialed back of any of the Avion releases.
The Avion 13 Reserva is a solid smoke. For a Connecticut Broadleaf, it delivers a very flavorful and enjoyable cigar experience. I did find though the Reserva seemed to lack some of the wow factor that I was expecting. When comparing this to the Avion 13 FF, I still give the edge to the FF as I think that ranks as the best of the Avion releases. I’d probably put the Avion 13 Reserva second though – and I think this particular vitola works well for both the FF and Reserva. Of all of the Avions, the Avion 13 Reserva is the one I would give to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this one is definitely worth a five pack in my humidor, and I’d be happy if Johnson goes back to both the Avion 11 and Avion 12 and makes Reserva blends for those sizes.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver