In 2018, Tatuaje Cigars released its eighth consecutive installment to the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) Exclusive Series. The TAA Exclusive Series is a series of cigars produced by leading manufacturers that are exclusively sold at TAA retail establishments. It’s hard to believe that it was back in 2011 that Tatuaje released its first cigar to the TAA. Since then, it has been a mainstay of the series and has been credited to leading to the vast expansion of the series. In previous installments, the Tatuaje TAA release was named for the year of the release, but with 2018 being the 50th anniversary of the TAA, the release is being called the Tatuaje TAA 50th. It marks the first time a Tatuaje TAA release will come in 5 x 52 format. Today we take a closer look at this cigar.
The TAA Exclusive Series consists of cigars made by leading manufacturers that are exclusively sold at TAA member retailers. The TAA is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. The TAA has defined itself as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
Since 2018 was the 50th anniversary of the Tobacconist Association of America, there was a large number of releases as a part of the 2018 TAA Exclusive Series.
- CAO Estelí by General Cigar Company
- Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2018
- EIROA First 20 Years Diadema by C.L.E. Cigar Company
- My Father Flor de Antillas Lancero
- Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente TAA Exclusive
- Fuente Fuente OpusX ForbiddenX
- Padrón Black No. 89 Maduro
- Padrón Black No. 89 Natural
- E.P. Carrillo TAA Exclusive
- La Palina Blue Label TAA Exclusive
- Gurkha Heritage Rosado Toro
- La Flor Dominicana TAA Golden “Oro” Anniversary
- Montecristo Artisan Series Batch 1 by Altadis USA
- Tatuaje TAA 50th
The Tatuaje TAA 50th is the eighth installment by Tatuaje for the TAA Exclusive Series. Earlier this month, the 2019 installment (the ninth), the Tatuaje TAA 51st was announced.
- 2011: Tatuaje TAA 2011 (5 5/8 x 54)
- 2012: Tatuaje TAA 2012 (6 1/4 x 50)
- 2013: Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Grand Chasseur TAA 2013
- 2014: Tatuaje TAA 2014 (6 x 52)
- 2015: Tatuaje TAA 2015 (5 5/8 x 54)
- 2016: Tatuaje TAA 2016 (6 1/4 x 50)
- 2017: Tatuaje TAA 2017 (6 x 52)
- 2018: Tatuaje TAA 50th (5 x 52)
- 2019: Tatuaje TAA 51st
Without further ado, let’s break down the Tatuaje TAA 50th and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
With the exception of the Tatuaje TAA 2013 and recently announced Tatuaje TAA 51st, all of the other installments have utilized a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Rosado Oscuro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
The Tatuaje TAA 50th was offered in one size – a 5 x 52 box-pressed Robusto. As mentioned, this is the first time Tatuaje has used this vitola size and shape in the TAA Exclusive Series. The cigars are sold in 20-count cabinet boxes. A total production of 2,500 boxes has been made – one of the largest allocations of a TAA release to date.
The Connecticut Broadleaf Rosado Oscuro wrapper of the Tatuaje TAA 50th lived up to its name. The roasted coffee bean color contributed to the “oscuro” portion with a slight dark rosado hue mixed in. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the wrapper and there was a slight ruggedness to it. While there were some thin visible veins, the darker color of the wrapper did a good job at hiding the wrapper seams. The box press had a slight soft Cuban-press style. As with the other Tatuaje TAA Broadleaf releases, the TAA 50th featured a covered footer.
The band itself is a variation of the bands that Tatuaje uses for many of its “Exclusive Series” (i.e. limited, retailer-exclusive) releases. 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 “TAA EXCLUSIVE” in white font. On the front of the band is the TAA Indian logo in black. Around the logo, it says “TOBACCONISTS’ ASSOCIATION of AMERICA, LTD” in black font arranged in a circular fashion. Below the logo is the text “50th” in red font. A gold ring surrounds the logo and text on the front.
The cigar experience of the Tatuaje TAA 50th commenced with a straight cut. After removing the cap, it was time to proceed with the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of earth and some natural tobacco sweetness. I’d say the pre-light draw was satisfactory. At this point, it was time to light up the Tatuaje TAA 50th and move on to the smoking phase.
The Tatuaje TAA 50th started out with a mix of coffee, sweet natural tobacco, earth, and red pepper notes. During the early stages of the smoking experience, coffee and natural tobacco notes developed a fusion. The pepper and earth notes moved into the background. During the first half, while I wouldn’t say there was a creamy texture to the smoking experience, there was somewhat of an underlying smoothness. Meanwhile, the retro-hale delivers a mix of additional red pepper notes and cedar.
Toward the end of the first third, the coffee and natural tobacco maintained its fusion, but some of the sweetness that had been present early on dissipated. The earth and red pepper notes remained in the background. Toward the halfway point a mineral note also surfaced in the background.
Later in the second third of the Tatuaje TAA 50th, the fusion of the coffee and natural tobacco broke apart. The coffee notes remained in the forefront. The earth notes also progressed into the forefront while the natural tobacco receded into the background with the pepper and mineral notes. By this point, the smoothness that was present early on had dissipated.
The final third of the Tatuaje TAA 50th saw the coffee notes develop more richness. The earth notes also remained in the forefront with the pepper, mineral, and natural tobacco in the background. This is the way the Tatuaje TAA 50th came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the Tatuaje TAA 50th had a slightly wavy-burn line, the Tatuaje TAA 50th maintained a straight burn path and didn’t require much more in the way of additional touch-ups. The resulting ash was a silvery-gray. This was an ash that was skewed toward the firmer side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
In terms of a draw, the Tatuaje TAA 50th had as good of a draw as I have had on any box-press cigar. This cigar had the a touch of resistance at just the perfect level for me. Overall this draw earned our highest assessment level – exceptional.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Tatuaje TAA 50th is not going to be a powerhouse, but will have enough depth to satisfy most cigar enthusiasts. This cigar delivered a medium strength and medium to full-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. There was a slight increase in intensity levels for both attributes, but overall there wasn’t a lot of variance of the levels.
When it came to strength versus body, the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
While I haven’t officially done a ranking of all of the Tatuaje TAA releases, I would say the Tatuaje TAA 50th falls somewhere in the middle. This isn’t a knock on the Tatuaje TAA 50th, but its up against some iconic releases (such as the Tatuaje TAA 2015 and 2016 releases) and every cigar cannot be the best one. What I have found interesting about the series is that the 2015, 2016, and 2017 releases were re-releases of the 2011, 2012, 2014 Tatuaje TAA releases and I liked each of the later editions better. It’s worth seeing if there is another Tatuaje TAA 50th released down the road and how that compares. Still, the 2018 edition of the Tatuaje TAA 50th is a worthy one. It’s one that I would recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast or a novice looking at something in the medium plus range. As for myself, it’s one I would smoke again and buy multiples to keep in my humidor.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Natural Tobacco, Earth, Red Pepper, Mineral
Burn: Very Good
Body: Medium to Full
Value: Buy Multiples
News: My Father Cigars Flor de Antillas Lancero Becomes 2018 TAA Exclusive Release
Brand Reference: Tatuaje
TAA Exclusive Series 2018 Reference: 2018 TAA Exclusive Series
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop