There was a time when shop exclusive cigars were truly something special. One region that has had many shop-exclusive cigars has been the State of Hawaii. Back in 2005, Tatuaje Cigars released a powerhouse of a cigar known as the Tatuaje T110 (which is believed to mean Thermonuclear 110 with 110 being the approximate length of the cigar in mm). It was a shop exclusive to R. Field Wine & Co in Honolulu, Hawaii. Know for its high priming blend, the cigar achieved incredible cult status. Eventually, in 2011, Tatuaje Cigars’ owner Pete Johnson would create a regular production blend known as Fausto. The Tatuaje Fausto has certainly had its share of success, but the T110 blend still maintained a legendary status despite not having been released in many years. All of that would change in 2021, when Pete Johnson not only would bring back the original Tatuaje T110, but introduce two offshoot blends – the Tatuaje T110 Capa Especial and the Tatuaje T110 Reserva. Today we take a look at the Tatuaje T110 Reserva.
The original Tatuaje T110 blend consisted of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The T110 Capa Especial version uses Ecuadorian Sumatra while the T110 Reserva uses Connecticut Broadleaf. Originally, the 2021 version of the original Tatuaje T110 version was released to R. Field Wine & Co in Hawaii, and then as a PCA Exclusive at the 2021 PCA Trade Show. The Capa Especial and Reserva versions would arrive at retailers just shortly before the 2021 PCA Show.
Now without further ado, let’s break down the Tatuaje T110 Reserva and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
Aside from the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the Tatuaje T110 Reserva blend consists of all-Nicaraguan tobaccos. Production is handled out of the My Father Cigars factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars SA
The Tatuaje T110 Reserva comes in one size – a 4 3/8 x 52 Petite Robusto, the same size as the Tatuaje T110 (Habano) and the Tatuaje T110 Capa Especial. The T110 Reserva was packaged in 25-count cabinet boxes.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper to the Tatuaje T110 Reserva had a medium to dark brown color to it. The Broadleaf wrapper was not overly dark (and also lacked that “cooked” look). On the surface was a slight amount of mottling. The wrapper also exhibited a slight toothiness. There wasn’t much oil on the surface. There were some visible veins and thin wrapper seams present on the cigar as well.
The band of the Tatuaje T110 Reserva is based on the band seen on many of the company’s limited editions. This includes a blue stripe at the top, a thin green stripe just below that, a white stripe in the middle, and a red stripe just below that. On the middle of the band is the Tatuaje “tattoo” logo. To the left of the tattoo logo is the text “TATUAJE” in black font. To the right of the tattoo logo is the text “T110” – also in black font. The edges of the band have white trim.
There is a second band that is also present. It has a thick black stripe on the center with gold stripes above and below it. The gold stripes have some black design elements on them. On the thick black stripe is the text “Reserva” in gold cursive font. On the upper portion of the lower gold stripe is the text “BROADLEAF” in black font.
Prior to lighting up the Tatuaje T110 Reserva, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw produced a mix of cocoa, mixed pepper, and a slight woody note. To me, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the Tatuaje T110 Reserva and see what the smoking experience had in store.
The Tatuaje T110 Reserva started out with quite an assortment of flavors. I picked up a mix of coffee, wood, earth, a tangy citrus note, herbs, and mixed red and white pepper. The coffee notes moved to the forefront while the wood, earth, citrus, herb, and pepper settled in the background. As the T110 Reserva moved through the first third, the coffee notes took on more of a mocha-quality as there were some chocolate notes that mixed in.
During the second third of the Tatuaje T110 Reserva, the chocolate notes diminished and the coffee notes remained in the forefront. The wood, earth, citrus, and herb notes remained in the background. The mixed pepper notes also remained in the background, but during this part of the smoking experience, they slowly increased in intensity.
There wasn’t much change in the final third. The coffee notes remained primary. The wood, earth, citrus, and herb were secondary notes. Meanwhile, the pepper notes continued to slowly inch toward the forefront. In the end, the pepper notes remained secondary. As the cigar experience came to a close, the Tatuaje T110 Reserva finished with a slightly soft, but cool nub.
Overall the Tatuaje T110 Reserva required touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line. The touch-ups did their job, but the T110 Reserva did need more than I prefer. The resulting ash was mostly medium-gray. This wasn’t the firmest ash, but it was not a loose or flaky ash either. As for the burn rate and burn temperature both maintained ideal levels.
The draw performed quite well on the Tatuaje T110 Reserva. It had a touch of resistance – which is something that I really like. At the same time, this was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
One surprise was that the Tatuaje T110 Reserva opened with medium strength and medium body. A bigger surprise was that it stayed in this range until the final third when the cigar progressed to medium to full strength. Meanwhile, the body stayed medium right until the end.
When looking at strength versus body, the cigar maintained a good equilibrium, but the spike in strength in the last third gave the strength the edge over the body.
Back on Prime Time Jukebox Episode 55, I smoked the Tatuaje T110 Reserva and thought it was good smoking. Once this cigar made it into the review cycle a few weeks later, it definitely performed at an elevated level. It delivered not only classic earth, coffee, and chocolate flavors from the Broadleaf, but many other flavors I don’t normally find in a Broadleaf. I’m not the biggest Short Robusto fan, but this blend works terrific on this. While I was surprised it didn’t have the punch of the original T110, that doesn’t work against things here as it is a good cigar. It’s certainly one I would recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast, but there is no reason a novice cannot try this out. If you can find these on shelves, it certainly garners box-worthy consideration. Coming it at 91 points, it earns the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Chocolate, Earth, Wood, Citrus, Herb, Mixed Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Remainder0
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop