10 Oct 2013
This year has been a big one for Tatuaje Cigars, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary—not that it’s easy to miss. The company switched up the packaging on its original Brown Label line, including anniversary bands, and added new sizes.
The tenth anniversary also influenced Tatuaje’s third annual TAA release, which has just arrived on the shelves of Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) stores. TAA is a small (relative to IPCPR) association of cigar shops that includes many of the most prominent U.S. tobacconists.
This year’s TAA release is different from previous editions in two notable ways. First, the packaging is a variation of the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary cigar with a black background instead of brown on the band. Second, the blend is based on the regular Brown Label line, where as in past years it used a blend based on the Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary blend, one of my all-time favorites.
That means it uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler. Like the other additions to Brown Line beyond the original six, this is made at Don Pepin Garcia’s My Father Cigars factory in Estelí.
The cigar is 6.4 inches long with a ring gauge of 54 (with a closed foot), one of the bigger editions of the original Brown Label blend. It sells for $11 each, less by the box. I acquired the three I smoked for this review from Emerson’s Cigars, which still has them in stock.
Even though we’re told it’s the same blend as the original Brown Label, the wrapper seems a bit darker and less reddish than the Brown Label smokes I’ve had lately. There were other aspects that seemed slightly different than the original Brown Label.
The cigar features the excellent balanced combination of wood, cream, bread, and subtle pepper spice that makes the Brown Label a popular medium- to full-bodied cigar. There are also darker charred oak and meaty notes that I don’t recall finding in the other Brown Label sizes. Like most Pepin-produced cigars, construction was excellent.
All in all, it’s a tasty rendition of the Tatuaje Seleccion de Cazadores (the full name for Brown Label), with just a few tweaks caused either by the size or a slight variation in the blend. I was a bit disappointed Pete Johnson didn’t continue the TAA blend of the previous years (though it will be back next year), but the Tatuaje Grand Chasseur TAA 2013 is still an excellent cigar worthy of four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys