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Cigar Review: Tatuaje Black Robusto

11 Jun 2015


It’s hard to think of a cigar company that has had the success in just over ten years that Tatuaje has enjoyed. Tatuaje has released numerous cigars that have had both commercial and critical success.

That makes the personal cigar blend of Tatuaje brand owner Pete Johnson worthy of extra consideration, which is what his Black Label blend is. The cigar was first released for sale in 2007 in a Corona Gorda size that came in ceramic jars.

I’ve been fortunate enough to smoke quite a few of those original Tatuaje Black cigars (which my colleague gave our highest rating). While (regrettably) I didn’t buy any when they were first available, I’ve been given more than a few over the years from someone who bought multiple jars.

Those cigars were outstanding and one of my personal all-time favorites. But all cigars change a little bit over time due to some uncontrollable variables. And Don José “Pepin” Garcia-made cigars, including Tatueje Black, have also changed slightly due to the lawsuit and falling out between Pepin and his former partner Eduardo Fernandez, owner of Aganorsa S.A. and partner in El Rey del Los Habanos. (Blends had to be tweaked when access to Aganorsa tobacco stopped.)

That hasn’t stopped Tatuaje, or Pepin (who makes Tatuaje for Johnson), from putting out excellent cigars. Nor has it prevented the Tatuaje Black from being reissued in 2011. In recent years a variety of sizes have been released, including this Robusto, which is offered in three-packs at Tatuaje events.

Currently, a Tatuaje Black Petit Lancero is a limited, though regular, release. A new Corona Gorda, this time in a melamine jar, was released last year to celebrate Tatuaje’s tenth anniversary, though you’ll still find that available at some retailers. The Black Label, according to reports, is a Nicaraguan puro with a Criollo wrapper.

The well-constructed Robusto features powdery medium-bodied flavors. Bread, oak, and sweet cinnamon dominate with underlying maple syrup notes. It’s superbly balanced, but the sweetness sets it apart, providing an extra layer of richness that resonates beyond the more traditional layering of earth, leather, and spice.

It has been a while since I smoked the original Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda, so it’s hard to compare the two, except to say (at least in my recollection) the original was superior to this Robusto. I did smoke both the Petit Lancero and Corona Gorda for comparison while working on this review, and I can confidently say I found the Robusto the best of the bunch. (A colleague rated the new Corona Gorda highly last year, although I probably wouldn’t have given it quite so high of a score.)

The Robusto, on the other hand, seems to be the best of the bunch when it comes to the recent-era Tatuaje Blacks. Given that it raises the already high bar, the Tatuaje Black Robusto earns a rating of five stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. A list of other five stogie-rated cigars can be found here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

One Response to “Cigar Review: Tatuaje Black Robusto”

  1. Samschica Friday, June 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

    My first tat black, years ago, was a revelation…later tat blacks were good, but not special ….hope Pete can di it again going forward…