Posts Tagged pete johnson

Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars

Saints & Sinners - private social club and a brainchild of Pete Johnson of Tatuaje and Sean ‘Casper’ Johnson of L’Atelier.


CigarPhoto posted an exclusive summary of the Saints & Sinners 2011 and the Saints & Sinners 2012 kits. 


The expectation was / is that each year will bring another kit filled with prototypes and regular production cigars. This week CigarPhoto is delivering an exclusive overview of the Saints & Sinners 2013 kit. In addition to prototypes and exclusive blends, Johnsons included the following regular releases in 2013 kit:

  • Tatuaje Regios Reserva 2013
  • Tatuaje Noella Reserva 2013
  • Tatuaje Belle Encre
  • Tatuaje Bon Chasseur
  • Tatuaje Black CG 2013
  • Tatuaje Cohete
  • La Dueña
  • L’Atelier Extension de la Racine

For an annual registration fee of $150, each member will receive:
1. Exclusive, one-off products available only to members (select products may not be available for purchase through the S&S webstore)
2. Everyday Tatuaje branded merchandise at the Saints & Sinners discounted club rate.
3. Access to members-only forums, where you can discuss the finer points of cigars, smoking accessories, spirits, and anything else associated with the Saints & Sinners lifestyle.
4. Access to the Pete Johnson video blog. Here, Pete will update members on everything PJHC. Watch Pete as he travels around the world, visiting his production facility in Nicaragua, engages fans on cigar tours, and dishes on anything else he feels his Saints & Sinners family should know.
5. First looks at new cigar blends, swag, as well as insider info on Tatuaje and other Pete Johnson brands.
6. The knowledge that a portion of your annual membership fee will go to an eclectic mix of charities that Pete chooses for their commitment to their particular cause.

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 Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars

Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars
Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars
Saints & Sinners 2013 Cigars

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Tatuaje Avion 2013 ‘Habano’ (prerelease)

Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)

This week we are photographing and reviewing the Tatuaje Avion 2013 ‘Habano’ prerelease. Back in May of 2013 Pete Johnson of Tatuaje reported mid production change to the Avion 2013. Instead of using the Habano Ecuador wrapper, the official Avion 2013 will be wrapped in the Connecticut Broadleaf. For those who were excited about the Habano wrapper, there is good news. The Tatuaje Avion 2013 ‘Habano’ is now arriving at your local B&M as ‘limited’ release. Here is the breakdown:


Avion 13 Habano Ecuador (aka. Avion 13 FFs):

  • Habano Ecuador (wrapper), Nicaraguan binder & filler
  • 6 7/8 x 52
  • bundles of 10 (total of 7,500 cigars)
  • LIMITED band

Avion 13 Connecticut Broadleaf Reserva:

  • Connecticut Broadleaf (wrapper), Nicaraguan binder & filler
  • 6 7/8 x 52
  • Boxes of 20
  • 2 bands - Standard Avion & Reserva

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The Tatuaje Avion 2013 ‘Habano’ is aesthetically perfect and the roll is firm to the touch. Wrapper is gorgeous with just a touch of a mottled look. Cutting a little more than a 1/4 inch reveals an impeccable draw. The cold draw allows flavors of strong tobacco and cayenne pepper to come on strong. Cayenne flavor without the spice. The initial light up gives off bold spice notes across the palate and in the retrohale. The aftertaste turns to a sweet, slightly creamy, cedar flavor. A full inch in, I am amazed how smooth this cigar is for being as fresh as it is. The spice really backed down quickly. (side note: As was expected with the perfecto shape, the burn started a bit crooked but evened out nicely.) The dominant flavor now is sweet, creamy cedar with a touch of toastiness in the aftertaste. There is also a wonderful effervescence on the retrohale. I’ve noticed this a lot in Tatuaje cigars. The way I’ve described it before is – menthol without the mint, just the cooling sensation.

Passing the 1/3 mark, a spice note has picked back up, both across the palate and in the retrohale. But more like a softer, white pepper spice. At the halfway mark, the spice is creeping up and intensifying. A subtle richness is starting to develop and is very enjoyable in the aftertaste, especially after the spicy retrohale. It’s a really enjoyable combination to get a creaminess across the palate, while getting an intense spice on the retrohale.

Coming into the final 1/3, there is a slight tingle on the tip of my tongue and a spicy heat in the back of my throat. I should have mentioned this sooner, but the cedar flavor basically disappeared going into the halfway mark. I would have liked to see it stick around, but I’m not complaining about the direction the smoke went. The effervescence I mentioned earlier has really intensified. It is certainly not unpleasant, but I might attribute it to the freshness of the cigar. Coming into the finish, the profile has remained fairly consistent. Spicy retrohale, creamy across the palate, and a nice richness in the aftertaste.

Final thoughts:
I was amazed at how smooth this cigar was for how recently it was rolled. It was complex enough but with very discernable flavors. I see no issue with smoking these right out of the box upon release. However, I believe that putting some age on these will reward you handsomely. I know I will be smoking a lot of these! Happy smoking my friends!

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Tatuaje ‘Pork Tenderloin’ – homemade

Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)

This week we have something unique, literally. About two years ago, I reviewed Tatuaje ‘Pork  Tenderloin’ and found it to be one of the best if not the best Tatuaje releases ever. Unfortunately the Pork Tenderloin is now long gone and can be found for premium through the secondary market. Well, to avoid spending a fortune, Steve decided to “build” his own ‘Pork Tenderloin’ by taking Tatuaje J21 and covering it with Connecticut Broadleaf using Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Broadleaf wrapper. Below is Steve’s experiment.

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Very shallow cut gives the perfect draw, just a little tug. Dry taste is of amazing tobacco and some sweetness from the broadleaf. As soon as I lit up, I was bombarded with flavor. Spice across the palate and through the nose, cedar sweetness, and an aftertaste of rich mocha/cocoa. Just ¼ inch in, the spice on the retrohale has significantly intensified, really pushing this smoke towards full bodied and definitely full flavored. Along with this, the cedar and mocha have started to blend together to really create an orgy in my olfactory senses. The smoke has a nice creamy feel to it and leaves me craving the next puff. The retrohale on this smoke may just be the best I have ever experienced. Normally I would expect to be hit with spice up front and then be left with a lingering aftertaste. This cigar has managed to blend it all together and give me everything up front on one dish. The spice, cedar, and rich mocha/cocoa have become one homogenous flavor!


A full inch in, and much to my pleasure, it’s burning almost razor straight (pat on the back for myself). The intensity of the spice has really stepped back, allowing for the sweet, creamy, richness of the cedar and mocha/cocoa to be dominant. Wow, what an unpredictable smoke. The very next puff I took smacked me with strong spice again on the retrohale! I’m going into sensory overload with this one and I love it! Literally, puff to puff, it’s like someone is playing with the volume knob on the spice. It’s a very unique and enjoyable experience. At the same time, the richness and sweetness of the broadleaf are really shining through. Just past the halfway mark, spice has maintained intensity for the past half inch or so. The richness is certainly still present; however, the cedar notes have shifted from a sweet to more woody. The lingering aftertaste has developed a subtle flavor of dark caramel. Imagine it as a caramel that was pushed just to the very limits, just before it was about to burn, but still left rich and sweet. This instantly reminded me of the Frank Jr. Coming into the finish, the profile is remaining consistent, but a few puffs let some toasty, savory and floral notes slip through. As I’m nubbing this stick, trying not to burn my fingers, some nice dark roasted coffee bean flavors have come through. I am honestly sad to see this one go, but alas the time has come.


Final thoughts:
This was an experiment that I was handsomely rewarded for. In all honesty, this was one of the best Tatuajes I have ever smoked. And I smoke A LOT of Tatuajes. If anyone has ever rolled the idea around in their head, my suggestion is that you get off your ass and make it happen! You will not be disappointed in the least! If I had the financial resources, as much as I love them, I’d sacrifice a whole box of Cojonu 12 Reservas to make a box of these! I found the experiment to lack the “toasty” character when compared to the real deal. Both cigars had similar profiles and unleashed bold flavors of cocoa/mocha, caramel, cedar, cream, and a roller coaster ride of spice, albeit at different point. 

 

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L’Atelier LAT46 Selection Spéciale

Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)

This week we are photographing and reviewing the L’Atelier LAT46 Selection Spéciale. This corona-gorda vitola, made at the My Father factory in Nicaragua, is the latest release from the L’Atelier Imports stable.

This is a true Corona Gorda vitola, measuring 5 5/8 by 46. In a market plagued with obese sticks, this cigar really tickles me pink. Just as I believe the original LATs coming in boxes of 15 was smart, this one coming in boxes of 10 is even smarter. Same basic box concept as the originals; same original band with the addition of a secondary “Selection Spéciale” band. Alright, enough of this mumbo jumbo. Let’s get down to business.

For starters, the wrapper is noticeably darker than the originals, as it is a higher priming leaf. Same proprietary blend as the original LATs. Construction is flawless with the same flag top finish as the originals. The smell of the foot is of hay and amazing tobacco. It literally transports me back in time some 10 years ago when I was first smitten with everything that had to do with cigars. The draw, with a shallow straight cut, is ideal for me. Just a little bit of tug. This has been consistent in both the prerelease (2) and the market release (2) I have smoked for this review.

As soon as I light up, I’m smacked with spice both across my palate and on the retrohale, which is very intense. It has very savory characteristics to start. Toasty, smoky, and cedary. The aftertaste, thus far, is just barely dropping hints of flavor I associate with the core LATs but not quite discernable yet. The lingering mouth feel is smooth with just a touch of grit, almost like an ultra-fine sandpaper; enjoyable. A full inch in, the burn has been RAZOR sharp (not touch-ups) and has a very nice white/gray colors with touches of black throughout. A flavor of toasted artisanal bread has made its way to the forefront of flavor with strong cedar on the retrohale. (Side note: Something interesting I’ve noticed with every one of these I’ve smoked is a tingle on my lips, across my palate, and in the back of my throat. Certainly not unenjoyable, just very interesting.) The spice on the retrohale has stayed fairly intense, but is very enjoyable for me. With the halfway mark approaching, a strong effervescent characteristic has developed. This is something I’ve noticed not only with the LAT46, but the original LATs as well and I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s like menthol without the mint, if that helps explain it any better. The toastiness is still present up front, with the mocha notes I get a lot of in the originals coming through in the aftertaste. With this stick, it’s like clockwork that as soon as you pass the halfway mark, the strength really spikes in intensity. It goes from a nice, consistent medium, to full bodied in the blink of an eye. Cedar is one of most consistent flavors in this stick, which makes sense because it’s very present in the originals. However, I interpret it as a more woody cedar in the 46, whereas it’s sweeter in the originals. I might attribute this to the amped up quality of the wrapper. Nevertheless, it’s a great flavor. Into the final third of the cigar, the construction really shines! Not very warm to the touch and not spongy. The effervescence has really intensified in the retrohale. The mocha aftertaste has all but fade away and has given way to a nice roasted coffee bean characteristic with just a touch of graham cracker. Finally snubbed it out with about a ¾ inch nub.

Final Thoughts:
Smoking time: 1 hour 10 minutes. I personally love this cigar just as a love the original LATs. It’s has the same base bones, but the high priming wrapper really gives it its own unique flare. I often tell people who are trying LATs for the first time that they really need to pay attention to it, as they might overlook a lot of the subtle nuances. The 46, just as its big cousins, seems to make quick changes almost from puff to puff. The flavors jump around and really make for an enjoyable smoking experience. As far as rating this cigar goes, I won’t. I don’t believe in the numbers games. What I will say is this. I will be smoking many more of these! I’ve already set aside a box for aging and I can’t wait to see what time will do to these smokes, provided I can keep my grubby paws off of them! Happy smoking my friends!

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sancti Spiritus (Ecuador)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 5.625″
Ring: 46

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Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 – REDUX ‘Hassell’

This week, the CigarPhoto is displaying, not reviewing, the latest offering from Rick Gadway’s Federal CigarTatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 – REDUX ‘Hassell.’ If you are familiar with the original Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 Reserva, please be aware that the latest REDUX ‘Hassell’ release is not a continuation of the original Reserva batch but instead, and I quote “… this is fresh new product made with broadleaf and with Hassell band on it – Pete Johnson …


Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 releases:

  • 2011 march – 90th Anniversary release – 300 Rosado boxes (reviewed HERE) / 100 Reserva boxes
  • 2012 december – continuation of the original release with Limited band (both Rosado & Reserva)
  • 2013 march – 92nd Anniversary release with Hassell band (60 boxes / 40 bundles)



It is my understanding that the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 – REDUX ‘Hassell’ will be available for purchase at the Federal Cigar Plaistow location on March 16th, 2013 (in-person only) and on March 18th, 2013 (call). Hassell boxes and bundles are priced at $250 each.


First row / 2nd photograph illustrates the progression of the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 (l to r): Rosado OR, Reserva OR, Rosado 2nd release, Reserva 2nd release, Hassell.

 

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