Posts Tagged tobacco

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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BOTL 2013 by Drew Estate

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)


Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the BOTL 2013 – a corona gorda made by the Drew Estate for BOTL.org online community. The BOTL 2013, a follow-up to well received BOTL 2012 lancero (also made by the Drew Estate), was a limited run and was sold exclusively through online retailer Podman Cigars (* notice Podwika’s signature on the box).

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: ASP Ligero, Drew Estate Jalapa Ligero
Length: 6”
Ring: 46


Matt’s Review:

Cut: Palio / Straight
Drink: None
Palate: Fresh
# Cigars Smoked for Review: One

Prelight: Underneath the muted brown and cream BOTL band emerges some sexy! A quick look reveals a somewhat rough triple cap which is concealed quite well by the dark and mottled appearance of the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper: classic spectral shades of brown and inky black with seductive subtle reddish hues. There is a uniform fine tooth and no real appreciable oils. The seams are tight, the pack is very firm, and there is one large palpable vein running the length of the cigar. Off the wrapper … straight tobacco and barnyard. Off the foot… it’s raisin, plum, molasses and dark chocolate … very sweet. The cold draw delivers raisin, milk chocolate and a touch of pepper.

Draw: perfect, comfortable and even throughout. I was a bit concerned prior to the cut/light, as the cigar felt very densely packed.

Flavors: On the first few draws, I was struck with a big pepper blast that hits hard and then almost immediately fades out and lingers toward the back of the palate. There is a core of earth, dark chocolate, and very mild cedar that emerge. The opening is a little sharp and astringent: I get red chile/cayenne on the tip of my tongue and black pepper on the back of the palate and the retro. There is massive smoke … classic DE and very Liga-esque. The initial intense spice is drying on the palate. As I get a bit further into the 1st third, the cedar becomes more evident and there is a sweetness starting to emerge, but my tongue is still a little spice shocked and won’t let it develop in it’s entirety. Just prior to hitting the 2nd third, the acidic/zesty chile and the ruddy/bold black pepper finally find balance with a rich molasses sweetness … and the transition gives up wonderful cinnamon notes that complement the dark chocolate and mild cedar perfectly. Into the 2nd third, the spice on the back of the palate fades out completely. The strength and natural sweetness of the broadleaf are in full effect now. The smoke has become much denser and creamier on the palate. Cinnamon, black tea, and rich coffee notes act to accent a solid core of dark chocolate, mild cedar, and that gritty Broadleaf sweetness. The final third is wonderful: cinnamon, cedar and chocolate. The spice is a distant memory…the smoke is creamy and rich with a huge mouth feel. Overall, the body and strength remained medium plus/full minus throughout.

Burn: A little wavy at times, but straightened out on its own with only one minor touch up. The ash was a ribbed white/grey: dense, tight, and solid.

Construction: Excellent throughout

Descriptive Adjectives: Mayan Hot Chocolate!

Box worthy: Start scouring the secondary market. Should age very well.

Overall: Initial intense diverging spices marry with an escalating sweetness to allow distinct balanced transitions. A bit of a roller-coaster! It was like Santa Fe collided with Hershey Pa!


 

 
 

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Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro

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


Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro - the latest project from the Oliva Cigar Company and a follow-up to well received Oliva Serie V Melanio (ecuadorian sumatra wrapper). 

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican maduro from San Andrés Valley
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 6.5”
Ring: 52

 

Steve’s Review:

For starters, this cigar is aesthetically gorgeous. A smooth, dark chocolate wrapper with minimal veins and a beautiful box press. A sniff of the foot gives off a rich, sweet tobacco aroma. I used an angle cut, taking off about a 1/3 of an inch. Too snug. Took off about another 1/8 of an inch. We’ll see how it works out. Putting the cigar in my mouth to take a cold draw was instantly like chocolate hitting my lips. Very mild flavor on the cold draw, but a sweet richness is definitely there. Let’s put some fire to this stick.


Right away I’m hit with a boldness that I was not expecting. I can already tell that this is vastly different from its regular Melanio counterpart. A very smooth, but slightly gritty, feeling coats my palate. A powerful spice comes through on the retrohale. The aftertaste, crazy as it might sound, reminds me of Andes mint chocolates. Now don’t go taking this seriously. I don’t mean it literally tastes like chocolate mint. Just a subtle, rich, cocoa undertone with a slight effervescence to it. This combination makes me reminiscent of the holidays at my parent’s house as a kid eating handfuls of those candies. About 3/4 of an inch in, a slightly woody note comes through. I can’t quite pinpoint it. Sometimes it tastes like cedar and sometimes like oak. Both are enjoyable. At the inch mark, the burn has gone slightly crooked but has been almost razor straight up until now. Nothing to cry about. (side note: The draw has been perfect for me. Just enough tug for my liking.) That woody note I mentioned has gone full blown cedar, which I love. And the richness has gone the route of a slight mocha flavor. The retrohale spice is still present, but very toned down.


At the 1/3 mark, a strong, roasted coffee bean note has popped up with just a touch of cream in the aftertaste. Pretty consistent coming to the halfway mark. But now, a very slow and steady retrohale gives off a subtle, sweet clove spice. Into the final 1/3, the upfront flavor has turned to a dark, bitter espresso with a spice that tingles the tip of my tongue. The smoke has gotten very chewy and that prominent richness has taken a backseat in the aftertaste. This is pretty consistent through the finish with the exception of a smokey, toasty characteristic.


Final thoughts:
I was very pleased, overall, with this cigar. Much more so than when I first smoked the original Melanio, which had to grow on me. I think the finish could benefit from a little age, but I’d certainly recommend this cigar. Happy smoking my friends.

 

Please consider the following posts:

* Oliva Master Blends 1
* Oliva Master Blends 2
* Oliva Serie V Maduro 2011
* Oliva Serie V No4
* Oliva Cain F lancero 

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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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