July 27, 2010

SERIES REVIEW: Tatuaje Petite Havana Cazadores Reserva (Pre Release)

This Pete Johnson pre-release cigar review is the Tatuaje Havana Petite Cazadores Reserva -- an extension of the "Brown Label Reserva" line but are being produced in Esteli Nicaragua. They come with the traditional brown Tatuaje band and in cabinets of 50 sticks. 

Some general info on the Havana Cazadores blend from the New Havana Cigars website: The Havana Cazadore is the strongest of the original Seleccion de Cazador, with a full strength disposition just under the Cojonu blend. A huge favorite at New Havana Cigars, the wrapper color may vary - but is usually very dark.

Due to the size of this cigar, this review is only in two parts instead of the traditional thirds. 

Vitola: Petite Corona
Length: 4
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $4.50
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

When picking up this stick, the very first thing I noticed was the closed foot. Pete Johnson seems to be a pretty big fan of closed foot cigars and has put them on a lot of his special release sticks (the Black line comes to mind.) Looking past the closed foot, I noticed that the wrapper color on this stick was a fairly even dark brown shade, with just a few specs of lighter brown mixed throughout. Rolling it on my palm I could tell this was a evenly packed cigar and, when pinched, I detected no hard or soft spots. There was a mixture of pepper and earthy tobacco in the pre-light aroma and, after clipping the triple cap, there wasn't much of a cold draw (closed foot), but what I could taste was a nice sweetness that the wrapper left on my lips.

First Half
The closed foot on my Tatuaje Petite Havana Cazadores reserva lit easily, with a free draw which produced an average amount of smoke. The first few puffs on the cigar were much different than the Verocu I smoked previously. Where the Verocu blasted you in the face with pepper, the Havana Cazadores had extremely smooth and mellow smoke, with the flavors coating my palate. The flavor notes I picked up were black coffee mixed with what I would describe as a stout beer on the front, and just a mild kick of black peppery spice on the finish. Seriously tasty. The ash on my Petite Havana Cazadores reserva was salt and pepper colored and tightly packed. The burn did start a little wavy, but after the closed foot wrapper leaf was all gone, it straighten itself without a touch up. The body was medium to medium full. Getting toward the end of the fist third, the stout beer flavor subsided and made way for some nutty tastes that I would describe as walnut.

Second Half and Final Thoughts  

The second half of my Tatuaje Petite Havana Cazadores Reserva kept right on trucking the way the first half left off. The cigar was burning perfectly and the draw was producing smooth and mellow smoke. The up front flavors were black coffee mixed with walnut notes, and on the finish, just a slight black pepper spice. The body now reached well into the full range and I could feel some nicotine in my system, but not enough to make me feel uncomfortable or break a sweat even in this 90­° Ohio weather. When I got to right around the band, I had a few puffs that had some bitter tobacco flavors that woke me out of my nirvana for a minute, but those did not last and the stick finished back to the way it had been going. 

My final thoughts on the Tatuaje Petite Havana Cazadores Reserva (Pre Release)? I can sense that a lot of time has gone into the Havana Cazadores blend and the smoothness really is showcased by this size. I was not expecting such a smooth and mellow cigar from a brown label release, but that is what I got. From start to finish, it was undeniably relaxing and a pleasure to smoke. If this is any indication to what Pete might have done in the pre-release CG sticks I have to smoke, I know I am in for a good next few days.

Would I buy it again? This is one of the best small cigars I have smoked to date. I will definitely be picking up more of these.

Would I buy a box? If there was a battle between the new Verocu and the Petite Havana Cazadores Reserva for box purchasing by me, I'd have to go with the Cazadores. Definitely box purchase worthy.




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