July 30, 2010

SERIES REVIEW: Tatuaje Petite Reserva (Pre Release)

Today I'm reviewing the Pete Johnson pre-release Tatuaje Petite Reserva cigar. This is another extension of the "brown label reserva" line being produced in Esteli, Nicaragua. They come unbanded and in cabinets of 50 sticks. This is the smallest of the sticks Pete produces so I was interested to see what a broadleaf wrapper can do to the flavor. 

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

Vitola: Petite Corona
Ring Gauge: 32
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $3.50
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

My Tatuaje Petite Reserva was a pretty rustic looking, small cigar. The extremely oily wrapper had a mixture of very dark tones of brown, with some lighter shades closer to the foot. It had many small veins running all around the cigar, but none looked like they would cause a problem. It's not the prettiest girl at the ball, but it is one of the skinniest. I have not smoked a cigar with this small a ring gauge in who knows how long. I stopped smoking cigarettes a long time ago, but holding this little guy could bring flashbacks. The pre-lit aroma was a very dark, earthy smell that actually made me sneeze. I clipped the triple cap and the draw was excellent (can't be easy with this size a stick) and tasted of refined tobacco with some cedar notes.

First Half 
The first half of my Tatuaje Petite Reserva was pretty uneventful. The cigar burned beautifully and the draw was excellent but the flavors were very muted. What I could pick up was a slight smooth leather flavor, most likely from the broadleaf, and just a hint of cedar. The amount of smoke this stick produced was what you would expect from such a small size and the body was in the medium range. The ash on the cigar, although it looks flaky in the photo, held on for about an inch at a time before I knocked it into the ashtray.

Second Half and Final Thoughts
The second half was like the cigar turned on a switch. The muted flavors increased in strength and were now much more noticeable within the smoke. I was still primarily picking up a smooth leather flavor mixed with cedar, but now into the mix I got some dark chocolate tastes on the finish.  Again, these flavors are all things you taste/hear/read about with broadleaf wrappers, so I can guess it was where the profile was originating. In the last few draws on the stick, the cigar got a little hot and gave off maybe just a touch of that classic Tatuaje spice. The burn and draw were perfect the entire (short) smoking time, with the body finishing off more in the medium to medium-full range.

My final thoughts on the Tatuaje Petite Reserva? If you only have 30 minutes of smoke time and like broadleaf, this is a winner for you. If you've read my blog you will know that I am a HUGE fan of small cigars, but this one might just be too small. I understand what it's made for and it suits those needs perfectly. For me, I don't think I can really get into a relaxed happy cigar mode in this short a time. I'm sure a lot of people can, and to you, I would say that the second half of this cigars flavors were on point, so give it a shot.

Would I buy it again? I will spend a few extra bucks and go up a size to the other two new Petite sticks coming out from Pete next year.

Would I buy a box? Great stick, but to small for me. I don't think I'd buy a box.



  1. Did you ever get to try the first incarnation of these? I wonder how they compare to the originals:

  2. Hey, thanks for reading. No I have never smoked one of the first go rounds with this blend. I'm gonna guess they are very close to the same.