August 17, 2010

SERIES REVIEW: Tatuaje Seleccion de Cazador 7th Reserva (Pre Release)

Today's Pete Johnson pre-release cigar review is, perhaps, the new release stick I have most looked forward to smoking. The Seleccion de Cazador 7th Reserva, or more commonly known as Brown Label Reserva, is one of my two current favorite sizes in cigars and Brown Label Reserva sticks have always been on the money for me. There is something about the Brown Label blend paired with the broadleaf wrapper that creates a flavor profile that I enjoy more than most everything else on the market.

Something to note: This cigar is also made at the My Father factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and not in Miami.

Vitola: Corona Gorda
Length: 5 5/8
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: CT Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $9.00 in full boxes
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

My Tatuaje 7th Reserva had an oily, dark brown wrapper with only a few noticeable veins. Compared to other broadleaf cigars, which tend to look more rustic, this cigar was pretty attractive. Pinching the stick from head to foot, I could tell that it was evenly packed and not tight at all. I have said it over and over, but the rollers Pepin has making these cigars down in Esteli are top notch. The pre-lit aroma was peppery with some deep earthy scents. The cold draw tasted noticeably sweet with subtle hints of nuts and coffee.

First Third   
I lit my Tatuaje Reserva #7 with a lotus triple flame and the cigar shot out of the gate, producing clouds of thick, flavorful smoke. On the front of my first few puffs, I picked up a strong, refined black pepper flavor that really woke me up after a long day of work. The finish is where things got interesting, however. There were flavors of black coffee on the immediate finish, but after a few seconds, it faded into something else. The best way for me to describe the flavor it is to compare it to a specialty ice cream we have here in Columbus (where we have many boutique parlors pushing the envelope on flavors.) The finish on this cigar reminded me of a flavor we have called Hot Chocolate. Basically, it's chocolate ice cream with cayenne pepper added. It sounds strange, but I think if you smoke this cigar, you will get where I'm coming from. The strength of the finish was long lasting and continued to be present until the next puff. Anther thing to note with this cigar (pictured above) is the bright white ash. The body was in the medium-full range.

Second Third  
Burning into the second third of my Tatuaje 7th Reserva, the flavors mellowed and blended more. The flavors were still very strong and tasty, but now the black pepper on the front was toned down a notch with the emergence of some warm leathery notes. The stick did not let up, continuing to produce clouds of thick smoke, both on the draw and while resting in the ash tray. I lost a lot of the coffee flavors on the finish, but they were barely missed because about 15 seconds after each puff, I was greeted with that delicious spicy chocolate taste. This flavor was really the star of the show. The burn during the second third was slightly wavy, but not ever to the point of needing a touch up from my torch. The body was a relaxing medium-full, reaching further into the full range.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my Tatuaje 7th Reserva was very similar to the second third and that was perfect for me. On the front of the flavor profile I got black pepper blending masterfully with leather, and on the finish, the spicy chocolate. Some of those chocolate notes started to creep into the front a little towards the nub, but by then I was burning my fingers and, sadly, I  had to put the stick down. The body finished firmly in the full range, but not enough to make me uncomfortable or dizzy.

My final thoughts on the Tatuaje Seleccion de Cazador 7th Reserva? This is a beautiful cigar, both in taste and in performance. I get asked all the time what my favorite cigar is and, for awhile now, it's been an easy answer: the Tatuaje Noellas Reserva. After smoking a few of the number 7, it's not as easy a question for me to answer. The beginning of this stick is great, but once into the second third and the flavor blending is in high gear, this stick shines. Even with the fuller-bodied finish, I could smoke this cigar everyday and have no complaints. 

Would I buy it again? This is a no brainer. Unlike the Noellas, which are a limited release, this is a full-production cigar and I will try to keep stock of these whenever my budget allows. 

Would I buy a box? If my wife reads this (which I know she will because she fixes all my bad spelling), I want to let her know...hey honey...birthday...xmas...anniversary...hint hint. 100% box worthy

I try not to gush this much about a cigar, but once in awhile one comes along and I can't help myself. If you'd like to try this stick, my friend Dan (NHCDAN on twitter) at New Havana Cigars has them included in his IPCPR Tatuaje sampler pack which you can pick up here for $55. Try it and please leave me a comment about your experience. I'd love to read others take on this one.



  1. I love these, they have a very dark flavor profile which is only going to get better with a year of age. They are strong enough and have enough up front bite to them where you know aging will do this stick wonders, even though they are smoking great fresh. Not as flavorful as the Petit Cazi Reserva, IMO, but more complex and last, obviously almost double that of the petit.

  2. I just smoked one of these on wed 11/24. It has a lot of wonderful smoke. That is the best cigar I have smoked in my new hobby. I wish I could afford to smke this cigar everyday. I also could smoke this cigar everyday and not get tired of it. WOW