August 3, 2011

REVIEW: Tatuaje Fausto

It is time for probably the most most talked about, cigar-geek anticipated releases of the year...the Fausto from Tatuaje. All the information has been leaked out about these sticks for awhile now, so I won't bore you with all the rumors, truths and legends that have been written about this release over the last year.  The description from New Havana Cigars pretty much says it all:

Quote New Havana Cigars: Based on the T110 (Thermonuclear) blend, Fausto is a much anticipated new lineup from Pete Johnson.  Fausto features an Ecuador Habano Maduro wrapper and a very strong blend of Nicaraguan filler that includes mostly ligero from Jalapa and Esteli.  As strong as the blend is, this full bodied smoke is filled with flavor and will be a daily staple for many who love a bigger smoke.  

I asked Pete about this stick at the show and he said, "It is what it is. It's for those guys who loved the T110 power and wanted more of it." 

Here's my post-dinner review.

Vitola: Robusto Extra
Length: 5 1/2
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price:  $8.25 in 5 packs
Smoking Location: New Havana Cigars
Beverage: nothing


My Fausto was a beautiful looking cigar. After smoking so many cigars with broadleaf wrappers recently (which can be ugly a lot of the time) it was nice to see a silky smooth Habano Maduro. There were some small veins on the wrapper, but not anything that took away from the cigar's appearance. The black and red band had a nice contrast and was a modern version of a classic Cuban style. The pre-lit aroma was peppery, especially at the foot, where it made me sneeze. The cold draw is nice and free and tasted earthy with a slight vegetable garden flavor. You know when you smell a growing tomato plant? It doesn't smell like tomatoes. It has that vegetable garden smell.  That was this flavor.

First Third   
At first, I didn't get right from the cigar what I thought would come from the Fausto. I remember the T110 being right up in your face from the get-go. This stick started pretty mellow with a lot of graham cracker flavor on the front. The finish was more what I expected with some black pepper flavor, but not as strong as I thought it would be. The stick gave off a medium amount of smoke and the strength was obviously there, but not head strong, more body or gut strong. The ash was solid and the construction top notch, as always with My Father factory-produced cigars.

Second Third  
The second third of my Fausto had some transitions in the flavors but they were difficult for me to pick out.  There was a lot of flavor for sure, but I was wracking my brain for what the tastes were. I settled on a light milk chocolate mixing with some leathery notes, and still the pepper on the finish.  That sounds crazy, and is almost embarrassing to write, but it was the best I could do at this point.  What I think was evident in my not being able to decipher the exact flavor profiles was just how balanced the flavors were. Nothing stood out too much and nothing was so weak that it didn't come through on my palate. The strength of the cigar was showing through at this point also, but I must restate: it was more of a body/gut strength than a head spinner.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of Fausto was pretty similar to the second half, except I would now describe the milk chocolate flavor from before as more of a dry cocoa taste. Again in the final third, the flavor profile was strong, but hard to pick out the individual flavors. The only real obvious flavor was the black pepper on the finish that never really took off, but was always there for a nice treat at the end of each draw. Full strength in the final third, so watch out if you have not had a nice meal before smoking this cigar.

My final thoughts on the tatuaje Fausto? Like I wrote above: The Fausto is not what I was expecting it to be. I was expecting that pepper bomb that I fondly remember from the T110. The flavors of the cigar were strong and the strength was there for sure, but I found it hard to pick out what the predominant flavor was. Overall, I enjoyed the cigar and I would buy it again, but it didn't floor me like some of Pete's other new releases. Strangely, I smoked the Avion recently (the same blend) and found it to be much more to my liking.  Guess it's true what they say: size matters, and maybe for me, this blend will be more to my liking in other sizes.

Would I buy it again? Yup, the price is right and it's a great full power cigar that doesn't go to far over the top into the sickly range. I'll try the other sizes in the line before I grab this one again though.

Would I buy a box? Right now I'd pass on a box, although I think they will really get nice with age. I'm not sure why I think that; just a personal feeling.



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