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Tatuaje T110 Reserva | halfwheel


When Pete Johnson of Tatuaje announced that the Tatuaje T110—one of the more sought-after cigars from he company’s history—would be returning as a limited edition redux, it certainly captured the attention of many of the brand’s fans. Then about six months after the first teasing of the news and about three months after the plans for the cigar’s release firmed up, Johnson sprung another surprise, announcing that he would be releasing two new variations on the T110.

Those are the T110 Capa Especial—or what you might refer to as the T110 Sumatra—and the T110 Reserva. After the initial excitement of the news seemed to settle down, it was a reminder that Johnson was returning to not just a classic cigar from his portfolio, but a technique he’s used of using a trio of wrappers on some of his projects, and one that might be utilized more in the future.

After talking with Johnson about his plans for these two new offshoots, it reminded me of a project he did back in 2012 with the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012, releasing the cigar in a book format of 24 cigars, 12 of which used the Capa Especial, or Sumatra wrapper, while the other 12 used a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. Then it reminded me of the Tatuaje Broadleaf Collection that was released in February 2017, where Johnson selected 10 cigars from the company’s Brown Label portfolio and gave them the broadleaf treatment. Then it reminded me of a conversation I had with Johnson that this might be his approach to new releases for the foreseeable future: bringing back iconic cigars with their original specs and then giving them the two other wrappers.

 

What that means for the T110 is that it gets a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper instead of the original T110’s Ecuadorian habano wrapper, while using the same Nicaraguan binders and fillers. It’s also a 4 3/8 x 52 short robusto and offered in 25-count boxes, though there were 2,400 boxes of both the Broadleaf and Capa Especial versions produced, as opposed to just 1,000 of the T110 habano version. It will also be the last time that the T110 is seen for three to five years, as the trio is all part of the Tatuaje Limited Series, a group of cigars that Johnson has said he will rotate in and out between production runs.

  • Tatuaje T110 (4 3/8 x 52) —July 2009 — 200 Boxes of 25 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje T110 (4 3/8 x 52) — December 2009 — 190 Boxes of 25 Cigars (4,750 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje T110 (2021) (4 3/8 x 52) — April 2021 — 1,000 Boxes of 25 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje T110 Capa Especial (4 3/8 x 52) — May 2021 — 2,400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (60,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje T110 Reserva (4 3/8 x 52) — July 2021 — 2,400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (60,000 Total Cigars)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje T110 Reserva
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 3/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Short Robusto
  • MSRP: $10 (Box of 25, $250)
  • Release Date: July 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: 2,400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (60,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

There isn’t a lot about the Tatuaje T110 Reserva that stands out visually—something I say with no disrespect but rather a compliment to a good-looking cigar—though other than that for some reason the combination of its length and ring gauge make it feel like a cut-down Churchill as opposed to a petit robusto. As expected with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, the top leaf is a very dark brown color with a toothy texture and few if any noticeable veins, but the one or two that do catch my eye are on the wavy side. With a light touch the cigars feel dry with a bit of small velvet texture, with a more intentioned touch I can feel a bit of oil in the leaf. The cigars are rolled firmly but short of having no give; I’m sure I could get more out of the latter but I see no reason to as it feels plenty filled. The foot offers an earthy aroma that reminds me of walking through the potting soil aisle at a nursery; an almost surprisingly singular aroma save for the variety of options aspect, as I don’t get much in the way of sweetness or pepper. Once sample has a bit of brownie batter and pepper, which helps with complexity. The cold draw is just a touch open on the first sample, with a flavor that holds onto some of the earthiness while introducing a supporting flavor that reminds me of kettle cooked potato chips. The second and third samples’ draw is just fine, and nothing about any of them has me concerned.

While the Tatuaje T110 Reserva starts off with an expected rich earthiness and some pepper, there is also an interesting tanginess, almost juicy on the tongue while a bit of black pepper does some tingling of the taste buds. There’s some burnt steak ends as well, a combination that carries the cigar for a bit until pepper and the Connecticut terroir push forward and deliver what I would say is the familiar profile of cigars that use Connecticut broadleaf wrappers. Not long after that flavor takes over the palate, it begins making its way to the nose as well, which offers quite full-bodied and peppery retrohales, as well as some potent ambient smoke if you’re not a fan of that process. At some point in the first third, whatever the funkiness was at the onset goes away and reveals a very enjoyable flavor of rich earthiness, some concentrated cola syrup, a bit of black pepper and plenty of terroir. The earth lightens up just a bit at the end of the first third, but the flavor is still big and pretty dynamic. Construction is very good, there’s plenty of smoke and no issues with combustion. Other than the first puffs, the first third of the Tatuaje T110 Reserva is close to if not outright full, while body and strength are right behind it.

After starting off with a slightly lighter profile, the second third continues to slowly develop the earthiness of the profile, thickening the smoke and adding a bit of chocolate by way of a thick and chewy brownie note. On the exhale and finish, the cigar now shows more robustness by way of a lingering black pepper and some light rockiness in the earth. That transfers to retrohales as well, but it stays lighter than what the profile gets, even as the profile returns to a fuller expression. There’s also a flavor and aroma that emerges and both catches my attention while confounding my memory and ability to put a name to it. There’s something that makes me think of the sourdough bread note usually found in Connecticut shade tobacco, though that doesn’t seem quite right. There are also some traces of creaminess emerging, a very subtle flavor but one that both counters and complements the previous flavors quite well. During the first sample, I step away from the cigar for a moment as this section comes to a close and notice a rather robust flavor still lingering on my palate, imparting a mix of black pepper, charred wood, finished charcoal grill and general smokiness on my palate. Flavor and body are between medium-plus and medium-full for this section, while strength is closer to medium but still noticeable. Construction is still very good and problem-free.

The robustness that had been part of the finish in the second third has moved into the lead role at the final third gets underway, and in a few puffs the sourdough-like flavor returns as well. The Tatuaje T110 Reserva also begins to show its first struggles with combustion, something that feels like the cigar may be holding onto a bit of excess of humidity from the rolling process. It’s also something that is consistent across all three samples, reinforcing my suspicions and unfortunately taking my attention away from the flavor. When I can get a couple focused puffs out of the cigar, I notice that the pepper is quite forward in the profile and fairly sharp on my tongue and lips, more so than I remember at any point thus far. The earthiness of the profile has dialed itself back a bit, leaving the flavor a bit drier and more vibrant. The same unidentified flavor from the first third and sporadic points thereafter returns, and it has me wishing for the rich earth and chocolate from earlier. That quasi-sourdough flavor and more pepper finishes out the cigar, a vibrant and lively flavor that puts the cigar back into medium-full to full territory. Body stays medium-plus and strength has crept up to medium-plus, though I find myself focusing more on the lingering tingle of the finish than any nicotine strength. Other than the combustion issues in this third, the cigar performs pretty well, with decent smoke production and an even burn line.

Final Notes

  • If you’re not familiar with the history of the Tatuaje T110 and why it became such a sought-after cigar, this story will give you some history.
  • I can’t recall ever looking at a cigar and thinking that it looked more like a cutdown version of another vitola than the actual vitola it was.
  • For my love of rich, earthy flavor profiles, I’m always a bit surprised to find that I don’t enjoy Connecticut broadleaf profiles more. That said, I also wonder if the variance that comes with the varietal has tempered my excitement.
  • I’m certainly sympathetic to the frustration that comes with smoking a cigar that performs well through its first two thirds, only to seemingly run into unreleased dampness in the final third.
  • Several years ago I was fortunate to go to Connecticut with a group from Altadis U.S.A. to see both broadleaf and shade tobacco farms, and seeing the process of stalk cutting and curing broadleaf was quite impressive. I would love to go back as those years have resulted in a new list of questions I would love to ask.
  • I didn’t get as much strength from the Tatuaje T110 Reserva as I was expecting. There was a bit, but between the core blend and the change to the broadleaf wrapper, I really thought this would leave me with more of a nicotine buzz.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hours and 45 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and JR Cigar carry the Tatuaje T110 Reserva, though both are sold out at the time of publication.

89
Overall Score

I was undoubtedly intrigued by the return of the T110, and the two variations certainly were intriguing enough on their own, let alone as part of the T110 trio. I’ve had the chance to smoke all three of the T110s, and much like with other cigars in the Tatuaje portfolio that use the three wrappers, the broadleaf wrapper is either its biggest strength or its biggest detractor. At its best, the T110 Reserva was the richest of the three for my palate, while also being the funkiest of the three when things aren’t at their best. It’s something I’ve noticed elsewhere, and leads me to wonder just what causes the variance of the broadleaf that is being used for these cigars. I would certainly still recommend trying the Tatuaje T110 Reserva if you have or can get some, but I would do so with a word of caution that I think you need to smoke a few of them to find all that the blend has to offer, and in doing so, you may just find one reasons why the T110 Reserva falls short of the other two.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I’m a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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