September 8, 2011

Cigar Review: Tatuaje 7th Capa Especial

Tatuaje 7th Capa Especial

I have gone on and on before about how wrappers really play a change in flavors and strength for a cigar, and I am going down that road again, and with a fabulous cigar. I am partial to cigars that have multiple wrapper options, and I usually end up liking only one out of how many options, but this cigar is the exception to the rule. The Tatuaje 7th Capa Especial was released prior to the 2011 IPCPR, but after being featured there has definitely become more popular. The cigar is based off of the Tatuaje 7th in the Seleccion De Cazador line, and is a 5 5/8” by 46 ring gauge corona gorda. The cigar features the same Nicaraguan binder and fillers, but has an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper instead of an Ecuadorian Habano. This is the third installation in this vitola, the second being the 7th Reserva which featured a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. I have had all three cigars, and there is a big difference in them, and I will give you my opinion in the end; but in the mean time I am going to talk about this smoke.

Holding the cigar in hand, it is very firm. The wrapper is this beautiful, toothy and oily, and it has a nice chocolate brown color to it. There are very few veins present, and the triple cap is great. The cigar, with all of Pete’s cigars is made in Nicaragua at the My Father Factory in Esteli. It has the traditional Seleccion De Cazador band to it, but it is also dressed with an elegant white band that denotes Capa Especial in gold. Holding the foot to my nose I am greeted with hints of mocha, leather and spices. As I light the cigar I am greeted with the typical Pepin flavors of spice, but about half an inch in the cigar begins to become less spicy, and shows the true flavors. In the first third I pick up lots of mocha, leather, spices and some wood notes on the finish. The spices are of pepper, cinnamon and anise, and are very balanced but complex. The cigar is burning perfectly even, and is producing nice thick smoke.
Capa Especial
 In the second third, the cigar begins to change some and is now showing a lot more nutty characteristics than mocha. I am still getting that nice spice and leather, but there is this emergence of coffee as well. I would say the cigar is smoking around medium-full full, but is very balanced and flavorful. I thought the second third of the cigar was very nice, but I preferred the first third. Typically the cigar is warming up in the first third, and in the second third it begins to show its great flavors, but I thought it stepped down some at this point. It was still burning great and giving off great smoke though, which is always important in a cigar, but I preferred the first third. When I get into the final third of the cigar the strength definitely picks up and so does the spice level. I am getting a lot of pepper all the way to the end, and it is accompanied by leather and wood. I am not picking up many more flavors than that, but it is very full bodied at this point. The cigar had a minor burn issue at this point, but it corrected itself and I put it down at the nub. It was interesting, but I thought that the first third was the best, and then the second third. I typically find the second third to be the sweet spot, but that was not the case with this cigar.

I thought this was a great cigar, and it was nice to enjoy the original blend again with a Sumatra wrapper. I would have to say this I prefer the original Habano 7th over this cigar but it was still great in its own way. I am giving this cigar a 91 rating. I think all three versions of the Tatuaje 7th are very flavorful and unique in their own way, and I would say this is my second favorite of the three. I think the Tatuaje Reserva is a great cigar, but I am not as huge a fan of Connecticut Broadleaf as some are, and because of that it is not my preferred pick over the Sumatra and Habano version. I think the Habano line has a richer and heavier flavor to it which, but that’s just my pick. I will say that this is one of the best Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper cigars I have had in some time, and it was a great release for the year. I love the corona gorda vitola, and I love that Pete Johnson makes most of his cigars in that as well. To me it gives off the best flavor profile in a cigar, and I think Pete Johnson mentioned that in a Cigar Aficionado a couple years back as well. Tatuaje Cigars have always been great, and I think his recent releases have been incredible. He has done incredible wonders in the cigar world, and I think he will continue to do so for years to come. A great cigar, and a great company!           
Ecuadorian Sumatra Wrapper 

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