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25 September 2010

Video: Tatuaje Cigars with Pete Johnson
 Brian interviews the brains behind one of our best loved cigars

       -Posted by sykes-

Alright, I confess, I'd sort of forgotten that we still had some great footage from the IPCPR show in New Orleans in August. We took a lot of video at the show and with fully three of us behind the camera at various times, I sort of lost track of what all we had. The upside is that trolling through the raw footage is sort of like a treasure trove, as I eliminate video of me tripping over my own words, or Alyson and Susan not realizing that the camera is rolling and continuing their discussion on how silly the boys get when presented with all of the smokable goodies at the show (which, I might add, took place while they themselves were enjoying Kristoff coronas, so I think they have little room to stand on when mocking Brian and me).

Anyway, there's still lots of good stuff left, not least of which is this great interview with our friend Pete Johnson. When Pete launched Tatuaje, we were early, enthusiastic fans of the luscious Tatuaje Brown Label, rolled in Miami. Since then (perhaps a little more than five years ago), Tatuaje has continued to occupy a hallowed place in our humidor and continues to be a disproportionately popular brand both in the store and on Smokingpipes.com.








Posted by sykes at 3:16 PM | Link | 0 comments


05 July 2010

Tatuaje cigars
 Special Occasion Cigars

       -Posted by adam-

I'm a pipe smoker most of the year, but do enjoy the occasional cigar. Smoking cigars became a pastime my freshman year of college, and the humidor at the local B&M seemed like a candy store full of sweet-smelling luxury. Fast forward to 2005, when I began working for smokingpipes, and my palate had developed. The greatest time for me to learn about cigars was when I began to work in our store, Low Country Pipe and Cigar. It's one thing to browse around in a humidor the size of my apartment, at the time, and another thing entirely to be able to guide customers toward what they were really looking for. Luckily, I was not only able to sample cigars that we had to remove from inventory due to careless fingernail happy patrons, but the employee discount helped.

Initially, I reached for what I knew I liked. A Padron 1926 maduro was a favorite smoke for my birthdays, so I decided to figure out what made the stick so great. Blends in a cigar (filler, wrapper, and binder) make the smoke what it is. Further experimentation told me there really is a difference between a $2 cigar, and one that was closer to $10 or $20. It became important for me to learn about what I enjoyed with each particular cigar, so listening to the cigar-reps was actually educational. Long-filler, Nicaraguan, Dominican, Cuban-seed, Connecticut, Maduro, clipping, punching, etc. became terms I would absorb and repeat to our customers. Much to my amazement, I began to know what I was talking about. When a representative from Tatuaje came into the store, I listened to his explanations of brown label, red label, and (later) white label. There actually is a difference in these smokes, and the most prominent is the flavor obtained from the Cuban-seed plants grown in Nicaragua, and I prefer the brown label.

I would not explain these smokes as "sweet", because they are not, but am not hesitant to liken the flavors to toasted nuts. The first smoke came from a Tatuaje Petite. Smaller cigars tend to have a different flavor than their big brothers, and that comes from the proportion of filler, binder, wrapper, and the amount of each lending their smoke the the appropriate puff. After a brief clip to open the draw, yet retain a portion of the cap to hold everything together, I did a brief toast with a wooden match, and the applied a delicate draw. Flavors of cedar, toast, and nuts swirled around my tongue. What a fantastic smoke! To me, this is as close to the forbidden-smokes we can't get. The Noella (center in the picture) was one of the most popular cigars sold in our store for years, and still holds strong. Stocking up on these is a great idea. One of the biggest, and baddest, smokes is the foil-wrapped RC-233. Apparently, Cuban cigars used to be entirely wrapped in such foils, but customers today want to see what they are buying (and I agree). For my birthday this year, my wife and I headed to the state park on the beach to grill out, get some sun, and I fired up the cigar. Part of me was worried that the size would make for an extremely strong or bitter smoke toward the end. Not true. The double-tapered construction allows for brief changes in flavor toward the beginning, and I smoked this all they way down to a nub. I enjoy my pipes at work, and in my workshop, but when I head to the beach for a good part of the day, a great cigar fits the bill.








Posted by adam at 1:44 PM | Link | 0 comments


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