Tatuaje Series P cigars are economy selections from Jose Pepin Garcia’s Tabacalera Cubana in Esteli, Nicaragua. These are “cuban sandwich” cigars made with the same filler blend as Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje Havana VI, presumably with scrap tobacco from the same. These are Nicaraguan puros and are marketed as having 40% long filler and 60% medium filler. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Habano.
Construction is always an issue when it comes to sandwich or mixed filler cigars, and the Series P is not immune. Most of the cigars I’ve sampled in this series have been fine, but a few have had burn problems and a couple have split their wrappers in catastrophic fashion. From the price alone it seems a bit of a gamble — about 4 USD per stick local retail. Not your typical Pepin price mark, but it’s a reasonable wager for this cigar.
The size I chose for this review was the robusto P2. (These are also available in churchill, toro, and corona grande vitolas.) The wrapper is not a looker exactly, so you’ll want to judge this one for its personality rather than its superficial deficiency. The wrapper scent here is straight ahead cedar with a little bit of sweet grass on the prelight pull.
The P2 starts up with no nonsense medium bodied tobacco flavors and maintains that course pretty much to the end. The real attraction here is the sweet spicy aroma from the wrapper. It has a very carmelized kind of smell, almost like roasted marshmellows. After a couple inches some pepper arrives at the party, but for the most part it serves as a mild condiment over that simple sweet woody flavor. There isn’t much transition here, as Jerry noticed in his Stogie Review of this cigar. I have to agree with him that a big development isn’t really necessary here.
Like the Havana VI, this is a relatively mild blend for Tatuaje and Pepin. At times the smoke seems a little bit thin, but it’s flavorful and the wrapper imparts a delicate sweetness that is not easily found among cigars in this price range.
It’s really not fair to compare this cigar to the standard line Tats, so I won’t. Just remember that this is a bargain-oriented cigar made with the leavings from the big boys. The result is a ghostly palimpsest of the original work, but when the original is a Tatuaje, that may be just enough to seal the deal. For 4 bucks, anyway.