I first reviewed the Tatuaje Havana at the end of 2006, not long after the blend was released as a medium-bodied alternative to the standard Tatuaje line. Since then I’ve continued to enjoy this line as well as it’s more powerful mutation — the Havana VI Verocu, which is also a good, but very different smoke.
Since I am routinely exiled to the back yard for my evening smoke and the temperature has been hovering around 105 degrees, I find myself reaching for smaller vitolas. That’s where the Angeles comes in.
There are six models of the Tat VI — the first letter of each size forms an anagram of the name of one of Pete Johnson’s dogs, “Havana.”
- Hermosos – 5.625 x 46
- Angeles – 4.625 x 42
- Victorias – 6 x 38
- Artistas – 6.125 x 52 (torpedo)
- Nobles – 5 x 50
- Almirante – 7 x 47
The Angeles is of course the petite corona size. Just the right size cigar for when the mercury drops below the century mark around 8 pm this time of year.
As is the case with most Tatuaje cigars, this one is a Nicaraguan puro and is made in Esteli by Tabacalera Cubana. The wrapper is Pepin’s familiar Corojo 99.
Almost every cigar to leave one of Don Pepin or Jaime Garcia’s factories is picture perfect, and this little corona is no exception. The wrapper is a slightly oily colorado maduro, almost rosado in the fading light, and the tight triple cap is the envy of the industry. The only flaw in this cigar is a prominent vein running down the back of the stick, straight as a stocking seam in one of those classic pin-ups.
The draw is good, and the burn is fine. All cigars should made as well as these.
The cigar makes its first impression with that trademark Pepin twang. I’d like to think that I could identify this flavor and aroma anywhere, because this Corojo 99 is just that distinct. The aroma is slightly sweet, somewhat caramel-like, and this is counterbalanced by a mild woody tannic flavor on the palate. The overall effect is earthy at first and gradually becomes more leathery as the stick burns down.
The peppery flavors I associate with Tatuaje are toned down in this blend, and they don’t make an appearance here until the second half of the smoke. This peppery note never really makes a solo appearance, but it does quietly simmer beneath the bitter-sweet melange above. The last half-inch or so gets a little hot and starts to taste graphitic, but slow down and it can easily be enjoyed to a point well below the band.
Even in the triple-digit heat I find myself nubbing these little guys. The Tatuaje Havana blend is a nice alternative for medium-bodied smokers, and I think this is my favorite vitola in the line. It’s all killer, no filler, as the kids say.
Once again though, the price is not ideal. These retail for around 5 or 6 dollars a stick. Not bad really, but not fantastic either. Still, if you’re in the market for a medium-bodied petite corona with real distinction, this is one you’ll have to consider.
Final Score: 90
Other Reviews of Note
Stinkie says the Angeles has it all on Cigar Beat
Rob (from PuffingCigars.com) finds the Angeles a clean, but less spicy smoke than others in the line.
Scott reviews the Almirante for Cigar Command and says EVERYONE should try this cigar at least once.
Patrick S. hedges his bet on the Nobles for The Stogie Guys.