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stearns
03-15-2017, 02:06 PM
This is the first review in what I hope will be a series (depending on motivation). As many know, when I first started getting into cigars about 10 years ago I rode the tatuaje train pretty hard, collected all the limited releases for a few years, then my tastes started changing around the time that the limited releases really started ramping up, to the point that it would cost a fortune to buy even a five pack of each. I stopped the purchasing (for the most part) and slowly smoked through what I had, but eventually stopped that too and focused most of my smoking on stuff coming from an island a little south of miami. I didn't want to sell off my tatuajes, honestly I don't think they're worth it for all the years I've spent carrying them around, so they have mostly sat around, hoping one day I could have a herf where we just burn through them all so these "rarities" which there might not be too many left of get enjoyed by more than just me. About a month ago I had a revelation; just smoke the dang thing, but write a review. With that, I present part one of a series with an unknown end date.

Tatuaje Anarchy

Background: This was one of the first Tatuaje in the Smoke Inn Microblend series, Nicaraguan binder and filler but Ecuadorian wrapper. This was my least favorite wrapper origin and one that I always felt confident that I could point out in a blind taste, because I hated it, too sweet and earthy and an annoying something that made me ditch countless stogies because they weren't worth finishing. When I found out Pete was making one, I put down my glass of kool-aid and thought "Finally, he's making a cigar with Ecuadorian tobacco, so I can at last say I smoked one I liked." I stayed up until midnight on black friday in 2010 (when they went on sale on SI's website), bought the box, and patiently waited. Smoked one right when it came in, and it was gross. A well made cigar for sure, but did not agree with my palate, as expected. It had a heavy body to it, but the finish was not my cup of tea, so I gave a few out and put the rest away for a while. Last Sunday, I decided to give it another shot.

Prelight: This thing's got the goofiest cap, kinda like the m80 but wrapped around in a circle. This made it very easy to cut, just lined up the Palio right below the braid and snipped, the perfect amount came off and left with a nice semi-perfecto shaped smoke to start burning. This was filled to the brim, it was hard to push on the sides without feeling like it was going to burst at the seems, but there was no indication of it being too dry so I assumed it was just tightly packed. Pre light draw was a good resistance, but the taste was straight Ecuadorian, earthy and sweet, I almost put it away right there knowing for sure I wasn't going to like it.

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First Third: That dreadful taste was there right from the start, but nowhere near as pronounced as in the prelight draw and my rough memory of smoking one more than 6 years ago. This guy burned like a champ, when I would ash it would stay tightly packed and keep its form, clearly a well rolled cigar. All of the first third stayed like this, but with the sweetness slowly dying off and giving way to the Nicaraguan filler with a very full, spicy and earthy "background." It was odd, it truly felt like a consistent background for a play, with the sweetness being up front and center.

Second Third: The background stayed strong through about the half way point, when another strange thing happened- the sweetness left. It was gradual, but as I started going into the final third it was completely gone. This was amazing, not only to witness it happening puff by puff but also because it was exactly what I was hoping would happen, and part of the reason why I kept a few instead of ditching them all 6 years ago, hoping that maybe one day it would become what I was hoping it would become. The day has come.

Final Third: Bliss, but unfortunately my days of smoking shorter and milder cigars caught up to me, by the end the nic buzz was borderline overwhelming and was the reason I needed to put it down (with less than an inch left, but still).

Overall: I have smoked cigars that are crazy complex, changing profiles seemingly with every puff. This was not one of those cigars, but it had a clear single-direction development (not sure that's a real term). It started tasting like one thing, ended tasting like something very different, and every puff in the middle was another step in that direction. A very cool experience, and I'm glad that I was able to take part and try to explain it to you guys. Total smoke time was about 1.5 hours, I was happy it lasted that long but also happy it didn't draw out longer than that.

My advice: If you have any of these sticking around, give it a light and see how it's fairing, especially if you had one when it was first released. I hope you'll post up your experience.

Chainsaw13
03-15-2017, 02:20 PM
Excellent review.

Remo
03-15-2017, 03:01 PM
Nice review......I love these smokes :tu

dave
03-15-2017, 03:59 PM
Awesome. Thanks, Ben. IIRC, the last time I had one of these was sitting with you at Baileys a few years ago. That wrapper is a lot closer to my wheelhouse than yours....time to dig out another. Thanks again for that great review.