The Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Reserva is a limited edition cigar that was released in March of 2014. As I'm sure you know, 2014 was the 10th Anniversary of the Tatuaje brand and many Tatuaje releases featured the 10th Anniversary band. The Belle Encre Reserva also features a secondary "Reserva" band noting it's Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and limited edition status. This particular cigar is limited to 1994 22-count boxes.
Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Reserva
Size: 5 3/8 x 48
Vitola: Belle Encre - Perfecto
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
MSRP: $11.00 - 22-Count Tin $242
Cigars smoked for review: 2
Cigars for review were purchased from SmallBatchCigars
Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system
Pre-Light: I love the shape and size of the Belle Encre Reserva. It looks good and feels good in the hand and the slight taper at the cap makes for a very comfortable smoke. The Bella Encre is available in the regular 10th Anniversary release (Ecuadorian Habano wrapper) and the Reserva (Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper). While preparing for this review I found a few of the regular releases in my humidor and I plan to review that one soon.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper was perfect and oily. The wrapper smelled of hay, sweet tobacco and baking spice. The cold draw was a bit tight and tasted of peanut butter and toasted bread. The wrapper also left a spicy black pepper flavor on the lips.
The construction looked and felt great. The draw was a bit tight on both cigars that I smoked for review, but it never developed into a problem. The burn throughout both cigars was spot on and the smoke production was perfect. These are all things I have come to expect from Tatuaje and My Father.
Beginning: There was mucho black pepper up front, which my pre-light experience prepared me for. The initial blast was on the retrohale, but it eventually settled on the tongue as well. The initial flavor profile consisted of black pepper spice, dark chocolate and caramel sweetness, and some woody earth notes. There were some minor notes of roasted nuts and coffee in there as well. The initial balance of bold flavors was impressive.
At the one-inch mark the finish took on a smokey note and the profile seemed to smooth out. The pepper was far less intense and the smokey note added a nice finish.
Middle: Complexity and balance were expertly displayed as I reached the middle of the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Reserva. I REALLY enjoyed the middle portion so prepare yourself for some poetic waxing. Each puff was like its own little journey. We would start out with some pepper. After that we'd melt into a little sweetness. Then there would be some notes of wood and smoke (mesquite?) and we'd finish up with a little more black pepper. The middle portion of the Belle Encre Reserva was borderline perfect.
End: You know when you're driving up a hill and you gear down to get some extra power? The Belle Encre Reserva "geared down" in the final third. Everything took a step forward. The strength pushed forward to the medium-plus range while the body jumped to full. The pepper ramped up and threw the balance off a bit, but I enjoyed the shift. The cigar ended strong, both literally and figuratively.
Final Thoughts: OK, I'll say it out loud. I don't smoke enough Tatuaje offerings. There. Are you happy? My experience with the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Reserva has converted me. I absolutely loved this cigar. Everything from the vitola to the flavor profile to the construction was damn close to perfect. I smoked three of these over the weekend (two for review). I liked this cigar so much that I smoked two back-to-back! I can count on one hand the number of times I have done that in the past. So, yes... I freakin' loved it!
Rating: 94 aka "Box Buy"
I am currently looking for a place to buy a box of these, so it has to be a Box Buy! I can't think of anything I would change about the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Reserva. It's as simple as that.