I look forward to the Tatuaje TAA release every year and the 2014 edition was no different.  This all started for me when the TAA 2012 blew me away.  This prompted me to seek out the 2011 which was also fantastic.  The 2013 was good, but not on the same level as 2012.  So I was eager to see if the Tatuaje TAA 2014 lived up to its predecessors.

As you probably know, TAA stands for the Tobacconist Association of America.  Ever year they have some exclusive releases from different manufacturers and these cigars are only available at shops that are members of the TAA.  Tatuaje has been producing a TAA exclusive since 2011.  Click here to get a brief look at the TAA exclusives from 2013 and 2014

Here is a look at the specs on all the Tatuaje TAA releases:

  • Tatuaje TAA 2011 - Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper, Nicaraguan Binder, Nicaraguan Filler
  • Tatuaje TAA 2012 - Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper, Nicaraguan Binder, Nicaraguan Filler
    • I believe the 2011 and 2012 blends were the same with each year being a different vitola
  • Tatuaje TAA 2013 - Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper, Nicaraguan Binder, Nicaraguan Filler
  • Tatuaje TAA 2014 - Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper, Nicaraguan Binder, Nicaraguan Filler

Tatuaje TAA 2014 Exclusive

Size: 6 x 52

Vitola: Box Pressed Toro

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

MSRP: $10.99

Samples smoked for review: 2

Samples for review acquired via trades with CigarFederation members

Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System

Pre-Light: I love the look of the Tatuaje TAA bands.  It features the Indian head TAA logo and distinguishes itself with the year of production below the logo.  The 2013 band is different as it was designed to fit in with the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary look.  The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is a thing of beauty with it's deep brown color and oily feel.  The cigar is box pressed and features a closed foot.

The wrapper gave off some notes of earth and leather, but they weren't very defined.  The cold draw was smooth and tasted of tobacco and baking spice.  There was also a prominent black pepper taste on the lips.

Beginning:  The Tatuaje TAA started off really well.  On the first puff I was hit with bold notes of earth, molasses, black pepper and a mild milk chocolate sweetness on the finish.  The pepper was sharp on the lips and retrohale, but calmed down after the first few puffs.

After the first inch a beautiful dark chocolate note showed up.  This played well with the molasses and black pepper to create a rich and satisfying flavor profile.  The strength settled in at medium while the body was heading in the direction of full.

Middle: Things started to go wrong about 2 1/2 inches in.  The only way I can describe it is the profile got dirty. The great balance and complexity of the first third was clouded over.  It was like throwing a blanket over a speaker.  You can still hear the music, but it's muffled.  The same thing happened to the profile, but instead of a blanket, it was a layer of dirty flavor. This happened with both cigars that were smoked for this review and each cigar came form a different source.  So, the middle portion of the Tatuaje TAA was a disappointment.  It wasn't horrible, but it was a big step down from the first third.

End: Thankfully, the profile cleared up a bit.  The dirty flavor subsided a bit (without ever going away) to allow the initial profile to shine a bit more.  It never got back to the levels of the first third, but the dark chocolate, molasses and black pepper were brought back and the final third was more enjoyable.

Final Thoughts: This was almost a REALLY good cigar.  The Tatuaje TAA started off with great promise, but really let me down in the middle.  It ended strong though and overall was a decent smoke.  I smoked two cigars for this review and I have since smoked a third and the exact same thing happened all three times.  After the first experience, I thought it was an anomaly, but that has proven to be incorrect.  I think this cigar will benefit from some aging, so I have set a few aside to see what happens.  If that middle portion can calm down a bit, then this could be an amazing smoke.  As it is now I have to say it was just alright and nowhere near as good as the 2012 iteration.

Rating 86 AKA "I'd buy a couple"

This is not a cheap cigar, so I'm simply "buying a couple" to see if it gets any better with age.  If it does, then I'll have a few more to smoke and enjoy.  If it doesn't, then I'll leave them in the humidor or trade them to someone who wants some.  Overall, I was let down by this cigar.

Views: 395

Comment by Lena Adams on November 13, 2014 at 9:44am

gotta try it!morning rob

Comment by RobbyRas on November 13, 2014 at 2:58pm

Thanks for checkin in Lena!

Comment by HardlyClerkin® on November 13, 2014 at 3:04pm

Doesnt sound like something I would like but great review as always. Love that band though!

Comment by Shooter on November 13, 2014 at 3:26pm

Great review Rob!, I've been trying to get my hands on some, maybe I won't try so hard.

Comment by 302JH (Jose) on November 13, 2014 at 3:37pm

Sorry you didn't enjoy it so much.  I thought the flavors you picked up were on the money.  I was pairing mine with a stout, so I guess I didnt quite picked up the "dirty" portion as you mentioned.  I still enjoyed it enough to smoke the last few that I own.

Comment by RobbyRas on November 13, 2014 at 4:17pm

Shooter -  many people love this cigar, so don't avoid it just because I didn't like it... it has it's merits, but think it may need a little more rest...

Comment by RobbyRas on November 13, 2014 at 4:18pm

Thanks Man Angel... the first one I smoked was from you... the other was from Stefan... i picked up the third locally... 

Comment by 302JH (Jose) on November 13, 2014 at 4:30pm

Well, I guess this is a perfect example of how taste can be subjective.  I thought it was a really good cigar, maybe not quite great...yet i have seen on other forums where people sware by this cigar and say it closely resemebles the 2011/ 2012 blend.

Comment by Jay on November 13, 2014 at 8:32pm

This is bad news considering we share a pallet. I just grabbed a few of them. Perhaps the anticipation wavered your perceptions?

Comment by Mickey irratebass on November 14, 2014 at 7:35am

Haven't had this one, I still have a coupe of 2011 & 2012's though....nice review Robert


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