The annual TAA release from Tatuaje has become a cigar that I look forward to and the Tatuaje TAA 2015 was no exception. Tatuaje started their yearly TAA releases back in 2011 and has been met with much success. The 2014 edition wasn't a high scoring cigar for me, but I had high hopes for the 2015.
Here is a look at the specs on all the Tatuaje TAA releases:
Tatuaje TAA 2015 Exclusive
Size: 6 x 52
Vitola: Box Pressed Toro
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Samples smoked for review: 2
Samples for review acquired via trades with CigarFederation members
Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System
Pre-Light: Outside of the 2013 release the Tatuaje TAA cigars have had similar looks and blends. As you can see in the list above, the combination of Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers has been popular. From my experience with these cigars, the 2011 and 2012 blends were very similar as were the 2014 and 215 blends. I'm not privy to the exact blends, but the profiles were very similar.I dig the look of these cigars. The 6 x 52 box pressed toro is a good size and the band with the TAA logo is becoming a classic.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper gave off notes of barnyard and hay while the cold draw tasted of raisins and black pepper.
Beginning: This one started off really nicely. The palate is hit with notes of rich oak and molasses with a mild smokey note on the retrohale. A black pepper spice started slowly on the retro and gained momentum as the first third progressed. With that said, the profile achieved a nice balance of rich earth, sweet molasses and black pepper spice as the first third came to an end.
Middle: Much like the 2014 version, the TAA 2015 let me down in the middle. The sweetness dried up and we were left with notes of earth and black pepper. The richness was drained from the flavor profile as well. I know that sounds super negative, but it wasn't all that bad. It was a step in the wrong direction, but it was still a pretty good smoke.
End: Much to my surprise, some of the sweet and rich notes returned. They didn't come all the way back, but they did just enough to warm up the profile for me. The black pepper and earth were still the dominant flavors and had been since the end of the first third. The spice was never overpowering nor would I call this a spicy cigar, but black pepper was main component.
Final Thoughts: I'm torn. The first third was epically good with great complexity and balance, but the rest of the experience was a let down. I feel like I'm in the same boat I was last year. I liked the 2015 version a bit better, but I'm not going to run out and stock up on these. I did pick up a few more to see if some rest does them any good.
Rating: 87 AKA "5-Pack Purchase"
I'm going with the lowest possible 5-pack purchase with a promise that I will revisit this cigar in 6-months or so. So look for a redux review some time in 2016. The 2014 redux is coming soon, btw.