Another fine cigar sent to me from Tobacconist University is the Tatuaje - La Verite, Vintage 2008. La Verite, a 7 x 47 Churchill vitolla, is a Nicaraguan Habano puro made for Tatuaje by Jaime Garcia at My Father Cigars, S.A. with all of the tobacco coming from a single farm in Esteli, Nicaragua known as, "La Estrella" which means, "The Star." Nicaraguan Habano is a traditional Cuban seed varietal popular for its individual traits as well as for hybridization. According to Pete Johnson, owner of Tatuaje, when he tried the La Estrella crop of Nic-Habano which was grown in 2007 and harvested in 2008, he realized that it would be great to make a puro cigar from. There is also a Vintage 2009 which is made with 45% Nicaraguan Habano, 40% criollo '98, and 15% pelo de oro. These two can be differentiated by a 2008 or 2009 printed in the center of the band. As of this writing, I have not smoked the Vintage 2009.
Pre-light inspection revealed a silky, slightly oily capa with decent teeth and a triple capped head. Its color I place somewhere between colorado rosado and colorado maduro. The aroma was of sweet tobacco with perhaps cedar notes and a somewhat lighter sweetness at the foot. It squeezed well with no signs of flaws or defects. I made a straight cut with a double guillotine and tested the draw which was good with slight resistance. A buttery-like taste / sensation presented on the tip of my tongue at first but soon turned to a slight spice and after a few more test draws, a mild spiciness developed at the back of my throat.
The Verite lit easily and evenly with a soft flame lighter and had a smooth draw following which a mild to moderate spice developed along both sides of the tongue and in the back of the throat while a creaminess was present on other parts of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. As it burned it produced a very light gray, almost white ash with some darker highlights which dropped off between 1.25" to 1.5" in length. About 3/4" in a mild spicy tingle developed in the center of the tongue and overall the first half remained a consistent, moderately spicy smoke. As the second half progressed, the spice seemed to mellow a bit but remained the dominant trait without much complexity. Even with the mellowing though, I wasn't able to retro-exhale throughout the entire smoke. It continued to burn evenly and required no touch-ups or re-lights all the way to the nub.
No big surprise, another fine cigar from Tatuaje. If you haven't had the opportunity to meet Pete Johnson yet, I can tell you that he is dedicated to his craft and takes pride in the cigars he puts out. He spends a lot of time on the road at brick & mortar tobacconists meeting and greeting his customers and will take the time to speak with you. That's how I met him some years ago. I can't say that I know him, just that I met him and he didn't just shake hands and try to sell his product, he took the time to really speak with me about all manor of things. If your local tobacconist is having a Tatuaje event and Pete is going to be there, I recommend you go. You will probably walk out with a fist full of Tatuajes. Also, if you enjoy a medium body, "Cuban style" cigar and are interested in trying the La Verite for yourself, and again I recommend you do, be aware that they are "strictly allocated to appointed authorized retailers only" so they won't be available everywhere. I look forward to smoking the Vintage 2009 and comparing the two.