Review: Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD
In late 2011, it became apparent that Tobacco Plaza of Great Neck, NY was slated for the next Tatuaje single store release. The cigar would be named the DD, an ode to owner Danny Ditkowich.
In late January, Charlie posted the details, which go as follows:
The cigar will be known as the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD. Danny explains the project:
Working with Pete for over two years with this project. This is Tobacco Plaza’s 40(th) year in business and DD for my name. Pete said he would make a cigar for me. They call me Double D.
We will have a website up to take orders and there is a preferred list for Saints & Sinners members.
The Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD is based on the Fausto blend, which was based on the famed Tatuaje T110, but with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. It will be a 6 x 58 Belicoso with a closed foot. As the pics show below, it’s a rather soft cone on the top of the cigar.
Pete describes the blend:
The blend is a play on Fausto with a (Connecticut Broadleaf) wrapper. It’s full but still easy to smoke.
There will be actually be two releases of the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD:
- March 13, 2012 — Tobacco Plaza will release 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars. These will feature the band above and will be packed in wax paper. These will first be released at a dinner with Pete where three packs containing the Tobacco Plaza DD,Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial & Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Reserva. There is no set price for the dinner, but if you are interested you can e-mail Tobacco Plaza (details below) to get on the list. After the dinner, Tobacco Plaza will offer boxes to the attendees, and pre-orders will then ship on March 14, 2012.
- Spring 2012 — There will be another 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars. There will be no bands on these cigars and these will be wet-packed. The date is not set yet, but it will come after the first shipment.
As per this tweet, the MSRP will be $13.75 per cigar, pricing boxes at $137.50.
The cigars were released last night at the dinner with Pete Johnson where guests also got to sample the Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 in both Capa Especial and Reserva forms.
Boxes of the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD look like:
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 58
- Vitola: Belicoso
- Est. Price: $13.75 (Boxes of 10, $137.50)
- Release Date: March 13, 2012*
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)*
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
*See info above about the two releases.
The Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD is a gorgeous cigar with a dark espresso brown wrapper that is rough to the touch. There are a few veins visible, but they are not overly distracting and in fact, they sort of add to the look of the cigar. It is an extremely large and dense cigar, very heavy when held in the hand. The cap is well made, and the Tatuaje covered foot is a nice touch that I really enjoy, both for ascetics and for the flavor. From the Connecticut Broadleaf, there are notes of earth, leather, black pepper and wood, a very strong aroma.
The first third of the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD starts out with strong and immediate flavors of sweet tobacco, dark chocolate, leather and black pepper on the retrohale. There is an earthy grittiness that is pervasive throughout the first third and while there is some black pepper, there is almost no spice at all. The draw of the big Belicoso is a bit loose, but I am thinking it will tighten up. Great, strong start, I can feel the strength building already and it scares me a bit ending a strong medium already.
Coming into the second third and the flavors are mellowing out a bit. They are not flat, just less intense than the first third. The main flavors are still much the same with a dark chocolate and espresso dominant, but also notes of leather, earth and just a tiny amount of a bitter fruit flavor. Still no spice at all from the Tatuaje DD and the black pepper was much reduced. However, the main change is the strength, which seems to increase tenfold with almost every puff until it is at a solid full by the end of the second third. It really snuck up on me, but is only getting stronger and I am starting to regret my choice of cigars to review at this point.
The final third of the Tobacco Plaza DD is all about strength. The flavors don’t seem to change much, which is not a bad thing, but about halfway through the last third, I am really not feeling well. I did get an interesting sweet graham cracker flavor that lasted about seven puffs before I put it down, but I had to quit a bit before I wanted to in order to keep my dinner where it was.
- Although I don’t normally smoke cigars this strong, I love the fact that these cigars are so full, as I think they will age wonderfully and you will be able to have a much different experience with them in the future, which I think is roughly six months from now. Basically, you get two, or even three, cigars for the price of one: the super strong one now and what is sure to be a different profile after some age, and they will continue to change as they get older.
- The dark earthy grittiness in this and similar blends is one of the best profiles I have ever tasted, as long as I am in the mood for it. If I am not, it can be one of the worst profiles.
- The draw was a bit loose in the first third, but tightened up nicely after that.
- As always, I love the covered foot, not just for the looks, but also for the fact that you get a straight Broadleaf wrapper flavor when you first light up the cigar.
- At 10,000 cigars, this is one of the bigger Tatuaje single store limited releases with the exception of the Holt’s releases. Presumably the Tatuaje Anarchy is larger, although the official release size is not known.
- Pete does not release many Torpedo cigars. In fact, this is only the second single store release to use a Belicoso, and really the first one that qualifies like a typical single store release as the other were the Holt’s HCS and the ELO2 for New Havana Cigars.
- In addition, this a strong enough cigar to place it outside of Pete’s normal range.
- The second release will be released on April 19, Danny’s birthday.
- The smoke production of this cigar is insane, almost Liga Privada levels. Great billowy bluish smoke that smells wonderful, like spicy wood.
- This cigar started out burning extremely quickly, and took only about 20 minutes to get to the end of the first third. However, after that, it really slowed down and ended at a respectable time.
- The cigar is often referred to as the Double D.
- I have mentioned before that I don’t like how the majority of the exclusive bands look with just writing on them and this is no exception. I think it works in a few cases, the Tatuaje TAA being the obvious example with a logo that takes up the entirety of the dead space of the white inside the band.
- I think that these are a bit stronger than the T110, but the fact that there is so much more tobacco both in length and width means that it just that much stronger.
- The final smoking time was just over two hours.
- To order the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD you can call Tobacco Plaza at 516.829.7134 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them halfwheel sent you.
The Bottom Line: This is the strongest cigars I have smoked this year and easily one of the strongest Tatuajes that has been released. Stronger than the Fausto it is based on and on par with a fresh T110. I enjoyed the smoke, but had to take a break about two thirds into it or I would have thrown up. People who are looking for a nicotine fix are going to love this cigar and people who are not used to cigars this strong are going to puke. Honestly, the best part of this cigar for me was the first third, where the flavors were intense and the strength was about a full-like medium. After that, the strength took over and really fucked me up. Having said all of that, the flavors were classic Tatuaje with a small twist and the profile was surprisingly balanced, despite the strength. I am buying a couple of boxes to put down, but I think I will let them sit for a while as opposed to smoking them fresh.
Final Score: 90