(Editor’s Note: The basic premise behind the Face-Off Reviews series is that there will be two reviews of the exact same cigar, side by side, to show the difference in how different reviewers react differently to the same cigar. These reviews will always feature two separate people, and the cigars chosen to be reviewed will be from the same box, bundle or purchased at the same time, when at all possible. The reviewers have NOT seen each other’s notes or review until after both reviews are already written. Reviewing the Tatuaje Anarchy is Brooks Whittington of halfwheel and Steve Valle of halfwheel.)
In early 2010 the hype drums started rumbling about an exclusive Tatuaje cigar dubbed Anarchy. No details were given about who was behind the project, but what was known was that it wasn’t Pete Johnson himself behind the marketing of the project; he was only part of the blending process. It was most likely a store owner celebrating an anniversary but that was all we knew. Well less than 2 weeks ago that mystery was solved….
The Smoke Inn in Florida is among the most popular stores in the United States and sells a hell of a lot of cigars especially Tatuaje cigars so it’s no surprise that an exclusive Tatuaje cigar would be made for one of the many shops that have been established under the smoke inn banner. The stores is run an owned by a wonderful gentleman named Abe “Ming” Dababneh who is as well a close and personal friend of Pete Johnson. Abe has said of the project…
Pete & The García Family cigars have long been dominant popular favorites in all our retail locations. After every Monster series mayhem, it just seemed like it was a no win situation. They only folks who seemed to be happy were those who actually got what they wanted. It was chaos for consumers and retailers alike. No matter what retailers did, someone was upset. So I approached Pete to make us something special for our upcoming 15 Year Anniversary. But instead of the chaos and craziness, I wanted to make sure this was something that was going to be affordable AND available. Pete was immediately on board.
The marketing was a little out there, but we hoped you enjoyed it. You see, in order to make Tatuaje Anarchy readily available to all who wanted it, we had to produce a SIGNIFICANT amount more than the Normal LE. This was a big risk on our part, but Thanks to Pete & The Whole García Family….They made such an incredible cigar, for my taste, that if I get stuck with the whole lot, I will enjoy making it my every day smoke until I run out!
When you Look at the cigar and find out the MSRP you come to realize the idea behind the name “Anarchy”. It’s a pretty big Salomon type cigar with a really unique honey bun looking pigtail cap. It’s not doubt that this cigar wasn’t cheap to make however they were able to keep the MSRP right at $10 per stick….ANARCHY!
The cigar is packaged in plain black boxes with an anarchy logo on top which matches the plain anarchy band on the cigar perfectly. Each box contains 15 cigars each wrapped in cellophane. Approximately 1000 boxes were produced making this not quite as limited as other Tatuaje single store releases but the idea was for everyone who wanted to smoke one to have the chance. The Pre order for the cigars started a few days ago on black Friday and cigars will be shipped out around December 10th which is the day of the national release party for the Anarchy cigar. Alot of people will be in attendance included Pete Johnson and Pepín García. Abe has said this of the matter…
I hope as many of you can make the release event as possible. Should be a GREAT time. We will have the honor of having Pete & Pepín present, I hope Jaime & Janny can make it too!, The Odd Morals will be playing music LIVE featuring their rendition of “Sympathy For The Devil”..our little theme song for the project. Catering as always by our very own Chef Richard of Culinary Flair..and sponsored by Sam Adams Beer. If we have not met before and you can make it, please take a moment to introduce yourself, as I always like meeting new friends from the boards.
Let’s get to the review shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Anarchy
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Salomon
- MSRP: $9.99 (Boxes of 15, $149.85)
- Date Released: December 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: ~1000 Boxes (Approximately)
Brooks: The Cigar itself is an astounding example of great construction….The wrapper is a Dark espresso brown color, and is TOTALLY smooth to the touch, almost silky smooth…There is also a surprising amount of oil on the wrapper, so much in fact, that I was strongly reminded of the OR Tatauaje T110…It is a very interesting vitola, a Perfecto with a cut foot and a Pig Tail wrapped around the cap (it does look quite a bit like a cinnamon bun)…It is very firm when squeezed, but just short of being hard…The wrapper has a VERY strong barnyard smell, with some dark chocolate and pepper thrown in…
The Band is also a sight to behold…Jet black background with the Anarchy symbol embossed in red on the front (in fact, the name “Anarchy” appears no where on the band)..on either side of the Anarchy symbol, “Tatuaje” is embossed in black (so it is almost invisible unless it catches the light just right)…on the back of the label, a (small) “PJC” logo is embossed in red…
Steve: Well, what can I say about this cigar? It’s really a beautiful looking stick. When I heard about the vitola I must say I was worried it was going to be some ridiculously big cigar but was pleased to see that it’s not that big at all. First glance obviously makes you think of a Salomon but it actually has more of a baseball bat shape to it that is quite unique. The wrapper is a dark chocolate shade with a little bit of an oily sheen to it. The wrapper has a few veins but its very smooth to the touch as it has a pretty seamless wrap,
Pre light aroma is very earthy with some chocolate sweetness and a touch of cinnamon spice. I also get a bit of leather at the foot as well. Pre light draw is rich in chocolate, a bit nutty with a touch of cedar. A fairly complex pre light experience…
Brooks: The First Third starts out with quite bit of spice on the tongue and lips, as well as flavors of hay, espresso, leather and earth…the draw is a bit tight for the first 1/4th or so, but that is not unusual for a Perfecto…The spice dies down quickly to a background note about 18 puffs in…
Steve: The first third starts off less spice and pepper than I anticipated. I was really expected a massive amount of that “Pepín spice” but that was not to be. After 5 or 6 puffs the pepper and spice came to the forefront and I was able to get down to business. Wood, chocolate, leather and a nice spice up front make up the profile. Even with the spice it’s a very mellow profile, medium body at most and not a whole lot of strength….
Brooks: The Second Third has the same basic flavors, and the spice does not go anywhere, still a nice background note…there is a little more leather flavor, and the profile adds some woodish notes (oak?) as well as a very small amount of nuttiness…however, there is a point (about halfway through the second third) that the flavors seem to get quite muted and mild, almost like someone turned off the switch labeled “Flavor”…this lasted about 15 puffs or so, then the flavors picked right back up where they left off…very odd, honestly, and I am at a loss to explain why it happened…
Steve: Coming into the Second Third the cigar turns very creamy…Think hot chocolate with some whip cream on top, a nice light chocolate flavor with a creamy sweetness as well as some cinnamon notes coming in and out. I am getting almost no spice at all however and since I have come to love that aspect of Tatuaje cigars it’s bothering me a bit. The finish is average and is full of decent flavors like leather, wood, coffee and a saltiness on my tongue…
Brooks: The Final Third really does not add much, sadly…The core flavors stay pretty much the same, although the spice does pick up in the last 1/8th, as well does the strength…the cigar also adds a nice finishing flavor of coffee, but by the time I get to that at the very end, I am done with the cigar…
Steve: Finishing up in the Final Third the cigar doesn’t change much from the last third. Wood, leather, coffee and some spice and pepper show up here and there but just not quite enough for my liking. The cigar ever gets past medium/full for me and the strength is not quite as intense as I hoped. Still a good cigar that I have no problem nubbing it…
- The “Pig Tail” on the cap of the cigar immediately reminded me of the Flying Pig, but unlike the flying pig, you cannot tear off the tail and start smoking (i.e. you have to cut the cap to smoke it on the Anarchy).
- While it did get stronger and added a noticeable “Nic Kick” in the final third (and at the very end especially), this cigar never really rose above a “Medium – ” in strength, and, much like the Face, was fairly mild for the first two thirds….
- As I mentioned before, the construction and look of the cigar is great…the viola is unique, the wrapper is seamless and oily, the burn was spot on and the draw was effortless (after the first third)…
- I really want to applaud Abe at Smoke Inn for a masterful job at marketing this cigar…Not only did he come up with a catchy name and logo, he really took it to the next level with the website (that you must see HERE if you have not)…He also decided to send out samples to quite a few bloggers to review before they were released, (unlike most of our reviews, I think we here are SmokingStogie.com are the LAST to review this cigar, lol!), thus building up even more press and anticipation…Having said all of that, I was honestly surprised and a bit disappointed with the blend this cigar has, considering the name…I expected a bit more power and complexity to go along with the “Anarchy” theme, but that was not to be…
- The Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 50 Minutes…
- I absolutely loved the vitola choice for this cigar. The cigar had a great weight and balance to it and it felt really good in my hand. The overall construction was amazing, the burn was perfect and the draw was the same.
- While I enjoyed the flavor profile I was yearning for a bit more, there were a lot of flavors but I couldn’t help but notice that they were a bit muted. Perhaps it was the medium body, the lack of strength or the minimal spice and pepper but I was left wanting a little bit more…
- Final Smoking time was just under 2 hours.
The Bottom Line
Brooks: This is going to be one of those cigars that some people absolutely love, while others will think it is fairly average…While it has been a while since Tatuaje has released anything other then then a stellar cigar blend wise, the Anarchy is (much like the “Outlaw” release earlier in the year) just an ok cigar…It has the basic Nicaraguan (in general) and Tatuaje (in specific) flavors, but it never rose above the normalcy of those points…It is totally smokable, and not a bad stick at all, but does not come close to the complexity of the other recent Tatuaje releases like the Barclay Rex 100th, the Pork Tenderloin or even the Face…The construction and the look of the cigar is absolutely wonderful, but it is not enough to make up for the “normal” blend…Give me the Rex blend in this vitola, and I would buy them by the palette…As it is, the money I would have purchased a box of these with I will be putting aside to buy into the “Saints and Sinners” program early next year…
Steve: I thought this was a good smoke, definitely worth smoking and definitely enjoyable. I only smoked one sample so that is making me feel like I didn’t give it the benefit of the doubt but judging on this smoke alone I was a touch disappointed. Maybe it was all the hype buildup and all the expectations, maybe it’s because I was expecting a 95 point cigars and I didn’t experience that. Tatuaje has set the bar pretty high so falling a little short isn’t always a bad thing…with Tatuaje falling a little short is still a 90 point cigar. Perhaps if it had some more strength and some more pepper and spice I would have enjoyed it. I have come to yearn for that spicy balance that most Tatuaje have and this didn’t quite have it. Still a great cigar though worth trying….