Review: Tatuaje La Casita Criolla HCBF (Prerelease)
Today we will be taking a look at another prerelease regular production cigar from Tatuaje, the La Casita Criolla. Early last year Pete Johnson of Tatuaje announced that he would be releasing two new lines in the following year, one being the Fausto (which we reviewed here) and the other being today’s review, the La Casita Criolla. The Basis for the Blend comes from Pete’s love for Connecticut Broadleaf, and more specifically his love for the old school American cigars that contained 100% Broadleaf. While it’s not a new idea in the cigar world, it is certainly groundbreaking for our era as no one in the Premium cigar market today is doing such a thing. It’s also no surprise that Jaime García buys a lot of Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco…In fact, many of the cigars that they create for their own brand (and others) contain Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers, so for Pete to request a cigar that is made of 100% Broadleaf is no real surprise… you can also bet Jaime loved the idea, as it gives them a chance to really get the maximum profit out of their Broadleaf by being able to use it as filler for this line while ultimately keeping the cost of this cigar as well as the others down to a minimum. A wonderful idea indeed…
Also to clear a little confusion, many people have been wondering if this cigar is going to be all Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro and that is not the case. Pete had this to say about the matter…
“Okay guys. To clear this up. Not all Broadleaf is dark. The wrapper will be but the binders and fillers are made up of Broadleaf tobacco also. When Jaime buys Broadleaf, he buys in hopes to get good dark juicy wrapper, some medium color wrapper like La Riqueza and good binder but the other leaf that doesn’t make those grades is sorted by size and texture for filler. Again not every leaf will look like the wrapper. It’s all 100% USA Connecticut Broadleaf. Jaime also buys all primings of Broadleaf. Seco, Viso and Ligero. This is also how we are able to sort the filler to do the blend on the cigar. ”
The initial sizes for the La Casita Line (always subject to change, of course) will be as follows…
- HCB 5 1/8 x 42
- HCBC 5 5/8 x 46
- HCBF 6 1/2 x 48
Let’s get to the review…
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje La Casita Criolla HCBF
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Filler: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Size: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Gran Corona
- Est. Price: Unknown ($7 and under)
- Release Date: June or July 2011
- Number Of Cigars Released: Regularly Available to all Tatuaje Dealers
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
The one thing I noticed right away about this cigar is the aroma it has a very distinct Broadleaf aroma, that sweet, earthy aroma that is just so wonderful. I also can’t help but notice the size, what a great size. I have always been a fan of the 6.5 X 48 size it brings me back to the 2003 Romeo & Julieta Edicion Limitada officially called the Hermosos #1. The cigar itself has a medium/dark veiny Broadleaf wrapper with a tight seamless wrap, minimal oils and a good amount of tooth to it. It has a beautiful triple cap as all Pepín cigars do and the cigar is packed perfectly.
Starting off in the First Third the cigar I get a nice big pepper kick and as soon as it shows up it mellows down. There is hardly any spice present. The cigar is medium body to start and very flavorful, right off I get a rich nutty flavor as well as an overall earthy sweetness. There are hints of chocolate and a coffee on the finish. More mild than I expected but enjoyable none the less.
Coming into the Second Third the cigar turns very lush and creamy, almost chewy. Flavors of leather, nuts and coffee hit my palate and the overall smoothness of the cigar is really impressive. There is very little pepper and spice but just enough to enhance the profile. Cigar is still medium body at the most but very flavorful and the smoke production is perfect.
Finishing up in the Final Third the cigar has a tiny bit of a nicotine kick…more than I expected considering the medium body. Flavors are still very lush and sweet. The cigars heats up a little bit towards the end and in return the flavors get a touch deeper and darker but overall a continuation from the last third. Not overly complex but great flavors and a thick mouth feel, long finish and nice balance make this a real winner.
- Not the most complex cigar in the world. From start to finish the profile doesn’t shift too much, but the flavors that are present are enjoyable and do not bore the palette. I am very anxious to try out the other vitolas, as I think the wrapper to filler ratio will play a huge part in the spice and pepper amount. If I had to guess I would say the smaller petit corona is going to be the start. Just a guess…
- If you are wondering about the name La Casita Criolla, it is in fact an older Cuban brand that Pete found and registered. It translates to Little Native House, and the artwork for the band and boxes is all original or very close to the original artwork.
- Final Smoking time was 1 hour 10 mins.
The Bottom Line: If you love Broadleaf, you will love this cigar. It has that nice rich earthy sweetness that we have all come to love in Broadleaf. Again, this is not the most complex cigar flavor wise, and it does not have a lot of that “Pepín spice” you might be expecting but it certainly has a great flavor profile and a nice balance. A solid medium body with a touch of a nicotine kick, it will satisfy a lot of full bodied smokers. I have to tip my hat to the García family and Pete, because I can’t imagine it’s easy to create a good cigar using all the same tobacco. I think it really shows you what great blenders are behind the wheels at the García Factory. Considering the price (the largest size will be $7 or under), I think it’s a no brainer. These will definitely be among my daily smokes when they come out…
Final Score: 88