Last year Pete Johnson teamed up with the band GWAR to release a special limited edition cigar for the art-rock-heavy-metal-comedy group’s yearly GWAR B-Q.
This year marked the sixth time the event has been held, which is a festival-like event with a full lineup of heavy metal bands that culminates with a performance by the event’s namesake, GWAR. One might ask how this extreme 80s band hooked up with Pete Johnson to create a cigar, but it shouldn’t be too much a surprise given Johnson’s penchant for 80s pop culture and rock bands. Patrick Lagreid’s review of the 2014 release also mentions that Johnson had told him that he blended it off the band’s feedback after they had smoked the Little Monster sampler.
This year, the CiGWAR returned with the same size, but an updated blend and some new artwork to boot. Unlike last year however, there will not be nearly as many made, with only 1,500 3-packs made as opposed to the 3,000 last year and the additional 1,000 singles that were shipped.
- Tatuaje CiGWAR 2014 (5 x 50) — Aug. 16, 2014 — 3,000 Packs of 3, 1,000 Singles (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje CiGWAR 2015 (5 x 50) — Aug 15, 2014 — 1,500 Packs of 3 (4,500 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje CiGWAR 2015
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sancti Spiritus Maduro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $11.66 (Packs of 3, $34.99)
- Release Date: Aug. 15, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Packs of 3 Cigars (4,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The wrapper is a strikingly beautiful shiny brown, that is smooth and oily to the touch. There is a little give to the cigar when squeezed, though not much and it’s uniform across the entire length. The aroma off the wrapper is an almost singular rich barnyard note that includes fresh cut hay, leather and the lightest hint of vanilla. Quite different from the aroma, the cold draw is extremely spicy, with lots of hot peppers and black peppercorn on my tongue and lips. Amidst that, there are more subtle notes of charred oak, dried fruits and a slight hint of root beer.
The first third starts out with only a slight bit of that spiciness on the back of my tongue, which is completely unexpected from the cold draw, and instead it is quite smooth, allowing a retrohale that doesn’t punish my nose like most Tatuajes usually would right off the bat. There is lots of spice, leather, and earth with a touch of sweetness to profile that again, is a surprise given the cold draw. Starting off the burn is quite even, and while there is a bit of ash that flakes off, the ash does hold well to around the inch mark. The draw is slightly on the tighter end of ideal, but still quite acceptable and produces plenty of smoke with each draw. The flavors continue in a more mellow fashion, with only a slight bit of pepper in the background while the spice, leather, earth and brown sugar continue up front.
As I move into the second third, I don’t see much change in the profile, with the spice, leather and earth persisting while the brown sugar and pepper hang out in the background. The burn continues mostly even—not perfect, but not enough to require a touch up. Ash continues to flake off, making somewhat of a mess on my lap, but it isn’t a full on snowstorm of ash. The profile finally has some change in flavors, dropping the brown sugar in the background and adding cocoa and nutty notes into the mix instead.
The final third sees the cocoa and nutty notes come forward, joining spice and leather in the forefront, while the earth and pepper fade to the background. While the brown sugar from earlier is still gone, the profile does still have a slight sweetness to it, bringing the whole profile together in a nice blend of flavors. Though the burn has been mostly good, there is a slight lag in one part that does finally need some intervention with a minor touch up. The ash still is slightly flaky, though it continues to hold on well. As the cigar wraps up, the flavors continue, though there is a touch of bitterness that starts creeping in during the final inch.
- GWAR has had many members come and go throughout its 31 years, but up until his death last year, Dave Brockie who played Oderus Urungus was its lead singer.
- The 2014 version had what appears to be a cartoon version of Oderus Urungus on the box and label. The 2015 version is a cartoon depiction of the character Balsac the Jaws of Death.
- In addition to these cigars, the band also has a themed beer that is brewed by Cigar City Brewing, called GWAR Beer Oderus Ale.
- Each year when the $10.99 cost of shipping comes up, there seems to be quite a bit of controversy about how high that is to just ship three cigars. It’s been explained in our comment section by Jason of Havana Connections, who is the retailer that the cigars sell through. The store is not a store that normally deals with shipping orders, so with its limited staff it only makes logistical sense to ship them via one carrier in the same size boxes, so the store isn’t gouging on pricing so much as doing its best to ship them out.
- The 2015 version was shown off at Tatuaje’s booth at IPCPR 2015, which we covered here.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged a little over an hour and a half.
I’ve long been aware of the GWAR band, and being quite familiar with the Tatuaje brand, when they first collaborated on the 2014 CiGWAR, I thought it was a good pairing as far as branding goes. I didn’t get to smoke last year’s release, so I was excited that I was doing the review for this year’s. The cigar itself wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be, and while there were some pleasant flavors in the mix, they just didn’t knock my socks off. Construction was excellent on all three samples, with only a minor touch up needed on a couple of them. Overall, it was something I was glad to have the chance to smoke, but I’m not sure that I would go out of my way to get another three pack. Having said that, Havana Connections still shows both the 2014 and 2015 versions in stock, and if you’re either a GWAR fan or a Tatuaje fan—or perhaps both—I wouldn’t hesitate picking up some to try for yourself.