IPCPR 2014: Tatuaje

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There was certainly plenty of activity at the Tatuaje booth this year, a space shared with My Father Cigar and L’Atelier Imports. While the number of new products coming from Pete Johnson was fairly tame, there was certainly no shortage of news.

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First up, the latest Monster Series release was on display, as well as the 2015 release. Jekyll will come out later this year, while Hyde is slated for next year, and the two boxes offer a new spin on the line as they align to form the monster. The two boxes aren’t connected directly, though. The plain boxes were also on display, but they don’t share this unique art.

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Next, the three yet-to-be-released sizes of the Tatuaje Tattoo were on display, as the 5 x 50 robusto called Caballeros has already been on store shelves for several weeks. The 6 x 50  Universo ($5.50), 6 1/8 x 52 Bonito torpedo ($6) and 5 1/2 x 58 Adivino ($6.50) round out the line.

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The existing Tatuaje La Riqueza and El Triunfador lines are moving to ten-count boxes.

There were also a number of other projects on display that aren’t available for public purchase, at least not yet.

First up is the Tatuaje Halloween that will debut in 2015. It’s a robusto that will be sold in three-packs starting on Halloween, and it will only be available to retailers who attend the annual IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, and only those retailers who place their Tatuaje order on the first day of the show.

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Johnson recently worked on a project with Duesenberg Guitars that resulted in the Johnny Depp Artist Series. As part of the release, Johnson created 52 three-packs of cigars to accompany each of the 52 guitars produced for the project. While the cigars bear the familiar black label, they are not part of the Tatuaje Private Reserve line. Johnson says he used those bands simply because they best matched the guitar.

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Not on display was a set of cigars that Johnson is releasing for an event called the GWAR B-Q, an event put on the costumed heavy metal band on August 16. Johnson is creating 1,000 three-packs for the event, and any leftover will be sold by Havana Connections. The cigar will be a robusto with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.

Johnson has also begun working on a 2013 release of Le Vérité, setting aside tobacco from the Garcia family’s Estrella farm. Johnson said he really wants to produce a 2013 version, as it was an important year to him with it being the 10th anniversary of Tatuaje.

As for store exclusives, Ambassador Fine Cigars in Scottsdale, Ariz. will be getting a Black Label Churchill in November.

Finally, Pete Johnson bought a building in his hometown of Gardiner, Maine that he is planning on turning into a multi-purpose store that will be run by his parents. Among its purposes will be an antique store, wine bar and cigar store that will be home to the company’s rarest of releases, and there won’t be any mail order, phone or online sales. He wants to make it a destination store that he hopes will revitalize that area of the city. Previously, the building had been home to the Hotel Brunswick and a pair of banks, meaning there is a good bit of renovation to be done before it will open, which Johnson said could be as early as six to eight months from now but most likely will be next summer.

Ed. note–an earlier version of this story said that the ten-count El Triunfador and La Riqueza boxes were not on display, when in fact they were. We apologize for the error. Also, Havana Connections is the retailer who will be handling the GWAR cigar. The original story identified the retailer as Havana Manor.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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