In 2008, Tatuaje Cigars introduced a new brand named La Riqueza, which translates to The Wealth from Spanish. The line eventually grew to include 13 different vitolas—in both box-pressed sizes as well as rounder cigars sold under the Cabinet name—all made with the same blend: a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper covering both a binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua.
Nine years later—in 2017—Tatuaje removed La Riqueza from its price list and informed retailers that the cigars would not be regularly offered, nor would the company be stocking them at the company’s Los Angeles office. While the move was an attempt to cut down on the number of SKUs that Tatuaje was offering at the time, the company made it clear in an email to retailers that the line was not being formally discontinued and that “they will still be available in the marketplace as small batch releases and at special events.”
Not much was heard from the line until last year when Tatuaje announced a brand new vitola would be shown off during the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show in July. That cigar turned out to be the La Riqueza SE 2022, a 5 5/8 x 54 parejo with a covered foot packaged in boxes of 10. The La Riqueza SE uses the same basic components as the original La Riqueza—a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over a Nicaraguan double binder and Nicaraguan fillers—but Tatuaje indicated that tweaks have made the blend slightly stronger compared to the original releases.
The total production of the new cigar was based on the number of orders received for it during the trade show and ended up being a total of 4,500 boxes of 10 cigars, with each cigar carrying an MSRP of $12. As with the original cigars, the La Riqueza SE was rolled at the My Father Cigars S.A. factory in Nicaragua, and boxes began shipping to retailers in mid-March.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Riqueza SE
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 5/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Toro Gordo
- MSRP: $12 (Box of 10, $120)
- Release Date: March 2022
- Number of Cigars Released: 4,500 Boxes of 10 (45,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I absolutely love the overall look of the La Riqueza SE as I pull it out of the cellophane: the highlight is a deep, dark brown espresso wrapper that is parchment rough to the touch, but the obvious box-press and covered foot are also nice visual touches. In addition, while there is almost no oil visible, a number of smaller veins run up down its length and the cigar has quite a bit of firmness when squeezed. The aromas coming from that gorgeous wrapper are fairly pedestrian, a combination of leather, earth, hay, manure and generic wood. The foot is another matter, as strong notes of cedar and nuts combine with less obvious barnyard, toast, gritty earth, varnish, maple and black pepper. Finally, a straight cut reveals a cold draw full of cedar and coffee, as well as dark chocolate, almonds, hay, potato chips, pepper, leather tack and more maple sweetness.
A combination of black pepper and ground coffee greets me after I light the foot of the Tatuaje, and while the black pepper slowly recedes, the ground coffee remains one of the top flavors. About eight puffs in, a distinct earth note joins in followed by cedar, leather, cinnamon, chalk and slight cloves. More black pepper and sweet dates are present on the retrohale, and while there is also a bit of spice on my tongue, it becomes less and less noticeable as the first third burns down. Flavor is a sold medium, body is at mild plus and the strength level is just under medium but increasing. Construction-wise, the smoke production is massive off of the foot and the draws are excellent after simple straight cuts, and while one sample did need a quick correction, it was a fairly minor affair.
Earth and coffee grounds continue to top the profile of the La Riqueza SE in the second third—although in comparison to the first third, there is more of the former than the latter—while secondary flavors include potato chips, powdery cocoa nibs, cinnamon, cedar, leather and light citrus peel. A mineral saltiness has shown up on my lips in two of the samples, while all three cigars still feature some light spice on my tongue as well as quite a bit of black pepper and sweet dates on the retrohale. Flavor has increased slightly to a point just over medium, while the body and strength both end up at a solid medium. Both the smoke production and draw continue to give me no issues whatsoever, and while the cigar that had an issue in the first third evens up nicely, another sample runs into enough problems that I am forced to do a quick touch up just as the second third comes to an end.
The spice that was present on my tongue for the first two thirds disappears totally by the time the final third of the Tatuaje begins, but that is not the only change in the cigar. The ground coffee flavor has been replaced by a cocoa nibs note, which it joins the earthy flavor at the top of the profile. In addition, secondary notes of cinnamon, creamy cedar, saltine crackers, citrus peel, baker’s spices and toast flit in and out at various points. However, one of the biggest changes compared to the previous two thirds is the black pepper on the retrohale, which increases so much that it almost completely drowns out the sweet date note, leading to an obvious imbalance in the profile. Flavor remains at a point just over medium, but both the body and strength bump up to medium-plus, where they remain until the end of the cigar. Finally, there is a copious amount of smoke flowing from the foot and the draw on all three cigars remains excellent, but one sample needs a couple of quick corrections with my lighter to get it back on track before I put the nub down with a little less than an inch remaining.
- Three other lines were put on hiatus at the same time as La Riqueza back in 2017: Ambos Mundos, El Triunfador and La Casita Criollo.
- When asked what the addition of the new La Riqueza means for the brand’s future, Johnson told halfwheel that “this is just a warm up for La Riqueza to come back into production.”
- Dates is not a sweetness I find very often in cigars, but it was very noticeable on the retrohale for pretty much the entire smoke on all three samples, albeit to varying degrees.
- For some reason, every time I hear or think of dates, I am reminded of this iconic movie scene from the classic film Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Four years after the debut of La Riqueza, Tatuaje released a very limited number of a new blend named La Dueña (“The Owner”) which was made for My Father Cigars S.A.’ s Janny Garcia at her request. According to Johnson, the blend was “a cross between La Riqueza and La Casita Criollo.”
- Each cigar smoked for this review had near-perfect draws and featured plenty of smoke, but all three samples needed at least one correction each.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged one hour and 43 minutes across the three samples.
- If you would like to purchase any of the La Riqueza SE, site sponsors Corona Cigar Co. and JR Cigars have it in stock.
As a blend, the La Riqueza SE has quite a bit going for it: main flavors of ground espresso beans and gritty earth are joined by some cocoa nibs notes and mineral saltiness in the second half, while the retrohale features a large amount of black pepper and light date sweetness. Unfortunately, those main flavors are so dominant in the profile that they overwhelm just about any other note, and there is so much black pepper—especially in the final third—that the date sweetness never has a chance to have more than a passing effect. Make no mistake, this is an enjoyable cigar if you are a fan of earth and black pepper, but I am hoping some time resting in the humidor will result in a more balanced profile overall.