On May 28, 2012, news began to circulate about a new Tatuaje Limited Series release dubbed the Mexican Experiment. Details were a bit sketchy at first, with the cigar first being noted as a 5 x 50 Robusto, then a retailer contradicted that by saying it was a box-pressed 5 x 52 Robusto. To further confuse things, reports of a 5 3/4 x 50 Toro started coming out as well.

After sorting through all the reports and talking to Pete Johnson himself, we learned there were a total of five Mexican Experiment vitolas, although only four were shipping.A little under 200, 15–count bundles of the Toro were headed to the New England region, while a little over 300, 15–count bundles of the 5 x 52 box-pressed Robusto were being shipped to Florida as well as some other East Coast retailers. Seventy-four bundles of Belicosos (5 x 52) were shipped to two Virginia retailers and Three J’s received 25 bundles of a 6 x 54 Toro Gordo. Johnson kept a Churchill for himself.

Here is what I said in my original review from June of 2012:

The key word in this cigar is experiment, and certainly this is more the result of several experiments as opposed to a one-off trial. The results are good if not stellar, with the Tatuaje Mexican Experiment succeeding in showing off some of the better qualities of the Mexican San Andrés wrapper leaf. Is it the most complex Tatuaje out there? No. Is it the best use of a Mexican San Andrés wrapper? Not in my book, as that honor still resides with the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor. But is it a tasty cigar worth trying? Yes.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Limited Series Mexican Experiment Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $7.93 (Bundles of 15, $118.95)
  • Date Released: May 29, 2012 
  • Number of Cigars Released: 350 Bundles of 15 Cigars (5,250 Total Cigars)*
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

*Actual production numbers have varied, with Johnson saying it was a little over 300 bundles. With reports ranging from 300–400 bundles, I’m going to split the difference and say 350.

The Tatuaje Mexican Experiment’s wrapper is a toothy, rich, dark brown that isn’t overly oily but has an incredible color that contrasts with the sliver of lighter-hued filler tobacco that peaks out from the foot. The pre-light aroma is much sweeter and lighter than I recall it being and is still absent of any spice. What was marked by Mexican hot chocolate, cacao, damp wood and grilled meat is now almost citrus like with the chocolate forming a distant backdrop. The cold draw is a bit too easy, with a spicier profile than the foot gave off, still wrapped in the pepperoni-like back note I found in the original review but with a decent amount of earth as well.

A chalky, earthy flavor opens the cigar, and seems to really capture what would be a defining flavor—or at least what I’ve come to think of as a defining flavor—of Mexican San Andrés tobacco. The first clump of ash falls quickly, about half an inch in, as the burn line stays sharp and quickly moves into the second third of the cigar. Chalk and terroir continue to dominate the palate as copious amounts of white smoke billow from the foot. A very faint touch of sweetness seems to be creeping in by the midpoint, though it’s hardly enough to counteract the building kick of dry clay. The clay notes takes on a white pepper note heading into the final third and keeps the palate stimulated down to the end of the cigar, with a bit of a richer, heartier note coming out in the final few puffs.

Tatuaje Limited Series Mexican Experiment Robusto

Due to a loose draw, it’s possible to fly through the Tatuaje Limited Series Mexican Experiment Robusto, which could be good if you’re looking for a quick smoke but also hurries you through some of the flavor shifts. In fact, the big flavor shift that I wrote about back in June didn’t seem to be there much if at all in this cigar, mainly because the rich and juicy note just wasn’t to be found.

86 Overall Score

The Tatuaje Mexican Experiment hasn't changed a drastic amount since it came out, though there were points where it felt like the flavor depth was starting to thin out just a bit and losing some of the deep earthiness I recall from when they came out. The pre-light aroma didn't garner nearly the same response as it did in my original review—and while the flavor lingers on the palate for quite a while—it just doesn't seem as complex as it was several months ago. Hopefully this series returns again, as my humidor would be bettered by having some fresher Mexican Experiments in them.

Original (June 2012)
Redux Score (January 2013)
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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.