Review: Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse

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You’ve no doubt heard about the predictions for the end of the world that came and went in recent weeks – specifically the end of the Mayan calendar that had some people fearing the explosion of the planet on either December 21.

While December 21st didn’t bring the end of the world, the hype surrounding the possible end of the world did bring a new cigar, the Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse.

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The Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse is a smaller version of the Tatuaje Anarchy, a cigar released in December 2010 as a store exclusive for Smoke Inn in South Florida. The Anarchy was the first cigar in Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series, which has gone on to include the Padrón SI-15 in Natural and Maduro, the Arturo Fuente Solaris, and the El Hijo from My Father Cigars.

Here’s how Smoke Inn described the original release:

On December 10, 2010 Smoke Inn Cigars of South Florida released upon the world a masterful creation concocted by Pete Johnson of Havana Cellars and the Garcia Family of My Father Cigars. The cigar was the Tatuaje Anarchy and it took the nation by storm. The cigar is made with an extremely limited Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that was hand-selected by both Pete & the Garcia family.

You will find this dark, oily wrapper having almost a “fuzzy” feeling on your lips. This cigar is bold yet extremely smooth. Going against the grain of typical limited run releases, we wanted Tatuaje Anarchy to be priced reasonably, so that all who are fans of Pete’s brands could embrace this release without breaking the bank. The cigar is a perfecto a little over 6″ and has a slow taper of 48 to 52 ring gauge. Only 1500 boxes were produced and it will be a sad day when they are gone.

While the second installment of the Tatuaje Anarchy line is basically the same blend as the first in a shorter and slightly skinnier vitola, there was a subtle bit of blend tweaking to evoke the flavors of the original Tatuaje Anarchy but according to the Tatuaje Anarchy website, deliver them in “somewhat of a more concentrated fashion.”

Where you will find more notable changes are in both the band and the box. The color scheme has been reversed with black text featured on red backgrounds for the Apocalypse release and the box receiving a more ornate design, including what could be interpreted as references to the Mayan calendar. In addition, production was also scaled back by 200 boxes to only 1,300 boxes of 15 cigars.

Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Apocalypse
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars, S.A.
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 48/52
  • Vitola: Figurado
  • MSRP: $8.95 (Boxes of 15, $134.25)
  • Date Released: December 14, 2012 
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,300 Boxes of 15 (19,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

 

The Tatuaje Apocalypse has a toothy and textured wrapper in an earthy, chocolate shade of brown. The foot and head are equally eye-catching, with the Figurado shape drawing your eyes to both equally. The wide, open foot is balanced by a tightly coiled strand of tobacco at the head of the cigar that resembles a cinnamon bun. There is a temptation to want to pull the coiled cap off, though it seems pretty well attached to the cigar and to itself, so a clip with the blades right underneath the bun is the more appropriate cut. Pre-light notes of tree bark, dark baking spice, leather, wet earth and a bit of pepper dominate the nose, while the cold draw has a distinctive red pepper note backed by rich hot chocolate, reminiscent of a particular Mexican hot cocoa I became mildly addicted to several years ago in Playa del Carmen. Subtle notes of wood and leather round out the noticeable flavors.

As soon as the flame hits the foot of the cigar, the first third of the Tatuaje Apocalypse comes alive with notes of warm barnyard and pepper. Smoke billows off the foot of the cigar, creating a warm, rich and spicy aroma in the air – and making for an incredibly enjoyable start. Rushing through the cigar brings immediate consequences – in addition to getting overly warm, the taste goes from fairly heavy and rich to a bit lighter and much sharper – a quick reminder to take your time with this. The first third is strong but not overpowering when it comes to strength and spice and falls right in line with what most people would expect from a limited production Tatuaje.

Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse 2

The second third doesn’t bring a significant amount of flavor changes, though it has mellowed out just a bit from the explosion of flavor that was found early on. There is still a fair amount of spice in the nose and a good retrohale proves to be quite the challenge. There are a few points where a flavor that can only be described as thick, warm root beer starts to come out. Up to this point it’s been the only real discernible flavor change, as once the spice settles down after the first inch, the Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse seems to find its groove and doesn’t deviate too much. Black pepper plays a fairly steady role through the midpoint, never taking the lead role but always staying on stage and fairly close to the spotlight.

Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse 3

The final third of the Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse sees a turn towards a richer, heartier and somewhat sharper flavor—not necessarily a burnt taste, but certainly heading in that direction, similar to a steak cooked past medium but not to medium well. There is a definite increase in the white pepper component, as well as the introduction of a chalk note, with the pair combining to really light up the palate in the final inches. The shrinking ring gauge and increased proximity of the burn line make the cigar hard to nub, with each one needing to be put down with about an inch and change left.

Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse 4

Final Notes

  • While it’s incredibly hard to see in the photos, the Tatuaje word mark is embossed on the band on both sides of the Anarchy logo.
    Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse Band
  • There is a unique Twitter account for the Tatuaje Anarchy project, though it was run by the Smoke Inn staff and not Pete Johnson. The only other Tatuaje project to get its own Twitter account was the La Vérité line, though it often just repeated what was being mentioned on the main Tatuaje Twitter account.
  • There is also a separate website for this project.
  • Can’t forget about the YouTube video for this project.
  • The Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse release party included the destruction of a van, which you can see a picture of here.
  • The online pre-orders for the cigar were so strong that it filled a mail truck and spilled over into a second one.
  • Smoke Inn’s owner, Abe “Ming” Dababneh, included a letter with the cigars, thanking customers for their purchase and wishing a happy holiday season. Nothing is mentioned about the specifics of the Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse, however, other than it is the fifth installment of the Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series.
  • For the limited quantity and the cache that comes with Tatuaje cigars, the price on these is remarkably affordable.
  • In early December, it was announced that Dababneh would be working with Matt Booth of Room101 on a new Microblend Series release called “Big Delicious.” The project includes an online comic that chronicles the adventures of Swanky White and Big Delicious, Booth’s and Dababneh’s nicknames, respectively.
  • Smoke Inn is one of only a few retailers to receive two Tatuaje single store releases.
  • Brooks and Steve Valle reviewed a pre-release version of the Tatuaje Anarchy in this ‘Face-Off’ review.
  • This was the second cigar created with an end of the world tie-in, the other is the La Flor Dominicana Meaner Digger, a store exclusive for Tobacco Haven in Brookline, NH.
  • If you’re looking to purchase the original Tatuaje Anarchy from 2010, Smoke Inn has been out of stock for some time. Your best bet is the secondary market that exists on several message boards.
  • As for the rest of the Microblend Series, only the My Father El Hijo and Arturo Fuente Solaris remain available for sale. The Padrón SI-15 has completely sold out.
  • In addition to Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse cigars, you can also buy a matching baseball cap or t-shirt, all via Smoke Inn’s website.
  • Final smoking time is about two hours and 10 minutes.
89 Overall Score

The Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse wastes no time getting things started in the flavor department before finding its groove fairly early on in the initial third. Other than a few minor variations, it doesn't veer too far off course from what has proven to be a very successful formula for Tatuaje: medium-plus in strength and body, a good bit of spice throughout the cigar and excellent construction. The only thing really lacking in this cigar was variation in flavor – once the Tatuaje Anarchy Apocalypse finds its groove, it just doesn't want to get out of it. Fortunately it's got a good groove going and fans of Tatuaje should be completely satisfied by this cigar. However, it doesn't do much to push boundaries or show a new side of the brand, which leaves it as a very good but not game-changing smoke. It's worth picking up a few, but it certainly won't be the end of the world if this one passes you by.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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