Back in 2006, Tatuaje released three of what has now become dozens of single store releases, one of which was the Cohete, Spanish  for rocket. Exclusively sold at Tower Pipes & Cigars in Sacramento, Calif., the 4 x 50 Petite Robusto was limited to 50 boxes of 25 cigars for the first release and 100 boxes of 25 for its second release in 2009.

The three original single store releases in 2006 were:

Tatuaje Cohete Bombazo Maravilla

  • Tatuaje La Maravilla (5 5/8 x 46) — Leaf & Ale — 50 Boxes of 25 (1,250 Total Cigars) —  $9.99 (Boxes of 25, $249.75)
  • Tatuaje Cohete (4 x 50) — Tower Pipes & Cigars — 50 Boxes of 25 (1,250 Total Cigars) —  $9.00 (Boxes of 25, $225.00)
  • Tatuaje Bombazo (4 x 46) — FUMARE — 50 Boxes of 25 (1,250 Total Cigars) —  $7.50 (Boxes of 25, $187.50)

Pete Johnson started hinting back in December of 2012 about yet another rerelease of the Cohete, and we finally had the final details in a news post back in February:

The 4 x 50 Tatuaje Cohete will be returning exclusively to Tower Pipes & Cigars of Sacramento, Calif., this time with more permanence. After months of speculation, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje/Havana Cellars confirmed to halfwheel the Cohete will be a regular release for Mark Just of Tower with the first batch shipping in March.
In 2006, a paltry 50 boxes of 25 Cohetes were released as part of the initial Tatuaje limited editions. Joining the Tower release was the Bombazo, which went to Dion Giolito’s FUMARE, and the La Maravilla, which went to Leaf & Ale of Knoxville, Tenn. The Nicaraguan puro, whose name translates to rocket, was once again released in 2009, this time with a substantially larger 100 boxes of 25. Now, Johnson is preparing to ship an even larger batch to Tower and has plans for more.
“The Cohete is coming back to Tower for full production in small batch format based on when Mark needs them,” said Johnson to halfwheel. “Same price point and same packaging. Just made in Nicaragua. Same blend and same size. ” Previously the cigar had been made at the Miami-based El Rey de los Habanos.
Just is taking pre-orders for the initial March shipment, which is expected to be “around” 300 boxes according to Johnson.
Last year, the Bombazo Capa Especial was sent to FUMARE and Johnson has already announced the Noella Reserva will return in 2013. With that, three of the four Tatuaje limited editions from 2006 are expected to make a return. As for the La Maravilla, Johnson wouldn’t commit to anything.
“No plans yet but you never know.”

Tatuaje Cohete 2006 2009 2013

  • Tatuaje Cohete 2006 (4 x 50) — Tower Pipes & Cigars — 50 Boxes of 25 (1,250 Total Cigars) —  $9.00 (Boxes of 25, $225.00)
  • Tatuaje Cohete 2009 (4 x 50) — Tower Pipes & Cigars — 100 Boxes of 25 (2,500 Total Cigars) —  $9.00 (Boxes of 25, $225.00)
  • Tatuaje Cohete 2013 (4 x 50) — Tower Pipes & Cigars — 200 Boxes of 25 (5,000 Total Cigars) —  $9.00 (Boxes of 25, $225.00)

This is what the boxes for the 2013 incarnations of the Tatuaje Cohete look like:

Tatuaje Cohete 2013 Box 1

Tatuaje Cohete 2013 Box 2

Tatuaje Cohete 2013 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Cohete (2013)
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Petit Robusto
  • Est. Price: $9.00 (Cabinets of 25, $210.00)
  • Date Released: April 12, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Cabinets of 25 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)*
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
*While this release is not specifically limited, only 200 boxes have been rolled and shipped to Tower Pipe & Cigars so far.

Visually, the Tatuaje Cohete is wonderful with a dark mocha brown wrapper that is slick to the touch and has a noticeable amount of oil present. There is very little give when squeezed, but is well short of rock hard. The aroma coming off of the wrapper is equal parts barnyard, wood, leather and pepper.

The cigar starts off the first third with flavors of cedar, bitter chocolate, earth and leather. There is a powerful black pepper on the retrohale, and just a tiny amount of spice on the lips, but both start to recede at about the halfway point of the first third. There is a really great sweetness that is in the background, but it is not overly distinct as of yet. Smoke production is extremely copious, thick and white. The finish, burn and draw are all excellent so far, while the strength ends the first third at just a little below medium, but is definitely getting stronger.

Tatuaje Cohete 2013 2

Coming into the second third of the Tatuaje Cohete, the profile has become noticeably creamier, but the main flavors are still cedar, earth, and leather with an added great nutty note. The sweetness that is in the background has become more distinct and is now a noticeable raisin flavor. Black pepper continues to be obvious on the retrohale, but about half as strong as at the beginning of the smoke. The burn, draw and smoke production remain impressive, and the strength continues to build, hitting a solid medium by the end of the second third.

Tatuaje Cohete 2013 3

The final third of the newest Tatuaje Cohete continues the trend in terms of the profile with strong and distinct notes of earth, espresso, leather, wood and nuts. The raisin sweetness from the second third seems strongest right at the start of the last third, then starts to slowly recede, although it is always a factor in the profile. Construction-wise the burn and draw end wonderfully, although the nub did get a bit hot with about three-quarters of an inch left and the overall strength ends a bit stronger than medium.

Tatuaje Cohete 2013 4

Final Notes:

  • I smoked one of each of the 2006, 2009 and 2013 versions at the same time to compare, and I have to say, the differences are dramatic. The profile on the 2006 release is significantly creaimer and has quite a bit more sweetness than either the 2009 or 2013 version. The 2013 cigar also burned more quickly than either of the other two, despite having the tightest draw of the three.
  • In terms of pure nicotine consumption, I would not recommend doing the above with this blend.
  • While Johnson has said that the 2013 are the same blend as the previous version, he is talking about the 2009, as the 2006 version used a Corojo ’99 wrapper and the 2009 version used a Habano wrapper from Ecuador. Tatuaje switched from Corojo to Habano for all of the Brown labels in early 2007.
  • In my personal opinion, I am starting to believe that Pete Johnson’s Habano and Corojo-wrapped blends age better than most of his Connecticut Broadleaf releases. A five year-old Noella is a treat you won’t forget anytime soon.
  • Compared to the 2006 and 2009 release, the bands on the 2013 Cohete are a paler brown, and more parchment like, as opposed to more glossy.
  • For Tatuaje’s 10th anniversary, which is this year, the original six HUNTER sizes of Brown Label will return in specially-packaged, gold-foiled and wet-packed version. In addition, there will be three vitolas released of a brand new 10th anniversary blend, one of which will only be sold by stores that are members of the TAA.
  • All three samples of the Cohete 2013 that I smoked got fairly hot at end with only about three-quarters of an inch left, much as I remember happening with the Tatuaje Bombazo Capa Especial.
  • The La Maravilla is now the only blend out of the three original blends released in 2006 that has not been rereleased in any form.
  • As I recall, there were some boxes of the 2009 release that had the 2006 date burned into the side, although the box date on the bottom was correct. This is not the first time this has happened, as most recently, the Tatuaje Exclusive Series Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary Redux used 60 boxes from the first release in 2011.
  • Along with the above, I absolutely love the fact that these boxes have a box date stamped on the bottom that is actually legible.
  • As mentioned above, the 2013 version of the Cohete are rolled at My Father Cigars S.A. in Nicaragua as opposed to in Miami at El Rey de los Habanos like the 2006 and 2009 versions were.
  • This cigar burned extremely quickly for the first half, then slowed down in the second half.
  • As with all of the Brown Label releases, the finish is excellent in just about every way.
  • There have been quite a few different cigars released in the Brown Label line, either tweaked or with different wrappers.
  • As I have said before, I have always loved the Brown Label bands: simple, elegant and completely unpretentious.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples I smoked averaged right at 55 minutes.
  • At this moment, if you want to purchase the Tatuaje Cohete, you can buy them straight from Tower Pipes & Cigars here. There is a $15 discount if you buy these by the box.

Update (April 20, 2013): This story originally indicated Leaf & Ale was in Nashville, Tenn., the story was located in Knoxville, Tenn.

90 Overall Score

I have been looking forward to the Cohete re-rerelease ever since we first heard about it, as it has always been one of my favorites of the Brown Label vitolas. Having said that, I have never found the Brown Labels to be the most complex of profiles when fresh, but with a little bit of age, they really tend to shine. The 2013 version of the Cohete is no different in that regard: extremely rich and dense flavors, great finish and great construction is par for the course for this release, but if you are looking for a cigar to change profiles significantly and often, this is not your smoke. Having said that, these are very good now, well worth buying and after smoking a 2009 and 2006 versions to compare, I am confident in how well they will age over the long term.

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Brooks Whittington

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.