Last year, Anthony’s Cigar Emporium released two exclusive cigars for its 20th anniversary: the 6 1/4 x 60 La Flor Dominicana Anthony’s Cigar Emporium 20th Anniversary and the 4 1/2 x 50 My Father Le Bijou 1922 The Martino.
A bit more than a month ago, the Tucson, Ariz.-based retailer announced that it would be receiving one of Tatuaje’s coveted Exclusive Series releases, which as the name implies, are specific blends produced exclusively for different retailers.
For its 21st anniversary, Anthony’s Cigar Emporium asked Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars to produce a cigar, one that would be named Drinking Age, a reference to both the age at which adults in this country can legally drink alcohol as well as the number of years that the store has been in business. Measuring the 5 1/2 x 54, the Tatuaje Drinking Age is a Nicaraguan puro which incorporates a sun grown criollo wrapper covering Nicaraguan tobacco in both the filler and binder. The shop exclusive sells for $10.50 each and is packaged in boxes of 21, with only 300 boxes released.
There have now been three different anniversary cigars made exclusively for Anthony’s Cigar Emporium in the last few months.
- My Father Le Bijou 1922 The Martino (4 1/2 x 50) — Nov. 14, 2014 — 500 Boxes of 15 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
- La Flor Dominicana Anthony’s Cigar Emporium 20th Anniversary (6 1/4 x 60) — Nov. 18, 2014 — 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Drinking Age (5 1/2 x 54) — April 2014 — 300 Boxes of 21 (6,300 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Drinking Age
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 21, $220.50)
- Date Released: April 29, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 21 Cigars (6,300 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
Covered in a cinnamon brown wrapper that feels quite a bit like parchment, the Tatuaje Drinking Age sports a small pigtail cap. There is almost no oil visible at all and the cigar is a bit more spongy when squeezed than normal. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of creamy peanuts, cedar, earth, manure and raisin sweetness, while the cold draw brings flavors of oak, raisins, graham cracker sweetness, leather and dark chocolate.
The first third of the Tatuaje Drinking Age starts off with a somewhat curious combination of dominant flavors: a floral sweetness, creamy oak and espresso. Other lesser notes of dark cocoa, leather, earth, peanuts and anise flit in and out as well, and there is a significant amount of black pepper on the retrohale that is quite strong for the first few puffs before beginning to recede. Construction-wise, the Drinking Age features a draw that is just a bit loose for my tastes, although it is still well within normal limits, as well as an excellent burn, and the smoke production is massive off of the foot. The overall strength ends the first third where it began when I first lit it: just under the medium mark.
The pepper on the retrohale continues to dissipate quite quickly during the second third, although it never disappears totally, and the dominant flavor has shifted to more of a toasted nutty creaminess. Other flavors of dark chocolate, coffee beans, grass, oak and leather continue to be involved and while the floral sweetness also continues to present, it has not gained in strength compared to the first third. The smoke production is still quite high, and the draw has tightened up somewhat, while the burn remains excellent. Strength-wise, the Drinking Age does hit a solid medium at about the halfway point, but seems to stall out there, and shows no signs of increasing anytime soon.
The final third of the Tatuaje Drinking Age seems to be almost a carbon copy of the second third: the same toasted nutty creaminess is dominant, interspersed with some floral sweetness on the retrohale as well as other notes of oak, bitter espresso, dark cocoa, leather and anise. The smoke production has fallen off noticeably, but it is still well within normal limits, and both the draw and burn continue to impress until the end of the cigar. As expected, the strength goes nowhere, and ends the final third right where it began, at a solid medium.
- The Drinking Age is the first of five different Exclusive Series releases that Tatuaje will produce in 2015.
- I am not sure what to think of the name of this particular release: one one hand, it does not exactly roll off of the tongue, but on the other hand, I find it interesting that the number 21 has so many meanings in this release.
- Having said the above, I do love the look of the logo inside of Tatuaje’s Exclusive Series band, and the 21 reminds me strongly of the numbers on some casino chips in Las Vegas.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Tatuaje Drinking Age, the only place you can buy them is at Anthony’s Cigar Emporium, and they are listed as in stock on its website. You can also call 1-844-4-CIGARS (844-424-4277) to order them.
While there is no doubt that the Tatuaje Drinking Age is a smooth and well balanced blend, it is missing some of the complexity I have come to expect from Pete Johnson's releases, and features almost no transitions at all between thirds. Having said that, the overall construction was excellent on all three samples and the cigar is quite enjoyable, despite its lack of nuance. I do wonder if a little age will have a positive impact on the profile, and look forward to testing that theory out in the future.