People who follow Pete Johnson of Tatuaje knows of his love for wine. In 2010 he borrowed the idea of a single vineyard wine and applied it to his cigars with a project called the La Vérité. Taking tobacco from a single vintage and farm, the cigars would be rolled and then aged for at least a year in master cabinets.
The first release in the project featured all one variety of tobacco—habano criollo—from a 2008 crop, rolled in 2009 and released in 2010. The second release in the project followed the same farm and vintage rule, though it was a blend of three varieties of tobacco from a 2009 crop, rolled in 2010 and released in 2011. Both releases featured two sizes: the La Vérité (7 x 47) and the L’Esprit de Vérité (5 x 50).
After the second release, Johnson had mentioned that third iteration probably wouldn’t debut until the end of 2012. That year came and went, as did nearly two more years, but at the end of 2014 Johnson announced that the La Vérité was coming back. This release was going to use tobacco from a 2013 harvest, though production had not started yet as the tobacco needed more time to be processed than in previous years.
It was another year and a half though until we saw the project again, at which point the Tatuaje La Vérité 2013 was shown off at the 2016 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show. Just a few months later, the cigars were shipped to retailers.
This makes six different cigars now under the La Vérité line. The La Vérité come in 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-count boxes, while the L’espirit de Vérité comes in 10- and 25-count boxes.
- Tatuaje La Vérité 2008 (7 x 47) – $22.50 – 30,000 Total Cigars
- Tatuaje L’espirit de Vérité 2008 (5 x 50) – $18 – 20,000 Total Cigars
- Tatuaje La Vérité 2009 (7 x 47) – $25 – 30,000 Total Cigars
- Tatuaje L’espirit de Vérité 2009 (5 x 50) – $13 – 20,000 Total Cigars
- Tatuaje La Vérité 2013 (7 x 47) – $20 – 21,600 Total Cigars
- Tatuaje L’espirit de Vérité 2013 (5 x 50) – $16 – 24,400 Total Cigars
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje La Vérité 2013
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 47
- Vitola: Churchill
- MSRP: $20 (Boxes of 10, $200; Boxes of 25, $500; Boxes of 50, $1,000; Boxes of 100, $2,000)
- Release Date: October 31, 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,910 Boxes of 10, 72 Boxes of 25, 6 Boxes of 50, 4 Boxes of 100 Cigars (21,600 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The gold edged bands with a white and red color scheme look nice against the reddish brown wrapper. The wrapper feels smooth and slightly oily, though there is some bumpiness to it from the binder underneath. Gently squeezing it there do appear to be a few random spots that are softer than the rest, though for the most part it’s quite firm to the touch. Sweet bread, almonds and the lightest hint of cinnamon come off the wrapper in a pleasing aroma, while the cold draw gives a much sweeter, almost cinnamon raisin bread-like flavor with a hint of black pepper on the finish.
Starting into the first third the sweet raisin bread is still there from the cold draw, though the pepper is much more prominent. Some oak and a touch of roasted almonds show up, but very soon afterwards the black pepper grows to much stronger levels. It doesn’t quite drown out the lesser flavors, but is certainly overshadowing them. The burn is almost perfectly sharp and even, and the ash reflects that with nearly perfect parallel lines marching down the side. Ash retention is also impressive with it almost refusing to let go even after an inch, though there are a few fly-aways that did flake off in the interim. While the pepper seemed to be ramping up earlier, it plateaued for a bit, then retreated to the background allowing the rest of the more subtle flavors to shine again. Sweet fruits, oak, almonds, hints of earth and a bit of caramel round out the profile nicely.
Moving into the second third of the La Vérité, I’m getting a continuation of notes from before: sweet fruit and spice leads the profile with oak and almonds in the middle, followed by hints of earth, caramel and pepper in the background. The draw has been a bit tighter than I would prefer, though I would still put it within the ideal range, and each draw produces plenty of aromatic smoke. The burn continues mostly even, though it is slightly more ragged than before. Moving along the almonds have become more roasted and grown in strength, while the sweetness has transitioned to the spice and the rich fruit note has receded slightly. Caramel has also faded to the point where it’s mostly gone, leaving the pepper and earth in the background.
The final third of the Tatuaje sees only a slight bit of movement in the profile, with the pepper again gaining a foothold and joining the oak and fruit in the middle. The earthiness remains in the background, while the sweet spice and roasted almonds continue up front. Though the burn hasn’t been as sharp or even since the first third, it has yet to need a touch up, staying mostly even. With only enough cigar left to hold on to without burning my fingers, the La Vérité stays smooth to the very end.
- The La Vérité size is distinguished by a gold edging on the bands, while the L’espirit de Vérité is silver.
- For the 2009 blend, it was indicated that there was a slight change in the ratios of the blend between the La Vérité and the L’espirit de Vérité. For the 2013 version there wasn’t any indication that the ratios were different.
- La Vérité is French for the truth, while L’espirit de Vérité means the spirit of truth.
- I really wish I had a few more of these, as I’d love to revisit them in a couple years to see how they’ve developed.
- Production of these took place between Feb. 2-May 29 of 2015.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Tatuaje advertises on halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged a little over two hours.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Corona Cigar Co., Elite Cigar Cafe (972.661.9136) and STOGIES World Class Cigars carry the Tatuaje L’espirit de Vérité 2013.
The La Vérité release is something I really enjoy splurging on occasionally from Tatuaje, and it’s certainly a much different experience than many of the brand’s offerings. A complex and cohesive profile along with pretty stellar construction makes the Tatuaje La Vérité 2013 an enjoyable cigar that despite the higher price, I think many Tatuaje fans will enjoy. It’s a great addition to the lineup, and just makes me wish that there had been more releases in the years past. Fortunately, the price seems to have made it that these don’t sell out instantaneously, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding these at your local store and I can certainly suggest trying these for yourself before they’re all gone.