Today we will be taking a look at part two of our 2009 La Vérité prerelease reviews, the 2009 L’Esprit de Vérité. Thanks to Brooks Whittington and his research on the La Vérité 2009 Review I didn’t have to look for any info for our intro here.

In early 2009, it was announced that Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars would be incorporating a somewhat unique idea from the wine industry into the cigar world. He would be releasing a cigar named La Vérité—French for the truth—which would be totally comprised of tobacco from one farm in Estelí, Nicaragua, José “Pepín” García’s La Estrella farm in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Every year, the cigars would be rolled and then aged in master cabinets for a whole year or more until the next year’s release; i.e. the 2008’s were rolled in 2009 and released in 2010. This years’ release was rolled in 2010 and released in 2011. In fact, he is not only using tobacco from one year and one farm, he has also changed the traditional cigar aging process, which normally takes place in bales and decided to let the tobacco age largely in the form of a complete cigar.

There are 50,000 total cigars for the two La Vérité releases.

  • La Vérité — 30,000 Total Cigars
    • 2,300 Boxes of 10
    • 220 Boxes of 25
    • 20 Boxes of 50
    • Five Boxes of 100
  • La Espirit de Vérité — 20,000 Total Cigars
    • 1,500 Boxes of 10
    • 200 Boxes of 25

The unique pricing for these cigars, like in the wine industry, is based on the idea that people get a bigger discount on the actual cigars the earlier they purchase them. For the 2009 vintage, futures pricing of the La Vérité Churchill and L’Esprit de Vérité Robusto are being offered at three different tiers depending on when they are purchased.[ref]After the La Vérités actually ship to stores, the full retail pricing of $25 for La Vérité and $20 for L’Esprit de Vérité will be charged.[/ref] Also note that retailers have to charge you in full before the cigars are sent, in order to take advantage of the futures pricing. The cigars are scheduled to be sent out in late June of 2011.

  • Tier No. 1 was available from March 16, 2011 through April 15, 2011 at a savings of 40 percent: $15 for the Churchill and $12 for the Robusto.
  • Tier No. 2 is available from April 16, 2011 through May 15, 2011 at a savings of 20 percent: $20 for the Churchill and $16 for the Robusto.
  • Tier No. 3 is available from May 16, 2011 through June 15, 2011 at a savings of 10 percent: $22.50 or the Churchill and $18 for the Robusto.

The main difference between the 2008 La Vérité and the 2009 release is that in 2008, Pete used tobacco from only one variety of tobacco (habano criollo), while the 2009 version blends three different varietals from the same farm and year, including pelo de oro, which was also used in the My Father LE 2010 and the My Father LE 2011.

Tatuaje La Verite 2009 2

As with the 2008 release, the 2009 crop features two different vitolas, a robusto and a Churchill, each comprised of different amounts of three different types of tobacco from the same farm:

  • L’Esprit de Vérité  (5 x 50) — 55 percent Habano Criollo, 35 percent Criollo 98, 10 percent Pelo de Oro
  • La Vérité (7 x 47) — 50 percent Habano Criollo, 35 percent Criollo 98, 15 percent Pelo de Oro

Says Pete Johnson:

The 2009 growing season experienced a lot of sun, much more than in 2008, which is the key to strength in the tobacco.  That, in combination with the three tobacco strains (Habano Criollo, Criollo 98 and Pelo de Oro) make for an exciting blend.  I’m especially fortunate to be able to use the Pelo de Oro which was grown in 2009.  In 2010, it was replaced with Sancti Spiritus, which is very similar, and therefore only a little Pelo de Oro was grown, which probably won’t be enough for the 2010 blend.

Tatuaje L'Esprit de Verite 2009 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje L’Esprit de Vérité 2009
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Habano Criollo (La Estrella)
  • Binder: Habano Criollo (La Estrella)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Habano Criollo, Criollo 98 & Pelo de Oro)
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $20*
  • Release Date: June or July 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 20,000 Total Cigars (See Above for Box Distribution)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1

*See above for pricing structure.

Starting off in the first third the opens up nicely with flavors of cedar, leather and an overall toasty profile. There is a touch of spice and pepper on the tongue and on the finish but not a lot at all and honestly I wasn’t expecting a lot either. Towards the end of the first third the cigar turns very creamy and buttery.

Tatuaje L'Esprit de Verite 2009 2

Coming into the second third the cigar transitions nicely into a creamy mellow profile with lashings of nuts, coffee and cocoa. There is still a nice hint of spice on the tongue and through the nose but the pepper is almost non existent. It has a fairly long finish and leaves the mouth moist and crisp. Medium body with a wonderful burn and draw.

Tatuaje L'Esprit de Verite 2009 3

Finishing up in the final third the cigar pretty much holds and even course from the last third, a nice creamy profile with rich nutty flavors, cedar, leather and some coffee and cocoa coming in and out. The cigar stays nice and cool and I am able to nub it with ease.

Tatuaje L'Esprit de Verite 2009 4

Final Notes

  • This has a great profile with loads of flavor and a nice thick chewy smoke, not the most complex in the world, but definitely a step up from last year and the variation of tobacco probably accounts for that.
  • Unlike last year, where I knew I was only going to be buying the La Vérité, i.e. the churchill, this year I am probably going for both sizes, they both show far more potential young and for aging than last years vintage did.
  • If you are interested in purchasing these futures please take a look at our sponsors and anyone of them will be able to help you out and tell them we sent you.
89 Overall Score

This is a huge improvement from last year. I think it was the right move to mix it up and use more than one tobacco. It’s still a fairly straight forward cigar in terms of complexity, but I found it to be much creamier and fuller in flavor than last years. For once the lack of spice and pepper did not bother me, this is not an ass-kicking pepper cigar and I don’t think it was ever intended to be. I think they found a nice balance in creating a cigar that’s medium body but full in flavor and that’s not always easy to do. Give these a try when they come out. I think you will be pleased.

Steve Valle

Steve Valle wrote for Smoking Stogie, a precursor to halfwheel, from 2010-2011.