NHC Selección Limitada Capa Especial (Prerelease)

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In early 2010, Dan Welsh of New Havana Cigars announced that Pete Johnson of Tatuaje was producing a exclusive cigar blend for his store. Named simply the “NHC Selección Limitada,” there were two different wrappers on the same blend, a natural habano Ecuador wrapper on one and a Connecticut broadleaf on the other. There were only about 500 boxes were produced with 20 Natural and 20 Reserva included in each box.

Fast forward to last week, when I was at the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show show in Las Vegas. As I was walking around the Drew Estate booth, I happened to run into Welsh, whom I had never met in person before then, who was just hanging out. After the introductions and small talk, Welsh reached into his bag and pulled out an NHC stick that had a white secondary band on it—in Tatuaje world, that usually indicates that the cigar uses a Sumatra wrapper—and told me to try it. When asked specific info on the cigar, Welsh commented that it was a very limited run of his NHC blend, and that he thought I would like it.

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Says Welsh:

This year, on a factory trip, I was sampling the Tatuaje 7th Capa Especial and fell in love with the Sumatra wrapper.  “Wonder what the NHC SL would be like with this wrapper?” I asked of Pete.  “Let’s find out” was the reply, and he had the rollers whip up some samples.  We both LOVED it.  “How many NHC bands you have left?” So we checked the stock and there were enough to produce around 70 boxes of 20.  The factory made new boxes to house 20 cigars each and that was that.

As mentioned above, the Tatuaje NHC Selección Limitada Capa Especial is an extremely limited release, even considering that it is a Tatuaje limited release, with only 70 boxes of 20 produced. The price point is great, about $7.20 each or $144 for the box of 20. They should be for sale sometime this week.

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  • Tatuaje NHC Selección Limitada Capa Especial
  • Tatuaje NHC Selección Limitada Natural
  • Tatuaje NHC Selección Limitada Reserva

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(Photo courtesy of NewHavanaCigars.com)

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje NHC Selección Limitada Capa Especial
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 3/4 inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $7.20 (Boxes of 20, $144)
  • Release Date: July 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 70 Boxes of 20 (1,400 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

The cigar itself is a great looking specimen. An almost perfect vitola with a darkish mottled brown wrapper that has just a bit of oil present. It has a slight box press and the wrapper smells strongly of barnyard, coca, coffee and pepper. It has the perfect give when squeezed.

The first third starts out with a blast of black pepper that fades almost immediately, but sticks around. Notes of sweet leather, wood, espresso and a slight fruitish flavor intermingle for the entire third, with a great spice that made my tongue and lips tingle.

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The second third still has some black pepper, but noticeably less. The profile still has that great sweetish leather and some earth, with some slightly bitter coca powder thrown in for good measure. At the very end of the second third, I started to notice a small amount of a floral note that came and went.

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The final third was dominated by the sweet floral note that started in the second third—still peppery and some wood and leather as well, all combined into a great ending. Still had plenty of spice as well, which I really enjoyed, I also noticed that the strength was increasing throughout the last third, and it ended up a solid “medium plus” in strength.

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Final Notes

  • The Sumatra Wrapper on this cigar is the same one used in both the 7th Capa Especial and the upcoming Monster release, The Wolfman. According to Johnson, “I use the sumatra on the Series P and Ambos Mundos No.2’s (as well), but just a different grade.”
  • It is inevitable to compare the same blends (with different wrappers), and no doubt you are asking the question, “Is this really that much better then the NHC Natural and Reserva?” To that, I give you a resounding, yes. While I liked the first two incarnations of the NHC release, the Capa Especial is so much better it is almost criminal.
  • However, when comparing this cigar to the 7th Capa Especial, things get a bit more tricky.  I was not overly impressed with the 7th Especial, and I was a bit shocked at how much I liked this blend. I think the difference is that the smaller ring gauge really gives this amazingly rich wrapper more of a chance to shine then in the 7th Especial.
  • There is quite a bit of smoke that comes from this cigar when smoking, a great smelling, spicy smoke that lingers in the air.
  • The final smoking time was one hour and 15 minutes.
94 Overall Score

This cigar surprised me quite a bit, especially since I really was not overly impressed with the 7th Capa Especial, despite the fact that the blend and the wrapper are basically the same between the two sticks. I love just about everything about it, from the vitola, to the construction, to the rich flavor profile and the strength. Incredibly complex, with flavors changing from third to third and a wonderful woodish spice and sweetish floral notes that ebb and flow throughout the smoke. This is the complete package, a cigar flavor bomb that will most likely fly way under the radar for 99 percent of the smokers out there. The major problem is the number produced as 1,400 cigars is almost nothing when it comes to a blend like this. However, if you can get a hold of one or more, you will be rewarded with one of the best cigars of the year.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

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.

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