The Tatuaje SW Reserva Maduro is yet another limited edition stick, made for a specific purpose and store, and consists of only 200 boxes of 25 sticks each. The story behind the making of this stick is as interesting as it is tragic.

According to Pete Johnson, owner of Tatuaje, his good friend and sales person in the state of Florida by the name of Paul asked him to roll a few of his extremely popular SW (which stands for “Sir Winston”, a homage to the Cuban cigar of the same name) cigar with a Maduro wrapper for him to taste and smoke. Sadly, he died soon after. In his memory, Pete had the 200 boxes made with a Maduro wrapper, sold them through one store, (Sabor Havana Cigars) and donated all of the proceeds from the sale to Paul’s family.

The cigar itself is a wonderful example of how a cigar should look like. Just the right size (for me) and heft, it is slightly spongy when pinched. I detected a sweetness on the wrapper when I smelled it before cutting it, but very faint…after cutting it, my pre-light draw was tasted almost like red wine.

Tatuaje SW Reserva Maduro 1.jpg

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje SW Reserva Maduro
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Factory: El Rey de los Habanos
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 47
  • Vitola: Churchill
  • Est. Price: $13.00
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 25 (5,000 total cigars)
  • Released Date: March 2009

As with many of the Tat sticks, the first few puffs of the smoke have literally a blast of pepper and spice, a unique taste to them (as far as I have tasted anyway), that I now half jokingly refer to the “Tat Twang”…Not unpleasant at all, but it will make you sit up and take notice.

The first third is characterized by a really nice blend between sweetness, pepper and spice, a great contrast that is VERY enjoyable…

Tatuaje SW Reserva Maduro 2.jpg

During the second third, the pepper/spice takes a back seat (but is still along for the ride) to a great taste of cedar that comes and goes….the sweetness is totally gone, and the “zing” comes and goes as well…

Tatuaje SW Reserva Maduro 3.jpg

The last third opens with a wonderful chocolate flavor, and the pepper/spice makes a comeback with a vengeance….I also detected some citrus notes, and along with the chocolate, the end of the cigar was definitely the high point…it never got hot, and I was able to smoke it to the nub with no problems…

Tatuaje SW Reserva Maduro 4.jpg

Final Notes:

  • This cigar was interesting, in that it made my mouth tingle on almost every puff, but not in a bad way…the Tat Twang was definitely in effect, but the tingle stayed around for pretty much the whole stick. It is hard to describe, but easy to enjoy.
  • This cigar was so good, I literally wrote “HOLY SHIT this is a great cigar” in my notes.
  • The final smoking time
93 Overall Score

In my opinion, this is one of the best sticks released this year, and it is a pity that 99 percent of the people who love cigars will never taste one.

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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.