In July, Tatuaje announced the latest cigar in its family of soft-packed petit coronas: Tattoo Needles.

Much like the four petit coronas released before by L’Atelier Imports, the Tattoo Needles will come in paper five-packs, though unlike the four cigars launched in 2014, Tattoo Needles have a regular cap instead of a pre-cut head.

The Tattoo Needles were shown off at the 2017 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show and started shipping just last week on October 20th.

This is fifth size in the Tatuaje Tattoo series.

  • Tatuaje Tattoo Caballero (5 x 50) — $5 (Boxes of 50, $250)
  • Tatuaje Tattoo Adivino (5 1/2 x 58) — $6.50 (Boxes of 50, $325)
  • Tatuaje Tattoo Bonito (6 1/8 x 52) — $6 (Boxes of 50, $300)
  • Tatuaje Tattoo Universo (6 x 50) — $5.50 (Boxes of 50, $275)
  • Tatuaje Tattoo Needles (4 1/2 x 38) — $3.25 (Packs of 5, $16.25)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Tattoo Needles
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Cubana S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Petit Corona
  • MSRP: $3.25 (Packs of 5, $16.25)
  • Release Date: Oct. 20, 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The small Tattoo Needles looks good, with a nice even wrapper that has a rough, but nice oily feel to it. There are a few soft spots that in a cigar this small could be of concern. The aroma off the wrapper is a little bit of damp hay, earth and a touch of light cocoa powder. A light, almost airy taste of cocoa and leather play over my tongue from a cold draw, though nothing else seems to want to join them.

Starting into the first third there is some sweetness overlaying earth, spice, a bit of black pepper on the nose and perhaps just the lightest touch of a citrus-like fruity note. The burn on the Needles is on point, quite sharp and almost perfectly even. Dark gray ash holds on surprisingly strong for a little 38 ring gauge cigar, not wanting to drop off even at almost an inch. Spice and earth continue to dominate the profile, though the sweetness brings everything back to a nice middle ground.

Quickly moving into the second third, the sweet spice is giving the profile an almost Christmas cookie-like taste, while the background notes of black pepper, oak, espresso and cocoa add a nice depth to the profile. The burn continues to be impressive, staying even and sharp, while the ash keeps holding on like it doesn’t want to leave the party.

Shifting into the final third the profile continues to produce sweet notes of spice, espresso, cocoa, black pepper oak and an undertone of earthiness that keeps it from being cloying. Enjoyable so, though I guess at this point unsurprisingly, the burn has persisted in a wonderfully even manner. With the small nature of the cigar, my fingers start to burn long before I want to actually stop smoking the cigar, but the profile stays cool and smooth all the way to the last little bit.

Final Notes

  • Like we saw with the Tatuaje Lancero Sampler, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more of the Tatuaje lines get the five-pack petit corona treatment. They’re both budget and time-friendly.
  • The Tatuaje Tattoo initially started out as a limited edition release with the intention of protecting the Tattoo trademark, with yearly releases planned. This didn’t seem to happen, with the next sighting of a Tatuaje Tattoo being in 2014 when this iteration was released with a new blend and as a regular production cigar.
  • While the L’Atelier petit corona five-packs were handmade premium cigars, the pre-cut was kind of weird for me and almost made them feel like less of a cigar, even though that’s not the case. I like that the Tattoo Needles have a cap, because cutting that cap off is part of the entire ritual of smoking a cigar for me.
  • Cigars for this review were given to halfwheel by Tatuaje at the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. Tatuaje advertises on halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged right under an hour.
91 Overall Score

I like having a variety of small cigars available to choose from, because more often than not I’m faced with the fact that I only have a limited amount of time to smoke and throwing away the last half of a cigar just seems like a waste. The Tatuaje Needles are a welcome addition to this rotation and now that they’re released will certainly join my other short smokes in my humidor. The profile has the wonderful balance of earth and sweetness that keeps it from being too dry or too sweet, along with an enjoyable mix of flavors that all work well together. Add in the impeccable construction that allowed me to enjoy it without having to babysit the burn line, and you’ve got yourself a really great little cigar.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.