In March 2012, Tatuaje released a new blend to celebrate Great Neck, N.Y.-based retailer Tobacco Plaza’s 40th anniversary in business. The Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD—the DD in the name refers to one of the owners of the store, Danny Ditkowich—was a 6 x 58 belicoso vitola with a closed foot featuring a blend that was based on Tatuaje’s Fausto line but utilizing a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. Only 10,000 of the cigars were released packaged in 10-count boxes, with each cigar retailing for $13.75.

About one month later, a somewhat different version of the same cigar was released by Tobacco Plaza. While the blend and vitola remained the same, this version was shipped with no bands and were wet-packed into foil bundles. In addition, only 500 10-count boxes were released—half of the number released for the original DD—although the $13.75 per cigar price did not change.

For the store’s 50th anniversary earlier this year, Ditkowich decided to bring back the same 6 x 58 belicoso vitola under the Tobacco Plaza DD name. Once again, the blend was the same as the previous releases—namely a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper covering a Nicaraguan binder and fillers—but there are a couple of other differences besides the price, which came in at a higher $20 price point, meaning each 10-count box was priced at $200, including the New York OTP tax.

Additionally, there was only one version released, meaning none of the cigars were wet-packed in foil bundles. Second, the bands were different from the original version, which said Tobacco Plaza DD on them. For the Tobacco Plaza DD 50th release, the cigars are adorned with the Tatuaje Exclusive Series bands along with the secondary Reserva band that Tatuaje sometimes uses for its blends that use Connecticut broadleaf wrappers.

However, it turns out that Tatuaje was not finished with releasing new versions of the Tobacco Plaza DD cigar: last month, the company shipped the Tatuaje Limited DB Capa Especial, a variation on the DD that retains the 6x 58 belicoso vitola, but with a blend that incorporates an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper instead of a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. There is a total of 20,000 cigars packaged in 10-count boxes that were released to about 60 stores across the country and each cigar has an MSRP of $17.

Note: The following shows the various Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza vitolas. Some of these cigars may have been released after this post was originally published. The list was last updated on Dec. 5, 2022.

  • Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza DD (6 x 58) — March 2012 — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Exclusive Series Tobacco Plaza DD (Wet Pack) (6 x 58) — April 2012 — 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD (2022) (6 x 58) — August 2022 — 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Limited DB Capa Especial (6 x 58) — November 2022 — 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
91 Overall Score

Although I still enjoy smoking them immensely, other than a few outliers—I’m looking at you Pork Tenderloin and various Tatuaje TAA releases—I have rarely considered the majority of Tatuaje’s Connecticut broadleaf-wrapped blends to be overly complex when it comes to the flavor profile. While the new Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD is no different in either of those regards, it is quite different than the original version when it comes to one aspect: the strength. Not only is this incarnation of the DD blend not as strong as its predecessors—although it does pack a punch in the final third, eventually hitting a point just under the full mark—but it also features a more balanced profile overall, with the sweet earth and cedar combination in the first third and the charred meat and cracked pepper flavors in the second half melding together nicely with the ever-present raspberry sweetness on the retrohale. Sure, there is an abundance of black pepper at various points during the two-hour smoking time and the aforementioned strength does eventually become a bit overwhelming in the final puffs, but both are to be expected in a blend like this. In the end, the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD is a wonderful example of a full-strength and full-bodied blend done right, toeing the line with enough strength to eventually satisfy those looking for a punch to the gut while being balanced enough to please those looking for a stronger flavorful smoke.

Original Score (March 2012, 2012 Version)
90
Redux Score (December 2013, 2012 Version)
91
Redux Score (December 2022, 2022 Version)
91

Here is what I reviewed the original release in March 2012:

This is the strongest cigars I have smoked this year and easily one of the strongest Tatuajes that has been released. Stronger than the Fausto it is based on and on par with a fresh T110. I enjoyed the smoke, but had to take a break about two thirds into it or I would have thrown up. People who are looking for a nicotine fix are going to love this cigar and people who are not used to cigars this strong are going to puke. Honestly, the best part of this cigar for me was the first third, where the flavors were intense and the strength was about a full-like medium. After that, the strength took over and really fucked me up. Having said all of that, the flavors were classic Tatuaje with a small twist and the profile was surprisingly balanced, despite the strength. I am buying a couple of boxes to put down, but I think I will let them sit for a while as opposed to smoking them fresh.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD (2022)
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 58
  • Vitola: Gran Belicoso
  • MSRP: $20 (Boxes of 10, $200)
  • Release Date: August 2022
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

Editor’s Note: This is one of the rare cases when we are doing a redux review of a new version of a cigar and not of an aged sample of a cigar we have already reviewed. — Charlie Minato.

As has been the case with each of the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD cigars I have smoked over the years, the 2022 version looks massive and feels quite heavy when held in my hand. The wrapper is a rustic and mottled milk chocolate brown color that is extremely rough to the touch, with numerous protruding veins all over it. In addition, there is a noticeable amount of oil, the cigar is very hard when squeezed and the covered foot is a nice visual touch, a detail I am glad Tatuaje retained for the new version. Aroma from the wrapper includes a strong dank earth smell, along with somewhat less aggressive notes of graham cracker sweetness, barnyard, creamy cedar, pepper and dry straw. The foot brings notes of powdery cocoa nibs, dried tea leaves, gritty earth, cedar, espresso beans, leather tack and brown sugar. Finally, after a Dickman cut the cold draw includes flavors of baker’s spices, fruity sweetness, gritty earth, cocoa nibs, leather, creamy hay and cracked black pepper.

While the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD starts out with an unsurprising combination of gritty earth laced with strong cracked black pepper and spice on my tongue, all three quickly morph into main flavors of sweet earth and creamy cedar. Secondary notes include cloves, toasted bread, leather tack, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, slight cinnamon and a fleeting vegetal note, while the retrohale features an abundance of fresh cracked black pepper and a bright fruity sweetness that reminds me of raspberries. Flavor easily reaches a point just over medium by the end of the first half, while the body is at medium and the strength ends the first half at a solid medium.

Flavors of charred meat and cracked pepper take over as the main flavors in the profile during the second half of the Tatuaje, a combination that reminds me of eating a pepper-incrusted steak. However, there are some changes in the secondary flavors, which now include new notes of almonds and citrus peel to go along with the leather tack, cocoa nibs, rich espresso beans and cinnamon. There is an increased amount of fresh cracked pepper on the retrohale, and while there is more of the raspberry sweetness as well, that sweetness is just not strong enough to compensate for the pepper as the cigar burns down. Flavor ends the cigar just under the full mark, while the body pushes past full, albeit just barely. Finally, I can feel the strength building—seemingly increasing at least incrementally with just about every puff—but surprisingly, the strength levels out just below the full mark by the end of the cigar, leading to significantly less balance issues than I expected.

91 Overall Score

Although I still enjoy smoking them immensely, other than a few outliers—I’m looking at you Pork Tenderloin and various Tatuaje TAA releases—I have rarely considered the majority of Tatuaje’s Connecticut broadleaf-wrapped blends to be overly complex when it comes to the flavor profile. While the new Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD is no different in either of those regards, it is quite different than the original version when it comes to one aspect: the strength. Not only is this incarnation of the DD blend not as strong as its predecessors—although it does pack a punch in the final third, eventually hitting a point just under the full mark—but it also features a more balanced profile overall, with the sweet earth and cedar combination in the first third and the charred meat and cracked pepper flavors in the second half melding together nicely with the ever-present raspberry sweetness on the retrohale. Sure, there is an abundance of black pepper at various points during the two-hour smoking time and the aforementioned strength does eventually become a bit overwhelming in the final puffs, but both are to be expected in a blend like this. In the end, the Tatuaje Tobacco Plaza DD is a wonderful example of a full-strength and full-bodied blend done right, toeing the line with enough strength to eventually satisfy those looking for a punch to the gut while being balanced enough to please those looking for a stronger flavorful smoke.

Original Score (March 2012, 2012 Version)
90
Redux Score (December 2013, 2012 Version)
91
Redux Score (December 2022, 2022 Version)
91
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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.