Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tatuaje Verocu Tubo (Red Tubo)

Tatuaje Red Tubo- Pete Johnson released this special blend of the Red Label two years back with a separate vitola for the east and west sides of the country. Immediately, they became a huge success and Tatuaje lovers across the country found themselves scrambling to get ahold of these coveted smokes.
The new Red Tubo series is supposed to match that original Verocu blend. The cigar is a Nicaraguan Puro and is a fuller-flavored mix than the normal Havana VI (red label) cigar line. While the two blends share some similarities, the Verocu is much stronger and full bodied.
The Tubos come in an attractive box of ten and are a beautiful Torpedo shape, looking very much like the Cuban Partagas Series P No. 2. Not a surprise, as Pete likes paying homage to classic Cuban cigars.

Prelight- This cigar is a work of art. Absolutely beautiful. The wrapper is so dark it could be a maduro. The has a dry, rough look...but it is attractive. This torpedo is well made and feels amazing in the hand. I almost feel bad take a cutter and flame to these Tubos, because they are a site to behold.
The prelight draw tasts of hay and a little spice. Lets get down to business.

Sparking it- This cigar wastes no time in providing flavor and body. The spice is vibrant and apparent in the first inch or so. I enjoy exhaling smoke through the nose to help me get a better taste and smell of the flavors and nuances of any cigar I smoke...and let me tell you, the Verocu Tubo has a strong but sweet spice that sends tingles through my nose.
This Tatuaje burns to a nice white ash that holds on firm a structured. The early flavors are that of cinammon and roasted nut. I can't get over just how sweet and aromatic the resting smoke is. Truly an all around pleasure.

Smoking it- I love the flavors of this cigar. I've heard folks say that the Tatuaje Verocu Tubo cigar is a medium flavor, and I disagree with them whole-heartedly. This cigar starts medium-full and evolves to a medium through the next 2"-3". After the halfway point, this cigar goes full flavored and tastes like a red-hot candy.
The flavor profile is complex and varies from inch to inch.
The cigar has earthy flavors, sweet spice, cinammon and hints of cream mixed throughout. The original Red Label (Havana VI) is one of my favorite cigars on the market, and probably my favorite medium bodied cigar.
I had heard about the original release of this Verocu blend, but never had the chance to smoke any.
Just a few weeks ago, I stopped into a Tatuaje event, and had to pick up the Ten-pack Tubo box when I had the chance. Also, there was some freebies with a box purchase, so I couldn't resist.
I've smoked about 7 of the 10 I purchased and couldn't be happier with the flavor and classic look of this Torpedo. Howeve, (I'm sad to say this) these cigars burn uneven on a consistent basis. It seems like an issue with keeping the wrapper lit all the way around the stick. One of my Tubos had a monsterous vein running through the binder, compeletely ruining the smoke past the half-way point.
As much as I love the flavor and look of these cigars, the burning characteristics have disappointed beyond belief. On more than one occasion the wrapper cracked as the cigar got to the last 3 inches. I hope for my own sake, that this was a bad box, as I love the flavor of this cigar. Unfortunately, the latest issue of Cigar Aficianado rated the Tatuaje Verocu Tubo, and they commented on an uneven burn. I have heard others share similar experiences.
I recommend this cigar as it is truly an enjoyable smoke...hopefully Tatuaje addresses this problem with future releases of the Red Tubo.

Overall- B+

If it weren't for the shitty burn, this would be in my top 3 favorite cgars. I will definitely smoke these in the future, but at $11-12 a cigar, it is a damn shame this cigar burns as uneven as it doesn.

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