Monday, May 10, 2010
El Triunfador- El Triunfador is the newest collection from Tatuaje-creator, Pete Johnson. Made in Pepin's Esteli, Nicaragua factory, this cigar is more Pete and less Pepin. Tatuaje has been beyond successful and a lot of people think Pepin is due most of the credit. Granted, Pete's time with Pepin has taught him more than you can imagine. But Pete isn't relying on Pepin to do all his work.
I met Pete Johnson at an event at The Humidour just North of Baltimore. - see my post about that experience -http://www.reviewcigars.blogspot.com/2010/03/tatuaje-event-with-pete-johnson.html-
This event came on the heels of the Triunfador release. During my conversation with Pete, I asked how exactly they come up with a blend. How many prototypes do you make? How long do you let them ferment? Blah Blah Blah....
To paraphrase, Pete said it isn't is hard as you think (at this point - after years of work). Pete said he made the blend for Triunfador in one day, while Pepin was out entertaining Ashton Cigars. Pete said, that once you know and understand the bases of your other sticks, you go in knowing which each type of tobacco brings to the blend.
So, now we have El Triunfador. Wrapped in an Ecuador Habano, bound and filled with Nicaraguan tobacco from various crops around Esteli.
Prelight- The cigar looks well-made. A spotless and smooth wrapper gives off a slightly sweet smell. This mildly box-pressed cigar is firm throughout without feeling hard or crispy. The prelight draw is effortless and also gives a hint of sweetness. The band and box are very Cubanesque, sporting a very traditional design. The band is basic red with gold foil. Pete put a nice personal touch with his initials "P H J" on the side of the band.
Sparking it- The cigar lights easy and burns even. The cigar tastes mildly sweet and a little bit like caramel; very mild compared to Tatuaje's other cigar blends. As the smoke progresses, the body picks up a bit and shows some complexity. I'm having a hard time pinpointing the flavors - I'm not going to get all fancy with my explanation...whatever the flavors are; they're good. As you can see, the construction is 2nd to none and the ash holds on firm and flake-free.
Smoking it- I'm usually a medium/full smoker, but I love this cigar. It is mild in body, but full of flavor. A nice combination that I don't usually get to experience. The cigar tastes of caramel and a little bit of toffee. I've smoked a few of these and the burn is impeccable. No issues, smooth draw and consistent burn.
I recommend this to all you mild smokers out there that deserve some complexity and flavor in your smoke. Also, this is a great morning or early afternoon cigar for the cigar smoker who hasn't had time to put food in their stomach.
The pricepoint is a little high in my opinion - $10 for the larger size...but that is going rate for quality these days. You can nab a smaller No.5 for around $7.
Overall - A-
SMOKED IT TILL IT BURNT MY FINGERS
Check out Mike from StogieReview - see his take on this cigar