On one of the cigar boards I saw that someone mentioned the Casa Royale cigar as having the same wrapper as the Tatuaje Black so a quick search of the internet and I found that these cigars were available at Holts and the decription on the site were enough to pique my interest. The Holts website states the following:
If you ever needed proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover then look no further than our exclusive Pepin blend, Casa Royale. This cigar shares a wrapper leaf with Tatuaje’s prized Black Label. It certainly isn’t Pepin’s strongest blend but what it lacks in punch it more than makes up for with a complex and dizzying blast of flavors ranging from spicy earth and cedar to creamy leather and nuts. Though it’s not the prettiest wrapper on the market, once you smoke it you won’t care what it looks like, it’s just plain good.
Let’s see how acurate that description is….
Cigar: Casa Royale
Size: 5.5 x 52 (Aristocrat/Belicoso)
Wrapper: Esteli Sungrown
Appearance and Construction (16/20): The cigar has a lot of tooth to it and some major league veins, many of which stick out significantly above the wrapper. The belicoso cap is off center and a little sloppy. The cigar is very light, and has a loosely packed foot with visible gaps in the tobacco. The label of the cigar has some really nice colors and artwork and looks nice on the cigar. I agree that this cigar will not win any beauty contests.
Flavor & Notes (28/30): The foot of the cigar has a rich tobacco scent, and the prelight draw reveals a nutty cedar note. As we smoke the first third of the cigar, there is an underlying sweetness, with notes of earth, cedar and nuts that blend together well to create an enjoyable smoking experience. As I approached the second third of the stick some faint notes of cocoa briefly emerged before giving way to notes of earth an some lemon rind. As the cigar reached the final third, it totally changed becoming slightly bitter, with a fully body. There were notes of leather, and licorice throughout.
Burn/Ash/Draw (23/25): The cigar burned pretty even until the last third of the cigar. The cigar had a fairly big carbon line which usually means the cigar can use a little bit of aging. The ash held on fairly strong a third at time despite being loosely packed and was medium gray in color. The draw was easy, and each pull produced thick voluminous smoke.
Overall (22/25): Despite the drastic flavor change at the end of the cigar, I truly enjoyed this rather complex smoke. It is a nice departure from the cigars typically produced by Don Pepin Garcia. The initial two thirds of the cigar smoked rather fast, due to the loosely packed tobacco, but the final third significantly slowed down. While the cigar will never be compared to a Tatuaje Black in ways other than the shared wrapper this cigar is a nice addition to any humidor, especially if you like cigars with a strong finish.
Price: 145.95 a box of 25 at Holts.