Cigar Review: Tatuaje HCS

Yesterday I spent the evening in Philadelphia since my job took me into South Philadelphia earlier in day and has become custom I stop over at Holt’s for a few cigars and a trip upstairs to Mahogany. While chatting with Lee the assistant manage he showed me the new Pete Johnson stick, the Holts Cigar Shop exclusive. The HCS also known as “tattoo” was a nice will find.

According to the Holt’s website, “Our good friend Pete Johnson has hooked us up with another outstanding gem! Tatuaje HCS is ”Tattoo” Pete’s latest project out of the Garcia factory and it could be the finest cigar he’s ever made. It could be the silky-smooth Ecuadorian wrapper he chose to finish the cigar with, or the aged Nicaraguan fillers that create the foundation of these treats, but whatever it is these cigars are a delicious, absolute must-try. A rich, earthy-core of flavor gives way to sweet notes of cedar, creamy leather and spicy pepper as you revel in the full-bodied smoke. Pete may be kicking himself for making this masterpiece a Holt’s exclusive, but we aren’t complaining.”

What are my thoughts you may ask? Read on to find out!

Cigar: Tatuaje HCS
Size: 5.25 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Hybrid Ecuadorian Habano Rosado Criollo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full
Twitter: @tatuajecigars

Tatuaje HCS by Pete Johson for Holt's

Tatuaje HCS by Pete Johson for Holt's

Appearance and Construction: According to the assistant manager at Holt’s this cigar has the same wrapper as the My Father LE 2010 and appearance wise it does look very similar. Lee went on to say it might be from a different priming but he believed it to be the same wrapper. The cigar has very few veins to the naked eye on this box pressed beauty, however under the flash of the camera you can see a few more. All of which are thin and do not detract from the cigar. There band is simple gold, and the new Pete Johnson logo that he has has on his website for a long time is pressed into the band much like those old penny presses. There is a hefty weight to this smoke, no soft spots and a nicely packed foot.

Flavor & Notes: Once I clopped the simple cap and performed the cold draw on these I was met with some wood notes that borders on maple with a slight mocha. The foot of the cigar serves up a nice does of mocha. Once the cigar is lit there are some strong pepper notes that slowly fade away in typical Pepin fashion before giving way to nutmeg, maple and a dry earth on the first third. As I approach the second third of the cigar, I really begin to take notice how dry the cigar tastes and am glad I have a bottle of water present. As the second third is breached there are some faint mint notes that come and go throughout this section of the cigar with the primary note being a dry earth, with some syrupy maple. The cigar closes out with some dry earth, a touch of maple and some licorice with spices through the nose

Smoking Characteristics: A nice slow burning box press with a medium gray ash they held fairly well despite some flake to it. The robusto took me almost 2 hours to smoke and it had an exquisite draw with a nice amount of smoke and draw. The burn was crisp and clean and stayed lit with no problems. The aroma of the cigar was nice but didn’t stand out that much.

Conclusion: This is a good cigar, but it is definitely not the best to come out from Pete. I plan to buy some more of these next time I am in Philadelphia as the price is right and they are tasty but there are more sticks from Tatuaje that are ahead of this one in terms of a box purchase.

Rating: 89
Price: $7.25 or 142.95 a box.

Disclaimer: As always the typo’s and spelling mistakes have been left in this review for your amusement.