Cigar: Tatuaje La Riqueza No. 3 Filler: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Dark U.S.A. Connecticut Broadleaf Strength: Medium
Pete Johnson of the famed Tatuaje label has added another great Cuban cigar to his repertoire, the Tatuaje La Riqueza released in 2008. The Tatuaje La Riqueza is a limited production offering only 250,000 cigars each year. This line has a profile all its own with a different flavor mission than the spicy, savory smokes of the Tatuaje's before it. La Riqueza is truly a surprise from all angles, from its different flavor profile, to its departure from using Nicaraguan puros. One of the few things familiar about this smoke is that it's manufacturer is Jose "Don Pepin" Garcia. However, the La Riqueza brings a new twist to those who have grown accustomed to Pete Johnson and Don Pepin's M.O.
This time around, Pete and Pepin have chosen to use a less refined Connecticut broadleaf as the Tatuaje La Riqueza wrapper, rather than their familiar and refined Connecticut Shade. Due to the rugged appearance of Connecticut broadleaf, this tobacco is usually saved for binders known for being tough and flavorful, and less known for their aesthetics. But what is most interesting is that the Riqueza wrapper is a product of the renowned Oliva Tobacco Company. With labels such as Fuente and Newman at the top of the list, Oliva grows and produces tobacco for the most prestigious labels in the business.
It makes sense that Pete chose the old Cuban brand name La Riqueza (Spanish for wealth) for such an opulent beginning. When talking to Pete, he will tell you of the luck he had in having the opportunity to register previous Cuban brand names, such as the La Riqueza, in an effort to revive them in the future. By adding the Tatuaje signature and style to Cuban brand names, which have been long forgotten, Pete will no doubt transcend his domestic label, and position himself to be his own Cuban brand.
Tatuaje La Riqueza is a boxed pressed series that come in five sizes: No. 1-5. With such basic names, powered by new twists and turns, one has to speculate that the Riqueza line was meant to quietly shock Tatuaje followers with a cool element of surprise. The wrapper has all the characteristics of a maduro, yet is a naturally dark broadleaf without maduro fermentation. Upon closer examination, you can see tiny crystals that glitter in the tooth. You cant go wrong by having one of these fine cigars in your humidor waiting to be smoked.
As to be expected of Pepin, the construction is immaculate with an excellent burn and spot on draw. The initial flavors are moderately peppery with a bite. It opens up into a sweet, floral aroma with a coffee like flavor on the palate, leaving a spicy, sweet and complex experience with a lingering aftertaste of wood, pepper and chocolate. It is truely a cigar smoking experience smoking any stick that this brand has produced thus far.
The second third turns its focus toward earthy flavors with a sweet aroma that infuses the air. The thick plumes of smoke cut through the air as it picks up momentum in strength. The rich and earthy tobacco flavors of the broadleaf take center stage over the aromas of the final third with cocoa and nutty tastes that prove great in this presentation.
Overall, the Tatuaje La Riqueza is a great smoke that surprises the smoker with good full flavor. At $9.00 a stick, it is well worth the price, and being an avid poker player like Pete Johnson, it is safe to say that La Riqueza was worth the gamble.