April 22, 2019

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Noella Reserva 2019 & Tatuaje Noella (Seleccion de Cazador)


I have always been a fan of seeing how much a wrapper can change the characteristics of a cigar. Whether it be the flavor profile or the strength of the cigar, changing the wrapper can have dramatic effects. I can think of tons of examples where the wrapper changes the cigar for the better or worse, but today I am going to be talking about two cigars that are both great, and yet completely different at the same time. These two cigars are similar in almost every way except for one crucial aspect, the wrapper. The Seleccion de Cazador Noella and the Noella Reserva are great examples of cigars that change dramatically with different wrappers because they are offered in the corona format. With a small ring gauge you are able to get so much wrapper, and because of this get more flavors from the wrapper.  



You will notice that I have attached photos of three cigars. The one with the Reserva band is the Noella Reserva that is finished with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and the other two are the classic Tatuaje Seleccion de Cazador Noella. The packaging is different because in honor of ten years Pete has given the Seleccion de Cazador line a packaging upgrade for the year. Yes there is some color differentiation between the two Seleccion de Cazador Noellas, but it is still the same blend and finished with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. I am going to be talking about the two cigars today, and show you how different they are with just the changing of the wrapper. Both are equally great, but very different as well.

As I said earlier, the Noellas comes in the corona vitola offering, and measure 5 1/8" with a 42 ring gauge. The Seleccion de Cazador Noella is made in Miami, Florida and is made in the Cuban fashion. The cigar features a Nicaraguan filler blend with a Nicaraguan binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. In 2019 Pete has decided to change the band to honor his ten years, and also add a covered foot to the smoke. The cigar has great closed foot which reminds me of The Mummy, and has a great Colorado colored wrapper. There is some marbled coloring to it, and it has some veins present with an oily texture to touch. The aroma is of leather, cinnamon, cloves, red pepper, earth, coffee, and some cocoa as well on the finish. I love the new bands that the cigar has, and even the closed foot is a nice touch.    

The cigar has a wonderful and classical beginning, and it has a flavor profile that shows the great Nicaraguan tobacco, and very classic Cubanesque quality. There is a great amount of leather showing up at the beginning, and it has a nice spicy kick with that. There is some definite pepper blast present with bits of cinnamon, and it has a nice cedar flavor with that. There are bits of cocoa powder here and there, and it has a nice coffee finish to round it all out. Complexity is the word with this cigar, and with this ring gauge you are getting some terrific wrapper qualities. The burn line is lovely, and it has a nice charcoal colored ash on the end. I would say the strength level is a little bit above medium full, but is hidden with the complexities of the flavor profile. I could smoke these all day and be happy,

In the second half of the cigar I find the flavors to be very similar to the first half, but it is a complex cigar to begin with so I am extremely pleased. There are some lighter spice and pepper notes in this half, with more coffee and leather notes, and it is full body, The cocoa powder notes add this nice stability overall, and it is accompanied by those cedar and earthy flavors. It is fairly dry in terms of the finish, but not in a bad way, and it leaves your palate wanting more and not overwhelmed and shot. The strength level seems softer in this third, and is right at a solid medium full level overall. The construction is still stellar, and it has a great burn line with a lovely charcoal ash on the end. I smoke the cigar down to the nub where it is fairly cool, not really warm though, and showing some terrific tobacco and leather notes.

The Noella Reserva is the same exact size as the traditional Noella, and measures 5 1/8" with a 42 ring gauge. The cigar is made at My Father Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua, and has a Nicaraguan filler blend with a Nicaraguan binder. The wrapper is a beautiful Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and with the Reserva band has a lovely presentation. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper has a toothy texture, and there are a few veins present throughout. It is firm in hand, and has a solid dark maduro coloring. The aroma of the cigar is that of spices, coffee, cocoa, leather, and pepper, and I am eager to smoke another one of these. I was hooked on the 7th Reserva for awhile, and I believe this cigar trumps that with the flavors it delivers.

The cigar has a lovely beginning that shows some nice peppery and spice notes, and offers some nice rich and full body characteristics as well. The are some touches of wood here and there, and even some earth as well. There is a nice increasing flavor profile of cocoa and coffee with each advancement with the cigar, and it is a great beginning flavor profile. I would say the strength level of the cigar is at a medium full level, and to me it is an evening smoke. I tend to smoke more maduros in the evening anyways because of the characteristics they have, and this is a great example of that. The construction in the first half is spectacular, and it is showing a lovely charcoal colored ash that is holding on firmly to the perfect burn line. The cigar produces tons of smoke and it has a great aroma as well.

When you get to the half way point there is this explosion of chocolate and espresso bean notes, and it smoking at a whole new level. The chocolate notes are really that of dark chocolate, and they are the focus point of the cigar. There are still some spicy, peppery, woody and earthy flavors present with the cigar, and it is very complex and highly enjoyable. The cigar remains rich all the way to the petit little nub, and you want another one after smoking. I am finding the strength level to be remaining at a level between medium and full, and a great evening smoke. The construction on the cigar is terrific, as it has been throughout, and it is producing that solid charcoal colored ash that is holding on firmly to the end. The cigar has smoked cool throughout, and the last draw on the cigar is showing bits of chocolate and coffee beans with a smooth finish. This is a robust and rich dessert cigar for me, and a perfect way to end the day. After finishing I light another one up because it is a cigar that makes you want another.

I know there are some that would say the Noella Reserva is better than the classic Noella, and some that would say the opposite, but the truth is that they are both terrific cigars and very different. I would smoke more classic Noellas during the day, but at night I would want something richer and grab the Reserva. As an everyday smoke the Noella is what I would gravitate towards, but as an occasional richer treat I would grab the Reserva. I have rated the Noella Reserva at a 92 and the Seleccion de Cazador Noella at a 92, but they are both terrific. Both showed incredible construction and complexity from beginning to end, but the Reserva seemed richer and more full in terms of body. You really can not go wrong with either, but since the Reserva is limited I would pick up a box of these quick. Heck, pick up a box of the Seleccion de Cazador Noella 10th Commemorative packaging because it is only for this year.
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