Cigar Review- Tatuaje HCS Maduro

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Size: 5.25 x 50  “Box Press”

Body: Full

Price: $7.00



Here is a Tat made especially for Holt’s Cigars. As usual, the blending team is Pete Johnson and Pepin Garcia. And it is manufactured at Garcia’s digs in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The price is good. So I was tempted on one of Holt’s daily specials. And paid around $4.00 per stick. I’ve smoked one early one and thought it was very good this early in its resting stage. But then I let them sit for a few weeks and I will light my second one up for this review.

I’m a sucker for a box press and this one is manufactured well. But if you look at the foot, you will notice irregularities in the shape. Some are rectangular, some are oval, some are rhomboids, etc. The packing of the cigars into the boxes probably caused the misshapen sticks. But this is nitpicking.


The wrapper is close to coal black. Seams are very tight and there is only the smallest amount of veins. It is impossible to tell how many caps there are due to a fairly impeccable job the torecedores did. But if it was a triple cap, I’m sure the PR machine would be screaming it at the top of their lungs, so we will go with one cap. The wrapper has a matte finish with only the slightest bit of tooth.

I do the sniff and detect some hay and cocoa, some spiciness, and some citrus.

I V cut it and light up.

First puffs spew cocoa. And then some sweetness and the Garcia pepper punch. The pepper is black pepper. Smoke just pours from the foot.  I’m impressed that there is this much flavor so early in the cigar.

Now I get a bit of cedar and wood. The draw is spot on. The char line is just the tiniest bit ragged but again, I am nitpicking.

Big difference from the first cigar I smoked til this one a few weeks later. I know a lot of serious reviewers and smokers don’t like the pepper wallop…but I do. First, it wakes me the hell up. And second, I know that it is going to mellow very quickly. By the first inch, the pepper will have moved to a secondary flavor and on we go. It probably has a lot to do with whether we like our food spicy or not. No. Really. I’m a So Cal boy and I grew up eating lots of spicy Mexican food. Real Mexican food. My mother was ill most of my life. I only seem to have memories of her lying in bed, sick. So we had housekeepers. And then my dad found Julia who moved in with us during the week. She became the mother of the house. My family loved Julia and she had no issues with disciplining us, including my father. But man, she would make her home made food and I went from being a nerdy kid to one of the most popular kids in school famous for my summer pool parties where we spent the day wet and Julia whipped up her enchiladas, chile rellenos, tacos, etc. And then in fall, I went back to being a nerd. It wasn’t until spring, that the same guys started warming up to me again. She stayed with us until my mother died when I was 18.

I am just past the first inch point and the cigar has a medium body but full in flavor. The cocoa is more like baking cocoa..sort of bittersweet. The cedar turns out to be a leading edge flavor. The citrusy flavor lies in the background. While the pepper has tamped down quite a bit but still ever present.


I suppose you could be hypercritical about this cigar and really tear it apart but I am enjoying it. It has the components I like in a cigar. And as I write this, creaminess enters the profile which is the coup de grace. I like the size of the cigar because the flavors tend to be more intense than a bigger stick. I read that the most popular size in cigars is a box pressed 5.5 x 50. So when online stores have the big guys or the new guys make cigars just for them, they usually fit into this description of size. Of course, not all the time..just most of the time.

I’m into the second third and the cocoa becomes sweeter along with the cedar. The creaminess gloms on to this and makes it a well-balanced cigar. As I approach the halfway mark, the flavors just open up. It’s like a race horse going from a gallop to a full ahead warp speed. The char line gets erratic again after straightening itself out early on but I’m going to leave it alone.


The strength moves to medium/full now. This stick reminds me very much of the Tat Cojonu Reserva. But at a $5 per stick savings. I think Holt’s hit gold with this cigar. A well-bred cigar for $7. I got 10 of them in the Holt’s deal and I am now thinking of either waiting for another special or buying a box. I like them that much.


I hit the last third and the cigar gains some complexity. This is the main difference between the more expensive Tat and this one. The Cojonu becomes complex pretty early in the game. It takes most of the cigar on HCS for that to happen.

I also remember the Cojonu becoming full bodied much sooner.


These last couple inches are the prize in the Crackerjack box. Flavors are just outstanding. Creaminess leads the pack holding hands with the sweet cocoa. That citrusy flavor in the background gives it a slight tartness that is very appealing.

I spend the last of the cigar sitting back, relaxing, and just enjoying it. This is a very good cigar. The full price of $7 is a great price point. And if you check Holt’s for their specials, you might luck out and get them cheaper. But there is no shame in paying the full price on this stick as it is worth every dime.




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