Tatuaje Avion 11 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa/Esteli Ligero)
Size: 6.75 x 48/52 “Perfecto Grande-Box Pressed”
Body: Full
Price: $9.95





Today we take a look at the Tatuaje Avion ‘11 thanks to Buzz Gould.

The cigar was the first Avion and released in August of 2011. Additional releases were made in 2012 and 2013.
The cigar is collaboration between Pete Johnson and Pepin Garcia and produced at the My Father Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

This should be a fun exercise as Buzz sent me all three years of the cigar’s blends. There was a T110 but it was extremely limited and hardly anyone got a chance at it.

So I will do the 11 today, 12 on Sunday, and 13 on Monday.

For some reason, I never got around to reviewing this cigar on this blog. I have on other blogs but not here. I need to pay more attention.

Of the 3 blends, the construction of this cigar is the funkiest. But remember, it is already 3 years since it was released plus the aging of the cigar prior to release so it should be pretty damn good.

The dark brown wrapper is oily and very smooth. It is bumpy in places due to the veins sticking above the surface of the wrapper. Some seams are tight and others ain’t. this must be a terribly difficult cigar to roll. The triple cap is near flawless. The nipple at the foot is a good starter size to get the ball rolling when you light up. The stick is jam packed and not a single soft spot.

It is one of the few cigar bands that is immediately acknowledged for being a Tat.

I clip the cap and find aromas of strong spice, brand new leather, a freshly opened jar of premium honey, and cedar.
Time to light up.

The draw is a bit tight because of the small nippled foot. But that will pass in a few minutes.

The first puffs are full of cocoa and earthiness. And surprisingly, some creaminess at the start. There is only the slightest amount of spiciness which is unusual for a Pepin Garcia blends.

A lovely sweetness greets my palate and says, “Good morning Mr. Katman. May I blow you?”

I expect that the lack of spiciness is due to the age of the cigar. 3 years in a box or humidor is a long time and will mellow a cigar.

Buzz sent me a Tat 10th Anniversary along with the other goodies and it just happened to be the only cigar I have reviewed so I lit it up. It was wonderful. It had that “many months of humidor time” flavor.

The stick now concentrates on the sweetness. Honey, a lovely fruitiness made up of peaches and Herb.

With 1” burned, the red pepper makes a big showing. Now we’re talkin’.

Here are the flavors: Cocoa, spice, creaminess, earthiness, fruit, honey, more sweetness, cedar, and leather.
Because of the perfecto’s shape, the bulbous part towards the foot will burn very slowly and then move like wild fire the second half. I’ve smoked the Tatuaje Avion ‘11for a good 15 minutes and I’ve only dented 1-1/2”.

The strength is classic medium body. The ash is a mutha as it hangs tough. How low will it go?

The flavor profile begins to really shine now. Flavors are more pronounced and the finish is becoming chewy. Like me…er..no that’s Jewy.

The char line is only the slightest bit wavy and does not need correction.

There is a paradigm shift as the cigar’s flavor profile opens up and nears flavor bomb status.

The draw has opened beautifully.

The creaminess fights the cocoa for front runner. So far, this is not a kitchen sink flavor profile.

I read a couple reviews to find the leaf stats. I find it amazing that the leaf stats can change from review to review. I always check the manufacturer’s web site first. And then I look at other reviewers…some of the big ones I might add. And they have the leaf stats wrong. I’ve seen this countless times. Clearly, I go with what the cigar maker chose to disclose. On the Tat web site, the Avion is listed under the Fausto heading.

The reason for this is that Johnson wanted to release a new blend of the Fausto each year and called it the Avion.

At 2” burned, the ash gently disengages into the ashtray.

And now we have a flavor bomb.

There is a gentle floral note added to the mix. The spiciness mysteriously dissipates.

The Tatuaje Avion ’11 has had 3 years to mellow and it has done such thus causing some of the strength and spiciness to dissipate.

But in its place, remains a very smooth, balanced, complex cigar.

The second third begins.

As the sun comes out, my photos begin to show the mottling of the wrapper.

Then the flavor bomb status goes into hyper drive. Holy shit. The cigar is turned on its head from potent and powerful flavors.

The real sweet spot begins right after the start of the second third.

Smoking a cigar actually got me a date with a chick back in college. I was attending my freshman year at CSULB. I had bought a box of Fuente lanceros. I bought a whole box for $22.

This was the time of peace and love. And I was wearing my best look alike John Lennon WWII army jacket I got at the used military clothing store in Belmont Shore. I wore it everywhere. Of course, back then I was too stupid to realize how disrespectful that was.

I bought tickets for the musical, “Hair.” This chick, a great looking one, sat next to me as I smoked and we kibitzed for a while. And then I asked her out.

We had a great time. We smoked a lot of pot before going in. And during intermission, we went outside and smoked some more.

Afterwards, we went to the original “Tommy’s.” They were in L.A. and the stand was the size of a food booth at the carnival. But at 2 am, there were a line 100 people deep. They specialized in their chili burgers and hot dogs.

This petite chick got a chili burger, chili hot dog, and chili fries. And she ate every bite.

I saw my hopes of screwing her dashed because at any moment she was going to have a stomachache.

She asked to be taken home and puked in my brand new 1969 Chevy Impala. All tricked out. I didn’t ask her out again.

Back to the Tatuaje Avion ’11.

I am dead center at the halfway point and the cigar is singing a Pavarotti aria to me.

Flavors are fucking out of this world.

It took a third of the cigar to get here but it is worth it. A magnificent blend!

The red pepper returns. And the strength skips medium/full and goes right to full bodied.

Nicotine rears its ugly head and I have 3” to go. Oh no. I grab an Atkins shake to get something, anything, into my stomach. You’d think I’d learn by now.

While it is only 72 degrees, the humidity is 88%. Thunderstorms are coming.

Here are the flavors: Creaminess, cocoa, spice, coffee, nuts, black cherry, honey, cedar, and leather. While not an unusual profile for a 90% Nicaraguan blend, the flavors are bold and exciting.

Small Batch Cigar only has only three 5 packs left and no boxes. This stick is impossible to find but when you do, the online store is charging over MSRP. Meanwhile, Andrew is charging a ridiculous price of $8.10 after discount.

This cigar was so popular when it came out; smokers were paying over $10. And it stayed like that through 2011.
The three extra years on it have made this quite the cigar. I remember smoking them and reviewing them when they came out and they didn’t taste like this.

The creaminess branches out. There is English clotted cream, homemade whipped cream, and a rich chocolate milk shake.

The last third begins.

The spiciness tamps down. But the other flavors soar.

What a treat this is. I cannot thank Buzz Gould enough for his donation to such a worthy cause.

The flavors are so complex that they are rolled into one giant ball rotating on its axis.

It has one of the strongest chocolate elements I’ve ever smoked.

The nicotine isn’t too bad. It seems to have leveled off.

The size, while not in my comfort zone, is the perfect size for this blend. I cannot imagine the work that goes into finding that perfect size during the blending process.

Johnson and Garcia, as a team, never let me down. Tatuaje has to be one of the most consistent cigar lines on the market today.

As the cigar finishes, the red pepper comes back in force. The flavors continue on an upward trajectory.
This is about as close to a perfect cigar as they come.


And now for something completely different:

My wife, Charlotte, works at a very popular, small Polish Deli. They have a huge clientele. She’s German and in the beginning had an uphill battle getting acceptance from the Poles. But my wife is very personable and she soon won them over. And if she didn’t, she threatened them to march through Poland and take the country for herself.

Now my wife has a lot of customers that are German. So on her days off, the Germans don’t show, making the owner bang his head on the wall.

There was a huge Polish Fest at some park in Milwaukee. We were expected to show. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t know anyone so it meant I’d have to find a solitary corner under some tree and smoke a cigar by myself.

I don’t know what it is but these Polish fests attract the very oldest of the old Poles. I swear no one is under 90. Could have made a fortune with an oxygen bottle fill up booth.

Young Alan worked part time at the deli. He’s in his early 20’s and plays in a Polish band with his father. They provided the entertainment.

Alan played keys and electronic drums and bass and sang lead vocal. His father played guitar. Now Alan is extremely talented managing to be a one man orchestra.

I stood directly in front of the band. I could hear everything clearly….except the guitar and dad’s harmonies.

With the cigar in my mouth, I crept up closer to dad. I stood 6 feet away and I couldn’t hear any guitar! He had the volume off. And then I noticed that while I could see his mouth moving, there were no vocals coming out of the P.A. He was Milli Vanilli-ing it. Ach du Lieber!

Dad smiled at me and I just laughed. Alan had to split the dough with a robot with gray spikey hair. In Polish households, the dad rules the roost and there ain’t no talking back.

As is par for the course, Alan played nothing but polkas. I hate that music more than my disdain for country music. Oom Pah Pah…over and over. Every damn song sounds the same to me. And everyone sang along. This was Jewish hell.

When Charlotte drags me to German fest, I feel like I am going to be herded into a box car. But at least the food is excellent.

I wandered over to the food line. I left my cigar on top of a tree stump, still burning.

As I got in line and perused all of the food, I almost gagged.

I had no idea what I was looking at. It was all mushy stuff. I politely took one of everything and walked away. I headed back to my stump and cigar. My wife was kibitzing with lots of her customers. I later found out that no one else liked the food either. It was catered by a Polish caterer from Birkenau.

I sat on the stump and tried some of the goopy food. None of it had any flavor that I could associate with real food.

In fact, out of the corner of my eye, I could swear, I thought I saw the plate move a couple inches. I think it wanted to commit suicide by falling off the stump.

As I looked around there was the makings of a Nerd Camp movie. I watched as dozens of people just happened to walk near the tree line of the camp ground and fling their plates into the woods. Squirrels would soon die of food poisoning.

This would upset the balance of nature as whatever ate dead squirrels would be spitting it out. I can just see all types of insects raising their little arms in wonder and saying, “What’s with this meshuga squirrel? It tastes like crapola! Oy Gevalt!”

Yes. The insects in most Milwaukee campgrounds are Jewish.

While heading to the Holy Land, they made a wrong turn. Late at night, if you listen closely, you can hear,” What do you want with me? I picked the leaves up. Always nagging. But ask for sex? Ahhhhhh…..you ain’t so vocal then. And why so stingy with the lox? You saving it for someone?”

And then the reply: “Oy! Every time I pick up your dung, you poop in the same place! What am I? Your personal maid? Gevalt!”
“Moshe, you have to always wear your yarmulke? Give it a rest!

My wife dragged a couple old guys over to me. Oh no. Someone kill me now.

“Phil, this is Czarek and Thaddeus. They looked like cigar moochers. I only brought 5 cigars with me. And I hate giving good cigars to guys that don’t know which end to light or think you’re supposed to stop smoking the cigar when you hit the band.

I said hello.

“Phil, these young men (young? they looked 100 if a day) love cigars and I thought you might want to smoke together?”

Was it still illegal to kill a spouse? Even in Milwaukee?

I handed them the sticks and a cutter. Czarek cut the cigar almost in half and I slapped myself in the forehead. Thaddeus bit the end off like it was a Slim Jim. I came close to passing out.

So we sat together while they spoke Polish to me. I pretended to understand while I enjoyed smoking my cigar to the nub.

Poor squirrels. Unwittingly killed by the Polish food. Or they committed suicide from the polka music. I’m betting on the latter.

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13 replies

  1. First off, I’d like to give a BIG Thank You to Buzz Gould! For giving these fine cigars to our beloved Katman for review. Can’t wait for the next two of the line.
    I probably never would’ve seen a review of these cigars, since Katman already reviewed the ” ’10 ” in this series. So Thanks again Buzz!

    Katman, you outdid yourself on this one!
    Very interesting cigar to review, a great review (as always) of the cigar.
    Really sorry to hear about your new ’69 Impala, after that meal she had, really don’t want to think about that coming back…. I would’ve burned the car.

    And……we got mashuga squirrels, a dialog of Jewish insects, I almost died when your beautiful wife brought Czarek and Thaddeus over to you, to just mutilate your cigars.
    I’m sorry for laughing at so much of your pain. But I nearly pissed myself today.
    Sorry, and thank you!!

    Also nothing against people who like country music, but was happy to hear you hated it too. It seems everyone I meet likes the stuff, and I live in Connecticut, not to far from NYC. Country music is invading like plague, this is supposed to be where “yankees” come from!

    Anyway, I’m going back to read all of the fun/or your pain again, except for the delicious review.

    Tell Charlotte thanks for dragging you to all these fun times!!!
    You definitely need to get out more!
    Think of all the wonderful people you have yet to meet! 😉


  2. Oh my lord! One of these times you’re going to make me choke on my morning stick.
    My German grandfather could never understand what I saw in playing bass and guitar,instead of the accordion,which despite being an annoying instrument,he played well.
    Grandma didn’t cook a lot of the typical German fare for get togethers,but I’ve never had any German hot potato salad since that could compare. They lived on a lake with nothing but Bullheads. Ugly,nasty little fuckers to catch,but she made them taste sublime. Plus,how many 8 year old kids would have their grandfather sneaking them shots of Old Grandad or Fitzgerald. “Here,have a snort,it’ll perk ya up.”
    Fond memories. Thank you Uncle.

  3. A Polish caterer from Birkenau? OMG – how do you think of this shit? Hilarious. I read your entire Polish festival story to my wife but was laughing so hard as I was reading that I had trouble reading. My former Polish father-in-law had his telephone number tattooed on his left arm – at Birkenau. He later graduated from Auschwitz University. Actually lived through both places because he was the ultimate cosmic mensch – and a hell of a guy. The greatest complement I can pay you is to tell you he would have laughed his ass off reading your story.

  4. Thank you George, and tell your lovely wife thanks as well.

  5. Your welcome Doug, meine kinder.

  6. Just wanted to thank you for sending those great cigars to our Katman.
    I heard you’re not a Facebook user, so wanted to thank you here.

  7. Leanne (my lovely wife) sends her regards and asked me to tell you that she loved hearing me read your story with a Jewish / Yiddish accent – she thinks your humor is superb – even the naughty stuff!

  8. Tell Leanne to leave your sorry ass and come to live with this old broken down Jewish man. I will allow my wife to live with our gardener, Luis Gonzalez-Gonzalez. I will set her free. Just tell her not to expect any sex. Er…wait..she is living with you so that shouldn’t be a problem.

  9. The thanks are welcome,but unnecessary. It was my pleasure to help a friend in need. Something I would like to believe any one of us would do for each other.

  10. Dear Buzz and Katman,
    Thanks for making my weekend. The postman delivered a box of these yesterday. These were my wife’s pick – I wanted the Cojonu 2003 for our annual Tatuaje indulgence but it was her birthday earlier this week. Looks like I’ll have to trust her judgement a little more.

    In case you guys have already cleaned out Andrew’s stock, Famous has all three in boxes and 5-packs, a little more expensive than SBC but they have a $30 off coupon for Labor Day at the moment. We got ours (in Malaysia) from Cigars of Habanos in HK for $144, shipping included and faultlessly packed with a Boveda pack. They ship to the US too but I have no idea if you have customs issues with non-Cubans.

  11. I strongly believe the same.
    I appreciate someone who lives by that, but better yet your actions prove that.
    I’m very happy to have become just a small part of this group of unbelievably rare and special people…..like you Doug.

  12. I truly don’t know of any other cigar review blog that has provided the reviewer with as much generosity and love than this one.

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