Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 7.25 x 52 “Perfecto-Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $11.00 MSRP


Today we take a look at the Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva. This is the follow up to my reviews of the Avion 12 and Avion 11.

The cigar was released in the summer of 2013. This is the first of the Avion line to not have an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. A total amount of 9700 cigars were released to the public.

The cigar is similar looking to the Avion 11 in size but except for the lack of pronounced perfecto shape that the Avion 11 had. The Avion 12 is a more straight forward perfecto with tapered cap and foot and box pressed.

Of the three Avions, I would have to say that the 12 is the best looking in terms of construction. Seams are very tight. There is a great consistency in the overall look. Very few veins with a slightly mottled appearance. The triple cap is flawless once again. And the Avion 12 is by far the toothiest of the three blends.

There is one difference and that is that the team of Johnsons/Garcia decided to place a secondary band that simply reads “Reserva” beneath the main band.

While the Left Coast can’t get a break from the drought, there is certainly no issue with that here. Yes, it is raining with thunderstorms all night and this morning. Scared the bejeezus out of our dog. Reminds me of the movie, “Ted.”

I clip the cap and find aromas of mucho el chocolate, spice, a lovely floral note, sweetness, and some caramel macchiato.
Time to light up.

There is a river of molten chocolate. And then the Garcia Blast of Pepper takes no prisoners. Coffee shows up quickly to help settle the fire. And just a touch of creaminess. More like whipped cream. I think I just did a commercial for Starbucks.

This is crazy. Within the first few puffs, the cigar blend is nearly a full-fledged flavor bomb.

Flavors are intense. Flavors move around like they are playing hopscotch. Then the beauty of the tobacco really kicks in…a rich, deep earthiness settles in. That farmer’s soil taste.

The sweetness specificity eludes me at the moment. I’ve burned less than half an inch and it is a swingin’ flavor bomb. Wow. I’ve still got 7” to go…er..so to speak.

I told Charlotte, the other night, that all boys/men at one time or another measured their stiff erections. She laughed and didn’t believe me. I know she is full of shit. What woman that you had a relationship at one time or another didn’t want to measure it while in bed after going at it hot and heavy? Huh? Tell me. I had a whopping 3-3/4” from my knee cap to the tip. Now thatsa’ some ‘a meat’a ball! I mean sausage. That’s why there have been a total of only four Jewish porn stars.

The cigar is packed and smoking slowly.

The Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva is an amalgam of both the Avion 11 and the Avion 12. It has the best of both worlds. The Avion 11 was a bellyful of creaminess and chocolate. The Avion 12 was a bit more sophisticated with a wider parameter of flavors. The 11 took almost a third before flavor bomb status kicked in.

The Avion 12 kicked the flavor bomb status in the ass right away. But not as fast as the Avion 13.

Andrew at SBC has two 5 packs left and that’s it. I saw on FB yesterday that some wine store was selling the Avion 11 for $11.00! The MSRP is $8.50. And even though it is a vanishing blend, SBC is only charging $6.25 after discount. That wine store is charging almost twice what it should. Fucking pirates. Overhead, Shmoverhead.

Goddam the Pusherman! This cigar is flying! With 1” burned, it has all the character, complexity and balance that normally doesn’t occur until the halfway point. I am getting both barrels from the get go.

Here are the flavors: Creaminess, chocolate, sweetness, earthiness, coffee, caramel, some floral notes, cedar, and a touch of leather. The spiciness has virtually disappeared. Where did it go? Where did it go?

I believe that as good as the Avion 11 & 12 were, the Reserva trumps them by a small amount. Why? There is a level of sophistication that pounces so early that I can only whisper what I expect from the rest of the cigar.

The char line is dead nuts. Razor sharp. Both the Avion 12 and 13 are identical in that construction point.

The draw has been spot on from the very start which surprises me due to the tiny foot opening. Normally, it takes a couple minutes for the cigar to open up but not here.

I read the reviews of a couple A List guys and they seem to be missing the joy of the cigar. I am passionate about cigars and I let it fly in my reviews. I write as I smoke. I never go back and fix anything except for grammar and spelling. I don’t change my mind even if at that specific moment I am proved to be a schmuck later on in the review.

These guys have no passion which is why I think they have little or no comments. I think if they opened themselves to be a little more human and allow their emotions to explore the cigar, they would be better reviewers all the way around.

Granted, I can’t keep up with their background information. I don’t have a library of photos to fall back on. I don’t get to go to IPCPR. I don’t get free samples except on rare occasions.

But if I had to choose between giving up the way I write and getting free cigars…and being who I am and having the cigar industry hate me. I will take the latter.

Smoking a cigar is a joyful thing. And I never read any joy into other reviewers.

Which is why most readers go straight down to that arbitrary rating system they all have and then read their summary. Why bother with standard copywriting?

OK. I’m done slapping myself on the back.

I went bat shit on FB yesterday about the rating system all reviewers use. This is what I had to say:
“One of my pet peeves for cigar reviewing is how the hell do these guys come up with a score for a cigar? No matter how you play it, it is subjective…not objective.

“There ain’t no giant cigar rating machine that uses the same criteria every single time. So to one guy, a cigar is an 89 and to another it is a 93. Who cares what you think it deserves on your brain’s scale of bad to good?
“It is so fucking arbitrary and exactly how much experience is required to allow you to justify a numbered rating? Do you have the perfect palate? Grow up in Cuba? Worked the farms? Raise pigs? Rolled cigars? Picked tobacco? Have a BLOG? Or work for an online/B&M store? Who makes you the expert? Have they smoked every single cigar in the world and remembered each one with enormous detail so they can compare each one in order to justify its 94?

“This is all just opinion. So attaching a hard numbered rating to something burns my little tushy.”

The second third begins and the only change to the flavor profile is that the intensity of the individual flavors keeps engorging themselves until they are ready to pop.

The char line needs its first touch up.

I read one of the reviews and I am staring at it now. Hogwash. It reminds me of those old time comedians that could double talk and make it feel like you were the idiot for not understanding what he was saying. That’s the way I feel reading this guy’s review. Blah, blah, blah. Not a single ounce of passion. Just the facts ma’am, Just the facts.

The cigar is ultra-smooth now. It goes down easy like the best tequila you’ve ever had.

I get a couple of new flavors: cinnamon and dried cherry. A strong woodiness appears but it is of no specific type.

I love this cigar and if I could afford it, I’d buy all the Avions that Small Batch has. I cannot believe what fucking great blends these are. Each one different but they have a thread running through them that connects them at the hip.

Extremely sophisticated. The strength? Classic medium right now as I approach the halfway point. Like the other two blends, I fully expect the cigar to kick ass in the last third. While it seems that the sweet spot starts at the beginning, it is really the coalescing of the last third that blows the brain to smithereens.

You know what this cigar reminds me of? The Cigar Federation “The Collective.”

The Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva deserves to share the same spot on my Top 25 list as The Collective by Ezra Zion.

The similarities are stunning. But The Collective is not a cheap cigar at $11 a pop. I just popped over to CF and couldn’t find the Collective. I had to type the word in on the search window. The cigar is on sale for the box price of $10 a stick. Good move for a great cigar. More accessible. That cigar is worth every dime.

The only perplexing thing is that the Collective has a Mexican wrapper but Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The Connecticut Broadleaf and the San Andres are two completely different flavors. Maybe I’m just senile.

This proves my point on the point rating system. If I can’t remember the details of a cigar I reviewed 4-1/2 months ago, how am I going to compare it to the thousands of other cigars I’ve reviewed? Impossible.

The sky is near black.

The flavors are super complex now. A mousse-like flavor pops up. Almost nougat. Flavors go from stupendous to a more even keeled profile. They are not as bold as earlier. Mind you, it is a terrific tasting cigar but the wild oomph factor is gone. It could really use a hefty dose of red pepper right now.

All of the flavors diminish a bit. I’m dead center at the halfway point. It feels the same as when you pull the rubber band on a sling shot as far back as you possibly can waiting for that moment to let go and let fly.
Methinks that the flavor profile will explode in the last third. In better terms, the cigar is on idle.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is the huge amount of creaminess and cocoa. Now it reminds me more of the Avion 11. Clearly, the Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva is an amalgam of both prior blends.

You know what drives me crazy…in a good way? I have about 10 cigars to smoke in my humidor. But I have twice that for review cigars. And I can’t touch them.

I think that tomorrow, I will review the Undercrown Dogma by Drew Estate that Buzz Gould sent me. Which reminds me that I should, once again, thank Buzz for sending me all three Tatuaje Avion blends.

I’ve been dying to try the Dogma, which is only available at Smoke Inn for quite some time but the price point of $10. And only sold in boxes of 10.

I’ve made no secret that I am not a big fan of the DE blends. I believe it is a cult of smokers whose palates are not sophisticated that love his stuff. And I’m not talking about the ACID line.

The last third begins with its strength moving to medium/full.

And as I predicted, the flavors go hog wild. Red pepper returns in force. Now we have some real oomph!
Oh lawdy, lawdy! What a spectacular flavor profile. This is da bomb.

The Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva is better than the Collective. Not by much. But the ebb and flow keeps the smoker interested.

This is a stick you want to smoke completely undistracted. Most of the time, either Charlotte is sleeping in or I am alone as she is at work. Sometimes, I have music on but not today.

Total focus on the cigar.

As I’ve said before, I wish I had Taste-O-Vision so you could enjoy this blend right along with me.

The Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva is running on all 6 cylinders.

Nicotine shows up. I grab an Atkins shake. Need something in my stomach.

Moments after reaching medium/full body, the cigar hits extra full bodied.

This is an arse kicker.

The Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva is a mind blower of a cigar.
I am so fortunate that I had the chance to smoke and review one thanks to Buzz.

And now for something completely different:

(Apologies to the old time readers for dredging up this story that I’ve published before.)

Life was good. These were also the years made famous by the Beverly Hills Diet of Cocaine and Champagne. And I had dough. You can take it from there.

I had a hanger-on friend named Marshall. Marshall was a bona fide, big time, radio disc jockey. We hung.
In December of 1981, he got VIP tickets to the release of Hanukkah Rocks by Gefilte Joe & The Fish on RHINO Records.

The release was at the famous Improv in Hollywood. Marshall asked me to go with him because he knew I’d have coke….rather than take his girlfriend because he would have to go out and buy coke. Mooching was better.

That’s where I met him. Andy Kaufman. Latka of the sit com “TAXI.” As the hours burned, there were 5 of us left in the club sitting at the same booth. Me. Marshall. Andy. Some guy and his girlfriend.

We sat at a large half circle booth with Andy in the middle. The “other” guy asked Andy about the wrestling thing he was doing.

Andy, for some reason, decided his next campaign in the world of improvisational art, would be the world of wrestling. It quickly went from wrestling men to wrestling women. The men were kicking his ass because he made fun of the “sport.”

So he would challenge any woman in the audience. Sometimes, he won. Sometimes, he didn’t. It became a nationwide joke.

We all sat there in the booth, hugging our Hanukkah gifts. Including a record called Hanukkah Rocks shaped like a Star of David, in blue, with 2 songs on each side. It was a very cool trophy (I hung it in my recording studio office and someone stole it.)

Andy began to weave the history of wrestling to us. Unless you knew him, you really didn’t know what his voice sounded like. Obviously, it wasn’t that of Foreign Man or Latka. And it didn’t sound like Elvis. He had sort of a milque toast voice, a little high, but quiet, when he spoke. You had to lean in.

We listened and contributed and had a very normal conversation with one of the craziest entertainers in the world. Then Marshall asked Andy if he would wrestle the girl sitting with us. He agreed without thought. Same with the chick.

There was a small dance floor, about 10 feet square, in the middle of the club. Marshall stayed in the booth. The girl’s boyfriend moved to a chair at the corner of the dance floor. I moved to the opposite corner….and then we waited……and waited…while Andy seemed to be meditating with eyes closed.

Then in a rush of energy, he jumped to the top of the booth table and leaped off it like a crazed man. We all yelled, thinking he would fall, but he landed like a cat on the dance floor.

The X rated epithets started coming from his mouth as he hunkered into a wrestling hunch and circled the girl. He was a foul mouthed S.O.B. Yet he was the complete opposite at the table.

The chick made her move and threw Andy to the floor. It stunned him. He got up screaming at the girl, “You fucking bitch! You Cunt!” And so on. They got into a stranglehold on each other with neither giving in. Neither falling to their knees.

Then something vicious…..Andy did a sweep with his leg, knocking the pins out from under the girl. Really nasty, because she hit the floor HARD! He then leaped into the air and dropped right on top of her to pin her. She was screaming for help. I looked over to her boyfriend and he was laughing.

In only moments, Andy counted, “1-2-3” and jumped off of her. He walked the perimeter of the dance floor with both hands in the air showing domination and accomplishment. His head was bobbing up and down, enjoying the win.

The girl could not get up. She was hurt. Andy played too rough. We all shook our heads and Marshall asked Andy why did he have to play so rough? Andy ignored him.

We gathered our things at the table. Andy asked us all up to his place, not far from the club, to hang out the rest of the night. We all declined. We were disgusted.

Never thought in my wildest imagination, I’d ever have a story like this.

Andrew Geoffrey Kaufmann
January 17, 1949 – May 16, 1984

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9 replies

  1. You labored well on Labor Day, Katmensch. So did SBC’S order-bot when I got one of the last two of the Riserva 5-packs. You did your job for me! Talk about logarithmic insanity – Jim Carrey playing Andy Kaufman in Man on The Moon – I think they left the girl wrestling scene out – but Carrey would have been good at it!

  2. All three years sound superkalafragilfuckalistic! Thanks,Buzz! Trying not to upset the marital bliss apple cart right now,so will miss out. Besides,no humi room.
    I think you’ll enjoy the Dogma,as long as it’s had a proper rest. I always try to keep a few Undercrowns & Nica Rustica aging on hand. They might be New Breed Tatooed Boutique,but a minimum 6 months still transforms them into even deeper deliciousness.
    Hmmm…Kaufman. Was never much of a fan. I remember him hosting SNL and thinking ‘98% of the cast has more talent in their toenail clippings’. Could never decide if he was one of those ass-hats that if you didn’t ‘get’ his improv you were some unworthy philistine, or a certified loon whose brain was it’s own micro-verse unto itself. All I know is when talk turns to the comedic greats who have passed in the last 30-40 years,his name never comes up.

  3. Phil – just smoked a PDR Serie 1939 – that rested for several months (I bought a bunch after reading your review). Went back and read your review – boy did you nail this stick! I smoked one ROTT and it wasn’t bad, but this one was a charmer. I wish I had your palate!

  4. I’ve never had a Tatuaje, but after reading your three reviews, I picked up a five pack from SBC. Now comes the hard part – the waiting.

  5. Katman, long time reader first time commenter here. Would you be interested in doing a review of the Avion ’13 FF? I’ve got an extra I could send your way!