Tatuaje Fausto Culebra | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 7.5 x 38
Strength: Full
Price: $7.50

Many thanks to Keith B. for the cigars.
This stick has 3-1/2 months humidor time.

From Halfwheel.com (8-25-2021):
Released May 2021
“The Tatuaje The Old Man and the C debuted in August 2012 and used the company’s Private Reserve blend, more commonly referred to as the Tatuaje Black Label. Each individual release contained a culebra, a vitola that twists three cigars together into a distinctive shape, as well as a 7 1/2 x 38 lancero, making for a total of four cigars in each set.

“Now, the release will be offered in the Fausto blend, arguably Tatuaje’s strongest regular production offering. It uses an Ecuadorian habano maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan binders and fillers, and was notable for its advertising that borrowed from the movie “This is Spinal Tap” when it proclaimed that “this one goes to 11.”

“The Fausto line traces its roots back to 2009 when Johnson released the Tatuaje T110 as a single store release for R. Field Wine Co. in Hawaii. That cigar was a limited edition, noted as much for its dark wrapper as for its strong profile. It was based off another cigar that Johnson had made somewhat as a joke, the Thermonuclear, which gets its name from its abundance of strength.”

Well, I will state the obvious…it looks like you got your schlong stuck in a pasta machine.

The chocolate brown wrapper has some nice oils that shine from stem to stern. There are hard spots and soft spots. Never having smoked a culebra before, I have no idea what it should feel like. I clip the cap and the flow of air is on the money. This is a good sign as a clogged schlong would not survive my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. (Pretty good how I worked that in…huh, Rod?)

It was impossible to properly dry box as it has been very humid. Fingers crossed it doesn’t turn to mush halfway through.
Other than that, the construction is top notch with tight seams and few veins.

The aroma is potent with dark cocoa, strong coffee, black pepper, cedar, malt, nuttiness, and a generic sweetness.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, black pepper, espresso, black licorice, malt, cedar, but no sweetness.

I’m very curious as to how this thing will burn. My instincts tell me it will be a nightmare with all those twists and turns.

I find it hilarious as the cigar sticks out of my mouth while I type. It looks like a twig I found outside.

The draw is spot on. Flavors begin with a strong black pepper, generic sweetness, chocolate, espresso, and malt. Good start.

Complexity kicks in immediately. Remember, singled out, these sticks are only $7.50 each. I’m not sure what to expect.
But so far, I like the quiet balance and that transitions begin with a nice lingering finish.

Strength is medium. But I know that I will be screaming for my mommy halfway through as it turns into a giant killer.

The humidity seems to have no negative effect.

If the stick continues on this path, this will be one great $7.50 stick.
The balance is off as I like a nice equal sharing of sweetness with my savory. The spiciness can set your Depends on fire. I’ve smoked 1”.

A sip of water releases some mild sweetness…but it refuses to identify itself.

This is going to be a bitch dividing this stick into thirds for review purposes.

It’s the chocolate. It becomes sweet. Still, the espresso portion is very strong. The black pepper needs to calm down. It is overshadowing the subtleties the cigar is struggling to offer.

Still, this is a very nice blend. It has a lot of heart. But then I love everything Pete Johnson blends. He has the magic twanger like Froggie.

“All Along the Watchtower.” Probably my fave Jimi song. But there are so many, that I become a fickle listener.

Sweetness finds its soul in the balance. Now we’re talking Esperanto.

Strength has inched along to the medium/full stage. Watch out…Jump back.

Due to its shape, the ash does not last very long before walking the plank. I place my Kevlar vest on my lap just in case. I review in the morning in my boxers. Betcha’ that’s something you won’t be able to wipe from your memory anytime soon.

Well, this inexpensive blend is a lot better than cigars at much higher price points. Good on yer’, Mr. Johnson.

It is 9am and I’ve been up since 3am. My primary doc gave me propofol with fentanyl in 6oz capsules…so I’m now getting a few more minutes of sleep. I bought some knee pads for my first pain doc visit this Thursday.

Ooh, ooh…some creaminess appears that broadens the spectrum of the flavor profile. The spiciness relents just enough to allow the cigar to breathe.
This cigar makes great strides in density and character.

Miles Copeland III just released his autobiography. A friend sent me a couple pages where I get mentioned. No big deal. No praise, just the facts, ma’am. But in just those two facts, I find plenty of bullshit about his brother Stewart. Miles was a ruthless fuck. I’d like to get him in a dark alley alone. Speaking of being bitter, I saw this great music documentary called “Hired Guns.” I will speak further about it later this week. The bottom line is that has some very famous musicians bitching about what it was like being treated like dog meat by the band leader of the bands they played in. They told it straight with no bullshit and no holding back about what assholes these people were. So, it’s just not me. It happens more than it doesn’t. The only one that doesn’t come off as an asshole is Alice Cooper. Apparently, he is a solid dude who was happy for his A list players that got great gigs and had to leave his band.

30 minutes later…
This is the first time I’ve had to relight the cigar.

While the leaf stats are nothing out of the ordinary, Johnson has done wonders with the tobacco. This combination is in a million cigars that taste all the same. Not this baby. It is smooth, balanced, and pretty tasty. It keeps my attention erect.

Transitions are in constant motion now. The spiciness sometimes steps out of line, but for the most part, it doesn’t step on its own dick.

I’ve hit the first sweet spot. The parameters widen like a cheap whore.
The strength is now full tilt as my vision deteriorates. I can’t feel anything below my waist. My schmekel has retreated like a turtle’s head.

This is the first time that the finish becomes lip smacking good. Very olive oily.
Chocolate, espresso, baking spices, creaminess, black pepper, licorice, and malt.

Remember how the next day after having great sex…you have lockjaw? Me neither.

While the cigar is pumping away at its sweet spot, I’m waiting eagerly to see if a new phase begins. But if this is all she’s got, I’m fine with it. Great stick.

For a funny shaped 38 ring gauge cigar, it takes a slow roll approach. It is in no hurry. Obviously, the construction is spotless.

The black pepper no longer seems to control the direction of the blend. Although, I’d love to get my vision back.

I am at the halfway point, and it took 45 minutes to get here. I am pleasantly surprised as I expected this funny looking stick might burn quickly.

The strength becomes nuclear. I take my blood pressure. I’m OK. I stand up and immediately fall to my knees. I envision a Catholic priest in front of me and I quickly stand up again and collapse into my chair. That was close.

While the sweet spot does not expand, it is a dream to smoke.

Another sip of water and I taste sweet potato. I must be having an aneurysm.

Tom Petty on Pandora. I get really pissed off. I truly dug this guy’s music. I just can’t believe he made so many poor decisions after his hip was broken, and he continued to tour…taking so many pain meds that it killed him. Such a waste. That leaves only Jeff Lynne and Dylan still around from the Traveling Wilburys.

Oh God…Fleetwood Mac. Still, it could be worse…right Dr. Rod?

The spiciness is muted to the point that it frees up the nuances to shine. The second sweet spot is in the fast lane.

The Fausto Culebra is by no means a flavor bomb. Doesn’t need that saddle. A beautifully blended cigar.

Even though the black pepper is held at bay, the strength is nearly overwhelming. This cigar is a tough haul for even the most experienced smokers. Newbies will not survive.

An hour and 15 minutes in…
I’m hallucinating like a mother fucker. I have tunnel vision. No peripheral vision.
This is what is supposed to happen in a gunfight. But I’ve never shot anyone, on purpose, so I can’t relate.

Sammy the Cat is playing bagpipes. Wow. It is 1967 again.

By the time I finish, I shall be a molten puddle of hash oil.

My favorite Stones song is playing: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

To see how this cigar has turned me into a drooling idiot, I pick up my bass and try to play “Spain” by Chick Corea. I get three notes in and fail.

If you want to have an out of body experience, this is the stick for you.
At this point, my instincts tell me the cigar is done impressing me. I don’t expect any major changes from this point. I’m OK with it.

Once I hit the publish button, I will need to sit in my chair for 30 minutes til I’m legally sane.

A blazing white light appears from the ceiling. Nope. I’m not going anywhere. Unless I have to pee.

The balance could not be better. The complexity will be the new host of Jeopardy.

This is the perfect blend for someone that has only had 6 hours sleep in the last 3 months.

Yesterday, I had a moment of clarity, and I deleted my Facebook account. It feels like I’ve taken the biggest dump in history. Have you noticed how many people spend their entire lives posting shit? There are people who must be really bored and nothing better to do. The social media site will eventually collapse in on itself and eat its young.

In its place, I joined several gay online forums. My name is Clarice…just in case you notice me.

I read once that statistics say that one in ten men have had at least one homosexual experience in their lives. I haven’t…not that there is anything wrong with that. But next time you are around friends, try to figure out which one of them was a buggerer.

I’m cruising with the Fausto Culebra. I’m enjoying the hell out of it…despite losing control of most of my bodily functions.

Second time I’ve had to relight the cigar. As I have no hand coordination, it takes me a couple minutes to accomplish.

The cigar is more than an hour and a half experience.
If you’ve got nowhere to go for half a day, I highly recommend it.

Sammy finally runs out of licks on the bagpipes. Thank God…it was really annoying.


And now for something completely different:
Once again, the Butch “Eddie Munster” Patrick chronicles…

We had a PR agent that booked us on damn near every talk show in the U.S. It got to the point that I really got to know Butch’s history while listening to his interviews. So much so that I could have pretended to be him. During his struggle with alcoholism, I gave credence to the idea, many times, that I could bury him in my backyard and let everyone think I’m him.

I bring this up because whenever we sat in the green room, the host of the show, or the production assistants, always mistook me for Eddie. I really didn’t think I looked anything like him, but you must remember that he had been out of the spotlight for years. No one knew him as an adult. At the time we met, Butch was parking cars at his father’s several poker palaces in Gardena.

Back in 1983, The Mike Douglas Show was still on TV. It was one of those daytime talk shows that started in the 50’s and lasted til the early 1980’s. It was Douglas who allowed John Lennon and Yoko to be co-anchors for an entire week and allowed them any guest they wanted. That took some balls. You gotta give Douglas props for that.

When the show was on its last legs, it went from normal syndication to airing on TBS. My press agent got Butch Patrick a guest spot to promote our “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” project.

This adventure was actually easy peasy. Instead of flying all over the country, all we had to do was drive to Hollywood from Long Beach.

I went to all the TV show interviews and all the radio interviews with Butch. I needed to make sure he arrived on time and sober.

I had my own idea of how an entertainment manager should look and bought an expensive 3-piece pin striped suit. I looked exactly like Alexander Haig…but with a better haircut.

The show taped late afternoon. We arrived and were ushered to the green room which was a holding area for the guests.

The two major guests were Barbara Eden and Earl Holliman. Of course, everyone knows Eden as the Genie…but Earl Holliman was a character actor. He played the cook in the legendary sci-fi movie from the 1950’s called, “Forbidden Planet.” He also played Angie Dickinson’s side kick cop in “Police Woman” on TV. He found himself being liked by John Wayne and appeared in several of the Duke’s films. (I met Wayne while doing bass session work for legendary actor Chill Wills in his Huntington Beach recording studio. He was a good-natured bigot. And he didn’t care who knew it.)

Meeting Eden was a thrill, and she was even more gorgeous than on TV. She also had a boyfriend the size of the Hulk with her. This guy’s job was to be intimidating and it worked. I wanted to approach Eden, but I didn’t want to get body slammed by her bodyguard.

Holliman and I sat on a couch together and struck up a conversation. I told him about the burgeoning birth of MTV and rock videos. We, of course, had brought our rock video that accompanied our song. The more we talked, the friendlier he got.

We did talk about the classic “Forbidden Planet.” I grew up on that flick. Earl liked talking about it and he said he felt he was miscast. I freaked. I had to convince him that not only was he not miscast but was great in the role. Big smile on Holliman’s face.

Just before the show started, we heard Douglas enter the green room from his dressing room. He heard Butch and he said, “I know that voice. Hello Butch.”

I got to meet Douglas and I was shocked at how old he looked. They had enough pancake makeup on him that he looked like a wax dummy.

Douglas took one look at me all dressed up and seemed to be stunned. My first thought was this…I was thin, in good shape, had all my hair, and was a good-looking kid.
No…he thinks I’m gay. I mean, he literally did a double take when he saw me. We shook hands and I swear he looked afraid of me. Or maybe he thought I was mob. I have one of those faces that throughout my life, people think I’m someone they know.

So, Butch did his shtick in a very good interview, but it was cut short because a washed-up magician/mentalist, The Amazing Kreskin, was hogging Butch’s time. Even Douglas was perturbed because at one point, he rolled his eyes. I’d never seen a talk show host look disgusted on camera because he couldn’t get rid of a guest. This Kreskin tool wouldn’t let up with his stupid Magic 101 tricks.

When it was over, Butch and I left and walked down the corridor to the elevator. Earl and Douglas both leaned out of the doorway to say goodbye; and Earl yelled, “See ya Phil. Take care. Have a good one.” I was thrilled and told Butch.
We got into the elevator.

As the doors closed, I told Butch how cool Holliman was.
Butch turned to me and said, “Earl Holliman is gay.”

All I could think of was I gave Earl my business card. Would he call me for a date?
He called a couple weeks later. He asked if I wanted to go somewhere cool that would surround me with movie stars. I made excuses that between my work at the recording studio and the Butch project that I just didn’t have time. Earl was clearly disappointed.

Holliman called a week later for the same reason. I told him I wasn’t gay, and he hung up on me. I wanted to say “I go fag. You die.” But “Analyze This” (Starring Billy Crystal & Robert De Niro) hadn’t been released yet, so nothing clever came out of my mouth. Just like my cigar reviews.


4 replies

  1. Maybe Butch was jealous and told you that just to freak you out.

    Are you sure you weren’t supposed to smoke all three of the twisted cigars together, all at once?

    Is the act of putting various objects inside your rectum for the purpose of smuggling them across the border, considered a homosexual experience?

  2. Thanks, Katman. I took Miles’ book back to the store and got my money back for it. $23. Too many grammatical errors in the book, too distracting. Also, he dissed Tracy Chapman as a self-indulgent whine, just because she didn’t wave hello to him once. Seems like such an arrogant, opinionated and bitter man. I bought it just to read the juicy parts but there weren’t any. Besides the fact that he took the blame (albeit too proudly) for Ian Copeland’s decision to join the US Army.
    Love you! – yer creative writer friend, Lara
    P.s. you still can publish my St.Mary’s Spanish choir story if u like it.

  3. Ian was my favorite brother. I believe he was only a year older than me.
    He served in Vietnam. But of the three brothers, he was the most real…a solid guy.
    His pad in Hampstead Heath was a hangout for musicians. Stewart and I hung out there all the time.
    I met some really interesting pros in the industry because of Ian.
    And he had a small house on his property and Country Joe lived there so he was always a good hang.
    I remember Ted Turner of Wishbone was there a lot. But he left the band and had spent about 6 months in Colombia. He chewed on just a bit too many coca leaves and I never remember him saying a single word the entire time. He sat on the couch with that thousand yard stare.
    Now Miles…He was a prick from the word go.
    There was nothing appealing about hiim…except for his girlfriend at the time: Jill Furmanovsky. She was 2 or 3 years younger than me and such a sweet girl. All those photos you see on TV when Curved Air is mentioned were taken by her. She has a website that sells her rock photos: https://www.rockarchive.com/photographers/jill-furmanovsky

    But by the time I left the band, she split…or maybe Miles dumped her. I don’t know. You should check out her photos on the website. What an eye!

    As far as grammatical errors throughout his book…that really surprises me. Was he too proud to let an editor do their job? Or is this book release just a vanity book that he paid for?

  4. The whole Copeland clan seems allergic to commas.

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