Wrapper: Shade Grown Nicaraguan Corojo
Size: 5.5 x 54 Robusto Grande
The cigar has only had two months of naked humidor time. Who knows what lurks behind the curtain?
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
From Halfwheel.com (8-9-2022):
“The new line is offered in the same two sizes as the original Verocú Havana VI line, the one that uses a red band. It is made entirely of Nicaraguan tobaccos grown by the García family of My Father, including a corojo 99 rosado wrapper, the same one that is now used for the Escasos cigars. The original Verocú blend is also a Nicaraguan puro.”
I dry boxed this cigar 3 days. I don’t like doing this as I heard tiny bits of weeping in the middle of the night. Turns out it was Charlotte and not the cigar.
Ah, I have a plugged cigar. I know how to fix that. No, I’m not throwing it away and will not endure my cheeks caving in to get a draw. I grab my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and re-enact the shower scene in “Psycho.” As is usual, the offending plug is located around the area of the cigar band. I take a draw and get a whoosh of black pepper that makes me cough like Doc Holliday. Now the Tat is smokable.
There was a time, not long ago, I’d tell you about its appearance and then go into detail about the cigar’s aroma and flavors from its draw. There are excellent review blogs out there that can give you that experience. Me? I’m too old and lazy. Let’s get to the important part…
Smooth start. A very earth, wind, and leather engagement. Spiciness is mild and so is the cigar’s strength.
I taste potential. I like the well-rounded beginning. A compost of nice tobacco.
Who isn’t a Tat fan? Pete Johnson is one of the most consistent blenders in the industry.
How many times have you visited an online cigar auction site and sought out Tats on display…and then see some moron bids $10 over MSRP…because he doesn’t understand what an auction means? I know none of my readers would ever do that.
A natural sweetness is clearly apparent. Caramel and creaminess tag along.
Savory is the baseline. Flavors begin to pile on like cheerleaders making a human pyramid. When I was young, I thought I’d like to do that. Now when I see that, I decide that I like my hip just where it is.
The Marshall Tucker Band is playing “Can’t You See.” Dig southern rock.
As a musician, I listen to current music and I’ve noticed that almost every hit has exactly the same time signature and swing. It is geared for the audience to sway and swoon. The new bands call it their signature sound. But 1000 other bands have the exact same sound. This is not me becoming my parents. My parents were not trained musicians.
Peanut butter, creaminess, caramel, Worcestershire sauce, milk chocolate, a scoche of fire smokiness, aged tobacco intensity, and fried ferret spleen.
The char line is a champ. A perfect dead nuts burn. Construction is approaching immaculate. Like me. My mother was a virgin to her death. I do look a lot like my Aunt Rhoda. Which might explain my hermaphrodite status. Best of both worlds.
Strength is a potent medium.
The cigar is packed like the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Dredged up an old memory. I was 10 or 11. One of the kid’s fathers on the block hired it for his son’s birthday party. We all got a ride around the block in it. First time I was star struck when I met the original Little Oscar. I believe this occurred in 1935.
A dichotomy is upon me. The strength has increased to medium/full and yet the cigar is smooth as a friendly priest.
In my 20’s, my dad was good friends with a customer who worked for a big general contractor. The man was married and had 3 kids. He lived in a swanky house in Newport Beach, Ca. He took us out on his luxurious boat and the sun and waves gave me a boner this big. He was also a pilot. A two-engine plane. He was also a defrocked Catholic priest that left God’s work behind him. A year after I met him, he flew his plane into a mountain with his family aboard…no survivors. Makes you think.
Neil Young. “Heart of Gold.” I knew a couple guys that were friendly with the man. Said he was an arrogant prick. Just hearsay.
It’s taken me 45 minutes to get to the halfway point. A very smooth journey.
Charlotte watches “Dr. Pimple Popper.” And “My 600-lb Life.” I’ve driven her to madness.
This is an excellent cigar. But not a great cigar. The smoothness is the attraction. Not a flavor wheel blend. It gathers up all its children and hovers right over the definition of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I’m convinced that more humidor time will enhance the depth. But won’t change the intent I’m experiencing.
I’ve got some Tat Tuxtlas simmering and even though they are gone with the wind, I intend to review them at some point in the future. I want to see how extended humidor time treats them. As this is a regular production cigar, time is not the issue.
There is a definite linear quality to this blend. But not in a bad way. Complexity is like standing on a ladder so you can have sex with a camel. I only tried this once in 1965 in Israel. The camel was smiling so who am I to judge? But then I saw a real camel dick and realized my camel was mocking me. That was no smile, it was a smirk.
With 3” burned, the sweet spot appears. See, a good possibility that another few months of humi time might bring this out much earlier.
Strength hits full. A minor dose of nicotine shows up with that same smirk.
I’ve found that Tat sticks have the hardest to remove cigar bands of any other brand.
With the story below, I’ve reached 3000 words…let’s see if I can make it to 5000.
The Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue has now agreed by implied contract to kick some ass and take names. Linear no more. I expertly make the assessment that another 3 months of humidor time will bring this quality out much earlier…or not.
I saw an interview with Rafael Nodal explaining his methods of cleaning his palate. He said that cola works nicely. I grab a Diet Coke and put it to the test.
This is wonderful. My cigar now tastes like Coca Cola.
There are a gazillion reviewers online. Many describe the cigar in one or two short paragraphs. I should take heed. Your pain will lessen by x3 y3 z3 K.
I rarely allow my cap to become a drooling mess. I fucked up with this stick. I clip the cap a bit so it doesn’t remind me of cunnilingus.
Kenny Rogers is playing “The Gambler.” Talk about a fuck up. His plastic surgery made him look like a cartoon figure. I don’t get it. These stars with a billion dollars in Bitcoin can go to the best plastic surgeons in the world…and they still end up looking like a completely different person…and not in a good way.
Am I near 5000 words yet?
I like that the spiciness is very controlled. Just the right level to give the blend some kick but doesn’t overwhelm very subtle flavors.
Flavors are distinct but simple and informative. The complexity is doing all the work. No longer linear. A lovely ebb and flow. The second half struts its stuff like a Jackalope doing the Cowboy Boogie line dance.
I decide to stop rambling and just sit back and enjoy the deliciosity. Be back soon. Or you can just scroll down to my rating and then read the totally irrelevant meanderings of my typical rock n roll story.
I’m back…sorry for taking so long.
This blend is what you expect from Pete Johnson. Solid. Professional. A journeyman’s endeavor. But not one of his best.
This is uncanny. “Roxanne” by The Police is playing which is a perfect seque into my long-winded rock story.
Microsoft Word says I’m at 62,000 words…time to stop.
You can purchase the cigar from two of my sponsors. Atlantic Cigar.
And Luxury Cigar Club (Promo code katman gets you 15% off).
And now for something completely different:
After Curved Air, I moved back to Long Beach and struggled. I was a big shot in London but a nobody in SoCal.
I really fucked up. I had my girlfriend and her 5 year old daughter with me. I brought her to England because I thought I loved her. And like a moron, I chose love over my burgeoning career.
Instead of worrying about supporting my clan, I should have sent them home and I should have stayed in London capitalizing on my minor fame.
But we make decisions and then we live with them. Had I made that choice, I would never have met Charlotte and we never would have had our only child, Katie. So, it worked out OK. I didn’t know at the time I was going to have the time of my life owning a busy recording studio in Long Beach.
I set up house with the woman and her kid in Long Beach. I got a job as a project engineer for Turner Construction who were erecting a skyscraper in downtown L.A.
I was miserable.
It was my job to review all the subcontractor submittal drawings before they were sent to the architect and structural engineer of record. Within days of starting the job, my office on the jobsite had stacks of thousands of drawings that nearly reached the ceiling. I was to review them for conformity to the contract and specifications. And then I had to fucking stamp them with a Turner logo…and then date and sign every single drawing. My boss kept berating me for not going faster. He was a fat asshole that I wanted to punch in his tiny nads until he vomited #8 rebar.
There were two accounting guys on the site as well. I was 27. These guys were probably only a few years older.
They had just gotten back from a jobsite in Saudi Arabia. And both were gay caballeros. That didn’t bother me. What bothered me was they way they dressed. This was 1977. And the adorned themselves with clothing fit for a Club 54 in disco regalia. Shiny and sparkly and sequined pants and shirts. Only buttoned at the bottom. This allowed their manly chest hair to get in everyone’s coffee.
The big project manager was in his late 60’s and brought out of retirement for this project. He hated me with a red hot passion. He brought his mean ass Doberman to work and the dogs stayed in his closed office. When I needed to get the guy paperwork, I would put it in his inbox nailed to the wall next to his door.
He got mad at me for doing that because he was too lazy to look. He told me to put the paperwork underneath the door. I did that. The fucking dogs shredded everything I stuck under the door…it sounded like an Exorcist movie listening to them ripping shit apart.
Yeah, I got into trouble for that. I lasted two months. I quit and walked out the door. Then the fun began. I went straight back into music but now I was in L.A. Could have been worse places.
I saw an ad for The Police and that they were going to play in Santa Barbara. They had their first hit of “Roxanne.” I looked closely at the three blonde haired band members and realized I was looking at my old bandmate, Stewart Copeland. He had brown hair when I knew him.
For some reason, they did not have an L.A. gig booked. They were working their way down from San Francisco.
I called their management office in L.A. and told them who I was, and could I get tickets? The man himself called me back: Miles Copeland III…Stew’s brother and the manager of The Police. Miles started with Wishbone Ash and branched off into a gazillion English bands you’ve heard of and listened to. Too many to list.
Miles was excited to talk to me and said he had an idea. He would give me backstage passes and we would surprise Stew.
I took my girlfriend, Teri, with me. Nice 2 hour drive from Long Beach to Santa Barbara. I believe the band played at the university. Oingo Boingo opened for them.
We got there about 4 pm. Teri and I saw a small group of people huddled in the corner of the concert hall/gym. It was The Police and Miles. Miles saw me and motioned me over.
I sauntered over. “Hey douchebag!”
I had that beautiful fro in Curved Air. But times had changed and so had the music and the look. My afro was no longer considered hip. I had short hair.
At first, Stew was shocked at being disrespected by some guy he didn’t know. So, I said, “Hey douchebag. Forgotten old friends now that you’re a rock star again?”
His eyes lit up and yelled: “KOHN!!!! You douchebag!”
He literally lifted me off my feet with a bear hug.
He introduced me to Sting and Andy Summers. They were befuddled to meet the bassist that played with Stew in CA and there I was in front of them in California. Both Sting and Andy grilled me about Stew and what he was like in Curved Air. I told them a couple outrageous stories and they jumped in with their Stewart stories. Miles emitted a loud “Harumph” and we stopped talking.
Miles handed me the backstage passes.
The threesome had to do their sound check, so Teri and I went and got a bite to eat.
When we got back, Oingo Boingo was just starting. Love that band. Danny Elfman is a friggin genius.
We had very special backstage passes. There must have been 100 Hollywood types that drove up from L.A. to see the concert hanging in the wings of the stage.
I had a bundle of filled to the brim gram bottles with me. After all, it was 1981. The height of coke use in America.
Well, the boys had run out of theirs. They bought a bunch in S.F. and went through it fast.
I met their head roadies and handed them vials of the white powder. That did the trick. I had total access to every place the band did. Plus Stewart put in a good word for me.
While the self-important Hollywood people were kept at bay and not allowed in the dressing room, Teri and I just smiled at the 8’ tall bodyguard guaring the door and walked in.
It was skeezy locker room. Not even a chair. Just benches in front of lockers for the players.
So, we sat and talked. Stew, Sting, Andy, Teri, and me. Stew brought out a joint. And then I brought out the coke. Their eyes lit up like it was Christmas in Wales.
Now Sting was new on the scene. Really new. I couldn’t believe that his friends really called him that name in private. They must be using his real name, whatever it was.
As I passed the coke around, I whistled at Sting and said, “(Whistle) You want some?” Sting grabbed my coke dispenser and helped himself to a big dose.
Stew was miffed. He looked at me and said, “HIS NAME IS STING!”
I was taken aback and I apologized. Sting didn’t care. I gave him Go Juice. I could have called him Al and he wouldn’t have cared.
We sat there for about 45 minutes while Sting and Andy continued with their quizzing me about Stew in the Curved Air days. They got to laugh at their drummer and Stew would take an oh yeah attitude and tell them the bullshit I got myself into.
When that got boring, we went out to the wings of the stage and watched Oingo Boingo. No one was allowed to approach the boys. I could hear these people I didn’t know whispering, “Who is this guy??”
Oingo Boingo. A great band. I stood next to Andy and we kibitzed about Elfman’s music as we listened. I realized later that Andy was the normal guy in the band. A regular guy.
I met Danny Elfman when The Police went on and it turns out we had some stuff in common. We were both members of The Tribe. He was also from L.A. We discussed what it was like in the 1960’s and the great music scene. And then he told me how he almost died from malaria while he toured Ghana to pick up musical influences. And then we just stood there and watched The Police together.
After the show, we all went back to the locker room. Miles was there along with Jerry Moss of A & M records. Partners with Herb Alpert.
Miles went on about how funny Stew and I were during the radio interviews we did with Curved Air. The regular radio interviews that Curved Air had to do, in the afternoon, to plug the show became the Stew and Phil Show. Stew is a very funny guy and had the same comic influences as I did. So, we’d rapid fire shit that made us sound like The Marx Brothers. This really pissed off Darryl. He was the star of the band. But he wasn’t fun…in fact, he was painfully boring in an interview. So, Miles made the decision that Sonja needed to be there for the interviews, but Darryl didn’t. This did not help my position in the band. Most DJ’s enjoyed us. But some were livid that we weren’t taking his questions seriously.
Miles grabbed me in that locker room and said, “Phil, tell Jerry that rabbi story.” Oh lord.
It was something I said in the spur of the moment; not a regular stand-up bit. When we were repetitively asked how we started in the music biz, I blurted out, “I was a rabbinical student until the head rabbi caught me in the dorm closet drinking a pork milkshake.” It was funny at the interview…not so hilarious in the presence of Jerry Moss.
He just gave me a forced smile…cutting my own throat would have probably made him guffaw. Time to leave.
I excused myself, gathered up Teri who was entertaining the musicians and grabbed her by the elbow and said, “Let’s get out of here.”
I gave Stew, Andy and Sting a hug and we split.
We had gotten a nice hotel room as we didn’t want to drive the 2+ hours home to Long Beach at midnight high on weed and coke. She was so thrilled to meet the Police and see how I was immediately accepted by them that the sex that night might have been illegal…ah, sweet youth.
Spoke to Copeland in the early 2000’s but that was it. He was now big time, and I wasn’t. He was playing polo with Prince Charles. I went bowling with old friends and had to use the fecal matter infested house balls.
Saw the boys again a year after Santa Barbara for their Zenyatta Mondata album going platinum party. But Stew was so coked up, his eyes were dinner plates and he couldn’t stand still or even talk. I approached Sting at the huge Hollywood party, and he remembered me. We spoke for a couple minutes but I was bummed that Stew was so fucked up…so, I pardoned myself and left the party.
But as I left, I saw Bette Midler and brazenly said hello and complimented her on her performance in the 1979 movie, “The Rose.” I told Ms. Midler that even though she was doing a Janis impression, Curved Air went through the same thing with our singer, Sonja Kristina. I smiled and left. I almost walked right past her initially because I didn’t know she was only 5’-1. She looked like a Munchkin.
If not for that incident, I couldn’t have wasted your time with this story.
I’m second from right in photo below:
I’m the skinny kid on bass:
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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