Tatuaje Baby Face
This is the third part of the October Pairing series where I’m featuring the Tatuaje Little Monster set. This little cigar the Tatuaje Baby Face is sitting right in the middle of the box between. I started at the right hand side of the box and I’m moving left. I had been looking forward to this cigar because it looked different than the rest. So far I haven’t been absolutely blown away by this box set. I love the idea and the packaging behind it, but the cigars haven’t been outstanding yet. I’m hoping this little guy brings out some fire to this set.
When looking at the Tatuaje Baby Face I’m trying to figure out exactly why it’s labeled with that name. It is the smallest out of the set of 5. Other than that, there are no real resemblances to a baby’s face. After doing some research about the original cigar this was miniaturized from, it became clear. The original cigar “Face” was made after Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw massacre. Now that makes perfect sense!
This was the first cigar that I noticed that I out of the box set. It has a very interesting band around the barrel. It’s a very jagged cut tobacco leaf that is lighter than the wrapper that encompasses the rest of the cigar. The lighter colored band is actually Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper while the main wrapper is Mexican San Andres. This band just makes it makes the cigar pop out from the other 4 in the box. I actually wanted to smoke this cigar first, but I refrained and smoked in order from right to left.
Another interesting look for this cigar is the semi closed foot. Excess wrapper leaf is laid over to cover the foot of the Tatuaje Baby Face. In the past I haven’t been a big fan of this because it makes it difficult to test the cold draw. I would prefer the foot be completely closed or just left wide open. To each his own, this was obviously Pete Johnson’s vision and it makes this cigar stand out from the others in the box.
The wrapper on this cigar is a nice dark brown Maduro shade. Very minimal veins, in fact it’s quite a beautiful looking wrapper. It has a very rustic look to it when you combine it with the jagged edged band toward the head. I love the combination with the lighter colored wrapper as the band. It has a very two tone looking style and I’m diggin’ it.
I’m always a sucker for how the cigar functions. Even though it looks cool and has a sweet innovative looking band. Is it going to smoke well? Well I rolled the cigar between my fingers making sure to test it for any soft spots. To be honest this is one of the firmer cigars that I’ve felt in a while. There was very little give and sponginess to the filler. It almost felt as if I had a rolling pin that I was pinching. To me this isn’t a good sign. I’ve had firm cigars before that ended up smoking just fine, but I was a little worried about this one.
I proceeded to nip to cap off with my brand new capped back double guillotine cutter, man I love this thing. I made two cuts initially. I tested the cold draw to see if I could get any air through the barrel. I knew that because of the excess wrapper around the foot that I wouldn’t get a ton of air, but I was hoping to get some.
The Tatuaje Baby Face appeared to have a very tight draw, but I wouldn’t really know until I set it aflame. I think it’s time to proceed!
Just as I had suspected this little smoke had some trouble with the draw. I had to toast the foot for a good ten seconds to burn off the excess wrapper. Once I got past it I faced quite the resistance. I’m not going to relate it to Custer’s Last Stand, more like the Steel Curtain defense of years gone by. I’m telling you I had to really puff on this Tatuaje Baby Face to fight through the first third.
Luckily, the burn was even, or I would have been completely let down. I continued to power through the first third and finally hit a nice open channel towards the beginning of the second third. It was like a clog drain that had finally been plunged enough and everything broke loose and was just flowing. It’s good thing too because my cheeks were getting tired of puffing!
The second third of this Tatuaje Baby Face really opened up and smoke just started rolling. I was finally able to put the cigar down and let it rest some because it was burning nicely and I wasn’t afraid of it going out… In fact maybe if I would have let it burn more in the first third my cheeks wouldn’t have been hurting as much. Oh well it’s too late now.
I was able to hold on to a quite a nice little ash with with cigar. It ended being close to 1 1/2 inches by the time I finally knocked it off. The burn was fairly even, not quite laser line straight, but close enough to where it didnt’ concern me. This stayed true all the way down to the nub. I was quite happy with how everything performed after the 1st third. It smoked like a dream.
I smoked this little Tatuaje Baby Face all the way down into the light colored band. At that point it was burning pretty hot and I figured it was better to save my thumbs rather than continue smoking.
Oh flavor, it’s an elusive component of every cigar. I had to really focus on this Tatuaje Baby Face. The breeze was blowing and there were butterflies flying in my face while I was sitting in my lawn chair. So many distractions that could take me away from my duty of providing you accurate flavor details of this cigar.
First off, I nosed this cigar up and down the barrel. I made sure to give it a very thorough sniff. Right away I noticed some strong earthy / vegetal notes. I might even go as far to say wet hay. I know, it’s an odd smell, but thats what I was picking up. No, it hadn’t rain and I had not been inside of a barn for at least 2 weeks.
I brought the foot of the Tatuaje Baby Face to my nose and instantly I could smell cocoa. Not super sweet, a little dry, but definitely cocoa, maybe even with a little hint of coffee. In fact I bet if you ground this cigar up into ash you might be able to pour steaming water over it to make a nice mocha latte. Ok that’s probably a lie, the notes weren’t that strong.
During the first third this cigar was hesitant to give off a lot of flavor. I’m sure it had to do with the stiff draw that I had encountered. Nonetheless, I powered through and kept smoking. When it opened up in second I was able to pull out more earth notes, the cigar tasted a little musty and earthy to me. I know those aren’t very pleasing adjectives for a cigar, but some stogies do put off those flavors. I was able to pull in other hints of cocoa and just a little spice on the backend that tingled the sides of my tongue.
This Tatuaje Baby Face is really a tale two cigars. The first third was closed off and uninviting. Then it must have taken a few sips of the spiked punch and began to cut loose. The second third began to open up and pour out some flavor and stay that way until the end. Who knows, if this cigar had another third to it… err I guess technically it would be another fourth to it, it might have completely opened up and been twirling it’s shirt around its heard and exploding my taste buds.
Would I Buy It Again?
Ehhh, I would have to say no. As I described it did finally open up, but even when it did I wasn’t a big fan of the flavors.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Well it depends, for me it wouldn’t be. I’m not a fan of earthy notes, it tasted a little musty and it was nothing exciting to me. Which is a bummer, but the truth.
Would I Buy a Box?
Of this once cigar individually, no. I would consider buying the Little Monsters set again though.
The Tatuaje Baby Face had a slow start, but eventually opened up. Even though I wasn’t blown away by the flavors, I could see others enjoying it. I’m just not a fan of earthy cigars (yes I know they come up out of the earth and ground). To me it was a very average cigar. I’m hoping the one I smoke for the pairing is better and opens up some more when combined with a spirit.