The original Tatuaje Private Reserve blend, or more commonly known “Black Label” Corona Gorda was first released on a limited basis around Christmas 2007 in bundles of 24. The following year saw the limited release of 1,000 ceramic jars of 19 cigars each. This cigar became the stuff of legends and is regarded by many as the best cigar ever produced by Pete Johnson and Tatuaje.

As part of Tatuaje’s tenth anniversary in 2013, Pete re-released the Black Label Corona Gorda to a lot of fanfare and anticipation. The tenth anniversary release came with esthetic changes to the jars (melamine replacing ceramic) and bands (a “fancier” black band with silver foil embossing replacing the traditional matte black label) that distinguish the 2013 Corona Gorda from the original. Another differentiator is that the 2013 CG’s were rolled at My Father Cigars S.A. while the original release was produced at Tabacalera Cubana S.A.

Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda cigars packaging

2013 Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Estelí, Nicaragua)
  • Vitola: 5 5/8″ x 46 Corona Gorda
  • Production: 500 Bundles of 19 Cigars & 10,000 Jars of 19 Cigars (199,500 Total Cigars)
  • Price: $10

When he blended the Black Label Corona Gorda with Don Pepin Garcia, Pete Johnson had one thing in mind; re-creating a custom-rolled cigar he had fallen in love with while spending time in Cuba. As a result, the Black Label CG will not win any beauty contests. It is a very rustic looking cigar with a toothy wrapper. The Black Label CG is triple-capped with a fuma-style/nipple and also has a closed foot (both characteristics carried over from the original release). There is a slight amount of oil on the veiny surface. The aroma of the cigar is best described as barnyard or “farm fresh” and there is a firm sponginess to the feel of the stick.

After lighting up the Tatuaje Black CG, I immediately get a blast of pepper on the retrohale, which can certainly be expected with a Pete Johnson/DPG cigar. The pepper is not overwhelming and I also get some hints of what is to come – as there are notes of a sweet citrus and earthiness to the cigar.

Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda cigar review

The second third of the cigar is highlighted by a distinct profile change and the Black CG begins to shift and even out. The pepper is now more balanced, with grapefruit and a cocoa creaminess to the smoke, but the cigar is still spicy in all the right ways. There is a noticeable “coating of oil” in your mouth with the Black Label Corona Gorda, it’s something that may go undetected if you’re not attuned to it.



The final third is spectacular. I wish it would never end and my singed lips and finger tips prove it. The flavors are intense on the retro without being harsh. At this point, the pepper mingled nicely with the cocoa-covered grapefruit. As many have noted in their trials with this smoke, it has a distinct “graham cracker” profile that is more than welcomed. The cigar is bold without smacking you in the face. Hints of Cuban influence shine at this point and it is clear why this cigar was so anxiously anticipated.

Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013 review

Would I smoke this cigar again?

No doubt. The Black Label CG is a staple in my humidor.

Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013 cigar review and rating

Tatuaje Black Label Corona Gorda 2013
Getting past the hype and expectations from the OR CG is not easy. You want the 2013 to be out of this world from the first puff and it is easy to rush through the cigar to get to that last half of pure awesomeness. If you don’t take your time, you will miss out. The Black Label CG is like taking a long drive across an exotic island to a remote beach destination. You know once you get there it will be out of this world and along the way it is difficult to focus on anything but just getting there. If you blare the radio and drive like a maniac to get to the beach in record time, you will miss all the scenery and local attractions along the way. Sure, once this CG does “get to the beach” the sand is whiter, the surf is better, and the bikinis are skimpier than you ever imagined, but if you don’t pay attention on the drive you really miss out on all the island has to offer...
Appearance95%
Burn/Construction95%
Draw94%
Flavor91%
Complexity95%
Price/Value90%
Pros
  • Razor sharp burn
  • Cubanesque flavor
  • Complex profile
Cons
  • Subtle flavors can easily be missed without the proper attention
93%Collector's Classic
Reader Rating: (5 Votes)
82%

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