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.
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.
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.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
No doubt. The Black Label CG is a staple in my humidor.
- Razor sharp burn
- Cubanesque flavor
- Complex profile
- Subtle flavors can easily be missed without the proper attention