Tatuaje has a membership program that they call The Saints and Sinners club. It costs about $150 annually and in return you get some limited Tatuaje cigars, swag and access to a members only forum where you can find other deals offered just to members. One of those deals is the annual “12 days of Petemas” celebration.
For 12 days beginning on Christmas day, at the time that matches the date, those members who have speedy enough hands will be able to purchase a 5-pack of extremely limited cigars that are not available anywhere else.
In 2013 the cigar was revealed to be the “Mars Attack”. The cigar’s blend was said to be the same or similar to that of the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine with a Cojuno wrapper. For 2014 it ended up being a redux of the Mars Attack in a slightly different vitola and with a closed foot.
Having had the opportunity to smoke one of the original Mars Attack releases last summer, and having enjoyed it immensely, I was quite excited for this years release and made sure I was ready with fast hands to pick up a few to try.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Rolled: My Father Cigars S.A. (probable location, not confirmed)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
MSRP: $8.00 Saints and Sinners Exclusive
Sample: purchased by CM
Quantity smoked: 1
This years Mars Attack has a dark brown wrapper with some prominent veins. The caps are beautiful as I have come to expect from Tatuaje. The closed foot provides a pleasant aesthetic and had no negative effect when it came time to light the cigar. The pack is firm with a nice level of springiness and is uniform from head to foot.
The cold draw is just slightly firm, but of course it still has that closed foot on there. Pre-light aroma is very peppery, and on the draw the wrapper gives a strong pepper sensation to the lips. There are also some slight floral and wood tones present.
As expected from the cold draw, the initial reaction is a dominating pepper, and for about the first quarter of inch it was almost impossible to pick up any other flavors. Thankfully after that the pepper backed off a couple notches and allowed some of the other profiles to come forward. Now you begin to recognize some of the flavors you may have recognized from the L’Atelier Racine. Some cedar with toasted notes and kitchen spices that remind you of graham crackers. Coming to the end of the first third this cigar is both full-bodied and full on flavor.
The cigar continues where it left off in the first third with the main profile continuing to be pepper and then accompanied nicely by the rest. There are moments where cocoa and a subtle sweetness try to come forward. They are enjoyable when you get them, but they don’t last long struggling against the more dominant pepper and cedar tones. The burn line has been a bit of a struggle to keep even, otherwise the construction shows itself wonderfully and the cigar is putting out ample smoke volume.
At this point the cigar is showing its lack of age. It is developing some bitter notes, and when given a flaming purge it lights up quite spectacularly as some of the ammonia burns off. After the purge it does settle back down though and continues without any more surprises. The pepper keeps doing its thing while the cedar, kitchen spices, and faint sweetness and toasted notes back it up. At the end not much has changed and it concludes in the full body and flavor categories.
Like many Tatuaje cigars before it, the 2014 Petemas finds itself solidly in the Regal category. With the dominant pepper and wood tones it would fit nowhere else. While it borrowed strongly from the Marquee section with the kitchen spices, graham cracker and light cocoa, it isn’t nearly enough to break it from Regal.
Despite being young, which obviously led to some harshness and the burn issues, this cigar was still very satisfying and I smoked it until it was burning at my lips. Anyone who enjoys a strong pepper blast that is supported by a complex flavor profile will find enjoyment here. The 2013 Mars Attack was one of the best cigars I had last year, but it also had some age on it before I got to it. The 2014 version is showing some prominent features that should work ideally for the aging process and I am very excited to see where it ends up in another 6-12 months. Keep an eye on the future for a revisit to this cigar.