It is another beautiful Sunday afternoon here in the North East where is has been unseasonably warm the last few days. Today I plan to take advantage of the warmer weather and smoke the Tatuaje RC184. I had hoped to enjoy this stick on Thanksgiving but due to family obligations and the fact that this cigar is 7.25 x 57 stick, I never quite found the time. The RC184 is part of the Tatuaje Reserva line and the RC stands for retro Cuban. The 184 is the length in millimeters or as mentioned above about 7.25 inches. The smoke is a beautiful foiled wrapped perfecto and retails for about $20.00 each when purchased in a ten count box. Regardless of the price, this stick can be very difficult to find due to its limited nature and popularity. I have never actually had a RC Series, so lets find out what the hype is all about!
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Size: 7 1/4 (184 mm) x 57
MSRP: $20.00 each (boxes of 20)
Visually this cigar is stunning. I admit I am sucker for a perfecto, especially when it is in a traditional Cuban size such as a Salamon. The RC184 seems to be rolled perfectly. It is firm and does not seem to have any soft spots. The wrapper is very toothy and is uniformly chocolate brown. I have already spent several minutes enjoying the scent of oak and mild spice before cutting the perfectly applied cap. The pre-light draw has some mild spice I cannot place with a fair amount of sweet tobacco.
Perfecto’s are always interesting when first lit, since you never quite know what the burn will do and the RC184 is no exception. Once lit, the burn immediately becomes very crooked and the ash is not holding. Initial flavors are enjoyable and include wood, a mild spice, and subtle hints of bitter coffee. The draw opens up nicely after first few pulls and the burn begins to correct itself. Ample amounts of smoke surround me on each draw and the stick is smoldering pretty good in between pulls.
At about the one inch mark I strike up a conversation with the neighbor and I notice the finish is becoming very creamy. The coffee flavor has vanished and I am now detecting a refined and balanced mix of wood and spice. The burn has completely corrected itself and the ash is holding for a full two inches before falling. The ash is ragged mixture of light and dark gray.
By the beginning of the second third, I begin to detect some of the coffee flavors again but this quickly fades and the wood takes dominance. There is also the addition of some nuts in the background. The cigar does have a very similar flavor profile to some Cubans I have had and I am enjoying it thus far. The finish is much dryer now and I find myself wishing I had paired this stogie with a beer. There is no change in draw and the ash is holding for about an inch. The end of second third ends with the addition of some pepper.
I notice during the start of last third, the stick is burning faster as I work my way down the tapered length towards the cap. This seems to be working however, as I am really enjoying the free flowing draw and copious amounts of smoke. The pepper is gone but there is a lot of wood and spice on the finish. The finish is lingering much longer too and I pour myself a third glass of water. There is strength present but I have yet to get a nicotine kick from it. One conversation with the neighbor, three tall glasses of water, and two hours later, I nub the RC184. The nub is cool and firm.
Admittedly, I expected a fuller flavor profile similar to the other Tatuaje Reserva’s I have had. The Tatuaje J21 and 7th Reserva are two favorites I keep in regular rotation and both provide bold, rich Nicaraguan flavor profiles. Instead, this stick had a much more refined subtle flavor profile that is more typical of a Cuban than a Nicaraguan puro. Have no doubts, this is still a strong smoke and your going to want to eat a good sized meal before partaking. Moreover, I think this cigar would probably pair well with a beer or cup of coffee. In conclusion, I am going to give the Tatuaje RC184 a Stogie Geek Rating of “Box Worthy”. The MSRP is high but there is a lot of well blended and constructed tobacco there for the money. It is certainly worth a buy and a try as I don’t think you will be disappointed. I will be certainly keeping some around for those times where I can enjoy a two hour smoke with a beer.