Monday, July 13, 2015

Tatuaje is a super-fun word to say. Or: Is it hot in here or humid or...?

Once upon a time, Valentino and I had a few small humidors spattered around the house, holding a respectable amount of cigars. Somehow, we worked our way up to seven stuffed desktop humidors. At that point, we had two choices:
  1. Stop buying cigars (hahahaha. As if.)
  2. Get ourselves a stand-up humidor
We obviously chose door #2.
That 2,000-count humidor filled itself up quite nicely and right quick.  We needed another.
We ordered another. It arrived and...

 ...we nestled it into Casa Awesome. Then, we went outside and when we returned to joyous central air, we found that second 2,000-count humidor full.* Sigh.
Recently, SuperFriend Kurt Kendall, created the most gorgeous shop, humidor, and lounge when he (literally) moved Twins Smoke Shop to new digs. As a result of that relocation, a few display humidors were stranded at the old place. Because we are generous souls, we and Caballero #2 offered to adopt them. Commence negotiations, mayhem, and shenanigans, because that's how we roll.
Bonus points to me for this killer segue: The three caballeros and I hopped** into the HerfMobile and rolled our way to aforementioned humidors.***

Many of you have seen this truck
at various (understatement) cigar events.
After a quick trip to Dunkin Donuts for people-fuel, I said, "You're probably wondering why I brought you all here," while stuffing a jelly munchkin into my mouth, so it sounded like "Gru prablay worworworing un brut un uh he." I wiped the powdered sugar from my fingers right onto my jeans**** and handed each of boys one of these:

The ones I gave them were unlit, of course.
You say, "Hey, is that the most awesome Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas?"
I say hold your horses; I'm getting to that.

As I bossily thrust the medium red-banded torpedos into their faces, Caballero #2 said, "Hey, this is a Tatuaje. Yum. Which one is it?" (Usually he can identify a cigar at a zillion paces, but in his defense, he was charged with navigating through outer-Boston traffic.)

Always afraid of upsetting my epic-level nerdiness and conveying incorrect information, I consulted the mighty internets for cigar details. (Hahahaha. I could barely write that without laughing so hard Diet Coke came out of my nose!) Anyway, thanks to the folks at Cigar Coop for the info (unless otherwise noted), here's the dealio on why the fab Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas is so named:
  1. The cigar is made in traditional Cuban “Havana” style, complete with a "beautiful Cuban triple cap," according to the Tatuaje website
  2. "As for the 'VI', this goes back to the fact that originally there were six vitolas made available (since then there have been more)." 
  3. And pay attention to the first letters of these original core line vitolas--
  • Hermosos – Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
  • Angeles -Petite Corona: 4 5/8 x 42
  • Victorias – Corona Especial: 6 x 38
  • Artistas – Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52
  • Nobles – Robusto: 5 x 50
  • Almirantes – Churchill: 7 x 47
The Havana line-up. <--See what I did there?
::pats self on back for unplanned cleverness::

So the answer to "Is that the Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas?" is Yes. Yes it is, courtesy of our BFFs at Famous Smoke, who sent them to me and said, "Howzabout you get your Band of Merry Men to smoke these mofos?" <--All my words, their idea.

Speaking of words, humidor retrieval day also included a continuous stream of verbal volleyball because these boys play rough with the cleverness and words--except when they're talking about this Nicaraguan-born Tatuaje, included in Cigar Aficionado's 2014 Top 25. Then they're all hearts and rainbows and sparkles and unicorns. Manly unicorns, of course, but still unicorns.
By the way, the wrapper is Ecuadorian Habano, binder and filler Nicaraguan. The Garcia family, yes, they of My Father Cigars, creates these 6.12 x 52 "Tatuaje Red Label," which Cigar Aficionado describes as "rich, toasty and earthy quality and that leather note found in many Tatuajes."

In an interview with CA, Pete Johnson said about the Garcias, "They’re like family. We kind of grew up with each other. We really made a life for ourselves by doing something together. They give me credit all the time and it’s a two-way street. I praise what they do. I think they’re phenomenal cigarmakers, and they take the time to teach me. They took the time to actually explain the history of what they did, and why they roll the way they roll. That’s why I made a commitment to work with them only."  We recommend you follow the link to check out the whole interview.

Anyway, Valentino proclaimed this Tatuaje Havana a fab morning smoke, which thankfully worked just fine, as I demanded cigar ignition soon after truck ignition, so about 9:30 in the morning.

Valentino looks like he's plotting world domination.
Or falling asleep. Why so early, mornings?
As all three caballeros oohed and ahhed over their cigars, I knew Valentino seethed inside.  Even though these guys are besties, he hated I gave away "his" most delicious cigars (a frequent occurrence). You'd think them the world's last few Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas ever ever ever. I promised him an internet visit to Famous for more! Wheeee! Tragedy averted! Internal conflict resolved!

Caballero #2, HerfMobile owner,***** driving.
Pinky swear his eyes were open during most of the drive.

Caballero #3. This was his second partaking.
I demanded he smoke one the previous week at Habanos:

We were listening to my brother's band, Shuttlecock,
which plays at Habanos every Wednesday.

Insert here a series of wonky images as the three gentlemen lifted and organized and planned and coaxed the humidors into the U-Haul. Picture me off to the side, sitting on the empty shop's front stoop, watching, for I am a delicate flower.

Now add more fun through a time-lapse activity montage and the new-to-us humidor is in place, cleaned up, and I, as house humidor manager, happily fill and organize this:

Soooo purty...and organized!
You can't see it in the picture--because it hadn't yet arrived upon the quick snapshot,****** but this is making its way to Casa Awesome:


By the way,  Tatuaje, Spanish for "tattoo" and created by Pete Johnson in 2003, is super fun to say. Repeat after me: "tat-oo-ah-hey." 

What's that? You want to know why tatuaje? Pete explains during that Q&A with Cigar Aficionado, "The name came about because Robby Levin, Carlos Fuente, Wayne Suarez, they all gave me the name 'Tattoo Pete.' I had tattoos, but my OpusX tattoo really stood out. I kept on looking at different brand names, then I thought 'let’s try Tatuaje.' People said you can’t pronounce the word, but I think it worked to my advantage. People would say, 'do you have those Tats? Do you have those tattoo cigars?'"

Soon enough, all three caballeros and I will have those tattoo cigars; I think they'll fit into that new humidor quite nicely, don't you?

*Really, not that much of an exaggeration.

**Me? Hoisted, actually, as the HerfMobile stands no less than one thousand feet high. A winch was required for loading and a slide for unloading.

***Kurt knew we were coming, obvs. We didn't organize a caper or heist, although it would have been hilarious had we done that, starting with me telling them to go in the wrong direction. Hilarious, I tell you.

****And Valentino's head exploded.

*****Although can someone really ever own the HerfMobile? More like the HerfMobile owns you.

******Obvs, I took the pic. Had Valentino used his mad photography skills, you'd still be gazing at the humidor's beauty and not reading this.


  1. Boy I would love to have one of those in my place. Looking good.

    1. It was all serendipity. Right place, right time. :)


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