Wrapper is a beautiful dark chocolate brown, with some small veins and good seams. The pack is dense and uniform from top to bottom. Giving a good sniff, there is an excellent sweet tobacco and light spice note. One clip from the cc perfect cutter produces a fairly tight draw. I forgo the second cut at this point.
The toast is quick and easy, producing decent smoke, a good pepper, and dry tobacco. I decided to go ahead and give it the second clip... It opens up to a perfect resistance and the smoke output responds as expected. A bit of a run on the one side is keeping my eye, but so far, all is well.
Through the first third, the profile stays on a pepper and leather core with some touches of sweet tobacco and hints of cocoa powder here and there. The mouth feel is dry and leaning toward parched. As it heats up, the profile mellows, melding the initial flavors well and the burn starts to even out. The finish eases up a bit, and fades rather swiftly. The ash is darker grey and a bit flakey. Even so, it refuses to budge when tapped. Smoke is a bit spicy hot in the nose and needs to be retro-haled with respect. Doing so produces a nice bright, yet deep and sweet bouquet of spice notes.
Moving into the 2nd third, the burn remains evened out without any help and the ash continues to hold strong. The flavors shift very smoothly, dropping off the pepper while bringing in sweet spice notes on the leathery draw and a bit more depth and tingle in a light coffee finish. The ash falls on its own near the transition point, nearing 45 minutes in.
The flavors continue to deepen as the middle burns down in both the draw and finish. The sweet forefront is pulling back. There are excellent deep spices and hints of peppery wood sitting in the background of the nose. The flavors are extremely smooth headed into the last third. The ash again falls on it's own at the transition point, coming up on the first band.
Deep Sweet spices dominate the profile here. The draw and finish produce a plentiful, well balanced presentation. Through the nose, there is a continued balance of wood that stays in the background. The overall flavor is reminiscent of the last third in a La Flor Oscuro. The strength has crept up, and I can feel it in the chest, but not in over-bearing fashion. The profile is maintained, growing in intensity on the draw and finish, with the woody notes moving forward to replace the sweetness, matching the deep spices. Eventually, they make their way to the forefront, marking a nice final transition to bring the stick to a close.
This was a really nice stick. Honestly, it was not what I was expecting. The typical Tat boldness was quite subdued, which isnít a bad thing necessarily. The flavors were very smooth and balanced throughout, with a lasting focus on the sweet and spice, and a nice building shift throughout the last two thirds. The profile never strayed too far in any one direction, although the move into the 2nd third of the smoke marked a significant shift into the sweet tobacco notes. I paid $10.50 for this cigar, and feel that I got my $$ worth out of the 1 hour 45 minute burn time. Even so, there are several smokes I would probably nab before picking up more of these. Personally, I prefer the 2003 profile. I have yet to procure a 2006, so I will be on the lookout.