Way back in February of this year, our own Randy Carmichael smoked and reviewed the Tatuaje Cohetes Broadleaf Reserva. He explains what the word “cohetes” means and its significance in Nicaragua. He also had high praise for the broadleaf release. This made me very excited to try the other two iterations of the Cohetes: the Cohetes Capa Especial and the Cohetes Habano. This review will dive into the Capa Especial, because I’m a sucker for a good Sumatra wrapper.
The Cohetes were first released in 2006. There were subsequent releases in 2009 and 2013. Now, nine years after the last Cohetes release, Pete Johnson decided to bring them back for another limited run. He did the same thing in January of this year. The Capa Especial differs from the Broadleaf and Habano iterations by featuring an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Otherwise, everything under the hood of all three is the same: Nicaraguan binder and fillers. But which one is the best?
May 20 @1:00pm
Ice Mountain bottled water
63° & 45% humidity
HOW MANY CIGARS SMOKED:
RELEASE TYPE Limited
ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE January 2022
Typical Box Size: Boxes of 25
Production Totals: Unknown
o Short Robusto (4″ x 50)
The Tatuaje Cohetes Capa Especial’s band helps to differentiate itself from the other Cohetes releases. It has a dual band like the Broadleaf Reserva, but its second band is the Capa Especial band. It’s the same secondary band used on the Tatuaje 7th Capa Especial. That cigar also uses a Sumatra wrapper. There’s something about a company using the same bands to denote the wrappers that just feels right to me. It certainly makes it easier to find the wrapper you’re in the mood for in the humidor. However, the artistic side of me wishes for a little more creativity. The bands on all of the Cohetes, including the Capa Especial, are straight forward and to the point.
The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper is smooth to the touch and has a nice sheen of oily. It’s a shade of brown that is darker than caramel but not as deep as a Broadleaf. The caps on each cigar smoked for this review were expertly applied. Several veins are visibly running through the cigar. Each one firm, with just the right amount of give when lightly squeezed between my fingers.
The Sumatra wrapper is wonderful mix of wood and freshly cut grass; though, that might just be from the freshly mowed lawns in the neighborhood. The foot has a sweet smell, like that of fruit with just a hint of honey and clove.
The cold draw doesn’t seem to be too open or too tight. Almost perfect. Subtle notes of baking spices mix with touch of fruit are present on the cold draw. Sweetness lingers on the finish. Something on the cold draw reminds me of tablet candy; an almost sour citrus note that plays with the sweetness.
Black pepper stings my nostrils on the first few retrohales. A bread note dominates with baking spices and fruit lingering on the finish. The combination reminds me of toasted cinnamon raisin bread. These initial puffs remind me why I’m a sucker for a good Sumatra wrapper.
The smoke satisfying and thick with each draw. It’s a bit on the dry side to start with. I’m hoping this changes as I continue to smoke the Capa Especial.
>> Coffee, Baking Spices, Black Pepper
The first third begins with notes of coffee, baking spices, and toast. The honey sweetness is still there, but it’s being overwhelmed by the other notes. However, the baking spices and honey stay with me on the palate. It’s absolutely delicious. The citrus note from the cold draw lurks beneath the other notes and is barely detectable. A note of powdered chocolate begins to emerge. Black pepper rules the retrohale. There is a slight woodiness to the Capa Especial, but it plays second fiddle to the coffee and baking spices. The burn isn’t the most razor sharp thanks to to the wind, but the ash is compact and beautiful. There is a buttery note that really adds some depth. Midway through the first third and the wood note becomes the star. The burn seems to have self-corrected and is now razor sharp.
>> Earth, Fruit, Black Pepper
Espresso, earth, and forest floor begin the middle third. There’s still a touch of butter and baking spices on the finish. I am digging it. Black pepper is hitting hard on the retrohale. There’s a fruity sweetness still coming through, but it is masked by the dark and musty notes dominating the early part if this middle third. The ash, for its, part is holding on strong. But in one of the Capa Especials smoked for this review, a vein in the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper is not burning at the same rate as the wrapper. The ash falls, of course, as I take off the bands. This middle third has ramped up a bit, but it is still a medium profile.
>> Avocado Oil, Dark Chocolate, Baking Spices
Butter, wood, and black pepper herald the final third. There is still a mustiness to the Capa Especial, but it’s lurking in the background. Coffee and dark chocolate play in the background. The smoke is more dry in this final third. Baking spices and avocado oil linger on the finish. The burn line is less than razor sharp, but far from wonky. The earthiness from the middle third is back, as the dark chocolate disappears from the mix. A subtle fruity note is barely detectable on the finish. There’s a spiciness to this final third that begins to emerge. It seems to have replaced the butter note that had lasted through most of the cigar. White pepper is now on the retrohale. The Cohetes Capa Especial ends with notes of spicy chocolate, earth, and a hint of coffee.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
The Cohetes Capa Especial began with big notes of pepper and spice. Along the way it added notes of earth, citrus, fruit, butter/avocado oil, and chocolate. It ended with coffee, spice, and white pepper. The Capa Especial takes you on a ride. The flavor notes are pronounced while allowing you to find the subtleties underneath them. It’s a fine line to walk, but the Capa Especial walks it with ease. For a short vitola, it packs a lot of complex and complimentary flavors into it.
Each Capa Especial smoked for this review had minor burn issues. Whether it was caused by the wind or by a stem that ran down one side of the cigar, the Capa Especial always self-corrected. The smoke was always on the dry side. That’s going to have an effect on the scoring.
0.70 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.46 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.50 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
7.00 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.43 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
A SOLID SUMATRA.
As I said at the beginning of the review, I’m a sucker for a good Sumatra wrapper. The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper of the Cohetes Capa Especial is a solid offering from Tatuaje. The Capa Especial is full of bold flavors that still allowed me to savor the nuance and complexity of the cigar. While bold, the Capa Especial is still a medium strength cigar. To achieve the flavor profile without making the cigar full strength takes some skill. That’s what the Capa Especial is – a skillfully blended cigar that will make you wish it was a robusto or toro.