Tatuaje once again came to PCA ready for some heat…and not just the heat of Las Vegas in July. Tatuaje has some celebrating to do on multiple fronts, but I promise I will get to that in a minute. Pete Johnson and Co. came back to the show for the third year in a row using the smaller booth that they have used since down scaling from their previous design. Featuring an all-black design with the PHJ logo in the center of the booth in all white really stands out when you first enter the booth.
As has also been the case since 2021, all of the newest products are on display in elevated glass display cases towards the middle of the booth near a bar counter that is towards the back. This is the place you go for cigar samples and well…maybe just maybe…some of Tatuaje’s Willet Family Estate barrel pick bourbon – if you are lucky.
In its own display case in the back right corner, was perhaps the biggest thing that Tatuaje had announced going into the trade show, the Anarchy NFT being done in collaboration with Abe Dababneh and Smoke Inn. Anarchy was a micro-blend store exclusive to Smoke Inn that many call the greatest of all time. Due to its extremely limited and high demand nature, Pete and Abe thought it would be perfect to use as the basis of an NFT release much like the one that LFD did last year.
I won’t go into the full scope of the NFT, you can read about that here. But to see it on display and getting to see the size of the humidor was interesting. It was slightly larger than I had expected then again it was designed to hold multiple bundles and some accessories. The blend of the Anarchy NFT uses a Nicaraguan habano wrapper, with an undisclosed Claro on the Pale Horse variation, and binder and fillers from Nicaragua. It also only comes in one size, a 6 x 54. Only 6 of the 7 NFTs will be auctioned, number seven will be kept by Abe at the Smoke Inn store. These are set to be auctioned on the NFT selling platform UREEQA later this month.
It has been twenty years since Peter Hassel Johnson started a brand named for his love and affection for tattoos. It has also been twenty years since the opening of My Father cigars, which is where Tatuaje’s cigars are manufactured and is owned by Pete’s wife Janny and father-in-law Don Pepin Garcia. But more on that milestone later. In terms on Tatuaje, Pete brought with him the Tatujae 20th to PCA 2023.
Tatuaje 20th will feature Ecuador habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. It will come in two vitolas: Grande Merveille (6 1/8 x 46) and Grand Chasseur (6 3/8 x 54). These will retail from $13 and $14 per cigar, respectively and will be a regular production.
In addition to these two, Pete also had a different version of the Tatuaje 20th at the booth that was also accompanied by ceramic jars featuring the PHJ and Tatuaje logos. We are told these do not currently have a date of release. The jars you see in the photo are not what we will see in the future as these were created specifically for the Tatua
je retailer dinner and Pete has said he is still working with them. These also feature an Ecuador habano wrapper albeit a bit lighter and Nicaraguan binder and fillers. It also features a blue and white band versus the black and gold band on the two cigars we talked about before.
Pete’s brother K.C. Johnson is spear heading a homage to his dog, Roxy, who recently passed away. For this, the L’Atelier Roxy will debut in two variations, one with an Ecuador Sancti Spiritus wrapper and one with a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper, both over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. Both will come in a smaller vitola measuring 3 1/2 x 50 and will ship as a box of 20. Each cigar will retail for $8 and is a regular production. These begin shipping this month.
(Not Pictured) Surrogates celebrated 10 years last year at PCA 2022 with the Big Ten which debuted as a limited production item. This year, it is being released as a core line regular production item. Big Ten uses Ecuador Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers and is available in only one robusto size called the Britanicas Extra (5 1/4 x 52). Big Ten has an MSRP of $9.50 per cigar and will also ship this month.
As per what seems to be the norm these days for Tatuaje, the also had on display their 2023 PCA Exclusive which features an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The TAA version (not pictured) was also on display and is usually the Connecticut Broadleaf counterpart to the PCA version. Tatuaje will also make a donation to each of these organizations, vowing 50 cents per cigar sold or $25,000 to both the PCA and the TAA. They are both available in one size, 6 3/8 x 54 and retail for $15. 2,500 boxes of each version will be made.
Also not pictured are the Tuxtla versions of the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary, Belle Encre Tuxtla (5 3/4 x 48) and Bon Chasseur Tuxtla (5 3/4 x 52) which will each be limited to 2,500 total boxes and continue the trend that Pete started recently by adding a Mexican San Andreas wrapper to some of his existing lines. These have both already begun shipping to retailers.
Be sure to watch our interview with Pete Johnson from PCA 2023 below.
Born and raised in New England, Matthew Tabacco began smoking cigars and living up to his unique namesake in 2017. What began as just a social indulgence became a world of everything premium cigars- learning from some of the biggest and best in the business. From casual smoking to lighting up on the hit podcast The Smokin Tabacco Show, Matthew can usually be found in some of the largest smoke shops in the Northeast enjoying a cigar, talking business, or preparing for a show.