Cigar Review: Little Boris by Tatuaje

  • LilBoris_straightVitola: Robusto-ish
  • 5.5” x 49 ring gauge 
  • ~$10
  • Purchased from Corona Cigar Company

Background

Tatuaje’s Monster Series hasn’t always gone as planned. The second year in The Drac was plagued by problems of lacquer not drying properly on the dress boxes before they were packed and shipped. That same year Pete Johnson began “The Actor Series” with the Boris, essentially a Frank (from the previous year), but using a different wrapper leaf. The Actor Series proved to be a one-and-done affair, with no Bela, Lon, or Gunnar showing up in subsequent years. When the Little Monsters collection came out, though, Pete decided to do a Little Boris…with Corona Cigar Company’s permission, since they already had a cigar they did called the Boris 11. 

That original Little Boris was a store exclusive for Corona, limited to 500 boxes. I didn’t think we’d see them again, but this year Corona got another batch of the cigars and I bought a box of 10. A week or so after I received my box, I was surprised to see 10 boxes of 10 show up at Burns, where I work. Apparently it’s not quite as limited a run this time and most Tatuaje dealers got 10 boxes. 

The Little Boris is made of Nicaraguan filler and binder leaves, along with an Ecuadorian Sumatra Rosado wrapper leaf. Corona is sold out…Burns is almost sold out…most places are sold out of this one already. Good luck getting your hands on it if you haven’t already.

LilBoris_boxPrelight

The banding for the Little Boris is based on the Tatuaje Exclusive Series bands, with the side arms of red, yellow, white and blue stripes, bordered with gold foil and black pinstriping. The center of the band here is black with gold foil type for “Little Boris.” It’s a sharp look for this series of bands.

The wrapper leaf was a medium brown with a little darker mottling and a slightly reddish tinge under some lighting. It had a slightly oily feel to it and smelled of cedar and barnyard. The foot of the cigar had a slightly stronger earthiness with a touch of chocolate to my nose.

After cutting, the draw was very good and the cigar tasted of earth and wood mostly.

LilBoris_waxFlavor

Lighting up the Little Boris, I immediately got notes of copper ringing above earth and cedar. The Sumatra wrapper was a strong influencer of the metallic flavor at the beginning, but I knew from smoking a couple of these previously that this wouldn’t be the dominant flavor for long. In fact, after just a few puffs, I started to get an increased sweetness in the flavor profile, in the form of tropical fruit. There was also a decent amount of pepper on the palate along with a tremendous amount of burn on the retrohale. As I went on in the first third, I got a nice mix of fruit and cedar, earth and pepper spice, with an accenting note of metallic mineral. 

In the second third, the sweetness got stronger with subtle chocolate notes adding to the fruit. Earth and cedar receded a bit, but pepper continued to be a characterizing note on the palate and nose. The mineral notes remained a background accent.

The last third of Little Boris was sweet and more chocolatey than ever with a great amount of pepper spice, along with a touch of cinnamon. It was all backed up with earth, cedar and copper notes.

LilBoris_angleConstruction

I had a very good draw, even burn line and solid ash up to an inch.

Value

For a limited edition Monster Series offshoot, $10 is a very reasonable price to pay, especially for such a good stick.

Conclusions

Little Boris turned out to be a cigar that changed my mind in one way. I have never been a fan of what Pete Johnson has done with Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper on Tatuaje cigars; they just never hit my palate right, displaying more metallic notes than I want. This one, though, is very well-balanced, with just enough copper to act as a highlight to the sweeter and earthier notes in the blend. I’m kind of sad that these won’t be available long term as I would add it to my regular rotation. My advice: get them while you can!

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

You may also like...