Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue: Pete Johnson’s Four-Year Cigar
“It took me four years to make these,” says Pete Johnson. He’s talking about his Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue, a two-size cigar brand made from an entirely Nicaraguan blend that he debuted at the most recent PCA trade show. The cigars are on sale now.
Part of the long process was working on the blend, especially the wrapper. “I kept second guessing myself on the cigar, plus there was never a right time to fit it into regular production,” says Johnson. “After sampling it for a few years with Ecuador Habano claro, the Corojo ’99 shade-grown started to become ready for us to use.”
That Corojo ’99 is grown in Nicaragua on farms owned by the Garcia family of My Father Cigars. My Father also rolls the cigars for Johnson at its namesake factory in Estelí.
That leaf was first used by Johnson on his Miami Escasos series while he tested it on Verocú Blue. “Miami Escasos is smaller production, so it was easier to manage. I started to fall in love with the wrapper and realized I was glad I waited.”
The cigars are regular-production smokes that presently come in two sizes: No. 1 measures 6 1/4 inches long by 52 ring gauge, and No. 2 is 5 1/2 by 54. Both have suggested retail prices of $12.
“There is potential that I add one or two more sizes to the line that mimic the red label Verocú,” he adds.
The cigars have two bands, a bright red Tatuaje band and, beneath that, a bright blue secondary band that says “Verocú” in scripted type. The light borders on each give the cigars a patriotic look. They come in the understated wooden boxes found on many Tatuaje cigars.
“Luckily, I have a big portfolio now and I can wait to release things when they are ready. Not in a rush anymore,” says Johnson.
The original Verocú dates back to 2007, when Johnson made the unique move of coming out with a cigar brand with two blends, one for the Western half of the United States, one for the Eastern half.
Look for a rating in an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider.