Pete Johnson from Tatuaje has had some great releases this year, but the line that really caught my eye was the Fausto line. The line was definitely made to be full bodied and full flavored, and if you see the ad for it, posted above, you begin to understand it pretty quickly. The cigar really caught my attention because of the story behind it and the advertisement, and when I was able to pick them up last weekend when out of town in Washington D.C. I was very excited. A while back, Pete Johnson was asked by a retailer in Hawaii to make a cigar for the shop and he did, the cigar was called T110, and became incredibly popular on the island and all the way back in continental United States. The cigar was made to be entirely ligero, or mostly ligero, and be limited to 200 boxes. The cigar was incredibly strong and very flavorful. The Fausto line is the same exact blend as the T110, and is now available at large. The cigar begins with ligero tobaccos from Nicaragua, predominantly the Esteli and Jalapa region, and a Nicaraguan binder as well. It is finished with a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that has undergone the maduro process, and I am not positive as to whether or not the wrapper and binder are ligero as well. I know that cigars need to have some seco and viso tobacco in the cigar just so that it can combust well and evenly, but I am not sure on the breakdown for this cigar. Looking at the cigar, packaging, cigar band and advertisement, I love everything about this cigar. It is very Pete Johnson,very bad-ass. As a friend of mine would say, it is very “macho!” With this line, I wanted to review the two sizes I picked up. Both were absolutely beautiful, and I was eager to see how they would be. I picked up the FT127 and the FT153. The FT127 is the robusto vitola in the line and measures 5″ with a 54 ring gauge, and the FT153 is the toro measuring 6″ with a 50 ring gauge. Both cigars were rolled incredibly well and had a perfect triple cap finish. The cigars were very firm and were both covered in a beautifully dark and oily wrapper that was both silky and toothy. The aroma on both cigars is similar, and has aromas of coffee, cocoa, leather and barnyard.
As I light up the robusto, FT127, the cigar begins awesomely. It has a great amount of flavor to it and is very balanced. It is a powerful cigar, but it has so many great flavors present and blended so well that it is very balanced. I am picking up lots of spice, cocoa, nuts and earth, and it has a very long tasty finish. It is medium-full in body I would say, and it continues this way throughout the first third. The toro, FT153, is a little different in the beginning. I found that the toro was much stronger and though flavorful, it did not possess the great flavors from the robusto. The strength was definitely full bodied in the toro vitola and the flavors more medium than full. I picked up a lot of spice, rich earth and barnyard in this vitola, but not as much cocoa as I picked up in the robusto. Both cigars great so far, but the robusto is winning by a hair.
|Fausto FT127 (robusto)|
When I enter the second third of the robusto, FT127, the flavors are still incredibly present, but the strength has risen some as well. I would say the strength is now at about an 8 of 10, instead of the 7 in the first third. The flavors present have changed some, and now I am picking up some hay, cocoa and barnyard. The spice is still present, but it is a finish to the sweetness from the cocoa. I really do love the second third of this cigar, and if the cigar continues down this path it will definitely be box worthy. The cigar has burned perfectly to this point and has produced wonderful thick clouds of smoke. It is not harsh at all, but balanced and easy.
Kicking my ass is a term that can easily define the second third of the toro, FT153. The strength is now at an 11 out of 10, and not letting up. I am picking up lots of wood, hay and barnyard notes in this third with tons and tons of spice. There is a beginning spice of pepper, but finishes of Asian spices, so it is still very refined. The cigar is definitely elegant and flavorful, but also so strong. I have only had a couple cigars this strong in my career, and none of them as flavorful as this. The burn has been somewhat uneven in this cigar, but nothing that is major and noteworthy. Like the robusto, there is a ton of smoke, but it is not as smooth as the robusto.
I am in the final third of the robusto, FT127, now, and this cigar has put me in a better place. I will not go out on a limb and say this could be the final cigar I smoked, but it is pretty damn close! The flavors and strength are just so perfectly balanced that someone who prefers milder smokes could smoke it. Well, maybe not that case, but those who smoke medium body smokes could. It is showing an incredibly amount of flavor and yet the strength is just amazing. It is not too over powerful, but it finishes somewhat stronger than the final third. I am picking up lots of flavors at the end, hints of cocoa, nuts, toast, coffee, wood, leather and barnyard. It is incredibly complex and very enjoyable. I smoke the cigar down to the nub, and as I finish it, I notice that the cigar has burned evenly the entire time and that it has burned smooth and cool. I am in such a good place. I really don’t want to bother with this review anymore and just enjoy my time,thinking of that robusto. To be blunt, fucking shit! I haven’t had a cigar hit me this strong since I was smoking my first Camacho Corojo back in the early years of this sitcom. This cigar is rocking me around. I feel like I am sailing on the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria! The spices are just blasting me on my palate, and the strength is probably closer to a 12 rather than an 11. I have stepped away from the cigar now, rallied myself, and told myself what my brother says all the time. “Cowboy the fuck up!” The flavors are showing dark notes of chocolate, wood, and leather, but it is the spice that is dominating. There are some toasty notes with the cigar, but overall this cigar has gotten to be a strength bomb. I smoke it down to the nub, and when I am finished, I get the biggest glass of ice water I can. Maybe it was me, and maybe it was the cigar, but this cigar was packed with strength and some really nice flavors as well.
I thought both of these two cigars were great, but in the end, I had to go with the robusto, FT127. I thought the robusto provided more flavor and balance than the toro, but it still had the strength that the toro had an abundance of. If you want a cigar that is all strength then I would go with the toro, FT153, but it just lacked some characters in the flavor department compared with the robusto, FT127. I mean the toro, FT153 was good, but not a cigar I could smoke everyday. All in all I think this is a great line, and I can’t wait to try the 2011 Limited smoke, Avion 11. It is sitting in my humidor right next to my Digger (maduro), waiting to be smoked. With the Avion 11, he will be releasing a new size every year, but for this year he had a wonderful perfecto grande made, and I love this vitola. I have heard that it is a more balanced smoke and much more flavorful than strong, but I will see. I am going to give the FT127, robusto, a rating of 95 and the FT127, toro, a 92 rating. I thought both cigars were made incredibly well and at no point did they disappoint me, but the FT127 just brought a little more to the game than the FT1253. However, if you want a strong ass cigar then go with the FT153. It will definitely show you the meaning of strength and flavor!