Back in October of 2009, Pete Johnson of Havana Cellars/Tatuaje Cigars came to Dallas. While there he gave me a prerelease El Triunfador Internationals that had been out in the public at the time and asked me to smoke it. Well, I said, “Of course, as soon as I put it in my Vino for a week or two, and photograph it…” And he said “Nope, you have to smoke it right here in front of me”.
So, I said fine and went and photographed the cigar outside the store, which is why the photos look a bit different than normal. Then I smoked it and took notes while Johnson sat and talked to a group of us for a couple of hours.
Well, I kept ahold of those photos and the review, and decided to publish my thoughts when the release date got a little closer. It just so happens that about a month ago, New Havana Cigars started giving away samples of another vitola of the same blend, the No.4, a robusto, to customers who purchased some Tatuaje products and I happened to get a hold of one of those as well. So, I figured I would do a dual review of sorts. While the official review will be on the lancero, I will also be giving my thoughts on the differences between to two sizes.
There is quite a bit of informationx on the web about this cigar, some of it quite wrong, and since I seem to be the first blog to publish an official review I wanted to get it all right, so I emailed Pete Johnson with a few questions and clarifications.
As you may or may not know, El Triunfador, which means the winner in Spanish, is a 7 1/2 x 38 lancero that was released in September 2008 in limited quantities to select stores around the country. Dubbed the ghost cigar, it was hardly even talked about until after it was being sold. It is considered by many to be a good medium to full cigar, a sentiment I agree with.
In early to mid-2009, it was announced that Havana Cellars would be releasing an international only, i.e. not to be sold in the U.S. blend that would be using the same El Triunfador name, but would be a much milder blend.