A Message from Pete Johnson

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A Message from Pete Johnson

Originally posted at New Havana Cigars and asked to publish here by Pete Johnson:

I wanted to write everyone a quick note and touch on some of the concerns revolving around the Tatuaje Drac and Tatuaje Boris Halloween cigars. Please understand that these are big concerns of ours also and we want to assure everyone there is an easy solution.

First: The cigars were finished months ago but the box maker in Nicaragua was delayed and was not able to finish both the Drac and Boris boxes until right before the release. Unfortunately for us, this is a themed cigar that needed to arrive at the retailers before October 31st. We in no way were trying to rush production just to move product. A Halloween cigar released after October 31st doesn’t make much sense. Due to the late production of the boxes, the boxes had very little time to air out the paint smell that comes with any lacquered cigar box. Once the cigars were packed, wrapped in cellophane and shipped to our office in California, the box locked in that smell. The boxes were dry but still contained the smell of fresh paint. The only way to avoid this is let the box sit open for a few weeks before packing the cigars in the box. As long as the cigars are out of the box the smell will dissipate and will not affect the flavor of the cigar.

I recommend to everyone that was able to acquire a box, to open the box first to see if they found a spooky ticket and then to remove the cigars and store them in your humidor. The box should be left out of the humidor for a couple of weeks to air out. This smell will go away. I understand that some people want to keep their boxes intact but this is the best way to resolve any questions or concerns about the smell.

Second: A few people have contacted me about broken cigars. This is something that is hard to control due to shipping and the handling of the individual cigars. As far as we know, the cigars did not leave the factory broken in any way but with the delicate nature of the wrapper leaf, it could have been something we missed during the packing stage or something that happened after it left our offices.

I recommend to everyone that was able to acquire cigars, to examine your cigars carefully. If you see any cigars that are broken in any way that you believe will be unsmokable, do not cut, light or smoke them. Please contact us immediately by email and we will arrange replacement cigars with the retailer that you purchased the cigars from. We will only replace them as long as the cigars are complete and we will need to receive the damaged cigars before we can replace them. Unfortunately, we are not able to replace cigars that have been cut, lit or smoked.

Thank you again for you loyal brand support and for enjoying our products. We strive to be perfect in every way for our customers and want to apologize to all that may have concerns with this year’s release.


Pete Johnson
Tatuaje Cigars Inc.
7518 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046


14 thoughts on “A Message from Pete Johnson

  1. This is one of the many reasons why his brand has become the number one asked for brand in the country. What a stand up guy to come out and address the concerns that many people had.

  2. what do you mean lee? In what other industry does the owner of a brand come out and not only admit they did something wrong but do something to correct it.

  3. First, kudos to Pete for HONESTLY addressing an issue and offering a solution for those affected. I bought two of the Borris at a local shop and noticed both the aroma issue and the cracked wrappers and to simply know that a brand is willing to replace a product without me begging and complaining makes me very happy to be a loyal Tatuaje smoker.
    Second, it is total BS that Altadis even begins to think that Tatuaje and Pepin are trying to cash in on the Montecristro trademark and image (see the CA website if you haven’t heard of this yet). But this just provides Pete and his spectacularly developed company to beat the purveyors of massive amounts inferior crap in court. I rarely smoke products associated with Altadis because they suck but now I will make a conscious effort to avoid their cigars. I hope others join me.

    1. I agree with you sentiments about what Altadis is trying to pull here with their lawsuit against both Tatuaje and Jose Pepin, And as far as the Drac cigars go regardless of the fact that the cigars were of inferior quality due to the paint aroma, or for that matter any problem at all, it is very comforting to see a owner like Pete come out and openly admit that he actually cares about how his products appeal and appear to his consumers and as well that regardless of the problem not neccesarily being his own company’s fault, he is nonetheless willing to put the work in to fix it and please them. God bless you Pete Johnson.

  4. I find it hard to believe that he didn’t notice the boxes came to him w/ a strong paint odor. I emailed Pete about it and he got back to me and basically said that the smokes did smell like paint but it didn’t affect the taste and that I was probably mistaken. No apology just that he was upset about the boxes and would address it online. Seems like he had hoped it would go away or that nobody would mention it. He then got so shamed today for not standing behind his smokes that he offerred to buy them back. Nobody will sell them back to him when they can sell them to a BOTL who would more than willing to do so at a premium.
    Not trying to flame. Just putting in my 2 cents. Enjoy your smokes.

  5. Lee, I could not smell the paint through the celophane wrapping on my box of Dracs. I could slightly smell it once I pulled it off and then I could noticeably smell it when I opened the box.

    That being said, on Friday I smoked one that had been out of the box for almost a week and sitting in my humidor (a single I purchased), and it had no paint smell. People should sit back and at least try Pete’s suggestion of airing them out. You’d be amazed what giving the benefit of the doubt can do.

  6. Stephen,
    I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. That’s why I haven’t given up on them by selling them or by completely writing off the brand. I will smoke another Drac and see if the taste improved now that they have been out of the box for over a week. If that is the case, then I will be just as zealous about spreading the (hopefully good) news.
    That being said, the Boris is a great cigar that I have had zero problems with.

  7. LMAO @ …is the number one asked for brand in the country…

    Is there a report or something to back up that statement?

    Grown men falling over themselves to get limited edition Dracula cigars. Is this really happening? WOW!

    1. Vince,
      A poll of Cigar Insiders voted Tatuaje “The Hottest Premium Cigar Brand In America” and yes, grown men are aggressively seeking the Dracs. When I picked mine up another person came straight in and asked for them by name and a person called in and asked how many the shop had (5). I wish I had picked a Tat out of my humidor for this afternoon (the Ashton VSG torpedo I WAS enjoying just split the wrapper and I have been patiently waiting to smoke that cigar for at least a year!)

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