For the last 7 years cigar smokers have gotten to feel like kids again with the annual Halloween release of the Monster Series from Pete Johnson. This year it is part one of a two part collection with the Jekyll, and in 2015 it with be the Hyde. This past weekend I got to smoke both on The Cigar Authority where we had Pete Johnson as a guest.
At night, he headed over to Two Guys Smoke Shop in Nashua for a dinner, that featured a Q & A, and during that dinner he shared with us how he wishes that he could just pull the plug on the Monster Series, but the consumer and his sales reps keep him going with the project that will end with Bride of Frankenstein when he does decide to close the door on the Monster Series.
Cigar: Tatuaje Jekyll
Size: 7 x 49 Churchill
Wrapper: Sancti Spiritus (Ecuador)
The Look: The wrapper that adorns the Jekyll is Sancti Spiritus and it sounds like it is made up for Halloween, but the name is actually derived from a town in Cuba. As for the tobacco, according to Pete Johnson, it is a cross-breed between Pelo De Oro, and Criollo ’98 that was grown by Oliva Tobacco in Ecuador. The wrapper has a few veins that aren’t large per say, but they do stand out. There is a nice amount of oils present and the cap looks like a baby Belicoso instead of a traditional Churchill. In the hand the cigar is firm with a spongy foot and a nice weight to it. The band of white and lime green is difficult to read but it is a nice color scheme in the sense that it was pleasing to the eyes.
The Notes: The cold draw reminds me of a cross between cayenne pepper and the powder on Wise BBQ potato chips. The nose of the cigar has a sweetness to it mixed with some subtle spice experienced on the cold draw. Once the cigar is lit there is an abundance of spice through the nose and a subtle gingerbread on the palate.
In the second third of the Jekyll, there is some continued spice especially though the nose and the gingerbread note becomes more along the lines of a ginger snap with a slight graham cracker. As the spice begins to fade there is a floral like sweetness that begins to take hold.
In the last third of the Tatuaje Jekyll, there is a sweetness that is floral with a touch of caramel. With the exception of the lingering spice the cigar is more medium, but I’ll leave it listed as Medium-Full due to that pepper like note that is very much the signature of My Father Cigars where these cigars are made. There little bit of lingering graham cracker and gingerbread on the finish making this a very enjoyable smoke.
The Burn: Considering I smoked these right when they came in after spending 6 days in transit, the burn featured a thin burn line and a near perfect burn. The draw was fluid, with a nice amount of smoke production. The ash was a light to medium gray and it held on well. I put a couple away and plan to revisit this cigar again in a couple of months.
The Finish: The first question people ask was how was it, the cigar was great. Is it the best Monster release to date, my answer is no. That will always be the first one I had, The Frank. Where does this rate, I will leave up to you, but it is a solid smoke with some nice complexity and subtleties that have me wanting to smoke another. If you pressed me I would probably list it as #3 of the 7 releases. On the radio show I got to smoke the Hyde which was stronger than this, with a Sumatra wrapper. The two cigars fit the names very well.
Price: $13.00 Single / $129.00 Box