Since 2008 there has been another certainty in life next to death and taxes, the October release of the Tatuaje Monster Series. What started with The Frank has continued for 8 years with the release of the Tatuaje Hyde. With the exception of the second release (The Drac, 1,300 Dress Boxes) each release has seen 666 Dress Boxes which contained 13 cigars, and a growing number of plain boxes which rose last year to 4,500 boxes of 10 and remains the same for this years release; The Hyde.
For those keeping score at home:
- 2008 – The Frank (7 5/8 x 49)
- 2009 – The Drac (6.75 x 52)
- 2010 – The Face (6 3/8 x 56)
- 2011 – The Wolfman (7.5 x 56)
- 2012 – The Mummy (7.75 x 47)
- 2013 – The JV 13 (7.5 x 52)
- 2014 – The Jekyll (7 x 49)
- 2015 – The Hyde (7 x 49)
Cigar Review: Tatuaje Hyde
Size: 7 x 49 (Churchill)
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
The Look: The cigar which used a Cuban 109 style mold has a slight belicoso like appearance. The neon green band with white Tatuaje text denotes Monster and Halloween on the side the Pete Johnson initial logo in the back. The Sumatra wrapper is flawless with almost no veins and is mocha in color. The perfectly rolled Tatuaje Hyde has a nice weight to it and no soft spots.
The Notes: The aroma off the cigar is very cuban-eque with notes of manure (which is considered the ultimate compliment when it comes to tobacco), earth and cocoa. The cold draw of the cigar has some more cocoa notes with a touch of earth and a faint marshmallow like sweetness. Maybe its the psychology of halloween, but there is also the note of Necco Wafers.
Once the cigar is lit, the Necco Wafer notes I picked up are dominant on the first half inch of the cigar as they slowly progress to more of an almond like taste. As the cigar progresses there is a lot going on with a myriad of notes. As the almond fades some coffee begins to take control along with a bit of floral flavors. As the first third comes to a close there is some earth present as well.
In the second third of the Tatuaje Hyde cedar begins to develop and becomes more dominant as the cigar approaches the half way point. Almond lingers in the background along with some earthy notes and a touch of wheat. On the retrohale cocoa notes develop and some of the floral flavors remains with coffee on the moderate finish on this extremely flavorful smoke.
The last third of cigar develops a mint like note, that is especially evident on the tongue. There is also a lot of complexity here with notes of wood, dark chocolate and leather. The retrohale of the cigar enhances the wood notes to cedar and brings back some almond notes on the finish which also has an abundance of leather.
The Burn: The slow burning Tatuaje Hyde has a moderate combustion line that reveals a firm light colored ash that held for a quarter of the stick at a time. The draw of the cigar was a little firm on one of the two samples I smoked, though I was able to work through it. The cigar which burned slightly off-center at times never needed to be touched up and remained lit throughout.
The Finish: I don’t know about you; but I always compare the Monster not only to last years release but the series in general. While the cigar isn’t my favorite of the series, it comes very close. What it is however is the most complex of the series to date with a lot going on from the prelight until the time we put the cigar down. I don’t hoard cigars but if I did I would have a hard time keeping my hands off of these. One of the best Tatuaje cigars to date, the Hyde is worth tracking down and I suggest the purchase of multiple boxes if you can still find them.
- I got to smoke the Hyde last year when the shop I work at was part of the Unlucky 13 (stores awarded the dress boxes) and Pete Johnson was a guest on The Cigar Authority Podcast.
- When I smoked this cigar last year my notes said it was stronger than the Jekyll; for the first two-thirds I was questioning my notes.
- I’ve smoked every monster series cigar with the exception of the JV13.
- I’ve never gone crazy trying to get a dress box, ultimately its about the cigar not the packaging.
- The first third reminded a lot of the Tatuaje Frank which is my personal favorite monster release. It however has been a few years since I smoked a full size version of The Frank.
- I paired the cigar with a birch beer around the half way point.
- Smoking time was just north of 2 hours.