Since 2008 I have had a love/hate relationship with Pete Johnson in the month of October just as I had a love/hate relationship with trick or treating as a child. Back in the day ringing the doorbell would create anticipation in hopes I would get a Hershey, Krackel or Kit-Kat and not a box of raisins. In 2008, I began chasing the Monster Series hoping to get a dress box each year. After The Wolfman in 2011, I stopped chasing the dress boxes and was happy just to get a box of the limited edition release.
For the 9th installment of the Monster Series, Pete Johnson pays homage to the Nightmare on Elm Street with the release of The Krueger and he uses a San Andres wrapper for the second time in the series. The last time he used the wrapper in the Monster Series, was a lower priming for The Face in 2010.
Cigar Review: Tatuaje Monster Series #9
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: San Andres (Mexico)
Ring Gauge: 48
Vitola: Box Pressed Torpedo (The Krueger)
Cutter: Lotus Jaws
Lighter: Black Label Domininator
The Pre-Light: The Tatuaje Kruegar comes packaged in typical non-dress box fashion of a simple cedar box and black stencil, where the dress box is stylized in the shape of a coffin utilizing the colors of Freddy Krueger’s famous sweater worn in the film, Nightmare on Elm Street. According to Wes Craven, the colors of red and green were chosen for that iconic item of clothing because the human eye has a difficulty recognizing the shades and it is subliminally unsettling. Those colors make it to the band of the cigar.
The cigar itself has a mottled coloring and features an abundance of oils. In the hand the cigar feels smaller than the 48 ring gauge at least to me due to its box pressed shape. The cigar is rolled and pressed to perfection with no seams visible. The wrapper has a few small veins and feels silky smooth under the fingers with a hefty weight.
The Notes: Once cut with my double-guilitoine cutter the initial draw is a bit tight, so I decide to cut off a bit more which opens up the cigar to a more acceptable level. At this point the notes are a subtle raisin like sweetness with a touch of mocha. The aroma off the foot is spicy though some lingering sweetness.
Once the cigar is lit, the first notes are black and red pepper. Before we get 1/4 of an inch in the grey ash drops, but holds firm after that instance. As the cigar smokes it opens up more and develops notes of cashews and a slight raspberry sweetness. The burn line is a little jagged, and I am sure those who are even-burn obsessed such as my friend Derek, will feel the need to touch it up on occasion. The retrohale of the cigar is smooth and I expected much more pepper then it revealed. In fact, the retrohale offers up a sweet raspberry like finish.
As the sweetness of raspberry begins to fade some notes of cedar begin to emerge which compliments the remaining notes of nuts. The pepper begins to ramp up especially on the aroma and it makes an appearance with a vengeance on the retrohale. The finish of the cigar is leathery with notes of cedar and it lingers until the next puff, so it is my reccomendation to keep a beverage handy when smoking the Krueger.
The last third of this offering from Tatuaje sees the pepper stay on the retrohale and aroma of the cigar, however some of the sweetness from the first third makes it back into the mix on the finish. The core notes are leather and cedar at this point, but the sweetness of the finish keeps things interesting.
The Finish: Every year I am hopeful that the Monster Series will take me back to my first, The Frank. We always remember our first and it is forever the benchmark that we hold others to. As is the case for me with the Monster Series. While the cigar is not the Frank it does rank up there in terms of the series. If I had to pick a cigar it reminded me of, that would be The Drac. The cigar stands on its own though and delivers. It is loaded with power and flavor, and a must have for fans of the series.