Earlier this year, Janny García of My Father Cigars posted a picture of a new Tatuaje, Tiffany. The name was familiar for Tatuaje as it had been a possible Monster Series option for a while, but Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars/Havana Cellars quickly confirmed that it was not part of the Monster Series per se, but rather part of his upcoming Pudgy Monster Series.
Last year, Johnson began talking about a project known as “fat little monsters,” a take on the 2012 Little Monster samplers, which was a take on the über popular Monster Series. Tatuaje’s origins with monsters dates back to October 2008 when the company released The Frank as part of its Monster Series. The plan was simple, cigars based off of monster characters from films with names, boxes and even some times blends paying homage to each Monster’s respective personality. The series has become an annual thing, arguably the most anticipated and craze-filled cigar release of each year.
Given the Monster Series name, it should come as no surprise that the cigars themselves are large. As such, in 2012, Johnson created the Little Monsters to allow smokers to see how the first five Monster Series release performed in a smaller format. Pudgy Monsters, which is the final name for the “fat little monster” idea, share many details with the 2012 project, both are 10-count samplers, the boxes for both are rather similar, both began shipping in June of their respective years and more importantly, both are smaller takes on Pete Johnson’s popular Monster Series.
Five of the Pudgy Monsters share the ring gauge of the original Monster Series release and the length of the Little Monsters.
- Frank (5 5/8 x 49), based on The Frank (7 5/8 x 49) and Frank Jr. (5 5/8 x 44)
- Drac (5 x 52), based on The Drac (6 3/4 x 52) and Lil’ Drac (5 x 48)
- Face (4 3/8 x 56), based on The Face (6 3/8 x 56) and Baby Face (4 3/8 x 50)
- Wolf (5 1/2 x 52), based on The Wolfman (7 1/2 x 52) and Wolfie (5 1/2 x 48)
- Mummy (5 3/4 x 47), based The Mummy (7 3/4 x 47) and Mini Mum (5 3/4 x 42)
Last year, the company released The JV-13 (7 1/2 x 52) based on the character Jason. Johnson’s pudgy take on the JV-13 is Jason, a 5 1/2 x 52 cigar.
Each Pudgy Monster box has one of the aforementioned six cigars. The remaining four cigars are split up between two different 4 x 50 releases, Chuck and Tiff—based on the characters of Chucky and Tiffany from Don Mancini’s Child’s Play films, specifically Bride of Chucky.
With these releases, the Monster Series and its related releases, now stand at 19 cigars.
- Tatuaje The Frank (7 5/8 x 49) — October 2008 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars (8,658 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje The Drac (6 3/4 x 52) — October 2009 — 1,300 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars (16,900 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje The Face (6 3/8 x 56) — October 2010 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 1,300 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (21,658 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje The Wolfman (7 1/2 x 52) — October 2011 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 1,300 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (21,658 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Frank Jr. (5 5/8 x 44) — June 2012 — 10,000 Samplers of 2 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Lil’ Drac (5 x 48) — June 2012 — 10,000 Samplers of 2 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Baby Face (4 3/8 x 50) — June 2012 — 10,000 Samplers of 2 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Wolfie (5 1/2 x 48) — June 2012 — 10,000 Samplers of 2 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Mini Mum (5 3/4 x 42) — June 2012 — 10,000 Samplers of 2 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje The Mummy (7 3/4 x 47) — October 2012 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 3,100 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (39,658 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje The JV13 (7 1/2 x 52) — October 2013 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Frank (5 5/8 x 49) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Drac (5 x 52) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Face (4 3/8 x 56) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Wolf (5 1/2 x 52) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Mummy (5 3/4 x 47) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Jason (5 1/2 x 52) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Chuck (4 x 50) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 2 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Tatuaje Tiff (4 x 50) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samples of 2 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
(Note: The Wolfman features a band, the picture of that particular The Wolfman does not have one.)
The suggested retail price for each 10-count box is $95. There will be 20,000 boxes, which began shipping last week. Like the Little Monsters, the cigars are expected to be released in multiple shipments.
The color of the bands in the Monster Series has always referenced the monsters each cigar is based on, and the Chuck and Tiff are no exception. Johnson told halfwheel that the band on the Chuck blend is based on the blue and red outfit he wears in the movie, while Tiff’s white band is based on the color of the wedding dress she wears, along with red type to “tie her to Chuck.”
- The Frank — Green and black because of any old image you see of him.
- The Drac — Black clothing with a hint of red or blood.
- The Face —Human skin.
- The Wolfman —Brown because of fur but with a little red for blood.
- The Mummy — Gray because of old bandages and dust.
- The JV13 –– Red because of blood spilled.
- Chuck — Blue, based on the blue and red outfit he wears.
- Tiff — White because of the wedding dress she wears with red type to “tie her to Chuck.”
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Tiff
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Petit Robusto
- MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 10, $95.00)
- Date Released: June 18, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 20,000 Boxes of 2 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The Tatuaje Tiff is diminutive in size and covered in a golden brown wrapper that is extremely smooth to the touch. Although it is a bit spongy when squeezed for its size, it is not bad enough for me to think there will be a problem. Aroma off the wrapper is a combination of barnyard, hay, creamy leather and a touch of white pepper, while the cold draw brings flavors of somewhat light hay and leather.
From the first puff, the Tatuaje Tiff brings a substantial spice to the tongue that is hard to miss, along with dominant notes of hay, leather, nuts and creamy cedar. There is some very nice — and again, surprisingly strong — white pepper on the retrohale that sticks around for the entire first third, although the spice does start to die down fairly quickly, it is still strong enough to affect the profile directly. Every once in a while, I taste a faint honey sweetness, but it is not overly strong as of yet. Smoke production is well above average, but the overall strength is just not a factor this early in the cigar, ending the first third well short of the medium mark. Construction-wise, the draw on the Tiff is slightly more open then I personally like, but the burn is excellent so far.
Both the honey sweetness and the overall strength increase noticeably in the second third of the Tatuaje Tiff, along with more of a peanut note that continues to get stronger as the second third comes to a close. Other flavors flit in and out, including leather, grass, cedar, milk chocolate and the honey sweetness from the first third has increased as well, enough to positively impact the other notes. The white pepper on the retrohale and spice on the palate have decreased, but are still a fairly major part of the profile, while the smoke production remains steady. The burn remains excellent and the draw has actually tightened up a little bit, while the overall strength has also increased and ends the second third at a solid medium.
The final third of the Tatuaje Tiff features a profile very close to the second third, with hay, wood, coffee, leather, chocolate, and peanuts, although the honey sweetness has increased again. The overall strength has bumped up again, and ends the cigar slightly above the medium mark, and the smoke production has decreased slightly. The spice has finally decreased a bit, but the white pepper on the retrohale continues along the same path as he second third. The burn is razor sharp, and while the draw is still too loose for my tastes, it is well within normal limits. The nub gets a little hot with about an inch to go, forcing me to put it down a bit early.
- I smoked three of the Tatuaje Tiff as well as one of the Chuck to compare, and I prefer the Chuck, although not by a very large margin.
- Although the burn was excellent on all three samples, the draw was a bit loose on one out of the three. In addition, each of the three got quite hot with about an inch left, forcing me to put the cigar down much earlier than I anticipated.
- Johnson has said many times that he does not consider The Boris to be part of the Monster Series, which is why it is not in the group photo above. That being said, the band it used is rather similar to that of The Tiff.
- There are no plans to release the Chuck and Tiff blend in larger sizes. Chuck and Tiff were once rumored as possible Monster Series candidates.
- The selection of this years Monster Series has not been announced, although Dan Reeve of Cigar Press, who is about as reliable as they come as far as Tatuaje, hinted that it will be the rumored Jekyll and Hyde.
- The ash on the Tiff is extremely fragile falling before a third of an inch had formed.
- The bands on the newest release say “Pudgy Monsters” on the side, while the Little Monsters have “Little Monsters” on their bands. The larger version of the Monsters have “Monsters” on the side, although that did not start until The Wolfman.
- When asked about any similarities between the Tiff and the Cabaiguan blend, both of which used a Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Johnson said, “Definitely not a Cabaiguan blend. It’s blended fairly stronger.”
- The finish is creamy and nutty, along with a little sweetness.
- Being a photographer for many years, the first thing I thought of when I read the name of the cigar was that TIFF is a digital photography format.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Tatuaje Pudgy Monsters, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar is backordered at the moment, but should be getting more in next week, and you can order them here.
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Creamy, slightly sweet and nutty profile, if that part of the Tiff profile sounds familiar, it because it is. What I was not expecting was a significant amount of spice on the palate and an overt honey sweetness, as well as an uptick in strength. While the Tiff is well balanced, I found myself wanting a bit more complexity in the blend, and the fact that each of the three samples I smoked got very hot with about an inch left was slightly disappointing. While I enjoyed the Tiff blend immensely, I think Johnson makes a much better Connecticut cigar in the regularly produced, often overlooked, Cabaiguan blend.