Today we’re looking at our next to last Tatuaje Pudgy Monster review, the Tatuaje Jason. Originally released for the Monster Series as The JV13, Jason is the first smaller iteration that this blend has received since it hit the year after the Little Monsters were released. Getting a robusto treatment, the smaller Jason actually shares dimensions with the Wolf, though their shapes are different.
(Editor’s Note: Rather than rewriting history seven times, we’ve included the same basic history of the Monster Series across all eight reviews.)
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.
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)
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Jason
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 10, $95.00)
- Date Released: June 18, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 20,000 Boxes of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
I know that the goal of the Monster Series cigars is to look a little gnarly and rough around the edges, but each version has varying degrees of ruggedness. The Jason leans a little more towards this goal with an extremely dark brown, toothy and veiny wrapper. The texture is rough to the touch and slightly oily feeling. There are a couple of minor soft spots, though my early guess is they won’t affect the burn. The bright red band is a great contrast against the dark wrapper and gives the cigar an appealing look. There is a rich barnyard and cocoa aroma coming off the wrapper while the cold draw is a wonderful rich dark chocolate alongside some spice and sweet pepper.
The first third starts out with more huge dark chocolate notes combined with a bit of black pepper on the tongue and some sweet spice. Overall the profile is quite earthy, with a healthy amount of pepper that somehow isn’t overwhelming. The draw is a little bit loose, but not unmanageable. While the extremely light grey ash is holding on well to an inch, the first section started splitting in half from the foot. I think the burn suffers a little from the split as I’ve had to do a couple of touch ups, but nothing serious. Each draw brings large clouds, inundating my senses with sweet and peppery smoke.
The second third sees a mellowing of the pepper, though the sweet spice, dark chocolate and earth are still present. In the background are some minor notes of leather and creme brûlée – basically a bit of vanilla with a toasted sugar sweetness. The burn isn’t a razor sharp line, but is burning quite even and nice now. The black pepper continues to fade while the dark chocolate and earth dominate. Leather, vanilla, spice and an overall sweetness continues to play in the background, complimenting the dominate notes nicely.
Moving into the final third the profile hasn’t changed much, though the pepper hasn’t disappeared completely like the trend would have suggested. Gritty dark chocolate and earth notes are still at the forefront, with the rest of the flavors are still minor but present. The burn has gone slightly wonky again, but a quick touch up resolves the issue. While the ash in the second third was fairly solid, the final third’s ash is slightly flaky, making a bit of a mess everywhere. Wrapping up the cigar the profile stays strong to the end without deteriorating or getting harsh. At the end I’d place the cigar’s strength at about a medium-plus.
- If you’re keeping track, Pete Johnson is right on track to release another modified Monster Series sampler in 2016 – with the Chuck and Tiff and the upcoming Jekyll and Hyde releases, if one cigar of each was released it’ll make a nice round 10 count box.
- Charlie Minato speculated what else could be done with this release, perhaps a slightly modified blend. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a Skinny Monster release – a lancero size for each of the Monster Series blends.
- The samples I smoked of the Jason each had some construction issues, though nothing catastrophic. One required a little more touching up while the other had some off and on flaky ash that made quite a mess all over the place. I wouldn’t say either had their flavors impacted much, if any.
- I’ve only gotten the chance to smoke one of The JV13s from last year, and I smoked it right around release. Not remembering much detail I compared this review to Brooks Whittington’s JV13 review and it seems quite similar.
- The samples for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged a little over an hour and 45 minutes.
- Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. carries the Pudgy Monsters. If they are backordered, check back later.
Leave a comment in any of our (to-be) eight Pudgy Monster reviews to be eligible to win a Pudgy Monster sampler. You can enter up to eight times, once per review. The winner will be announced on Aug. 9, a week after our final Pudgy Monster review is published. Contest rules are here.
I really enjoyed the Jason, in fact I think it might be my favorite release in the box, edging out the Mummy by just a hair. The minor construction issues were a little annoying, but the flavor profile shined brightly enough that I hardly noticed it. The rich dark chocolate paired with the earth, spice and overall sweetness created a profile that really hit on all cylinders for me. There was also enough development throughout the cigar that things stayed interesting, changing just enough to keep things different while not straying from the enjoyable notes enough to get weird. The good news is that you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the Pudgy Monsters in stores since they’re still shipping, so when you find a box I can easily suggest picking it up.