Null
Null
Null

If you thought that Tatuaje’s Monster Series ended with the release of The Chuck and The Tiff late last year—numbers 12 and 13 in the series, respectively—you would be no longer correct, sort of. While the original Monster Series might have ended with 13 releases, the Monster Series family received another addition earlier this year.

But first, a bit of background on the Monster Series from my review of The Tiff last year:

Null

The Monster Series started in 2008, right around the time that Tatuaje essentially became a household name in the American cigar world. The concept centered around Halloween, more specifically the monster characters from both films and books. Pete Johnson of Tatuaje decided to make cigars based on some of those characters. The cigars would be large, would come packaged in boxes shaped like coffins and decorated to coincide with the specific monster.

In keeping with the Halloween theme, there was also a darker theme to many of the numbers associated with the release. Those boxes would contain 13 cigars, each priced at $13. Tatuaje would only release 666 of those boxes to retailers, the bulk of which went to 13 retailers who received 31 of each box. Most importantly, there would be 13 releases as part of the Monster Series.

While the 13 cigars would share many of the same details, the blends are different. Some are based on existing Tatuaje lines, while others are believed to be unique.

When Tatuaje released The Frank in 2008, there was an expectation—confirmed at various times through the years by owner Pete Johnson—that there would be a total of 13 members of the Monster Series. After the release of the Little Monsters sampler in 2012, that tenet has morphed into the idea that there would be only 13 “full-sized” Monsters, as evidenced by the huge number of subsequent smaller, thinner and sometimes thicker releases incorporating the same blends that have been sold. 

Enter the MBS FKwhich stands for Monster Bomb Squad-Freddy Krueger—a 4 x 50 petit robusto that features both a covered foot and a long pigtail protruding from the cap. As the name suggests, the blend is similar to The Kruger, released in 2016, which carried a moniker that was based on the Freddy Krueger character from Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street movies.  That specific blend is made up of a Mexican San Andrés wrapper covering a double binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, although Johnson told halfwheel that this version of the blend is a bit more powerful than the original version.

Unlike any of the previous Monster Series releases, the MBS FK was packaged in bundles of 10, with each cigar carrying a retail price of $8.50 per cigar before taxes. There were only 18,000 cigars produced and they started shipping to retailers in mid-June.

  • 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 Samplers of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Drac (5 x 52) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samplers of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Face (4 3/8 x 56) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samplers of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Wolf (5 1/2 x 52) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samplers of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Mummy (5 3/4 x 47) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samplers of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Jason (5 1/2 x 52) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samplers of 1 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Chuck (4 x 50) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samplers of 2 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Tiff (4 x 50) — June 2014 — 20,000 Samplers of 2 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Jekyll (7 x 49) — October 2014 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Hyde (7 x 49) — October 2015 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Frank (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Drac (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Face (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Wolf (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Mummy (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Jason (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Jekyll (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Hyde (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Chuck (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Tiff (6 x 38) — April 2016 — 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Krueger (7 1/4 x 48) — October 2016 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 5,000 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (58,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Frank (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Drac (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Face (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Wolf (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Mummy (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Jason (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Jekyll (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Hyde (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Chuck (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Cazadores Tiff (6 3/8 x 43) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Frank (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Drac (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Face (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Wolf (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Mummy (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Jason (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Jekyll (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Hyde (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Chuck (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Tiff (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje The Michael (6 1/2 x 52) — October 2017 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Bride (7 1/8 x 49) — October 2018 — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Chuck (5 7/8 x 52) — October 2019 — 700 Boxes of 13 Cigars & 2,190 Boxes of 10 Cigars (31,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Tiff (5 7/8 x 52) — October 2019 — 700 Boxes of 13 Cigars & 2,190 Boxes of 10 Cigars (31,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje MBS FK (4 x 50) — June 2020 — 1,800 Bundles of 10 Cigars (18,000 Total Cigars)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje MBS FK
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Short Robusto
  • MSRP: $8.50 (Bundle of 10, $85)
  • Release Date: June 18, 2020
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,800 Bundles of 10 Cigars (18,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

A dark espresso brown wrapper adorning the Tatuaje MBS FK that is both rustic and relatively smooth to the touch, but there is very little oil to be seen. The cigar is quite firm when squeezed and features a closed foot as well as a long pigtail, both of which are nice visual touches that look extremely attractive. Aroma from the wrapper and foot is a combination of strong dark chocolate, earth, leather, cocoa nibs, sourdough bread, generic nuts and raisin sweetness while the cold draw brings flavors of earth, leather, hay, tree bark, peanuts, cedar and slight spice on my tongue.

Lighting up the wrapper that covers the foot of the MBS FK gives me a blast of earth mixed with caramel sweetness, both of which fade a bit as the flame hits the actual foot of the cigar. From there, the profile is easily dominated by a combination of bitter dark chocolate and dried tea leaves, followed closely by notes of peanuts, freshly roasted coffee beans, earth, leather, cocoa powder and a light floral flavor. In addition, the caramel sweetness from the initial puffs gains strength on the retrohale—mixing with quite a bit of black pepper as well as some slight spice that is still present on my tongue—while the finish is full of a distinct jalapeño pepper on the finish. The draw is excellent from the first puff with just the right amount of resistance after I do nothing but pull the pigtail off of the cap, and while the burn is decent so far, it is far from razor-sharp at this stage. Strength-wise, the Tatuaje is a bit lighter than I expected to start but does increase enough to reach a point closer to medium than mild by the time the first third is finished.

As the second third of the new Tatuaje begins, the profile is becoming a bit creamier on the palate, with flavors of cedar and dark chocolate take over the top spot. Lesser notes of earth, peanuts, espresso beans, dried tea leaves, cinnamon, hay and slight floral flit in and out, but the jalapeño pepper on the finish is relatively unchanged. The amount of caramel sweetness on the retrohale increases dramatically compared to the first third, but the level of both the spice on my tongue and the black pepper is noticeably reduced. Construction-wise, the draw continues to give me no issues, but the burn becomes bad enough to need touching up—albeit just once—while the strength increases noticeably, ending the second third firmly in the medium range.

The profile of the MBS FK shifts again during the final third, specifically to a combination of creamy peanuts and bitter dark chocolate. Additional flavors of cinnamon, coffee beans, earth, leather and hay ebb and flow in different amounts, while the jalapeño pepper on the finish starts to fade slightly. In addition, the caramel sweetness on the retrohale is at about the same level as the second third, while the black pepper reduces slightly. Overall, the construction continues to impress, with an excellent draw and a burn that evens up nicely, while the strength hits a point just past the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch remaining.  

Final Notes

  • Johnson told halfwheel that future additions to the MBS line are “up in the air but the plan is to have them.”
  • Over the years, I have been conditioned to think that any cigar around this size with a long pigtail that has been glued under the band and a covered foot is an addition to New Hampshire-based retailer Two Guys Smoke Shop’s Firecracker Series. Having said that, the vast majority of the releases in the Firecracker Series have measured between 3 and 3 3/4 inches, albeit in the same 50 ring gauge.

  • Speaking of the pigtail, when there is one on a cigar I am smoking, I usually just put the pigtail off instead of cutting the cap, as I find that usually gives an almost perfect draw. That was the case with the MBS as well, although I was surprised at how small the resulting hole was.
  • At 4 x 50, this is actually not the shortest Monster to date: it actually shares that title with the Chuck and Tiff, both of which were released in 2014.
  • As I mentioned in my review of The Krueger, each of the bands on the Monster series cigars— and especially the colors of the bands—are representative of the specific Monster Series they are attached to. In an email, Johnson told me that the red lettering on a green background is meant to invoke Freddy Krueger’s signature sweater that he wears in the movies.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged one hour and two minutes for all three samples.
90 Overall Score

Even after all of these years of smoking and reviewing cigars, I am constantly surprised at how different a blend can taste when put into a different vitola. Sure, Johnson told us that this version was a bit amped up—which checks out, as it is slightly stronger than I remember The Kruger being—but that does not explain the brand new distinct jalapeño pepper note on the finish that permeates the profile or the more dominant dried tea leaf note. In the end, the MBS FK is not only a very good cigar in a great size but also a worthy addition to a legendary series.

Null
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

Related Posts

Null