It simply wouldn’t be Halloween in the cigar industry without a new Tatuaje Monster Series release, and in 2021, Pete Johnson didn’t disappoint.

For 2021, Johnson released two Monster Series projects; the first, a second release of The Frank, the very first release in the series from 2008. The second was a sampler called the Tatuaje Monster Mash that featured the first 13 Monsters in their original ring gauge but now an inch-and-a-half shorter, along with a 14th cigar, a new member of the Monster Series called the Monster Mash Creature. The name is a nod to the 1954 movie “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” and it is a 5 3/8 x 48 perfecto, the same vitola used for the Tatuaje Black Label Britanicas Extra. Johnson has not disclosed the full blend details of the Creature, only confirming that it uses a Nicaraguan double binder.

Tatuaje released 13,000 Monster Mash samplers, which shipped to stores during the second week of September. As with the entire Monster Series and the majority of Tatutaje’s portfolio, it is produced by My Father Cigars S.A. at Estelí, Nicaragua.

  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Frank (6 1/8 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Drac (5 1/4 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Face (4 7/8 x 56) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Wolf (6 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Mummy (6 1/4 x 47) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Jason (6 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Jekyll (5 1/2 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Hyde (5 1/2 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Krueger (5 3/8 x 48) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Michael (5 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Chuck (4 3/8 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Tiff (4 3/8 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Bride (5 5/8 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)

With the 15 new cigars for 2021, the Monster Series and its associated releases—like Monster Mash—include 71 different cigars released over 14 years.

  • 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 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 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 MBS FK (4 x 50) — June 2020 — 1,800 Bundles of 10 Cigars (18,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Frank (6 1/8 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Drac (5 1/4 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Face (4 7/8 x 56) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Wolf (6 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Mummy (6 1/4 x 47) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Jason (6 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Jekyll (5 1/2 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Hyde (5 1/2 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Krueger (5 3/8 x 48) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Michael (5 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Chuck (4 3/8 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Tiff (4 3/8 x 52) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje Monster Mash Bride (5 5/8 x 49) — September 2021 — 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Frank (2021) (7 5/8 x 49) — October 2021 — 5,000 Boxes of 13 Cigars (65,000 Total Cigars)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Monster Mash Creature
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Undisclosed
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Length: 5 3/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: $10.71 (Sampler of 1, $150)
  • Release Date: September 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: 13,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (13,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Tatuaje Monster Mash Creature comes in what I think is a great vitola, a 5 3/8 x 48 perfecto that is called the Britanicas Extra in the Tatuaje Black Label line. It’s more corona-esque than robusto-esque, and the tapers give it a bit more visual interest than a typical parejo. I also like the black-on-black bands, though it does come at the expense of the logo being easily visible. That said, a closer look reveals a glossy finish that makes them much easier to see. The tooth of wrapper immediately catches my eye, as it has more than you typically see on a leaf, and feeling the texture of those bumps reveals a bit of oiliness as well. The coloration is even, a darker than average brown with a bit of dark mottling and the occasional vein that is lighter than the rest of the leaf. It’s a firm roll with just a bit of give, generally consistent though there is one spot that I would otherwise describe as quite normal feels a bit soft in comparison. The roll looks good as well, with one cap just a bit off in terms of cut and placement, but given I’ll be cutting it off in a moment, I’m not bothered by it. Aroma off the foot is minimal, seemingly due to the covered foot blocking access to the full blend. What I do get is a light mix of chocolate, tree bark and spent coffee grounds, which while mild is enjoyable. The cold draw shows just a bit of firmness that feels like a result of both the covered foot and the taper of the head. There’s a bit of chocolate brownie crust and its distinct sweetness though I wouldn’t call the cigar sweet by any means.

The Tatuaje Monster Mash Creature starts with a profile that I would call familiar for Tatuaje, with a bit of black pepper, earth and some char—the last of those flavors a bit surprising so early in the process. Retrohales are also peppery with just a bit of sharpness, certainly manageable with only one cigar challenging that assessment. The first inch sees a bit of creaminess develop as well, an interesting and welcome development, though its lack of consistency in the samples creates some different starting points. When it’s not there, I find traces of chalk that suggest this could be a cigar with two starkly different experiences. Even though the taper at the foot is small, I sense the draw opening up just a tick when the burn line is through it, with smoke production increasing at the same time. As the burn line progresses it reveals an impressively white ash that gets a bit grayer with time but it’s still on the lighter side of the spectrum. If the profile is going to turn robust, it does so right around the one-inch mark, as one cigar gets earthy with more pepper and a lot more texture to the smoke. Even with that change, there is still some creaminess lurking around the profile, harder to find in some samples than others, but present nonetheless. The final puffs of this section can pick up a bit of chalkiness, the kind of flavor I occasionally find from Connecticut broadleaf-wrapped cigars, though again, the wrapper has not yet been disclosed. Thankfully, it’s not a consistent part of the profile. Flavor ranges from medium to medium-full, body is more consistent and medium-plus, while strength is medium. Construction and combustion are both very good thus far.

The chalkiness of the first third hangs on at the start of the second third, though it seems to be diminishing, which is certainly a good thing as far as my palate is concerned. When it’s not there—an even better thing by my palate—the Tatuaje Monster Mash Creature uses the creaminess to develop its next flavors, which draw on a bit of chocolate and reminds me a bit of chocolate milk. It’s a brief sensation as the pepper seems to have been ordered to step away just long enough for the flavor to register, and once it does, a gritty black pepper returns to the profile. The body has lightened up a tick or two, which seems to allow some dry firewood to first enter the profile and then the aroma, the latter of which is now quite good. The second sample seems particularly restrained when it comes to pepper, something I don’t notice during individual puffs but which hits me as this section closes out. There is still plenty of pepper to be found through retrohales should you want a bit more than just what hits the palate, but even the combination still feels quite balanced and measured. The other two samples are a bit more forthcoming with pepper, sometimes outright commanding the profile while other times in the lead ahead of the chocolatey earth that is setting the foundation of the profile. Construction and combustion are both very good, though I find myself needing to puff just a bit quicker at the end of this portion to keep the cigar burning. Flavor is medium to medium-plus, though moving towards medium-full. Body is medium-plus and strength is now medium-plus.

If there’s a section where the Creature seems ready to consistently be in full flavor territory, it’s the final third, which picks up the building strength of the tail end of the second third though doesn’t change the profile much, keeping it rooted in dry, peppery earth and giving the smoke a robustness that works the palate with texture on each puff. After the band comes off, a bit of the chalkiness returns in the first sample, and while it feels on par in terms of quantity with earlier encounters, it seems to now have a bit more bite and impact on the overall flavor. There is also a bit of nicotine strength emerging, as I feel just a bit woozy from the cigar. When the chalk isn’t there, the creaminess gets to shine and create the base of the profile, which is still earthy but has picked up a bit more woodiness upon which the black pepper sits. This profile, and occasionally a slightly sharper version of it, takes the cigar to its conclusion. Combustion is generally good though the first sample does need a relight as it seems the cigar needs to be puffed a bit more quickly than it did earlier, a lesson I take into other two cigars and which serves the performance well. Flavor is medium-full with some steps into full territory, body is medium-plus and strength is medium-full.

Final Notes

  • If you like the 5 3/8 x 48 perfecto vitola used for the Creature and the Tatuaje Black Label Britanicas Extra, it is also slated to be added to the Cabaiguan line in the summer of 2022.
  • I have generally been referring to this as the Tatuaje Creature, though it seems more appropriate to call it the Tatuaje Monster Mash Creature. I say that also because the cigar could well show up in a full-sized version; remember that the Monster Mash is a sampler of the Monsters in vitolas that are an inch-and-a-half shorter than the full sized version, meaning we could eventually see a 6 7/8 x 48 perfecto version that would be more appropriately called the Tatuaje Creature or Tatuaje The Creature.
  • This would not be the first time that a Monster Series release has debuted in a sampler. In 2011, Tatuaje released the Little Monsters which include Mini Mum before the 2012 release of The Mummy. In 2014, the Tatuaje Pudgy Monsters sampler contained the Chuck and Tiff, which had previously not been released as full-size versions.
  • There is definitely some strength to the Tatuaje Monster Series Creature, one of which was really strong while the other two were more moderately strong.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 10 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Corona Cigar Co. and STOGIES World Class Cigars carry the Tatuaje Monster Mash.
89 Overall Score

There was a bit of concern after I smoked the first Tatuaje Monster Mash Creature, as a pervasive, funky chalkiness dominated the profile, so much so it made me think of the less-than-ideal experience I had with the Tatuaje Reserva Broadleaf Collection from 2017. Thankfully the other two samples didn't suffer that same profile, instead, showing a profile that is much more in line with what I think of from Tatuaje, meaning plenty of Nicaraguan terroir and earthiness, plentiful pepper, and a robust overall profile. While that's plenty good on its own, the cigar shows some impressive creaminess and chocolate–both more than I would have expected—and which set very high marks for the profile. Construction was good if interesting by way of the second third being prone to needing some relights, but otherwise problem-free. I've never been one to maintain a running list of my favorite Monster Series releases, as other than The Drac they have all had mixed results for my palate and never eclipsed a number of the company's regular portfolio offerings. The Monster Mash Creature seems better than the average of previous releases, but more importantly, has me excited if this is the first time the undisclosed wrapper is being used by Tatuaje and what it could hold for future blends.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.