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As one of the more recently added cigars in Tatuaje Monster Series, The Jekyll doesn’t have quite as much history as some of the other cigars in the line, but it does have the distinction of being part of the only paired cigars when it comes to the full sized releases.

The Tatuaje Jekyll was announced in July 2014, shortly before the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show where the industry generally gets its first look at it. In a departure from previous releases, and with most people supposing that a cigar named Jekyll must be getting a cigar named Hyde, Pete Johnson had both cigars on display, complete with dress boxes than when aligned showed both characters.

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Released that October, Jekyll became the seventh release in Tatuaje’s Monster Series, a 7 x 49 Churchill that uses an Ecuadorian sancti spiritus wrapper over Nicaraguan binders and fillers. A total of 666 dress boxes were released—though Johnson is known to hold some back for his own stash—while 4,500 plain boxes of 10 cigars were also released, for a total of 53,658 cigars. The Jekyll bore a bone white band with green writing, which Johnson said was reflective of “the concoction that Dr. Jekyll whipped up and drank to turn in him into Hyde.” As such, the Hyde features the same colors in the inverse.

The Jekyll and Hyde are based on the dual-identity character of Dr. Jekyll from Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If you’re not familiar with the story, Dr. Hnery Jekyll is bothered by opposing of good and evil within him, and creates a potion in an attempt to suppress the evil that lurks inside of him. However, the potion does the opposite, transforming him into Mr. Edward Hyde, a hideously evil creature that shows no compassion or remorse for his victims. Jekyll continues to take the potion and Hyde grows in strength, so much so that the potion is no longer needed and Hyde becomes stronger than Jekyll.

Because of when the Jekyll was released, there was no Little Monsters or Pudgy Monsters versions produced, as those came out in 2012 and 2014, respectively. That means that the Skinny Jekyll, released in April 2016, is the first offshoot of this particular blend.

Tatuaje Monster Series Sampler Boxes

For the Tatuaje Little Monsters, the first five Monster Series releases were shrunk down in both length and ring gauge, while the Tatuaje Pudgy Monsterstook the same length as the Little Monsters but kept the ring gauge of the original release, and addd two new blends, Chuck and Tiff—cigars based off the characters from Don Mancini’s Child’s Play films, specifically Bride of Chucky.

Now, two years later, Tatuaje’s Pete Johnson has a new sampler of smaller Monster Series, this time, Skinny Monsters.

It’s a grand departure from the Little and Pudgy form, with the release largely based off the Tatuaje Black Label Petite Lancero. This time, every cigar in the sampler measures 6 x 38 and is round. The cigars feature a typical parejo shape, instead of a torpedo for the Skinny versions of The Drac and The Wolfman.

Tatuaje Skinny Monsters Box 1Tatuaje Skinny Monsters Box 2Tatuaje Skinny Monsters Box 3

A total of 10,000 samplers are being produced, containing one of each of the Skinny versions of the first eight Monster Series releases plus Chuck and Tiff. There are also plans to release 400 25-count dress boxes of each Skinny Monster. The dress box concept follows the regular Monster Series releases. Every Monster Series release has featured 666 boxes of 13—shaped like a coffin—that are specially decorated to mimic each release.

While the dress box Skinny Monsters do constitute special packaging, the boxes are based off of the Tatuaje Petite Lancero boxes, a vertical wooden box. In addition, these cigars will be sold at a later date—specifically the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in late July—as opposed to the regular Monster Series dress boxes, which are allocated largely to 13 different retailers each year with some other retailers receiving small quantities of one to three dress boxes.

In addition, Johnson has said that one of the Skinny Monsters may enter regular production.

With the Skinny Monsters, the Tatuaje Monster Series family now stands at 31 released cigars.

Tatuaje Monster Series Family

Tatuaje Jekyll & Skinny Jeykll

  • Tatuaje Jekyll ( 7x 49) — October 2014
  • Tatuaje Skinny Jekyll (6 x 38) — April 2016
Tatuaje Skinny Jeykll 1
  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Skinny Jekyll
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sancti Spiritus
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Petit Lancero
  • MSRP: $8.50 (Samplers of 10, $85)
  • Release Date: April 15, 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: 10,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar & 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Other than the band, there’s nothing terribly distinctive about the Tatuaje Skinny Jekyll that would give away its identity. The wrapper leaf has a bumpy and winding vein or two on each sample, slightly different than what you might see on another cigar but nothing out of the ordinary. The wrapper leaf has an almost textbook definition of the color of tobacco, fairly uniform and slightly darker than the average with a bit of sheen. It’s very well rolled, firm but with some give, a good indication of being properly filled and constructed, and with flat seams and a cleanly applied cap. The pre-light aroma has a wonderful green grape sweetness that stands out from the drier notes of wood and subtle baking spices, with one sample showing a pronounced mocha note that is distinct and enjoyable. The cold draw is a bit on the loose side in all three samples, with flavors making me think of a baker’s pantry: a bit of wheat, some baking spices and just a touch of pepper.

Immediately after lighting the Skinny Jekyll I am greeted by a dry, medium strength smoke that is almost exactly what I expected from the cigar given the pre-light aroma and cold draw: solidly neutral in terms of flavor with wheat and a bit of baking spices standing out, with varying amounts of cedar and a pinch or two of pepper and a draw that lets the smoke flow almost a bit too freely. The first retrohale is much more pepper-forward, though I have a feeling it’s more of a byproduct of passing smoke through the nose than really showing off that particular component, as it is thinner and more fleeting than the heavy black pepper that other Tatuaje blends offer. The building ash starts as a bright white before slightly graying, holding on respectably well for a petit lancero but destined to succumb to its eventual fate of dropping off just past an inch in length. The final puffs of the first third have developed quite a bit from where the cigar started and are quite enjoyable due to their complexity, blending all the previous more thoroughly while increasing the pepper just a bit as well as introducing some dry earth and woody undertones that provide depth to the nose, particularly through the retrohale, something that is a must-do to get the full experience of this cigar.

Tatuaje Skinny Jeykll 2

The start of the second third sees that complexity and depth become just a bit shallower, though it certainly isn’t lacking and is more a testament to just how good the Tatuaje Skinny Jekyll was able to get. The burn line continues to move swiftly through the cigar, though the draw does tighten up a bit around the midpoint as the flavor stay fairly steady; a duality of wheat and baking spice continue to be the most prominent things I pick up, while pepper in any form is almost non-existent. The cigar is a touch on the dry side, making me glad I kept some water nearby during each of the samples.

Tatuaje Skinny Jeykll 3

While it doesn’t come by way of a sudden influx, the final third of the Tatuaje Skinny Jekyll does add a bit more traditional black pepper as the body of the cigar begins to get fuller and offers a more substantial texture and mouthfeel. There’s a steady building in the body and fullness of the cigar, topping out at medium-plus or medium-full depending on your particular disposition, but never becoming a lasting powerhouse. The complexity found at the transition between the first and second thirds has yet to return, though the cigar offers plenty of flavor for the senses to dive into, just not quite as deeply. The flavors have stayed remarkably steady since the middle of the first third, not veering far off course until the final inch or so of the cigar when heat becomes more of a factor and adds a harsh, charred note to things, leaving a stinging finish on the tongue that proclaims the Skinny Jekyll has reached the time for it to be put down.

Tatuaje Skinny Jeykll 4

Final Notes

  • I made mention of the Frank’s bands in my review of the Skinny Frank as being some of the most memorable in the Monster Series; I certainly can’t say the same for the bands of the Jekyll, and if anything the color scheme doesn’t do much for me.
  • Every once in a while we will mention cigars having moments of near perfection, sometimes lasting just an all-too-brief number of puffs. The Skinny Jekyll has that in the transition from the first to second third.
  • Brooks Whittington reviewed both the original Tatuaje Jekyll and the Tatuaje Skinny Hyde.
  • Both the Tatuaje Jekyll and Tatuaje Hyde measure 7 x 49 while their Skinny versions both measure 6 x 38, further adding to the pairing of these two releases.
  • Wikipedia has a thorough history of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which dates back to the 1886 book and has been brought to the screen several times, beginning with the 1920 silent movie with John Barrymore.
  • Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde is cited as the inspiration for DC Comics’ villain Two-Face, who was originally known as Harvey Dent, former Gotham City district attorney who became a noted enemy of Batman.
  • Charlie Minato contributed to portions of the introduction, particularly the history of the Monster Series as a whole.
  • Tatuaje Cigars is a sponsor of halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 20 minutes on average.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler, Cigar.com, Corona Cigar, JR Cigar, Lone Star State Cigar Co. (972.424.7272) and STOGIES World Class Cigars (713.783.5100) all carry the Skinny Monsters.

88 Overall Score

It's been said before, it will be said again: I wonder how this would taste in a smaller ring gauge? In the case of the Tatuaje Skinny Jekyll, I found it to be a much more distilled and concentrated version of the original Jekyll but with plenty of familiar notes and by and large a strength and flavor profile that isn't overbearing. Heat seemed to play a factor in both sizes, so it bears mentioning to keep the cigar as cool as possible, which can be a challenge given its small ring gauge, but the payoff is pretty rewarding when you find the sweet spot where the Skinny Jekyll performs at its best.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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