While Tatuaje’s Monster Series was launched in 2009, it began to evolve in 2012, the year that the company released The Mummy, the fifth installment in the line.
Described as a cleaner looking version of the Black Label blend by Pete Johnson, the larger size used a Nicaraguan sun grown wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers, which was said to give The Mummy a slightly different flavor profile than the other sizes in the blend. For this release, the standard 666 dress boxes of 13 cigars were released, with a sarcophagus-inspired box that featured a familiar rendering of a mummified Egyptian body. Inside each box was a single cigar in the middle of the bundle that was completely wrapped in tissue paper, another nod to the cigar’s name, which comes from the 1932 film The Mummy.
Fans of the line didn’t have to wait until October to find out what the 2012 Monster was going to be however, as in the summer of 2012, Tatuaje released a new sampler called Little Monsters that contained shorter, skinnier versions of the first four Monster Series releases as well as the upcoming fifth Monster Series release.
The following is largely based on text from Charlie Minato’s review of the Tatuaje Skinny Wolf.
While the original plan for the Monster Series was to grow to 13 releases of large and relatively strong cigars named and packaged based on a monster from literature or film, it eventually outgrew those original plans and now includes three offshoot lines and a partnership with S.T.Dupont for limited edition accessories.
In 2012, Tatuaje released the Little Monsters, which included smaller versions of the first five Monster Releases. The blends were the same, though the Little Monsters were all rolled in 2012 and the cigars shrunk. For example, the Frank Jr. was a 5 5/8 x 44 version of The Frank, a 7 5/8 x 49.
The cigars did keep the same unique looks as their larger counterparts: Baby Face used a strip of tobacco instead of a band, Wolfie kept the brushed foot of The Wolf and the box-pressed original Monster Series cigars translated into box pressing the smaller versions. For Frank, that meant keeping the same sickly shade of green on the band with the Tatuaje script logo in dark brown.
Two years later, Tatuaje released the Pudgy Monsters. These cigars took the same length as the Little Monsters, but used the original ring gauge of the regular Monster Series, meaning the Tatuaje Frank was 5 5/8 x 49. Once again, the unique traits of the original Monster Series cigars carried over into the Pudgy versions, a sampler that included the first six Monsters Series release as well as two each of 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.
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 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)
As mentioned above, it was the Mini Mum that debuted first in June 2012, followed by the full size version in October.
- Tatuaje Mini Mum (5 3/4 x 42) — 2012
- Tatuaje The Mummy (7 3/4 x 47) — 2012
- Tatuaje Mummy (5 3/4 x 47) — 2014
- Tatuaje Skinny Mummy (6 x 38) — 2016
- Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Skinny Mummy
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo (Estelí)
- 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
The Tatuaje Skinny Mummy’s wrapper is a shade or two darker than a medium brown and has suggestions of chocolate, coffee and earth depending on the sample and in which light you look at it. Veins are fairly prominent, and the wrapper has a very fine grit of texture on the fingertips. It’s a well-rolled cigar, firm but with a bit of give and showing a straight roll despite the visual distractions of the veins. The pre-light aroma from the foot is a deep and dry wood, reminding me of fence boards at first smell before suggesting a couple different secondary notes: baked chicken breast with a decent helping of pepper in one; chocolate syrup in another. The cold draw has no issues with air flow, skewing too open when it does, though I find the flavors a bit lacking in the first sample, while red chili pepper flakes are dominant on the second, backed by a bit of cereal grain, with the best experience coming from the third, where there’s a more even mix of the first two experiences.
The Tatuaje Skinny Mummy opens up in one of two ways: the first cigar started with much less pepper than I expected, instead leading with a medium-bodied profile that is fairly neutral as far as standout flavors; there’s a bit of wood, wheat, and yes—touches of pepper, but the first inch or so doesn’t come rushing at any of the senses. The second sample was spicy, driven by the red chili pepper flakes I picked up in the sample’s cold draw and amplified by the heat of the cigar, a flavor that seems to morph fairly quickly into a slightly sour chalk note, while the third was a near perfect mix of the two previous, holding back but not limiting the pepper while giving the other flavors space to develop. Not surprisingly, the ash isn’t the strongest in the world, and I tap the first clump off just over half-an-inch in length. Soon after the pepper starts to build up a bit, particularly in the nose, where it is fuller and fairly blunt, while the tongue gets less in quantity but a sharper, more pronounced version. The ash begins to flower much more in the approach to the second third; while the first clump developed a bit of a crack, the second clump looks it was hit with a hatchet, though slightly off center.
Regardless of how the cigar started, the paths unify in the second third as a solid pepper note begins to emerge in the nose and on the palate. It’s fairly clean and forceful, but not so abundant as to completely overshadow a somewhat soft core of the smoke that has a very short-lived note of marshmallow. There isn’t much change in the Tatuaje Skinny Mummy approaching the midpoint, and while the cigar isn’t the most complex, it is still very enjoyable and certainly delivers plenty of pepper to the senses. Just past the midpoint I begin to get a very subtle green grape sweetness in the nose, and if you’ve ever had frozen grapes you’ll even further appreciate this new addition. A reduction in the pepper begins the transition to the final third, softening the overall profile while the burn line remains sharp and even, with plenty of smoke and a fragile ash.
After showing a much more peppery profile for its first two thirds, the Tatuaje Skinny Mummy takes an appreciated turn towards a slightly softer profile, though it is far from a letup in flavor. A very light earth note begins to show through, with touches of chalk and occasional cedar contributing to the complexity the cigar is showing at the moment. While there isn’t any outright sweetness, the finish does off a bit of orange zest that seems to be more a result of the flavor fading on my tongue than something the cigar might be trying to offer, but regardless it is still a very enjoyable addition. The final inch and a half sees the smoke get a bit fuller as the strength from the nicotine picks up quite noticeably, with one sample picking up a slightly bitter taste towards the very conclusion. The cigar has performed near flawlessly all the way through, only needing a quick relight due to an occasional distraction that results in me not showing it the attention it deserves.
- Like the other Skinny Monsters I have smoked, the Skinny Mummy struggled to hold onto its ash for any substantial length, getting to the point where I was more proactive in tapping it off than I usually am.
- Pete Johnson said he picked the gray and white design color scheme for the bands as a nod to “old bandages and dust.”
- Charlie Minato reviewed the Tatuaje Mini Mum in June 2012, Brooks Whittington reviewed the full size The Mummy in October 2012, and Brian Burt review the Tatuaje Mummy in July 2014.
- Wikipedia has quite a bit of information about the movie The Mummy, should you be interested.
- The Mummy was remade in 1999, with sequels in 2001 and 2008.
- There is another movie called The Mummy scheduled to come out in 2017, as well.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 15 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.
There was a bit of concern when the three samples started off in fairly different ways, but seeing the paths unify by the start of the second third was some needed reassurance that there wouldn't be too much variance in the consistency of the Tatuaje Skinny Mummy. While complexity isn't a word I generally associate with the Monster Series, there were moments where the Skinny Mummy had me reconsidering that assumption. The variance in expressions of sweetness kept my interest while the pepper commanded my attention from start to finish. Having not smoked all of the Skinny Monsters yet I can't declare a favorite, but the Skinny Mummy has made a valid case for itself.