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One of the mainstays of Tatuaje special releases is the Monster Series, which started in 2008 with The Frank, a cigar modeled after and paying homage to the classic monster Frankenstein.

In 2012 Pete Johnson released the Little Monster sampler, which had the first five Monster Series blends miniaturized. The follow-up to that release was the Pudgy Monsters, which included two new Monster Series blends that hadn’t previously been released: the Chuck and Tiff. Inspired by Chucky and The Bride of Chucky, respectively, the blends were originally potential candidates for full sized releases according to conversations had with Johnson leading up to 2014.

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While that never happened, the Chuck and Tiff blends have made a return in the Skinny Monsters sampler, this time slightly longer and slightly, well, skinnier.

(The following history was written by Charlie Minato)

Tatuaje Monster Series Sampler Boxes

When Tatuaje released the Pudgy Monsters it took the same length as the Little Monsters, but used the original ring gauge of the regular Monster Series, meaning the Tatuaje Face was 4 3/8 x 56.

The two new blends, Chuck and Tiff, were 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 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 Tiff & Skinny Tiff

  • Tatuaje Tiff (4 x 50) — June 2014
  • Tatuaje Skinny Tiff (6 x 38) — April 2016

Tatuaje Skinny Tiff 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje Skinny Tiff
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • 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

While I never got a chance to see or smoke a Tiff from the Pudgy Monsters release, the photos make it appear that the original Tiff is lacking many of the darker veins that are scattered across the wrapper of the Skinny Tiff. The wrapper does have a nice feel to it however, almost like tissue paper: delicate, soft and not very oily. Coming off the wrapper is the aroma of graham crackers, light cinnamon, dried leaves and light leather, while the cold draw is a mixture of bubble gum and hay – an odd, but strangely inviting pair of notes.

Starting into the first third, there is a lot of pepper on the nose, but quickly smooths out into a creamy profile made up of spice, nuts, leather and hay. The burn is spot on starting out, while the ash is a dense affair, looking like it’s going to hold on easily past the inch mark. For a 38 ring gauge cigar, I’m always happy when the draw is smack in the middle of ideal, and the classic Tatuaje smoke production is in full force with each draw. An inch and a half in, the pepper still remains on the retrohale, though it has all but disappeared on my palate leaving hay, spice, nuts and leather to their own devices.

Tatuaje Skinny Tiff 2

The second third sees a continuation of the same profile, with hay, spice, nuts and leather mixing together without any specific note taking the lead. The burn is still impressive, staying mostly even and sharp, with only minor wavy lines here and there before correcting itself. Around halfway through this section, the pepper has returned as a minor note in the background, though it has still remained prominent on the retrohale. Spice has grown to take the lead, with the hay, nuts, leather and the returned pepper following behind.

Tatuaje Skinny Tiff 3

Moving into the final third the spice remains up front, while the hay, nuts, leather and pepper continue as before. The burn finally sees a bit of a change, with one section lagging behind enough that it requires a touch up. A very odd note has cropped up in the aromatic smoke—not necessarily on the palate—but I can only describe it as slightly rancid nuts or perhaps a bit skunky. Quite an unfortunate addition to an otherwise decent profile. Thankfully the Skinny Tiff only suffers from this for a little bit, as there is only an inch and a half remaining to the cigar.

Tatuaje Skinny Tiff 4

Final Notes

  • Two samples performed like the above description, while the third was an outlier. The profile was somewhat muted and the construction was perplexing. While the two other samples had dense ash and an almost perfect burn, this one had very flaky ash and a squirrely burn that required a few touch ups throughout.
  • In my review of the Tatuaje Jason from the Pudgy Monsters release, I mused about the next iteration of series. A lancero size logically made sense to me, stating “Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a Skinny Monster release – a lancero size for each of the Monster Series blends.” While they turned out to be petit lanceros, it looks like I mostly guessed correct.
  • With two years between each modified Monsters release,The Jekyll and The Hyde both got to join the list, making a nice, round numbered 10 count sampler.
  • While Johnson had originally thought about creating a full size Chuck and Tiff release, their original release in the Pudgy Monsters set makes sense, keeping with the theme of creating each Monster cigar to resemble their monster counterpart. The characters were Cabbage Patch-type dolls come to life, so shorter, pudgier cigars fit right in with that.
  • Tatuaje Cigars is a sponsor of halfwheel.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged just under an hour and a half.
  • 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.

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84 Overall Score

As stated at the beginning of the review, I’ve never had the chance to smoke the original Tiff release, so I can’t compare the Skinny Tiff to its chunkier counterpart. For the most part, smoking the Skinny Tiff was an enjoyable experience, and looking back at my tasting notes, the profile seems great on paper. The actual experience though left a little to be desired, with the flavors just not popping like I’d want them to—not necessarily what I would call bland or flat, but certainly not dynamic enough to keep me wanting to go back for more. That, combined with the third sample that was definitely outside of the average experience, left me a little underwhelmed. Having said that though, referencing Brooks’ original review of the Tiff, I believe that the Skinny Tiff is a close enough resemblance that if you enjoyed the first iteration, you’ll definitely want to try the blend in the petit lancero format.

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Brian Burt
About the author

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010 I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion. Besides my cigar hobby and job in the IT industry, my wife and I love traveling, trying new restaurants and relaxing at home with our two dogs.

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