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Earlier this year, Tatuaje released the final two cigars to its most popular and long-running series Monster Series: The Chuck and The Tiff.

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.

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In keeping with the Haloween 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.

  • Tatuaje The Frank (7 5/8 x 49) — 2008 — Based on Frankenstein — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars (8,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Drac (6 3/4 x 52) — 2009 — Based on Dracula — 1,300 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars (16,900 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Face (6 3/8 x 56) — 2010 — Based on Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre — 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) — 2011 — Based on The Wolf Man (1941) — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 1,300 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (21,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Mummy (7 3/4 x 47) — 2012 — Based on the Boris Karloff character from The Mummy — 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) — 2013 — Based on Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Jekyll (7 x 49) — 2014 — Based on Dr. Jekyll from Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Hyde (7 x 49) — 2015 — Based on The Hyde from Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 4,500 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (53,658 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Krueger (7 1/4 x 48) — 2016 — Based on Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street — 666 Dress Boxes of 13 Cigars & 5,000 Plain Boxes of 10 Cigars (58,658 Total Cigars)[ref]Pete Johnson said there were just under 60,000 cigars released, exact numbers have not been confirmed.[/ref]
  • Tatuaje The Michael (6 1/2 x 52) — 2017 — Based on Michael Myers from Halloween — 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) — 2018 — Based on Valerie Hobson from The Bride of Frankenstein — 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) — 2019 —Based on Chucky from Child’s Play — 700 Boxes of 13 Cigars & 2,190 Boxes of 10 Cigars (31,000 Total Cigars)
  • Tatuaje The Tiff (5 7/8 x 52) — 2019 — Based on Tiffany Valentine from Child’s Play — 700 Boxes of 13 Cigars & 2,190 Boxes of 10 Cigars (31,000 Total Cigars)

In addition to the regular Monsters, there have been five samplers released that include the same blends of various Monster Series releases in different vitolas. In 2012, the first of those samplers debuted, the Little Monsters. Two years later, Tatuaje released the Pudgy Monsters sampler, which included one each of the first six Monster Series—as well as two each of Chuck and Tiff in 4 x 50 vitolas—with the same lengths as the previous Little Monsters, but each cigar had the ring gauge of the original Monsters.

In 2016, the first of three Skinny Monster samplers debuted, which included the first eight Monsters Series cigars plus Chuck and Tiff in 6 x 38 petit lancero vitolas. That was followed by two more 10-count samplers last year: the Skinny Monsters Cazadores, which included the eight original Monster cigars plus Chuck and Tiff in 6 3/8 x 43 size, and the Skinny Monsters Lanceros, which feature the exact same concept, but in 7 1/2 x 38 vitolas.


Johnson’s relationship with the Monster Series—much like some of the characters the cigars are based on—is complicated. On one hand, it’s a creative outlet that sells out and brings in a steady stream of revenue. But at various points, Johnson has seemed ready to move on.

That came to a head in 2017 when Johnson announced the 10th release in the series, and also the 13th. At the same time, he decided that Chuck and Tiff released in 2014, would become Monsters 11 and 12. His plan was then to release The Bride in 2018 and officially put an end to the original Monster Series idea.

At some point in 2018, Johnson changed his mind and earlier this year announced that there would be two more releases: Nos. 11 and 12, respectively, The Chuck and The Tiff.

You might find yourself rereading the last two paragraphs to try figure out what happened. Chuck and Tiff, notice the lack of The… are Pudgy Monsters, The Chuck and The Tiff are part of the original Monster Series.

If you place the four cigars together, the difference will be quite obvious. Chuck and Tiff were 4 x 50 petit robustos, The Chuck and The Tiff are 5 7/8 x 52 parejos. The new cigars are the same as their smaller counterparts, meaning The Chuck uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.

Most importantly for collectors and people like our own Charlie Minato, Johnson opted to release the cigars in dress boxes meaning that there would be 13 coffins, numbered 1-13, instead of coffins 1-11 and then 13.

There are a number of other differences in the final two Monster releases compared to previous releases, starting with the fact that both The Chuck and The Tiff were not only released at the same time, but in interlocking coffins of 13 that combine to create one larger piece. That action completes the puzzle on the front, a nod to the Child’s Play franchise for which the names are inspired.

Secondly, instead of having an Unlucky 13 as had been the case with every other Monster release, Johnson decided on an Unlucky 26 with those retailers receiving 13 dress boxes each of The Chuck and The Tiff, meaning 328 boxes of each cigar were sold to non-Unlucky 26 retailers. Tatuaje still produced 700 dress boxes of each. Like previous releases, the first 666 were individually numbered, while Johnson kept the remaining 34 for his own use. The remaining 338 dress boxes for each cigar were sent to other retailers who typically receive between 1-3 dress boxes as well as the 10-count boxes.

Finally, stores that were already selected as Unlucky 13 retailers in the past were eligible to be chosen again; in fact, more than half of the Unlucky 26 fall in that group. Previously, only one store—the defunct Gloucester Street Cigars—had been selected to be part of the Unlucky 13 more than once. Gloucester is credited with helping Johnson come up with the series.

After a little more than 11 years, the total number of Monster Series and its related releases now stands at 56 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)
  • 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
  • atuaje Skinny Lanceros Hyde (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular Production
  • Tatuaje Skinny Lanceros Chuck (7 1/2 x 38) — May 2017 — Regular ProductionT
  • 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)

As if 56 cigars weren’t enough, Johnson has indicated that the series will live on in some form next year, though he hasn’t given any hints as to what that looks like.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tatuaje The Chuck
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 7/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $13 (Box of 13, $169; Box of 10, $130)
  • Release Date: October 2019
  • Number of Cigars Released: 700 Boxes of 13 Cigars & 2,190 Boxes of 10 Cigars (31,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Visually, the Tatuaje The Chuck seems very similar to its older siblings, specifically, it is covered in an extremely dark, espresso brown wrapper that features not only a number of very prominent veins but also so much oil that it is slick when touched. The lighter blue band really stands out against the much darker wrapper, and there is a soft spot about halfway down the cigar on one of the samples. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet hay, manure, earth, leather, creamy cashews and raisin sweetness while the cold draw brings flavors of strong dark chocolate powder, raisins, gritty earth, dried tea leaves and black pepper.

The first third of The Chuck features a dominant combination that includes sweet leather and creamy cashews and there are lesser notes of dank earth, creamy oak, bitter espresso, slight citrus, and hay bringing up the rear.  There is a very distinct raisin sweetness on the retrohale pulled over from the cold draw that combines nicely with some very obvious peppercorn that does not seem to be dying down anytime soon. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut, but the burn gets into trouble early one and I am forced to touch it up quickly. There is more than enough smoke to keep me on my toes when smoking inside, while the overall strength starts out at a point between mild and medium and manages to increase only slightly by the time the first third comes to an end.

I did not think it was possible, but the raisin sweetness on the retrohale increases by leaps and bounds during the second third of the Tatuaje, although the amount of peppercorn does not increase very much at all to compensate. In addition, while the dominant flavors continue to be the combination of sweet leather and creamy cashews, some of the secondary notes change quite a bit, staring with cinnamon, dark cocoa nibs, espresso beans, meat and anise. Both the smoke production and draw continue to impress, and thankfully the burn evens out enough that I can stop worrying about it, at least for the moment. The strength level increases noticeably compared to the first third, but still manages to end the second third just a bit shy of the medium mark.

The final third of the Tatuaje The Chuck sees a noticeable change in the dominant flavors on the palate—specifically, a creamy cashew note takes the top spot—followed by other flavors of popcorn, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, creamy oak, leather and earth. The rich raisin sweetness holds steady enough to continue to have a major impact on the profile, while the peppercorn on the retrohale decreases noticeably, although it’s still there. All three metrics of construction—the draw, the burn and smoke production—are humming right along with no issue whatsoever, while the strength level increased enough to hit a point just above medium by the time I put the nub down.

Final Notes

  • Although it may seem like it has been happening forever, the Chuck and the Tiff are only the third and fourth times that the Monster Series history that the cigars in dress boxes were packaged in cellophane; the first time that happened was with The Michael back in 2017.
  • In addition, there have only been two other Ecuadorian habano-wrapped blend released as part of the Monster SeriesL The Michael and The Drac.
  • Once again for those of you who may not know: Johnson has said many times that he does not consider The Boris to be part of the Monster Series, which is why it is not in the group photo above. Having said that, sharp-eyed viewers will remember that The Boris was actually listed with the other Monsters on the Tatuaje website.
  • While not small by any means, The Chuck seems almost puny compared to most of the other full-sized Monster releases.
  • There are so many cigars in the Monster collection photo above that we had to shoot it from above standing on an extremely tall ladder in order to get all of the releases together in one photograph.
  • Each of the samples I smoked had some issues with the burn in the first third, but all there were fine after a couple of touchups, albeit at slightly different points.
  • While Charlie goes through great lengths to make sure that each of the reviewers on halfwheel don’t review cigars from the same manufacturer, series or brand consecutively whenever possible, that has never been the case with the Monster Series:, in fact, I am the only one out of the reviewers who are currently working for us to have reviewed each of the full-sized Monsters for halfwheel. The lone exception is The Frank, which was reviewed by former reviewer Steve Valle back in 2010 on my now-defunct Smoking Stogie website.
  • The cigar smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Tatuaje advertises on halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged a surprisingly long two hours and 14 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Tatuaje The Chuck cigars, site sponsors Corona Cigar Co. and JR Cigar carry The Chuck.
89 Overall Score

As I have said many times in the past, despite the fact that the Monster Series are typically far from Tatuaje's best releases every year, I look really forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve for the latest additions. The profile I found in The Chuck was very different from the previous two members with the same blend, with adjectives I wrote down while smoking including words like dense, thick, hearty, meaty and many multiple instances of sweet: sweet on the palate—especially, sweet leather along with creamy cashews—and sweet on the retrohale where an absolutely insane amount of rich raisins combine nicely with some obvious peppercorn. Of course, if it was just that, it would get a bit cloying after a bit, but there is also some nice spice on the tongue for pretty much the entire cigar as well as some periodic bitter espresso bean bitterness, both of which help immensely to balance things out. The Chuck is not only one of the best Monster Series I have smoked fresh, but also one of the better blends Tatuaje has released this year, bar none.

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Brooks Whittington
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.

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