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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)

Finally, 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 Tiff
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • 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

As with the other sizes in the blend, the Tatuaje The Tiff is covered in a light golden brown wrapper that is very smooth to the touch, due in part to the lack of any raised veins. In addition, there is a noticeable lack of oil and the wrapper is pliable but firm underneath when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of hay, manure, leather, earth, mocha coffee and vanilla beans, while the cold draw is full of dark chocolate, barnyard, yarn, leather tack and creamy sweet potatoes.

Starting out, the Tatuaje The Tiff is exceedingly creamy on the palate, with flavors of salted peanuts, leather, hay, cinnamon and graham crackers flitting in and out. There is a small amount of white pepper and butterscotch sweetness present on the retrohale as well as some slight spice on my tongue, none of which seem to be getting stronger anytime soon. Both the burn and the draw are excellent so far, and while the smoke production is a bit thin in body, there is plenty of it emanating from the foot. Overall strength is almost non-existent so far, but I noticed a slight uptick as the first third closes.

As the burn line passes into the second third of The Tiff, the salted peanut flavor from the first third begins to become more dominant, followed by somewhat lesser flavors of earth, cinnamon, espresso beans, cocoa powder, grass and—a bit surprisingly—some grapefruit citrus. The butterscotch sweetness and white pepper on the retrohale are also increasing in strength, although the spice on my tongue is another matter altogether, and it is long gone by the halfway point. Construction-wise, both the burn and the draw continue to give me no major issues at all, while the smoke production has actually increased in density, albeit just slightly. The overall strength has increased a bit compared to the first third, leading it to a point closer to the medium mark than the mild mark by end of the second third. 

In many ways, the final third of The Tiff stays the course: the salted peanut flavor remains dominant—although there is a bit less of the salt now—interspersed with notes of cinnamon, grass, dried tea leaves, dark cocoa, barnyard and very slight generic citrus. The butterscotch sweetness and white pepper are still major parts of the profile as well, but a bit of change came out of the blue, namely a very obvious jalapeño note on the retrohale—sans any heat—that sticks around for about five puffs before quickly dissipating back from whence it came. There is also a slight change in the construction, as the burn takes a turn for the worse resulting in a couple of touchups, while the draw continues to be trouble-free in all regards. Finally, the overall strength does pick up steam a bit right at the end coming close to the medium mark before I put the nub down with less than an inch remaining.

Final Notes

  • After reviewing both The Tiff and The Chuck in a little less than a week, I have to say that the two blends are such total opposites profile-wise that I wonder what it would be like to smoke each at the same time, but alternating puffs between them.
  • As I mentioned in my review of The Chuck, 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.
  • I find it interesting that I enjoyed the Tiff blend more in smaller ring gauges, but The Chuck wins out in the larger ring gauge.
  • There was a surprising jalapeño note on the retrohale in the final third on all three samples, but it did not stick around long, and I never tasted it in either of the other Tiff releases I smoked.
  • 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 bit shorter than expected one hour and 28 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Tatuaje The Tiff cigars, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Corona Cigar Co. and JR Cigar have them in stock now.
88 Overall Score

Even more so than the other two times they have been released, The Tiff is truly the yin to The Chuck’s yang: where The Chuck is bold, dense and strong, The Tiff is creamy, rich and light. The profile is full of flavors, but for the most part I had a hard time picking out one that be considered dominant, other than a salted peanut note that was persistent throughout in various amounts. There were also some flavors in this vitola that I have not tasted on any of the other sizes that bumped up the complexity in the blend significantly, including a distinct—albeit fleeting—jalapeño note on the retrohale in the final third and grapefruit in the first third. It has been said that all good things must come to an end, and as I was finishing up my final sample, I realized that could be said of both The Tiff and the Monster Series that it is a part of.

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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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