For the first time ever there is an Unlucky 26.

In 2008, Tatuaje introduced the Monster Series, a collection of a planned 13 cigars each named after a monster character from literature and film. Those cigars were big and typically bold, but more than anything else they are known for their distinct packaging.

Tatuaje creates dress boxes for the cigars, wooden boxes of 13 that are designed to look like coffins and then decorated to mimic the monster they are named after. For example, The JV13—based on Jason Voorhees—has the classic hockey mask painted onto the box. Those boxes became highly sought after and by 2010, Tatauje’s Pete Johnson decided for a new strategy for how to release the cigars. He would keep the Unlucky 13, a list of 13 stores that would receive the bulk of the 666 dress boxes, but add a substantial number of non-dress boxes that would be sold to stores nationwide, meaning consumers would have a much easier time getting the cigars.

There is a lot of symbolism is numbers: the cigars are priced at $13, the Unlucky 13 each receive 31 boxes of 13 cigars, there are a total of 666 boxes sold, etc. The remaining roughly 250 dress boxes are sold to stores around the country in much smaller quantities, usually no more than few boxes per store, and Johnson keeps 34 boxes for himself, which are used for a variety of purposes including charity.

Each year Johnson would announce a new Monster, a new list of Unlucky 13 retailers and the trend continued until 2017.

Two years ago, Johnson indicated the series, in at least its most formal terms, would be coming to an end a bit quicker than expected. That year’s release would be The Michael, 2018 would see the release of The Bride and he would designate Chuck and Tiff—two previously released cigars from the spin-off Little Monster Series—to round out the 13. The series would end with its planned 13 releases, albeit only 11 dress boxes.

And then plans changed. Johnson relented to the requests and decided that he would, in fact, make dress boxes for Chuck and Tiff, or more specifically for The Chuck and The Tiff. The two cigars are based off the original Chuck and Tiff, but they are larger: 5 7/8 x 52 as opposed 4 x 50, meaning there are now 13 formal Monster Series cigars and 13 different dress boxes, 14 if you count the European version of The Jekyll.

The Chuck uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler, whereas The Tiff uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

The boxes themselves are coffins of 13, but they are able to be interlocked to create one larger piece, which also completes the puzzle on the front, a nod to the Child’s Play franchise for which the names are inspired.

Johnson decided that rather than doing an Unlucky 13, he would do an Unlucky 26. Those retailers will receive 13 dress boxes each of The Chuck and The Tiff, meaning 328 boxes of each cigar will be sold to non-Unlucky 26 retailers. One interesting change is that stores that were already selected as Unlucky 13 retailers in the past have been selected again, more than half of the 26 have that distinction.

The 2019 Unlucky 26 retailers are:

  • Ambassador Fine Cigars
    Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Belle Meade Premium Cigars
    Nashville, Tenn.
  • Castro’s Back Room
    Manchester, N.H.
  • Cigar Cigars
    Horsham, Pa.
  • Cigars Ltd
    Fresno, Calif.
  • Cigars on 7th
    Eugene, Ore.
  • Club Humidor
    San Antonio, Texas
  • Elite Cigar Cafe
    Addison, Texas
  • Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe
    Albany, N.Y.
  • Havana Connections
    Richmond, Va.
  • Havana Manor
    Louisville, Colo.
  • Humidor Pipe Shop
    Huntsville, Ala.
  • Lake Country Cigars
    Delafield, Wis.
  • Mane Street Lounge & Tobacco
    Woodbridge, N.J.
  • Metro Cigars
    Germantown, Wis.
  • Michael’s Tobacco
    Keller, Texas
  • Regency Cigar Emporium
    East Greenwich, R.I.
  • Sanford & Son
    Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Smoke on the Water
    Weston, Fla.
  • Sturman’s Smoke Shop
    Boise, Idaho
  • The Humidor
    Lisle, Ill.
  • Tobacco Grove
    Maple Grove, Minn.
  • Twins Smoke Shop
    Londonderry, N.H.
  • Up Down
    Chicago, Ill.
  • World Famous Cigar Bar
    Fort Myers, Fla.
  • W. Curtis Draper’s
    Washington, D.C.

The Unlucky 26 will receive their shipments next week, which will include both dress boxes and regular boxes. The cigars have an MSRP of $13 per cigar regardless of which box they come in.

Overall Score

Avatar photo

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.