Tatuaje Jekyll Monster Series #7
The Tatuaje Jekyll Monster Series #7 is the talk of the cigar town right now, and rightfully so. This annual release is one of the most anticipated cigar releases year after year.
The Good Stuff:
At the end of each October cigar enthusiasts rush to their local cigar shops in hopes of getting their hands on the annual Tatuaje Monster release. This year, Pete Johnson has created the Jekyll. A cigar which is based on the fictional Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde bi-polar monster which we all love. While this year’s release is the Jekyll, halfwheel.com reports that next year Pete may actually release the Hyde version of this cigar. As stated, Pete releases these blends every year and I have been fortunate enough to smoke through the entire series: The Frank, The Drac (released alongside the Boris), The Face, The Wolfman, The Mummy, the JV13, and now the Jekyll complete the series. There were also two box releases, the Little Monsters, and the Pudgy Monsters which featured modified vitolas of each of the releases as well as a few small batch monsters:
2008 – The Frank
2009 – The Drac (also released the Boris)
2010 – The Face
2011 – The Wolfman
2012 – The Mummy (also released the Mini Monsters)
2013 – The JV13
2014 – The Jekyll (also released the Pudgy Monsters)
That being said, let’s get back to the Jekyll. The Tatuaje Jekyll features a not-so-familiar Ecuadorian Sancti Spiritus wrapper. Santi Spiritus, meaning “Holy Spirit” is the name of a cigar and province in central Cuba. Coincidentally, this wrapper is used as a binder in Jeff’s last review of the L’Atelier ER13. Both binder and filler in the Jekyll are from Nicaragua. As with most cigars in the monster series, it’s a big one. Measuring 7 x 49 the Jekyll carries an awesome semi-torpedo cap made famous in classic Cuban 109 formats.
As with most of the recent Monster Series releases, the cigars will come packed in two different boxes. The rare Dress Box which features some great artwork and 13 cigars, and the standard Non-Dress Box which carries 10 cigars. Only 666 Dress Boxes were released, and sold out within hours as they were distributed among 13 “Unlucky” retailers which are hand picked by Pete Johnson himself. While not all 666 boxes were send solely to these retailers, more than half were. The rest were sent in very small quantities to other stores throughout the U.S. with Tatuaje accounts, as well as stored for Pete’s own personal stock. In terms of the Non-Dress Boxes there were a total of 4,500 released to various Tatuaje retailers making the total number of Jekylls released 53,658. This may seem like a lot, but again, this is probably the most, of not one of the most sought after annually released cigars in the world. The cigars were released in mid-October and will run $13 a cigar. I got a box of these from our great friends over at Bonita Smoke Shop.
Size: 7 x 49
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sancti Spiritus
Pairing: Brouwerij Van Steenberge Witches Brew (Belgian Tripel 9.3% ABV)
The wrapper on the Tatuaje Jekyll is absolutely stunning. Starting with the very consistent light, milky brown that’s covered in oils and soft tooth. The wrapper features some orange ares and lots of darker webbing throughout the leaf. The Jekyll sports a few medium sized veins throughout it’s massive body as it leads up to a very snubby, short-torpedo, triple wrapped cap. I actually enjoy the cap as it rests very comfortably in the mouth, and is very easy to clip. The wrapper is very dense, and very hard while the Jekyll is very tightly compacted giving almost nothing as I squeeze it between my fingers. As with all Monster Series cigars, the Jekyll is polished off with the standard Tatuaje simple band featured colors familiar with the Monster’s character. In the case of the Jekyll the band is primarily white with the green Tatuaje logo and banding.
The wrapper on the Tatuaje Jekyll gives off a very strong pepper and spice aroma while the foot of the cigar is a pleasant spice and cedar mixture. The cap cut very clean, and very easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw is packed with strong pepper and spice. Pretty much everything is is muffled.
The Tatuaje Jekyll starts out with a whole mess of strong black pepper. While it took a while to fade out, the pepper was still a dominant flavor throughout the entire first third. The other less-powerful flavors I picked up was some great woodsy/cedar, spice, cashew, lots of grassiness and great natural tobacco flavors. The draw is perfect. Each puff kicks out just enough thick, white smoke. It’s a bit windy out today, but if it wasn’t I’m sure the smoke would linger quite a bit. The burn line is a bit thick, but solid as it leaves behind a pretty flaky medium/dark gray ash. The ash doesn’t hold on very long at all, I got about a half inch in before it flew off into my ashtray.
The black pepper is much more dormant in the second third of the Tatuaje Jekyll. The main flavors are the cashew and woodsiness with some pine starting to sneak in and some slight spice and grassiness. It’s a pretty dry combination and I’m glad I have a drink close by. The retrohale reminds me how much pepper was once in this cigar and it’s a bit tough to take down. I don’t find myself retrohaling this cigar very often. The burn line is still rockin’ it as I close out the second third with very little nicotine kick, if any at all.
The flavors in the Tatuaje Jekyll continue to hold up, with little changes between the second and final third. The Jekyll leads with some great cedar/woodsiness, cashew, pine, spice, and grassiness. Some floral flavors began to poke their head through every now and then in the final third, but they don’t last very long. The experience has been very well balanced and extremely creamy. I just with there was a bit more complexity along with a few changeups. I only had to relight the cigar once, and that was probably due to taking my sweet time smoking it. The burn line was completely solid the entire experience and it left me with almost no nicotine kick even though it took me 2 hours to take down to the nub. One thing to keep in mind is how flaky the ash can get on this cigar. This doesn’t bother me at all, but I kept forgetting and the ash dropped in my lap on 3 different occasions.
The prominent pepper made me think this cigar was a lot more powerful than it actually was. The Tatuaje Jekyll finished in the Medium to barely Medium/Full range but each time I smoked it I could swear it was stronger until I stood up and the effects wore off. It’s interesting how cigars can do that. The Jekyll is a solid cigar sporting some great flavors, creamy balance, and a great experience. It wasn’t one of my favorites in the Monster Series, but I still felt it was worthy of a box purchase even having purchased a handful before pulling the trigger on the box. One thing that did impress me about the Jekyll was the evident departure from the rest of the cigars in the Monster Series line. It’s very different and I totally dig that. I can’t wait to see how these cigars hold up after some time in the humidor. I have a feeling these are going to get better and better with a bit of age on them.
Not only is the name fitting, but this beer’s flavor profile made it an idea match the the Tatuaje Jekyll. Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s Withes’ Brew is a Belgian Tripel from Belgium which registers in at 9.3% ABV. Witches Brew leads with strong sweetness and floral flavors with a very light mouthfeel while it finished with some citrus, sweetness, and a bit of hopiness. The sweetness really helped balance out the pepper-forward cigar flavors in the experience. This cigar will actually pair well with just about anything, especially anything with some added sweetness. My best suggestions will be a Belgian golden or tripel ale, some black coffee, brown soda, or some sweet tea.