Tatuaje Monster Series #10 The Michael
I know I had been absent for a bit here. There was a death in the family, mixed with a cold that set me back a bit, but I am back no brining you the newest addition to the Tatuaje Monster Series, the Michael.
The Good Stuff:
Every year since 2008 Pete Johnson of Tatuaje has released the Monster Series cigar. A cigar released around halloween which takes its characteristics from some of the most famous monster ever known. I have been lucky enough to smoke quite a few of each release since then:
This year we focus on none other than Haloween’s infamous killer Michael Myers. Hand crafted at the My Father factory in Nicaraguan the Michael starts out with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan filler. The cigar is offered in a single 6 1/2 x 52 toro size which comes in limited edition dress boxes of 13 and standard boxes of 10 running $13 a stick. I purchased mine over from our good friends at Fox Cigar Bar who actually still have some in stock last time I checked. I suggest you head over there, email them, or call them and buy them now if you are interested in this cigar cause these sell out extremely fast year after year. Let them know we sent ya.
Size: 6 1/2 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Pairing: Brouwerij Het Anker Cuvee Van De Keizer Rood 2013 (Belgian Strong Ale 10% ABV)
The Tatuaje Micheal starts out with a rustic, meaty, dark brown wrapper thats covered in splotches of darker brown, and reddish-tinted spots. The wrapper’s texture is decently toothy and gritty with a good amount of oils, as well as some really prominent natural webbing scattered throughout the cigar’s body. There are some mild veining as the wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself leading up to the cigar’s round, triple wrapped cap. The Michael is then polished off with the standard black Tatuaje band we all love, with the words “Halloween” and “Monster” across the sides.
The wrapper on the Tatuaje Michael gives off a very peppery, spicy aroma while the foot of the cigar is a bit more subtle with notes of cocoa, natural tobacco, and cedar. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw really hits you in the face with pepper and spice along with some subtle cocoa and natural tobacco.
The Tatuaje Michael starts out with a massive cayenne pepper burst that kept my tongue and lips tingling for quite sometime even though the flavor faded after the first few draws. Once the pepper fades the Michael showcases some great, complex flavors of deep oak, cocoa, cranberry, spice, and a molasses style sweetness. The draw is perfect as each puff kicks out just there right amount of thick white smoke which really hangs around for a while before dissipating. The burn line is pretty wild and a bit wide, but I haven’t had to touch it up so no marks taken there. The ash left behind is medium and dark gray and pretty flaky. It only held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Tatuaje Michael and while the body is still well in the full-bodied arena the flavors have really started to come together. The cigar leads with spice, sweetness, and deep cedar backed by some great cranberry, molasses, pecan, and musk. The retrohale really brings the pepper back into the mix sod I don’t find myself doing it too often. The burn line is still slightly wild but I haven’t had to touch up the cigar so I’m not messing with it. I close out the second third with a mild little nicotine kick.
One thing I noticed about the Tatuaje Michael is the cigar will go out on you if you leave it sitting for almost any period of time. Knowing this, just give the cigar the attention it deserves and you’ll be home free. The flavor profile in the final third is really ran by the spice and backed by the molasses, cedar, musk, and berry. It took me over 2 hours to take the Michael down to the nub. I experienced no harshness, nor extended heat all the way down tot the nub. I closed out the cigar with a decent little nicotine hit.
The Michael has to be my favorite Monster releases since the JV13. The cigar is complex, bold, yet manageable and not too overpowering in the strength department. I actually smoked one of these with a buddy Andrew who works at Lucas Tobacco in Las Cruces, New Mexico who is a huge Tatuaje fan. He said the same. ITs nice to see after all these years Pete and his Monsters still haven’t lost their touch.
I went a bit off the grid here and decided to pair this Tatuaje Michael with a Cuvee Van De Keizer Rood from Brouwerij Het Anker in Belgium. This Belgian Strong Ale comes in at a whopping 10% ABV and you wouldn’t guess that it would be even close to that boozy. The beer leads with sweetness, coriander, spice, pear, and some light hop with a very juicy/light mouthfeel before finishing crisp with even more pear, spice, coriander and sweetness. In theory, the pairing didn’t have too much going for it outside of the spice and sweetness but the beer really helped pull out some of the cedar notes as well as add some great fruit to the mix. I think the Tatuaje Michael would also pair great with a Belgian Quad, spiced stout, or Tawny port.
Want to know how to get your hands on a 3-pack of The Michael for yourself? Well, once again we teamed up with the amazing team at Fox Cigar Bar who threw in a couple of free cigars to hand out to one of our lucky readers! You know the drill, just follow the rules below to enter. The winner will be announced Monday, November 13th. Continental US only, 21 and over please.