Tatuaje – Monster Series #6 – JV13 Jason Voorhees
It’s that time again. While most of the world dressed up as ghouls and goblins chasing after the houses with the best candy, the cigar community fills it’s lighters, packs their blades, and starts the hunt for Tatuaje’s annual Monster series release. This year I was able to score a non-dress box of the JV13 aka the “Jason”.
The Good Stuff: Most of you out there are well familiar with Tatuaje’s Monster Series, but for those of you living under a rock, here we go. Basically every year over the past 6 years Pete Johnson has created a limited blend, or blends which all carry a monster theme being released on or around Halloween each year. I have had the pleasure of smoking each of these releases and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to the release of these every year.
This year Pete introduced us to the “JV13” named after Friday the 13th infamous “Jason Voorhees” monster. There are two different box options available, the Dress, and the Non-Dress Boxes. The Dress boxes sport some of the craziest designs each year. This year it was all white with a picture of the iconic “Jason” Hockey mask on the front. The Dress boxes carry a fitting 13 cigars, and are available only to the top 13 “Scary retailers” across the US at a total production count of 666 boxes. The Non-Dress box is a standard box, with 10 cigars packaged inside and are widely available across the US with a production count of 4,500 boxes. While in the past I have had fun chasing after the awesomely designed dress boxes, this year I opted out of the wild goose chase for the dress box and ended up just purchasing the non-dress boxes figuring it’s more about the cigars in the box, than the box itself. I’ll leave the collecting to the collectors. I have cigars to smoke.
Size: 7.5 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Pairing: Avery “The Beast” 2013 (Belgian style Strong Ale 18% ABV)
Prelight: The JV13 Jason starts out with this CRAZY dark, CRAZY thick, CRAZY toothy wrapper. I could sand my front door down with this cigar and still have wrapper leaf left when I am done. The wrapper itself is very, very dark brown with some nice, spotty lighter brown areas, a few larger veins, and a bit of dark webbing in the leaf. A common characteristic among Tatuaje’s Monster series is the size of the cigars. If you look back at any of the cigars from the series, little monsters excluded for obvious reasons, you will see that pretty much all of them are huge sticks. The JV13 Jason is probably one of the biggest that I can remember length wise. While it’s a pretty big cigar, it’s not as heavy as one would expect. In the ones I smoked I found that they didn’t try to just cram a crapload of tobacco into the cigar. The JV13 Jason is polished off with a perfectly round, double cap. You will also find the common Tatuaje label on this one with black ink on a red band. I have always loved Pete’s simplicity when it comes to his band designs.
The wrapper of the JV13 Jason doesn’t give off much more than a simple spice aroma while the foot of the cigar releases a whole ton of spice and pepper with some nice floral and tobacco scents. The Cap cut very easily and clean using my double bladed palio cutter. The JV13 lets loose a whole ton of sweetness, brown sugar and spice on the cold draw. The cold draw seemed a bit loose, we’ll have to see how it tightens up as we light this baby up.
First Smoke: Tatuaje’s Jason lit up easily using my single flame butane torch and we were immediately off to the races. Starting out with a nice boom of strong black pepper the Jason quickly started kicking out a whole ton of spice, chocolate, floral, musky flavors. One flavor in particular that stands out is a real smooth cologne type flavor that stayed pretty consistent throughout the entire first third. The draw was a bit loose as I expected, but not enough to really make any negative impact on the experience. The burnline had some slight waves, but it’s burning relatively even and razor sharp leaving behind a beautiful trail of medium and dark gray flaky ash which held on for just under and inch before falling into my ashtray.
Halfway There: Halfway through this JV13 and boy is this thing pumping out flavor. The draw is flawless now and each little puff kicks out so much sweetness, spice, musky cologne, floral, and cedar flavors. This thing is a flavor bomb and I am enjoying every second of it. The burnline is burning dead even now without any help from my lighter and the ash has become much more solid after the first inch fell off. One note is that this cigar is burning much faster than I expected. It’s probably since it’s not packed with tobacco. I’m totally ok with this though. When it comes down to the burn, I don’t mind if it’s not packed tightly to slow down the experience at the cost of sacrificing the blend. Especially in this case cause the flavors are just killing it. I am feeling absolutely no nicotine at all as I close out the second third of the Jason.
Finish: Both the flavors, and the strength in this cigar just took a huge, unexpected ramp up into the final third. I remember smoking this cigar the other day while walking around trick or treating with Jeremy’s kids. We were talking about it and how the flavors were strong, but the body was not. Well, that was a while before we reached the final third of this “Monster”. The strength is now a steady full and I think it’s going to really creep up on a lot of you guys. I love it though. If the cigar was this strong all the way through the experience it would knock me on my ass and overpower a lot of people. The flavors still remain the same with lots of spice, musky cologne, lots of floral, lots and lots of sweetness, brown sugar, cedar, and some great black cherry flavors have been introduced. I think my choice in beer really brought out a lot of the cherry flavors as I didn’t experience this in the other Jasons that I smoked. The burnline has been dead even after that first third and finished just as solid needed absolutely no extra attention from my lighter. All in all this cigar took me about two hours to take down, and I experience little to no harshness even into the final inch. Pretty good considering I nubbed the hell out of this one. I know I reported that the cigar burned fast at the start, but shortly after the first third, when the draw started to tighten up, the cigar started burning a lot slower. Or maybe the beer started to get to me and I slowed down. Ha, whatever it was, it happened. It did leave me with a bit of a nicotine hit, but I think the beer did more damage to my mental state then the cigar did.
Overview: So, here we are again. The part where most people try to justify spending time, money, and effort on whether or not Tatuaje’s Monster series are worth it. Let me just start off by saying that I would pay $13 over and over again for the JV13. It’s a solid cigar. It’s more than a solid cigar, it’s fantastic. I would put it right behind the Frank, which I would put just behind the Boris making it my third favorite from all the previous monster releases. It’s pretty damn close to the Boris too in both rating and in flavor profiles. It’s a very complex cigar with keeps you on your toes without trying to mix too much into the experience. It’s balanced, and not over powering in strength making it in my opinion, a perfect anytime/any day cigar. It’s not going to kick your ass in the morning (while that final third is a doozy), and it’s not so mild that anything you eat, smoke, or drink later in the day will wash out the experience. I know, these are crazy limited and some find them hard to get. But you know what? I have found it increasingly easier to find the Monster series in the non-dress boxes every year with very minimal effort. If you haven’t had one from the series yet, and you are interested in them I think the JV13 is the perfect place to start. If you like Tatuaje, the Monster series, or just complex cigars in general then I would strongly recommend picking a box of these bad boys up before they are gone.
Pairing: Yeah, what a likely pairing right? I decided to talk a walk on the wild side while keeping the theme consistent pairing this Tatuaje JV13 with a bottle of Avery’s “The Beast”. Ever had The Beast? If you have, you probably have some awesome story about how shitty it was, or how it was the best beer in the world and you enjoyed it so much that you woke up in jail the next morning. Yeah, it’s that kind of brew. Brewed at the Avery Brewing in Boulder, Colorado this Belgian style strong ale, monster of a beer clocks in at about 18% ABV. You read that correctly, 18%. That’s like drinking 73 Bud Lights. Well, maybe not that many, but close to it. The Beast is a great name for the beer as not only does it carry loads of scary alcohol, but it’s also one of the most flavor-rich beers I have ever had. It’s an acquired taste, that’s for sure, but one that I have grown to love over the years. The Beast carries so many cherry, raspberry, citrus, hop, honey, grape, grain, and other flavors that it’s a bit hard to really explain. Let’s just say, it’s intense. And it takes an equally intense cigar to balance it out. Knowing what to expect having smoked the JV13 before I knew that the beer was a perfect match for the cigar. The beer actually even helped add some more natural flavors to the cigar while the musky flavors from the cigar helped balance out the flavors from the beer. This is a scary good pairing which may leave you walking crooked.