Cigar Reviews

Tatuaje Wolfman – Monster Series #4

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Well good morning America! Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving last night and you’re not stuck in some line waiting to go Black Friday shopping. Chances are, most of you are just rolling out of bed and looking for the best hangover remedy. Good luck with the headache, haha! And a friendly reminder, ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT TO WIN one of the 5 awesome prizes we have up for grabs. Read this weeks Movember post for more details or head straight to my Movember page and donate!

Yesterday I took advantage of the fact that all my clients would be off celebrating. I decided to stay home and light up a good cigar with a tall glass of beer and enjoy the slightly warmer weather. I decided to sit down with this years Monster release from Tatuaje, dubbed the Wolfman. If you didn’t know, Pete Johnson has been releasing a Halloween themed cigar each year for the past few years and it’s called the Monster Series.

Last year, Tatuaje released “The Face” which we reviewed here. Before that you would have seen the Boris, Frank or Drac. Each one is inspired by a horror creature from a story or film. This years Wolfman release is no different, named after the infamous werewolf. The cigars came packed in a limited selection of dress boxes with 13 cigars as well as a slightly larger release of 10-count plain boxes. They were sold out very quickly across the country so I’m glad I was able to snag a few to get a review in.

The Wolfman comes in with a shaggy foot to keep inline with the character of the cigar. Pete wanted to give it a sort of “ugly” unfinished look to match the theme. Other than the shaggy foot, the cigar looks to be of excellent construction. The band on this cigar also has one new thing from the older Monster Series sticks. On the sides of the band you can see “MONSTER” and “HALLOWEEN” written beside the normal Tatuaje name. Normally, there was nothing else on the bands aside from the brand.

Now I know I’m coming in a little late to the game with this review but it did take quite a bit of digging and asking around to get these cigars. Especially up here to Canada where they aren’t sold and very few B&M’s are even willing to ship to. Tony’s local shops also don’t seem to get these in so we were both in a bit of a bind trying to track a few down. Alas, determination leads to success and I got them. So here I am, sitting down and getting ready to light this cigar and write down my thoughts for your reading pleasure.

Cigar: Tatuaje Wolfman – Monster Series 2011
Drink: Trafalgar Ales & Meads – Smoked Oatmeal Stout
Vitola: Box-Pressed Torpedo (7.5 x 52)
Wrapper: Sumatran
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: MSRP $13
Burn Time: a little under 2 hours

Construction:
• The Tatuaje Wolfman is a nice looking cigar with a chestnut brown wrapper
• The wrapper is slightly rough with some veins running through it but none look to be large or worrisome
• The whole cigar actually feels a little soft when squeezed
• The cap is finished with extreme care and blends into the cigar with ease, the foot is left uncovered and shaggy but still looks to be fairly well packed
• Cap cut cleanly and easily and left me with an easy draw, make sure not to cut too much off this cigar or it will be very open
• As soon as I finished burning past the unfinished foot the draw got super-tight so I needed to cut the cap a bit more and now we’re all happy

Burn:
• Toasting seems fairly easy and even and took a good 30 seconds or so to get the foot glowing, I was expecting a messy toasting with the unfinished foot but it wasn’t messy at all
• Burn got off to a wonky start on one side that needed a quick correction early on
• After that correction, things have been burning a lot smoother with a nice sharp and even line
• Another small correction as I pass the halfway mark, nothing major and didn’t affect the flavors

Smoke & Ash:
• There’s a ton of smoke from each draw as I’ve come to expect from pretty much all of Pete Johnson’s cigar, he really knows how to nail the thick billowy smoke
• The ash from the unfinished foot was super weak and fell off quickly, before I even had a chance to snap a picture
• Seems that suicidal ash is the trend today, lost the first two ash to the floor after about an inch each, sigh…
• The ash seems to be fairly weak and a little bit messy with a light grey color to it
• Considering there is so much smoke on the draw, the isn’t much resting smoke to be found on the cigar and it’s giving off a nice cedar aroma

Tasting Notes:
• The aroma off the wrapper is slightly sweet with a peppery touch
• The foot adds a hefty helping of cedar added to the sweet and spicy notes
• Pre-light draw brought more of the cedar to the mix, quite a nice flavor
• Initial draws after lighting were mixed mostly of cedar and a spicy pepper undertone, no sweetness at this point
• The pepper seems to be staying as a soft undertone but now I’m getting some other more interesting spices in the mix, mainly like a nutmeg or clove type of flavor
• I’m also picking up on some leathery and earthy notes on this cigar, lots of flavors going on here
• The cedar flavors continue to dominate and I think I’m getting some coffee notes in the mix now too but that might be the stout I’m pairing with
• The body of the cigar has been a nice comfortable medium since the start, a good well balanced smoke so far
• The retrohale brings with it a slight peppery bite and smooth cedar finish
• A little past the halfway mark I’m starting to pick up a little bit of that initial sweetness, let’s hope it develops a little more
• The sweetness didn’t really develop any further and faded soon after, but the coffee and cedar really grew together into a nice mix
• All the flavors slowly ramped up near the 2 inches but the body stayed in a nice smooth medium range
• No harsh or bitterness right to the nub, enjoyed every last cedar and coffee filled draw

Final Thoughts:
I think Pete Johnson has another winner in the ever popular Monster Series of cigars from Tatuaje. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s his best ever but these are tasty right out of the box and they seem to have some aging potential as well. Other than a couple minor touch-ups the cigar burned fairly well and offered a lot of complexity to the palate that kept me interested the whole way through. And that is sometimes a hard task when the cigar is this length of vitola, I tend to have a short attention span, lol! The Wolfman was quite balanced and smooth through the whole experience and I enjoyed it from start to finish. They are getting harder and harder to come by each year (especially for a Canadian!) so I’m glad I was able to grab a few. If you manage to find some, definitely pick a couple up for a special occasion!

Pairings:
Today’s brew comes from a local brewery called Trafalgar Ales & Meads which is located about 45min from where I live in a place called Oakville, Ontario. I don’t actually see many other brews from these guys but I have picked up this brew a few times. It’s called the Smoked Oatmeal Stout. The first time I saw this I thought it was going to have a heavy smoked flavor like a scotch or something, but that’s not the case at all. It’s actually a fairly light stout but it’s got the most head out of any beer I’ve seen before. I mean if you shake this bottle even a tiny bit, it’s going to explode when you crack it open. And pouring it takes like 30min to let the foam settle, it’s ridiculous but worth it. The flavors you get are chocolate, coffee and a malty deliciousness that mix together so well. The array of flavors also makes for an excellent pairing for nearly any medium to full cigar, it would easily overpower a mild stick though. I think a nice Tawny Port would have gone excellently with the Wolfman or possibly even a strong coffee or black tea.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he’s not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

8 Comments

  1. czerbe

    November 25, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Great review Dan, pictures still are kicking, I actually got my first one of these the other day and can’t wait to try it, it will be my first Monster series stick and I’m looking forward to it. Hope all is well stay warm brother

    • Dalamscius

      November 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Czerbe! Let us know how the Wolfman is for you, I’d love to hear more thoughts on it! I’ll try to stay warm as long as possible, but winter is coming fast…

  2. Tadd

    November 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Great review, pretty much the same experience I had. I enjoyed it, chocolate/ coffee flavors. Little sweetness. I am just not a huge sumatra guy, and Pete seems to be on this kick lately…

    I had just a couple of little touchups like you said, nothing that detracted from the smoke. I did enjoy this, but I still think the Face was better. Now the Frank…. well that is a whole other ball game. Nice review! Pictures look great too… I am not a big stick kind of guy, I would much prefer this in a smaller vitola… Less time consumption.

    • Dalamscius

      November 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks Tadd, I think Sumatra has a place in a rotation. Remember everyone used to go crazy for the Edge Sumatras? I wasn’t a huge fan of those either, they were good but not as good as the hype they seemed to get. They are a unique profile though so this was a nice change of pace.

      I haven’t had a Frank but I do have a Boris and a Drac that I need to smoke one of these days.

  3. Tadd

    November 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Yeah I agree with you, it has a space… I just don’t see all the crazy hype over these. They are good and would be great at about $8.

    I do have one complaint…. Why the hell would they write “Halloween Monster” on the band and dirty up the classiness of the label? And to boot it is in Showard Gothic…. Really? Pete… A million dollar company and Showcard Gothic is the font you choose???? Really?

    Complaint over….

    • Dalamscius

      November 26, 2011 at 12:54 am

      lol, nice rant Tadd! Can’t say I disagree either… lol. If you notice, I didn’t bother snapping a pic of the side text, looked a little cheesy, hehe.
      I think if these were possible to be regular production at $8 a stick, they would be an awesome buy. But I must say, Pete’s Marketing skills on this line alone really show what good marketing can do for a product.

  4. abraxas828282

    November 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Great review! I just was gifted one of these and have yet to smoke it. It will be my first Monster series cigar as well. 2 hours is a long smoke!

    • Dalamscius

      November 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

      Hope you enjoy it! Report back and let us know what you think. It was 2 hours well spent! haha

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