For Halloween 2011, Tatuaje again released another Monster Series smoke, this year being the ‘Wolfman.’ As with the previous year there were only 666 dress boxes (coffins) of thirteen cigars, and 1300 (though Pete claims more like 1500 were made this year to compensate for demand) plain boxes of ten. As usual the Monster cigars again created quite a stir for those searching out this year’s offering- a box pressed torpedo sporting a Sumatra wrapper and an unwrapped foot. Weighing in at 7.5 inches, this will be the second longest stick in the lineup. Given the hype created every year with these LEs, the expectations are high, so lets see what the Wolfie has to offer…
Lit with matches on a brisk evening, accompanied by water.
Pre-Light – Smells of raw tobacco and hay, and sports a splotchy, smooth, leathery wrapper. Pre-light draw is fairly loose.
First Third - The first third, starting with the uncut foot, begins with some mild cedary spice, leather, wood and some hay. The spice lingers in the back of my mouth. Once the wrapper starts to burn, the flavors begin to round out and become heavier/more complex. Draw is light but not too light, and the burn is fantastic.
Second Third - The strength has began top pick up a notch, and the spice has cooled down a bit, though it is still there. Flavor-wise there is a bit of chocolate/molasses sweetness, leather, hay, and developing earth notes. Not the most complex, but very enjoyable. The draw is still going well, and the burn is fantastic.
Third Third - Flavors continue to be similar to the second third, though both body and flavors have dipped in strength just a notch. Though still not particularly complex, the flavors meld together in a tasteful manner. The finish is quite dry (as in wine) which adds a nice touch. I can taste a tiny bit of bitterness which I will attribute to youth until further exploration down the road.
Conclusion - As usual, I was not disappointed by Pete Johnson’s spooky Halloween offering. The dress box was well detailed, the cigars themselves quite a treat to the eye, and the smoke itself a memorable experience. I am definitely partial to LE smokes, the Monsters specifically, but there is no denying the richness of the spice, wood, leather and subtle sweetness that the Wolfman delivers. Pile on the solid construction, and you have a winner. The mild bitterness toward the end of the cigar is my only fuss, though I think with time this will fade. Overall this Monster gets a 91 in my book, though I have no doubt it will get better with even a few months of age.
Final Score: 91
*I had a Face recently and it was fantastic, it’s amazing what a year can do for these; the Drac wasn’t quite what I remembered but still a very good stick; the Frank was a bit disappointing ( I remember thinking 88-ish) after all the hype and high prices, though I’m keeping a few around hoping it is just a sick period!*