Posted by Jack | in Tatuaje | on 24 Oct 2013 | at 4:02 PM | 2036 views
I am so far behind on reviews that I figured better get on with it.  Since it's getting close to Halloween and I have been sitting on a few of the Tatuaje Little Monsters, I thought the time might be right to fire one up.  The choice was between the Frank Jr., Baby Face, and Mini Mum.  My final selection was Frank Jr.  So, let's talk Frankenstein for a few minutes.
When I was a kid growing up in San Diego, channel 5 would run movie marathons pretty regularly.  Giant monster movies, classic comedies, martial arts movies, you name it.  Around Halloween every year they would play classic horror flicks all day.  I remember watching the old Universal monster series, Hammer horror flicks, all sorts.  Frankenstein has always been a fascinating story to me.  It shows man's struggle to defeat death, science versus religion, fear of the unknown, and my favorite part, discovery of our own humanity.  There have been countless versions of this story told over the years - some good, some bad, some masterpieces.  My favorite Frankenstein style story?  Robocop.  Yes, the 1987 sci-fi movie from Paul Verhoeven.  It shows all of the classic story elements with loads of humor and gut-wrenching violence....and the best part is watching the " monster" rediscover his humanity.  So, is that why I chose the Frank Jr. as my first Halloween selection?  No.  Honestly, I think it was the green and black band.
Okay, let's try this beauty, shall we?
Construction: The wrapper leaf is slightly mottled with a few dark splotches and very minor veins.  There is a nice soft box press to this little baby as well.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane there is a nice leathery aroma laced with a hint of barnyard.  I get hints of cocoa and sweet tobacco from the foot.  Once clipped the draw is actually pretty tight - I know, very unusual for a Tatuaje product.  As the cigar smoked I was hoping that the draw would open up - it didn't.  Very disappointing...but you get a bad one every now and then.  It didn't stop me from smoking it down to the nub either.
Light and Burn: The light is a snap even with the tight draw.  The burn line is razor sharp from start to finish
Tasting: The start on this cigar is delicious.  I get that terrific rich Tatuaje flavor with loads of spice, a creamy sweetness, and touches of coconut.
The first third fires off with earth, leather, cocoa, coffee, and some terrific rich sweet sugary flavors.  I am sure there has to be a level of psychosomatic taste going on too.  These are Halloween cigars so my brain thinks they should taste like candy?  Well, if that is the case, it works!  Delivery of the flavor profile is exceptionally creamy.  I am getting a slight flavor of peppermint in there too - again reminding me of candy.
The second third show a bit more spice leaning towards a mild red pepper flavor.  I continue to get that cocoa laced sweetness with a nice leathery earthiness.  Just terrific on all levels.  I am getting that coconut sweetness again too.  It's a very unusual flavor that I have only experienced one other time in my reviews.
The last third hits with that same creamy sweetness and flavor profile.  This is just a terrific smoke.
Value: This was a freebie for me, but to pick them up you will have to shell out $75 for the whole Little Monsters set. Worth it?  Absolutely.
Final Thoughts: It is a shame this is such a limited blend in terms of availability.  I would smoke the Frank Jr. every day and smile constantly.  It's a delicious, terrific, masterful cigar that makes me wish I had found them earlier.  The fact that is also comes/came in a larger vitola has me daydreaming.  If you can find them, get them.  Smoke them. Hoard them.  And pray that Pete Johnson brings it back again one day.  Highly recommended!
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Size: 5 5/8 x 44 box press
...with a band like that, you would have picked it too, huh?
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