Posted by Jack | in Tatuaje | on 23 Oct 2014 | at 9:26 AM | 2503 views
I have no soul. I'm beyond the pale. I'm one of the living dead!
Fredric March, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1931
Inside each human is the propensity for good and evil...the premise for Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written in 1886.  How does this fit into the world of cigars?  Let us say that Pete Johnson has a flair for the dramatic.  The Jekyll's release this year and the Hyde following it in 2015, he has given himself a canvas with which to display the good and evil lurking inside the cigars we smoke.  Okay, that might be my flair for the dramatic here, but there is no denying that Pete has something exciting here. While his Monster Series has long been highly sought after by cigar enthusiasts, in the past few years it has grown to terrifying proportions.  Last year gave us the amazing JV13, with its dark rich and heavy flavor profile.  Needless to say, I have been dying to get my hands on the Jekyll every since it was announced.  I am imagining a gentlemanly cigar without much force behind it, but we shall see....
Construction: The Jekyll is a nice looking cigar.  A nice classic Churchill size fits well with the gentleman image of Dr. Jekyll.  Some veins are present but nothing too crazy.  It has that rustic look that all of Pete's cigars tend to exhibit.  With a white band sporting green and black lettering we have a nice looking presentation.  If you haven't seen it, the Hyde which will be released next year, has a green band with white lettering.  Just plain cool, folks.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane, the Jekyll gives off sweet chocolate, leather, and some rich earthy notes.  The draw is perfect as usual.
Light and Burn: The burn is spot-on from beginning to end and the ash is actually quite soft and needs to be watched closely or you will wear it.
Tasting: Off the start, I get cream, nutmeg, oak, and a nice spicy pepper.  Once I let it sit for a couple of minutes it cools off and gives up a nice leather, sweet creamy wood, and some nut flavors.  The core has a nice soft pepper but it doesn't overpower.  There is a twinge of cocoa on the finish that is terrific too - great so far...and vastly different than last year's JV13.
The core of the cigar takes on a leathery note into the middle third.  Some notes of cream, oak, and coffee balance well.  And still, that spicy red pepper is there but still not knocking me around.  Personally, I like that here.  Peppery notes can really dominate the palate and the gentle way Pete has it balanced here is quite masterful.  Overall, the Jekyll is creamy smooth with just enough power lurking below that it hints at things to come with Hyde.
A sweet dose of roasted nuts and oak take over in the final third with notes of earth and silky smooth coffee in there to round things out....all the while, that peppery spice lurks in the shadows.  While I am not sure if Pete intended for that to be the case, it certainly makes for an interesting tie to the literary inspiration of this smoke.
Value: Methinks that thirteen bucks ain't bad for one of the most exciting releases of the year.
Final Thoughts: A very delicious cigar in its own right, the Jekyll seems to fit in well with the Monster Series.  This cigar has only heightened my excitement for the Hyde next year.  Jekyll is satisfying from start to finish - but I implore you to let it sit for a minute or two after lighting to get things going right.  If you power-smoke this cigar it could be less enjoyable.  And while I still label the JV13 as my favorite Monster (if not favorite Tatuaje) the Jekyll is one I can see myself enjoying often.  I am already planning to sit on a few and re-smoke them after a few months of rest.  A word to the wise, if you can find them, buy them, smoke them, hoard them, 'cause they'll  disappear faster than Mr. Hyde into the foggy London night.  Highly recommended.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sancti Spí ritus
Size: 7 x 49
Too much?  Nah...
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