The tenth official release of Tatuaje’s wildly popular seasonal Monster Series was first hinted at in early 2017, later making its official debut at IPCPR 2017. The Monster Series was launched in 2008 with the release of The Frank and had long been rumored to conclude with a total of thirteen cigars. And while The Michael is the tenth of thirteen blends, company owner Pete Johnson announced through an interview with JR Cigar that previously released blends outside the series—Chuck and Tiff—would now be considered a part of the canonical Monster Series. Johnson does not specifically mention whether 2018’s release will be The Chuck (followed by The Tiff in 2019) or if he will simply skip to the final blend, which he also announced as being The Bride—bringing the series full circle from The Frank release of 2008.
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Tatuaje Monster Series
|The Frank||Connecticut Broadleaf||7⅝” × 49||2008|
|The Drac||Habano Ecuador Maduro||6¾” x 52||2009|
|The Face||Mexican San Andrés||6⅜” × 56||2010|
|The Wolfman||Ecuadoran Sumatra||7½” × 52||2011|
|The Mummy||Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo||7¾” × 47||2012|
|The JV13||Connecticut Broadleaf||7½” × 52||2013|
|The Jekyll||Ecuadoran Sancti Spiritus||7″ × 49||2014|
|The Hyde||Ecuadoran Sumatra||7″ × 49||2015|
|The Krueger||Mexican San Andrés||7¼” × 48||2016|
|The Michael||Ecuadorian Habano||6⅛″ × 52||2017|
The Michael No. 10 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Limited Edition (4,000 boxes of 10 | 666 boxes of 13)
- Vitola: 6⅛″ × 52 Toro
- Price: $13.00 (MSRP)
While most cigars in the Monster Series hover around “Churchill size,” The Michael is closer to a classic toro—being the shortest vitola in the collection. The blend can be most closely compared (at least on paper) to The Drac and Chuck—although The Drac used a maduro shade wrapper.
Like all other Monster Series cigars, The Michael is manufactured at the García’s My Father Cigars factory in Estelí, making use of the family’s Nicaraguan tobaccos throughout the binder/filler. Tatuaje has pulled back on production though, releasing 500 fewer boxes compared to last year’s The Krueger.
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Despite being the shortest Monster cigar, The Michael still feels rather substantial in the hand. The cigar shows thin seams, light veins, and a medium bunch that gives a solid feel when squeezed. Expected from most-any García-made cigar—and especially of their more premium blends—The Michael looks expertly rolled. This includes a triple cap, consistency from head to toe, and well-placed wrapper seams.
The cigar is among the lightest in appearance from a series that consists largely of maduros; having a light, sandal leather brown hue with undertones of orange and purple (depending on the light source). This is concealed under Tatuaje’s beloved thin-style band, which shows a new background color of dark blue. As far as packaging, the plain-wood boxes show a new silhouette of The Michael logo (which is Michael Myers’ knife), while the collector’s boxes are black, red, and white—with Michael Myers’ face emblazoned on the box-top.
The wrapper aroma is pretty subtle, with hints of leather and citrus. On the foot, there are more aromatic qualities of freshly roasted coffee beans and chocolate brownie batter. Cutting the triple cap, The Michael offers a medium-plus resistance and notes of cedar and cocoa powder.
Not unlike many Tatuaje cigars, The Michael lights up with a spicy zest in the nostrils. Red pepper is the leading spice, with classic flavors of cedar and butter helping to round out the profile. This lasts the majority of the cigar’s beginning, with most of the nostril-zinging sensation toning down by the cigar’s first inch burned.
As indicated by the pre-light, The Michael’s smoking draw is less than ideal, showing a medium-plus resistance that is a little too tight. Despite this, the smoke output is satisfactory, giving medium bursts of white smoke. Construction-wise, the cigar leaves little to be desired, maintaining a straight burn and producing flakey chunks of ash that cling for upwards of one inch. The overall profile throughout the first half can be described as such—medium flavor, slightly under medium strength (this increases to medium in the cigar’s later portion), and medium in body.
In the later portions of the smoking experience, a tangy/sour note of sourdough bread is at the forefront. This is joined by notes of anise, cedar, and toasted bread. The texture is dry, offering a relatively straightforward and classically-geared profile.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
The Monster Series has always been a bit of a hit and miss for me, and The Michael, unfortunately, falls in the latter category. Of course, this series is fun regardless, and the purchase of The Michael could be worth it to many smokers simply to enjoy the proper pairing for the seasonal mood. But the cigar’s simplistic profile felt hollow and papery, lacking an overall narrative to hook the smoker in. Considering the price and difficulty of attaining this cigar, I’d recommend passing on this one.
- Smoking Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.
- Pairing Recommendation: amber ale, old fashioned cocktail, saison
- Purchase Recommendation: pass
- Straight burn line
- Long smoke time
- Lacks complexity
- Tight draw
- Price point outweighs performance