I have a confession to make. I’ve never actually seen a Boris Karloff film. I know he played Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy, but I’ve never watched any of his films from start to finish. I’m going to have to remedy that. Did you know his real name was William Henry Pratt? Neither did I. One thing I do know is that the Tatuaje Little Boris is a cigar with a history almost as intriguing as the actor himself.

The Little Boris was originally released back in 2012, as the Tatuaje Monster Series was one of the most sought-after limited-edition lines in all of premium cigars. The Little Boris was a new vitola of the original Tatuaje The Boris that was released back in 2008. Originally a part of the short-lived Actor Series, The Boris was released after The Frank kicked off the Monster Series. It turned out that The Boris was the only Actor Series to ever see the light of day and, in my opinion, that is a bummer. We ended up with three different releases of the blend, so I guess it’s not too bad. It would have been cool to see a Tatauje Bela though…

Tatuaje Little Boris (2018) Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Limited Edition (1,500 boxes of 10 cigars)
  • Vitola: 5½″ × 49 (Robusto)
  • Price: $10.00 (MSRP)
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Appearance

The 2018 iteration of the Little Boris sports a black and gold “Tatuaje Exclusive Series” band. “Little Boris” is written in gold in an Old English-style font. It’s a simple look, but it differs from the look of the Little Boris from 2012. That version was white and gold and was also a shop exclusive for Corona Cigar Co. in Orlando.

The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper has the color of milk chocolate and the texture of worn leather. It has some veins and looks a bit rustic. Personally, I think cigars should have a rustic look to them—it makes them look like they have a story to tell.

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Smoking Experience

As it turns out, the Little Boris did indeed have a great story to tell. It was an epic tale full of cocoa, leather, roasted nuts, and attention-grabbing transitions. Okay, enough with that analogy.

The pre-light experience had the wrapper giving off notes of cinnamon, leather, and barnyard, while the cold draw tasted of cocoa, raisins, hay, molasses, and black pepper. These are all notes I’ve come to expect from an Ecuadorian Sumatra-wrapped Tatuaje cigar. Pete Johnson (owner of Tatuaje Cigars) uses this wrapper extremely well.

The first third was overflowing with flavor. The profile was that of Mexican hot chocolate, showing individual notes of cocoa, leather, nuts, nougat, and hot red pepper spice on the retrohale. That is a lot going on, but it was all in balance. It wasn’t too sweet or too spicy.

Tatuaje Little Boris (2018) cigar smoking

The flavors intensified as we approached the midpoint. Notes of milk chocolate, nuts, and nougat were accompanied by a nice red pepper spice. The middle two inches of the Little Boris were basically perfect.

The final third produced a major plot twist; we went from candy bar to BBQ! Notes of smokey wood, molasses, and a slightly salty vibe take over. The red pepper is then joined by a more earthy black pepper as well. This was a massive change in the profile and I enjoyed it. It was like eating dinner in reverse—we had our sweets before the brisket.

Tatuaje Little Boris (2018) cigar ash

Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?

Absolutely… If I can find more, that is.

Additional Info
  • After Tatuaje’s re-release of the Little Boris in 2018, Tat fanboys, including yours truly, quickly went on the hunt and bought up all the inventory they could find. I was part of a failed group who procured none. So, when the powers that be (aka Dojo Headquarters) asked me to review the Little Boris, I was quick to say yes. Maybe not so quick to actually write the review, but that’s another story for another time (apologies to the editor).
  • Little Boris was originally released back in 2012 as a Corona Cigar Co. Exclusive.
  • The original The Boris cigar (the full-sized version of the blend) was released in 2008, being the first and only release in the Actor Series.
  • The 2018 version saw the bulk of the inventory go to Corona Cigar Co., while the remaining 500 or so boxes were sent out to other retailers throughout the country.

Profile
  • Flavor: Full
  • Strength: Medium-full
  • Body: Medium-full
Core Flavors
  • Rich leather
  • Cocoa powder
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Nougat
  • Cabinet spices
Tips
  • Smoke Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Pairing Recommendation: Rye whiskey | Prairie Bomb! imperial stout | Cream soda | Black coffee
  • Purchase Recommendation: Grab whatever you can find

Tatuaje Little Boris (2018) cigar nub finished

Tatuaje Little Boris (2018)
The Little Boris is a fun cigar. The story is cool and the experience is full of flavor and a big plot twist. On top of all that, I love smoking hard-to-find cigars (who doesn't?). The rarity adds to the allure, but I feel like I am more critical of this class of cigar. I find myself really focusing on every tiny detail, whether I am reviewing it or not. I only mention this because I think the perception is that a rare cigar will automatically score higher. I can say that is not the case for me, and I imagine most who write reviews feel the same. So, rare or not, the Little Boris definitely makes the cut. It’s a lovely cigar with an intense array of flavors. If it were a regular-production cigar, it would have a permanent home in my humidor.
Appearance90%
Burn/Construction92%
Draw90%
Flavor92%
Complexity92%
Price/Value90%
Pros
  • Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper really shines
  • Layers of flavor with strength to match
  • Big-time transitions
Cons
  • Hard to find
91%Monster’s Best Friend
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