A Guide to Tatuaje’s Monster Mash
Oh boy, I have been looking forward to making this list for a long time now. Partly, because I understand the dedicated following that the Monster Series has (admittedly, I am one of those dedicated followers), and the varying opinions that would likely come out of this ranking, but mostly because I couldn’t wait to smoke all these blends.
I smoked one Monster blend a day for 14 days and was able to get this ranking finished just in time for spooky season. I won’t get into the full history of Tatuaje’s Monster series because it would make this article even longer than it already is, but just know that each one of these blends is truly something special.
Before we hop into the ranking, there are just two things that you should take note of. First, all the blends in the Monster Mash sampler are based on the originally released Monster blends, with the only difference being the size of the cigars – each cigar will have the same ring gauge as its original release but will be an inch and a half shorter in length. Second, and more important, despite where a blend falls in this ranking, I want to make it clear that there is not a bad cigar in this lineup – each blend, at least from my experience, is one that I would be happy to smoke again (something I plan on doing).
On that note, lets jump right into the ranking of the best Tatuaje Monster Mash blends!
Frank, the blend that started it all for the Monster Series, kicks off our list and takes the number one spot. Flawlessly constructed, and unbelievably flavorful and complex, Frank is everything that I want and look for in a cigar. This rich blend is dominated by notes of cocoa powder, cedar, and light coffee (almost like watery diner coffee), that is perfectly balanced with a natural sweetness that builds throughout the cigar. The only thing that I could find wrong with Frank (and trust me I tried to find anything), is that I couldn’t smoke it longer. Not to be dramatic, but Frank is truly one of the best blends I have had in recent memory.
An absolute treat, Jason is highlighted by deep notes of rich chocolate and dark roast coffee that are followed by a creamy and oaky finish. I was expecting Jason to be the most full-bodied blend in the lineup just by the look of the dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, but I was surprised to find that this was not the case. With that said, Jason still fits in to the full-bodied category, and with a coffee cake-like natural sweetness and added black pepper that builds throughout the cigar, this blend is truly a complex masterpiece.
If there is one cigar in this Monster Mash that I would choose as my new daily smoke, it would be Michael. Medium-bodied, sweet, and spicy, and chock full of notes of cedar and almonds, Michael is a blend that I think anyone can get behind - there was nothing off-putting with Michael, no bitterness, harshness, or anything of the sort. I really took my time smoking this (a little over an hour and a half), and I think that really helped this blend in the end. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Michael.
Face may very well be the unsung hero of the Monster Series – to me, it doesn’t seem like it gets the recognition it rightfully deserves in this loaded lineup of blends. Super balanced and surprisingly creamy, the only knock on Face was that the burn line became pretty uneven in the second third, but it eventually corrected itself without the need for any touch ups. Notes of sweet coffee, oak, and pepper highlight this uber flavorful blend and the rich vanilla retrohale provides a perfect finish for Face. I generally stay away from larger ring gauges, but in this case, the 56-ring gauge did nothing to put a damper on my overwhelmingly positive experience with Face.
There is a new monster in town in the form of Creature! I don’t know what the blend is since it hasn’t been disclosed, but what I do know is that Creature has made a strong first impression in this star-studded Monster Mash lineup. Earthy, spicy, and rich, Creature cracked the top five in this ranking with a really complex experience that seemed to change from puff to puff. Who knows when we will see Creature outside of Monster Mash, but whenever that time comes, I can promise you that I will be ready to buy.
It pains me to put Bride this low on the list, but I am at a loss considering the rest of the blends it was being ranked against. Make no mistake though, Bride is a cigar that I will continue to smoke for as long as I can (which unfortunately will not be very long because I only have one box left). The first third of Bride was dominated by flavors of earth and cedar and followed by very light and pleasant notes of sweet cinnamon as it transitioned into the second third. A complex flavor profile and flawless construction are a perfect recipe for a great cigar.
Just from a visual perspective, Wolf is a really attractive looking cigar – golden brown with no visible wrapper flaws and dark brown shaggy foot that contrasts well the color of the wrapper. The first couple of draws hit me with a blast of pepper and cedar because of the absence of wrapper tobacco on the shaggy foot. Once I got into the wrapper, it naturally balanced out a bit with a very noticeable nuttiness and earthiness that were followed by a pleasant sweetness on the back end. I think Wolf is a great example of how good an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper can be – rich, sweet, earthy, nutty, and much more.
If there is one true outlier in this lineup, Tiff would be it – the only blend to use an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper which provides an experience that is very different from the rest of the Monsters. Tiff gives you all the nutty, and creamy notes you expect from a blend like this and adds a little flare with a noticeable amount of white pepper. The silky, golden wrapper, razor-sharp burn, and perfect draw all combine to make a crisp experience that is perfect for any occasion. I want to note that I am not an Ecuadorian Connecticut fanatic, but I thoroughly enjoyed this blend and ended up smoking it noticeably faster than usual.
I can’t decide if I like Chuck better in cigar form, or movie form – this is very telling considering Child’s Play is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. Not only is the cigar delicious, but I also think that the size works really well for the blend. The sweet and spicy Ecuadorian Habano wrapper plays well with the earthy and leathery undertones from the top-notch Nicaraguan fillers that create a medium to full-bodied profile with heavy, flavorful smoke. Bonus points are awarded to Chuck because it probably has my favorite band in the lineup.
I must admit that Krueger has been giving me nightmares, but I am lucky (or unlucky?) that it’s because I am out of luck trying to get my hands on more of these cigars – still not a problem I’d like to have but I guess it beats being haunted in my sleep by that crazy metal-clawed guy. Full-flavored, full-bodied, and full-strength, Krueger is not a blend for the faint of heart. I am being a little dramatic, but it’s probably best to have a full stomach before you smoke this. Krueger sports a dark, toothy wrapper and has very apparent notes of dark chocolate, leather, and black pepper that are complemented well by sharp notes cedar and a slight, honey-like, natural sweetness.
Mummy might be the most approachable blend in the lineup in my opinion - it’s medium-bodied with relatively light and airy smoke, and the farthest thing from overpowering. This is another blend that would be a great everyday cigar if it were actually accessible in some capacity. Aside from that, Mummy is a really good blend that showcases a ton of different flavors – a nutty and peppery start that is followed by an ever-building amount of cedar and hay that is capped by a really interesting and mouthwatering sweetness. A perfect draw and an awesome size, added to the complex flavor profile to make Mummy a cigar I will try to find more of.
Like Mummy, Jekyll starts off pretty spicy and nutty but as I transitioned into the second third, a noticeable amount of sweet cream entered the mix that was soon followed by notes of roasted almonds. Getting into the second half of the cigar a lot of coffee and milk chocolate notes came into the fold which did a good job of balancing the other dominant flavors. Sounds like a lot going on, but I was surprised at how well as of these flavors came together seamlessly – all you need to know is that I was impressed with Jekyll despite its low ranking on this list.
I feel like I am going to catch some flak for this ranking of Drac, but I am always open to discussion. By no means was Drac a bad cigar – I actually enjoyed it – but compared to the rest of Monster blends Drac just didn’t hold up to those top tier blends. Despite its menacing appearance, Drac offered a lot of sweetness, and in particular a graham cracker like sweetness that I haven’t stopped thinking about since I smoked it. A lot of richness and a moderate amount of spiciness were a good complement to the notes of dark chocolate and graham crackers that were apparent throughout the cigar. This blend gave me more than enough to convince me to pick up a box or two of the new Drac Redux when they hit the shelves. The biggest flaw (and I know I’m reaching) with Drac was that it needed a couple of minor touchups throughout the burn. But, really, what do I care? That’s what a lighter is for.
Instead of thinking of Hyde as the worst Monster Mash blend, think of it as the 14th best Monster Mash blend because it is still a cigar that I think a lot of people will be impressed with. Medium-bodied and full of flavors of cedar, pepper, and earth, Hyde is highlighted by a large amount of roasted cashew that is rounded out by a rather distinct creaminess. The draw was perfect, and the burn was pretty even aside from a few minor touchups (but again, that’s what a lighter is for). All things considered; Hyde provided me a really good, medium-bodied smoking experience, as I’m sure it will for anyone who tries it.
So, it took a little while, but we made it through the ranking of the best Tatuaje Monster Mash Blends. I just want to reiterate that there is not a bad cigar in this lineup and I’m sure most of you will agree when you smoke through all these blends.
I would recommend taking notes on all these blends as you smoke them and make sure to be on the lookout for when your favorite blend will be released as part of the Redux series. After making my way through this sampler, one thing became very clear to me: I enjoyed all these blends enough that I anticipate buying a box or two (one for smoking, one for the collection) of every Redux release as they hit the market.
I am really interested in hearing what everyone’s favorite Monster Mash blend is, as I’m sure there will be a ton of different thoughts on this. So, make sure to leave a comment and let us know which Monster Series blend is your favorite and what you think about this ranking of the best Monster Mash blends (even if you just want to tell me I’m off my rocker)!
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