October 11, 2011

REVIEW: Tatuaje Wolfman (pre-release)

It's my favorite time of year. The weather is getting cooler. The trees are starting to change color. College football is in full swing. I could go on and on. With autumn being my gem of a season, it's not a shocker that Halloween ranks at the top of my favorite holidays to celebrate. And with Halloween comes probably my most anticipated cigar line release of the year: the Tatuaje Monster Series. Some of them have been better releases than others in the line, but in my opinion, they have all been pretty solid. I'm happy to see that Pete (@tatuajecigars on twitter) has moved away from the Mexican wrapper of last year's THE FACE and gone with the Sumatra that did wonders on the Tatuaje The 7th Cappa Especial and the NHC Cappa Especial.

Quote from Pete Johnson about the Tatuaje Wolfman: This year's Monster was based on the Wolfman and I wanted it to have a slightly unfinished gnarly feel to it. It comes in dress coffin boxes of 13, or ten count boxes just like last year. The sticks are wrapped in foil... silver bullets.. get it?

With these shipping this week I thought it was time to light up my other sample from last July's trade show. I smoked one other sample of this stick a few months back, but it was after a long day of smoking many cigars. Let's see what the Wolfman can do to a fresh palate.

Vitola: Box-pressed torpedo
Length: 7.5
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $13
Smoking Location: My Back Deck
Beverage: Water

First thing I noticed when holding my Tatuaje Wolfman is how long the cigar feels. The short unfinished foot (longer than the El Hijo, but not as long as something we saw last summer from another company) adds some length, but I think it's the tapered head that gives the impression that it's even longer than a 7.5 cigar. The wrapper is a reddish brown color that has lighter shades of brown closer to the veins. There is a slight tooth to the wrapper, but it feels very smooth and has a waxy-like coat to it. The pre-lit aroma is very leathery with some black pepper at the open foot. The cold draw was excellent and tasted of cedar with hints of plum which added some sweetness.

First Third

I tend to torch my cigars pretty well so I only got one or two puffs off of the cigar before I started to burn into the wrapped part of the stick. The first few puffs of just filler/binder had a mild spice both on the front and the finish but not much else. The draw was perfect and the cigar produced a good amount of smoke. Once I was a inch or so into the main body of the cigar, the front of the profile got very woody in flavor. The finish still had the mild spice that I tasted mostly on the roof of my mouth. Burning even further into my cigar, the finish changed up and picked up a dry cocoa taste. This worked nicely with the mild spice from before. The strength was in the medium range.

Second Third  
The second third of my Tatuaje Wolfman had a big change in flavor from the first third in the finish of the profile. Gone completely was any sign of spice and now I was getting a lot of sweetness that left my mouth feeling syrupy. It was very interesting to say the least. The front of each puff changed a little also, but not in flavor more in the balance of taste. The dry cocoa from the start had picked up and was now equally as strong as the woody cedar flavor. Just like the start of the cigar, the construction/draw was excellent and the strength was on the medium side. 

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
In the final third of my Tatuaje Wolfman, the front of the taste profile took a change like the finish did previously. Now on each draw, I was hit with a big bouquet of floral flavors that lasted well into the finish and added even more to the sweetness that was already there. There was no spice that I am use to with Tatuaje, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment. Just something to take note of if you are looking for that Tat pepper blast. It is not here. The strength of the cigar ramped up a little here and I would say it was in the lower end of full. I also only had a small dinner before smoking tonight, so that might have something to do with it. Perfect draw with just a slightly wavy burn all the way to the nub.  
My final thoughts on the Tatuaje Wolfman? This is not what I was expecting from this release and I'm happy to say I am pleased anyway. This was a departure from what normally comes out from the Johnson/Pepin tandem and will throw some for a loop, but I like to think of it this way: It's a fun release that is not part of the core Tatuaje line. Why not change it up and go in a different direction? In my opinion it's a solid cigar and a nice addition to the Monster series 

Would I buy it again? Unlike last year's release, where I was not really hunting too hard for more of the cigar even though I love Halloween and all things related, I'll be on the search for more these.

Would I buy a box? With a 10 (or if you're lucky, 13) count box this is not a huge investment. I would love to have a box and let them sit for awhile. I recently smoked a Tatuaje Boris (another Sumatra-wrapped cigar in the Monster Series) and it was phenomenal. I wonder if these can turn from good to great like those did?


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. To bad I'll never smoke one because of price.:(