April 13, 2012

Review: (PRE-RELEASE) Tatuaje Mini Mum

Today is something special. It's Friday the 13th and I thought it would be very fitting to post a review of the new Mini Mum cigar coming from Pete Johnson. If you've checked out our site recently you will probably know that I took a trip to Nicaragua with Pete (and others) where I was lucky enough to smoke all of the new "Little Monsters" that should be hitting the shelves in early summer. The Mini Mum is the largest/longest of the new releases. Could it be a foreshadowing to the full blown Mummy Monster release in October? We will have to wait and see. (I'm lying. The full-size Mummy is a beast, measuring 7 3/4 by 48; a long Churchill, if you will)

The whole Little Monsters concept (Link to a video Jerry Cruz of Stogie Review did with Pete explaining the concept) is a cool idea in my opinion because I know many guys who never got their hands on some of the first Monster series releases and this will give them a chance to try them without paying crazy after market prices.  Packaging them in a sampler style box and making them smaller in size only makes it easier and more affordable to try them all. (Plus there may be some other cools things coming with the packaging.)

Vitola: Corona 
Length: 5 3/4
Ring Gauge: 42
Wrapper: Nicaragua Sun Grown Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $75.00 for a sampler box of 10 cigars
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

The Mini Mum is a pretty rustic looking cigar. The wrapper has a lot of veins of different sizes and varies in shades of color from lighter to darker browns, being darkest at the closed foot end. To put it bluntly, it's ugly like a monster. The stick had a nice give to when squeezed, but was not what I would call soft in any way. The pre-lit aroma smelled mostly of nuts, but also had a hint of clove. The cold draw (or where there was one with a closed foot cigar) tasted again of nuts. I would say hazelnut if I had to pick a certain type. The flavor was strong, which foreshadowed good things to come.       

First Third
I love lighting a closed foot cigar because, in those first few draws, you really get a sense of the wrapper taste. The flavor I got right away on the front of the profile was classic Don Pepin black pepper, which hit mostly on the sides of my tongue, rounded out by a strong cedar flavor. The finish felt very syrupy on my palate and again had smacks of black pepper, but this time knocked down a bit by a leather taste. As you can see in the photos, the ash on the cigar was a bright white color (like a mummy, get it? *groan*) and held on strong even smoking outside on a windy day. About an inch into the cigar, the flavors already started to change on the finish and I started to get some clove of the taste I had smelled on the pre-lit aroma. The cigar produced a large amount of smoke and burned effortlessly. The nicotine strength was a solid medium. 

Second Third
The second third on my Mini Mum was similar on the front end of the profile with pepper and cedar, but the finish had really taken off. The clove flavor had come on strong and created a nice mix with the leather. Adding to that was some pretty strong cinnamon notes that, for me, took this stage of the cigar to a whole new level. It reminded me a lot of old fashion candies that you would get a a state fair or at the little shop at a Cracker Barrel. (To be 100% honest, I've never been to a Cracker Barrel, but I know they sell what I'm writing about.) It was that spicy, old-fashioned, comes-in-a-paper-bag kind of candy that has sweetness, but only enough to help the spice from being too much. Anyway, it was unique enough that I texted my friend right away and said that this was something different. Also, in the second third, the nicotine strength picked up and I would say it was in the lower full range. I could feel my heart rate pick up a bit, but nothing uncomfortable. Again no burn or construction problems.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my Mini Mum was dominated both on the front of the profile and the finish by the clove/cinnamon/leather combo. Toward the nub, some of the black pepper kicked back in, but that was almost like an afterthought at this point. Just like the difference in the first third to the second third, the nicotine strength continued to pick up and by the end of the cigar was well into the full range. It's a smaller cigar, but it still will keep the full strength guys happy - especially when you get to the latter half of the smoking experience. I burned this cigar until my fingers were burning and it never got sour or hot. 

Final thoughts on the Tatuaje Mini Mum ? This Little Monster might not be full size like it's big brother will be in October, but it's still a full size monster in flavor. What really shined with this cigar is the finish on each puff and the flavors that last a long time between draws. The combination of clove/cinnamon/leather blended well and made for a winner in my book. I can't wait to get my hands on more of these and am now anticipating the full size Mummy release even more.

Would I buy it again? Yes

Would I buy a box? I will be buying multiple boxes of the Little Monsters (sampler box that contains this cigar.)



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