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Cigar Review: Tatuaje The Chuck

11 Nov 2020

The Monster Series from Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje Cigars has been around almost as long as this website—which, in cigar years, is pretty much an eternity. It started in 2008 with The Frank and wrapped up in 2019 with a dual Halloween-timed releases for The Tiff and The Chuck.

In between, many of Johnson’s favorite characters from the horror genre were celebrated, including The Bride, The Drac, The Face, The Hyde, The Jekyll, The JV13, The Krueger, The Michael, The Mummy, and The Wolfman. This annual Halloween release (13 in total) constituted arguably the most sought-after, longest-running, most collectable series of limited production creations in the world of boutique cigars.

Scarcity was certainly a factor at play. Traditionally, Johnson only produced 666 “dress boxes” of 13 cigars for that year’s Monster Series release, with only 13 “unlucky” retailers getting the bulk of the boxes to sell. The 2019 release of The Chuck and The Tiff, however, saw some notable differences. For one, there were two releases, and the two dress boxes interlock to form one Child’s Play-inspired collectable piece. Also, Johnson doubled the unlucky retailers to 26 each receiving 13 dress boxes of both cigars (with another 328 boxes of each cigar sold to other retailers).

Of note: The release of The Chuck and The Tiff in the preceding paragraph relates to the full Monster Series production, not offshoot Tatuaje Monster sizes like Little Monsters, Pudgy Monsters, Skinny Monsters, Skinny Monsters Cazadores, or Skinny Monsters Lancero. Both The Chuck and The Tiff made appearances across all of these other formats, except Little Monsters.

If all this is confusing—and it’s OK to admit it is—here’s the bottom line: In 2019, Tatuaje launched its last two full cigars in the Monster Series: The Tiff (5.9 x 52, $13, 31,000 total cigars) and The Chuck (5.9 x 52, $13, 31,000 total cigars).

Today I’m reviewing The Chuck, which was made at My Father Cigars S.A. in Nicaragua with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. (In contrast, The Tiff has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper around Nicaraguan tobaccos.) It’s a well-formed, firm cigar with an oily, dark chocolate-colored wrapper that’s not without a few large veins. The cold draw is smooth, and the pre-light aroma at the foot is reminiscent of green raisin, hay, and cereals.

The Chuck starts with a burst of both red and black pepper spice along with some heavy notes of earth and leather. The texture is dry and bready. The Habano wrapper clearly takes center stage. The spice dials back after about a quarter-inch, and that leaves room for some subtle sweetness to come through.

Heading into the midway point, the spice remains yet continues to fade. Here, I would classify both the strength and body as medium. Leather and cereals make up the core with some nice additions like roasted peanut, raisin, and black coffee. The final third is more of the same but with even less spice.

Across the three samples I smoked for this review, construction was both consistent and admirable. The burn line requires a few touch-ups along the way, the draw is smooth, and the smoke production is adequate. The ash tends to be fairly flaky, though, and is prone to fall off prematurely.

It’s impossible to smoke The Chuck and not compare it to other cigars in Tatuaje’s Moster Series. Looking back on my reviews, it seems my favorites were The Mummy and The Jekyll (probably in that order). I also loved Boris, though Johnson says this release doesn’t officially count as part of the Monster Series. In any event, while The Chuck is a fine cigar, I would not put it in the same class as my favorites from the series, and have settled on a respectable score of three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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