Tatuaje Wolfie

In this assessment, we explore the Tatuaje Wolfie.  This is the third of five cigars in Tatuaje’s Little Monsters Series.  This series consists of a sampler pack consisting of smaller vitolas of
the popular Tatuaje Monster Series.   The Monster Series was created by
Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson as a tribute to monster and horror movies.
Since 2008, around Halloween, a limited edition cigar with a different
monster movie theme has been released on an annual basis as a part of
the series.  Each of these releases has been a new blend.  The Wolfie is a smaller version of the 2011 release, the Tatuaje Wolfman.  We ranked the Wolfman as the #11 cigar for 2011.  With the Wolfie, this was a very good cigar, but one that falls a little short short of the original Wolfman.

The following is information we included when we discussed the Tatuaje Lil’ Drac.  We are including it for completeness:

As mentioned the Little Monsters Series are packaged in sample boxes of 10 cigars consisting of two cigars of each blend.  This is intended to be a limited release run.  Originally we heard 5,000 boxes, but the word is now this has been increased to 10,000.   Here are the particulars:

Frank Jr. (Based on the 2008’s Tatuaje Monster Series – Frank)
Lil’ Drac (Based on 2009’s  Tatuaje Monster Series – Drac)
Baby Face (Based on 2010’s Tatuaje Monster Series -The Face)
Wolfie (Based on on 2011’s Tatuaje Monster Series – Wolfman)
Mini Mum (Based on the upcoming 2012 Tatuaje Monster Series – Mummy)

We also discussed some of the packaging of the Little Monsters Series.

There are two items of note from a packaging standpoint.  First up, the Little Monsters have no special coffin dress boxes (these were artistic boxes meant to resemble monster coffins that were released as a part of the original Monsters Series).  All Tatuaje Little Monsters come in an orange colored cedar sampler box.  Secondly, some (not all) of the boxes contain trading cards (consisting of monsters).   I was a little surprised Johnson opted for this marketing angle as he already knows the frenzy that surround the Monster Series.  It seems to me that the concept of including trading cards in some boxes (while a fun idea) just adds to the frenzy.  

Let’s introduce the Wolfie and see what this cigar delivers.

Blend Profile

The Wolfie shares the same blend as the original Wolfman.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

For completeness, we are treating Wolfman and Wolfie as a single blend and include the sizes below.  Both blends are a box-pressed torpedo.

Wolfie: 5 1/2 x 48
Wolfman: 7 1/2 x 52

Original Tatuaje Wolfman

Appearance

The Wolfie looks exactly how it is positioned – a smaller version of the original Tatuaje Wolfman.   The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper has a medium brown-bag color with some dark spots.  There is a slight bit of oil on the wrapper, but I wouldn’t categorize it as overly oily.  The wrapper itself is virtually void of veins.  The color and texture of the wrapper does a good job at hiding the wrapper seams.   The foot contains a “shag” that exposed the filler and binder (thus the “Wolfman” effect)

The band is based on the standard “Tatuaje” scripted logo.  The script
font is a red/orange on a pewter background.   To the left of the “Tatuaje”
scripting is the text “little” in the red/orange font.  To the right of the
scripting” it says “monsters” in the red/orange font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As I do with all torpedoes (and most cigars), I opted for a straight cut into the torpedo tip.  I then proceeded to start with the pre-light draw.  For the most part the dry draw notes were very similar to the original Wolfman.  I detected a combination of leather, cedar spice, coffee, and sweet cocoa notes – giving the cedar spice had an edge.  Overall I was pleased with the pre-light draw, so at this time it was time to light the Wolfie and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

When I assessed the Tatuaje Baby Face, I saw a similar flavor profile to the original Tatuaje Face.  In the case of the Wolfie, I found the flavor profile to have more differences from the original Tatuaje Wolfman.

Like I did with the original Wolfman, I opted to light the shagged foot of the Wolfie normally and then started smoking it right away (as opposed to totally toasting all of the shag). Given the Wolfie is a Tatuaje product – and Tatuaje products are made at the My Father Cigars’ factory, it was no surprise that I got a pepper blast to start this cigar.  I categorized this blast as combination of black pepper and cedar spice.  As the burn reached the wrapper, notes of coffee and cream entered the flavor profile and became primary notes.  The cedar/pepper spice moved to the background and was joined by some grassy notes.

The coffee/cream combination alternated with the grass/cedar/pepper combination in the forefront as the cigar experience progressed.  At the same time I also picked up a floral quality on the after-draw.  By the early part of the second half, the coffee/cream combination was in control as the primary flavor and was joined by earth notes.  It was around this time that the spice seemed to dial back.  I also detected notes of orange peel.  One thing I was expecting was for the orange peel to develop into the wonderful orange citrus sweetness I got on the original Wolfman.   This unfortunately did not happen.

In the last third of the Wolfie, the spice re-emerged and joined the coffee/cream/earth in the forefront.   The finish had some spice on it.   It wasn’t the smoothest close to a cigar, but I wouldn’t categorize it as harsh either.  The nub was ideal – it was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.

Burn and Draw

Long time readers of Cigar Coop know I am not a fan of torpedo vitolas.  I feel they usually tend to fall short in terms of burn and draw.   While I think the Wolfie and original Wolfman would have been much better in a classic parejo shape, these cigars still scored very well in terms of the attributes of burn and draw.  The burn of the Tatuaje Wolfie was sharp from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups.  The ash was salt and pepper colored and for the most part was a tight ash.  The Wolfie had an ideal burn rate and burn temperature.   As for the draw, it was very good for a torpedo and made for an enjoyable smoke to puff on.

Strength and Body

I felt that he strength and body of the Tatuaje Wolfie was a bit dialed down from the original Wolfman.  I assessed the Wolfman to be a medium to full-strength, full-bodied smoke.  I found the Wolfie to be a cigar that will not overwhelm you with nicotine – making it a classic medium strength smoke.  The flavor notes have some nice depth to them.  I assessed the flavor of the Wolfie to be medium to full-bodied.  There was a nice balance with the strength and body of the Wolfie.   I’d give the body an edge over the strength, but overall I’d still consider this a balanced smoke in terms of the two attributes.

Final Thoughts

There was one thing the Wolfie missed that I felt the original Tatuaje Wolfman had – and that was the nice orange citrus notes.  I felt this gave the Wolfman a nice differentiator.   When I smoked the Tatuaje Baby Face, one disadvantage it had to when I assessed the Tatuaje Face was that it didn’t have as much age.  This could have been one reason why I gave the original Tatuaje Face the edge.  In the case of the Wolfie and Wolfman, I smoked these shortly after each were released.  The Wolfie was a cigar I liked, but the Wolfman is a cigar I loved.   The Wolfie is still a very good cigar, so that shouldn’t be considered a negative – it is just up against some great competition.   Some props to Tatuaje must be given for making a well-constructed torpedo vitola.  This is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast – and certainly to a Tatuaje fan.   This might be a better cigar than the original Wolfman for the novice enthusiast as it is dialed back in strength and body.  As for myself, I would still smoke this again.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good 
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 91

Source: The cigars for this assessment were a part of a
Little Monsters box of cigars purchased from Corona Cigar Company in
Orlando, Florida.