|Tatuaje Mini Mum|
Today we explore the fourth of the five blends included in Tatuaje’s Little Monsters Series – the Tatuaje Mini Mum. The Little Monsters Series consists of a sampler pack consisting of smaller vitolas of the popular Tatuaje Monster Series. It 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. At the time this article was authored, the Mini Mum is unique in the Little Monsters Series in that its full-size counterpart had not been released yet. The full-sized Tatuaje Mummy is most likely planned for a Halloween 2012 time-frame release. In the case of the Mini Mum, it is giving cigar enthusiasts a lot to look forward to as this might be the best of the Little Monsters Series. This is simply an outstanding cigar.
As we have been providing assessments on the Little Monsters Series, we have provided the following background and perspectives. 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 “unwrap” the Mini Mum and see what this brings to the table.
The Tatuaje Mini Mum is a Nicaraguan puro. Johnson seems to be opting for Ecuadorian Habano, Ecuadorian Sumatra, or Connecticut Broadleaf these days, so in a way this shuffles the deck a bit in terms of Tatuaje wrappers.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo
As mentioned above, the Mini Mum is a smaller size of the upcoming Tatuaje Mummy.
Mini Mum: 5 3/4 x 42
The Mini Mum’s Sun Grown Criollo wrapper is medium brown in color. The wrapper itself is smooth, but I would not categorize it as oily. There were a couple of veins that were visible. There were also a few wrapper seams (although I expected more given the Mummy “wrap” theme). The foot to the Mini Mum is covered.
|Covered foot of the Tatuaje Mini Mum|
The band is based on the standard “Tatuaje” scripted logo. The script font is white on a gray background. To the left of the “Tatuaje” scripting is the text “little” in the white font. To the right of the scripting” it says “monsters” in the white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my Tatuaje Mini Mum, I opted for a straight cut into the cap. I’ll admit, the pre-light draw was a little disappointing in that the dry draw flavors seemed a bit muted. While I know that this has a covered foot, I’ve had other cigars with a covered foot provide more pre-light flavor. The pre-light draw did yield some mild-bodied notes of wood and nut. While I wasn’t thrilled with the pre-light, there is no loss of points here as this is not factored into our assessment rating or score. At this point, it was now time to light the Mini Mum and see what the smoking experience had in store.
The start to the Tatuaje Mini Mum consisted of notes of grass and black pepper to start. The Mini Mum is a Garcia family-made cigar at My Father Cigars, so this black pepper blast was no surprise. The black pepper moved into the background while the nut notes and citrus sweetness joined the grass in the forefront.
In the middle of the first third, some floral notes entered the equation – replacing the grass notes. There was a lot of activity as far as primary flavors were going – namely citrus sweetness, nut, and floral notes. The black pepper remained in the background. By the end of the first third, the floral and citrus notes had fused together and made for a very unique flavor. The background black pepper notes also took on some baker’s spice qualities.
As the cigar experience moved into the second third, the floral/citrus combination morphed into more of a cherry sweetness. It complemented the nut flavors in the forefront. Meanwhile some cream notes joined the spice notes in the background. Overall, I was amazed at the complexity of the Mini Mum,.
In the second half, the spice moved up into the forefront. It moved the cherry and nut notes into the background where the cream notes still remained. The spice really kicks up a notch in the last third. Toward the end, this made for a spicy cigar. The close to the cigar was spicy, but not harsh. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Tatuaje Mini Mum was slightly disappointing. Since my experience with many Tatuaje and My Father Cigars usually provides high scores here – anything that falls short of excellent is a disappointment. I found the two samples of Tatuaje Mini Mum required more frequent touch-ups than I would have preferred. The touch-ups did keep the cigar burning straight, but it was the frequency of the touch-ups that hurt. The resulting ash was a nice white ash. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal throughout the smoking experience. There were no issues with the draw – it was outstanding from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Tatuaje Mini Mum starts out as a medium to full strength cigar. As the smoking experience progresses, this cigar is really going to kick it up a notch and by the second half it goes deep into the full strength range. Right now I’ve smoked four of the five Little Monsters and the Mini Mum is without a doubt the strongest from a nicotine perspective. The body of the Mini Mum takes on a similar profile starting out medium to full-bodied, and then progressing to full-bodied in the second half. As both attributes increase in depth, it helps keep the cigar very well balanced. It is nice to see that the increase in strength did not sacrifice the flavor.
At the time of this assessment, I’ve smoked four of the five Little Monsters to date (with only the Tatuaje Frank Jr. as one I have not tried). With the Lil’ Drac, Baby Face, and Wolfie, I can say I liked those cigars. With the Mini Mum, this is a cigar I absolutely loved. This is a blend that is one of those special ones that the Garcias and Johnson have created. It might also be one of the best Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo wrapper cigars I have ever had. We’ll see what happens when the full Mummy comes out, but this could be a cigar contending for top honors in our 2012 Cigar of the Year. This probably a cigar I’d steer to an experienced enthusiast that likes a full strength, full-bodied smoke. It’s definitely a cigar I will smoke again.
Strength: Full (Medium to Full in 1st half)
Body: Full (Medium to Full in 1st half)
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Corona Cigar Company in Orlando, Florida.