|Tatuaje Frank Jr.|
Today we conclude our review of Tatuaje’s Little Monsters Series. In this assessment we look at the Tatuaje Frank Jr. This is a smaller version of the cigar that started the whole craze for the Monsters Series – the Tatuaje Frank (named after Frankenstein). The Little Monsters Series consists of a sampler pack consisting of
smaller vitolas of the popular Tatuaje Monster Series. The Monsters 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 Tatuaje Frank was the inaugural 2008 release and the rest we know is cigar history. With the case of the Tatuaje Frank Jr, this is one outstanding cigar – and definitely one of the standouts of the Little Monsters Series.
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 break down the Frank Jr. and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Frank/Frank Jr. is unique to both the Monsters and Little Monsters Series as it has the only Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
For completeness we include the sizes of both the Frank Jr. and the Frank. These vitolas are also unique in that they are the only box-press shapes in the series. The box-press is meant to represent Frankenstein’s squarish head.
Frank Jr: 5 5/8 x 44
Frank: 7 5/8 x 49
The Frank Jr. is a box-pressed corona shaped cigar. The wrapper is a classic roasted coffee-bean colored Connecticut Broadleaf. The wrapper itself is not oily. There are a few thin veins, and on one smoke I had, it did have a toothy vein. The wrapper seams are well-hidden.
The band is based on the standard “Tatuaje” scripted logo. The script
font is black on an olive-green background. To the left of the “Tatuaje”
scripting is the text “little” in the black font. To the right of the
scripting” it says “monsters” in the black font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Tatuaje Frank Jr., I opted for my usual straight cut into the cap. It was then time to commence with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided me a nice mix of espresso and red pepper. Overall, I considered this a very nice pre-light flavor profile. At this time it was time to toast the foot of the Frank Jr. and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
The start to my Tatuaje Frank Jr. continued where the pre-light draw left off. I was treated to a mix of espresso, leather, and red pepper. The red pepper was not overwhelming, but was not insignificant either. The red pepper soon dialed back and moved to the background. At the same time some notes of chocolate joined the espresso and leather in the forefront. The espresso, leather, and chocolate all alternated as to which flavor had the edge over the others.
In the later part of the first third, some notes of cream joined the equation and made their way to the forefront. The espresso and chocolate notes eventually converged and became more of a sweet cocoa powder. Meanwhile the red pepper remained in the background
As the Frank Jr. entered the second half, some nut notes emerged and joined the cream in the forefront. The cocoa notes joined the red pepper as secondary notes leaving the cream and nut in the forefront.
By the latter part of the second third, the cream notes also moved into the background. At the same time the spice surged into the forefront. It was a nut and red pepper combination that made up the flavor profile as the cigar came to a close. The finish was spicy, but not rough. The nub was ideal – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Tatuaje Frank Jr. is a well-constructed box-press corona – and it reflects in the attributes of both burn and draw. The Frank Jr. scored very well in both categories. From a burn perspective, the Frank Jr. burned like a champ. The burn was pretty much sharp from start to finish – requiring very few touch-ups. It also produced a nice tight white-colored ash along the way. As for the draw – it was flawless. The Frank Jr. was definitely a great cigar to puff on each time I smoked it.
Strength and Body
From a nicotine perspective, the Frank Jr. will have some pop when it comes to strength. In fact, the strength does sneak up on you as the cigar experience progresses. I assessed the Frank Jr. as having just enough pop to qualify for a full strength cigar. As for the depth of the flavors, the Frank Jr. has some deep flavors – making this a full-bodied cigar. The strength and body balance each other very nicely – making this a good case for how these two attributes should balance each other.
The Frank Jr. was my first exposure to smoking the Tatuaje Frank blend. The Tatuaje Frank is considered one of the legendary limited release cigars. The Frank Jr. came in with high expectations in my book, and overall it delivered with flying colors. This definitely is one of the standout blends of the Little Monsters collection. It actually also had me wondering how the full-sized Frank would smoke. Given the Frank Jr. is a full strength, full-bodied cigar, I’d probably recommend this cigar to a more experienced cigar enthusiast. However, I imagine many new cigar enthusiasts might have purchased the Little Monsters collection, so I imagine they will be smoking the Frank Jr. In my book, this cigar’s a winner.
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Corona Cigar Company in Orlando, Florida.