The Tatuaje Mummy marks the fifth release of Tatuaje’s Monster Series. This annual release series was created by Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson as a tribute to monster and horror movies. Every year since 2008, cigar enthusiasts have anxiously look forward to the release of this cigar and seek to procure a box. Each release of the Monster Series is a different blend in a different size. A single batch is produced and once the cigars are gone – they are gone. For the Mummy, many fans already had a chance to taste a variation of this cigar blend. Earlier this year, Tatuaje released the Little Monsters series – which was a sampler box of ten consisting two smaller-sized cigars for each of the five releases in the Monsters series. As a part of that series, the Tatuaje Mini Mum was included. This was the only one of the blends included in the Monster where a full-sized Monster had not (yet) been released. The Mini Mum proved to be our favorite blend in the Little Monsters Series. With Halloween around the corner, it is time to release the full-sized Tatuaje Mummy. After smoking the Tatuaje Mummy, it is clear that this full-sized version even eclipses the smaller size. The Tatuaje Mummy puts the combination of Mummy/Mini Mum blend as one of the best releases of 2012.
Much of the frenzy for the Monster Series releases focuses on what has been termed the “dress boxes”. The dress boxes are a custom designed box that fits the theme of the Monster release. Last year, the Monster release was the Tatuaje Wolfman had a coffin box. This year, the Tatuaje Mummy has a sarcophagus box as its dress box. Tatuaje produced 666 boxes of the sarcophagus box and it was released to 13 unlikely retailers. Like in previous years (in order to accommodate additional demand), plain boxes were also released to Tatuaje authorized retailers. The production for 2012 of the plain boxes is 3100 boxes (of ten). This makes the Tatuaje Mummy the largest production to date of the Monster Series.
|Tatuaje Mummy Dress Box|
Without further adieu, let’s break down the Tatuaje Mummy and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Tatuaje Mummy (and the Mini Mum) is the only Nicaraguan puro in the Monsters/Little Monsters Series. It uses a Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo wrapper. This is a wrapper that was used on the Tatuaje Private Reserve (Black Label). The Mummy is positioned as a variation of that cigar.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo
Each of the Monster Series releases have a vitola designed to with the name of the monster in mind. In the case of the Mummy, it is a long, thin cigar. The Mummy is the longest Monster Series release to date (eclipsing the 7 5/8 Tatuaje Frank that was released in 2008).
Mummy: 7 3/4 x 47
Mini Mum: 5 3/4 x 42
|Tatuaje Mini Mum|
|Another look at the Tatuaje Mummy|
For my smoke of the Tatuaje Mummy, I went with my usual straight cut into the cap of the cigar. The cut managed to perfectly remove the cap. It was now on to begin the pre-light draw. On the pre-light draw on the Mini Mum, I did not get the boldest flavors. This was most likely due to the covered foot on the Mini Mum. Given the Mummy also has a covered foot and is longer, I wasn’t expecting too much boldness here either. Surprisingly, there was quite a bit of flavor on the Mummy’s dry draw. I was treated to notes of nut and wood as well as a sweetness that was a cross between citrus and natural tobacco. Overall, this was a nice pre-light draw experience, so it was now on to toast the foot of the Mummy and see what the cigar experience would bring to the table.
The start to the Tatuaje Mummy yielded some grass notes and some of the sweetness I detected on the pre-light draw. There also was some pepper that surfaced in the background. As the flavor profile settled in, the sweet notes moved out in front and took on more of citrus flavor. The grass and pepper notes were secondary notes.
Later in the first third, the sweetness started the first of a couple of transformations. The initial transformation saw some caramel sweetness emerge. By about the midway point the second transformation occurred as some cherry notes joined the caramel and citrus notes. While it seems like there was a lot of sweetness, the secondary notes do a great job at keeping this very much a tobacco experience. These secondary notes included the grass, pepper, and floral notes (which had now entered the equation).
As the smoking experience moved to the last third, the citrus and cherry notes were still in control. The pepper spice transformed to more of a baker’s spice and moved into the forefront. The caramel notes diminished and became more of a background flavor. While the spice increased in the final stages, the Mummy never approached the level of spice that was present on the Mini Mum. This resulted in a much smoother smoking experience. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
For a cigar that is nearly 8 inches in length, the Tatuaje Mummy performs outstanding when it comes to burn and draw. This is a testament to the high quality construction of this cigar. From a burn standpoint, little maintenance from my butane lighter was needed to keep this cigar burning straight. The resulting was a salt and pepper color and was firm – with very little flaking along the way. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. The resulting draw was also outstanding. The lengthy Mummy was a two hour smoke and having a great draw made this a real pleasure for a longer period of time.
Strength and Body
From both a strength and body perspective, the Mummy is amp’d down from the Mini Mum. The Mini Mum was a smoke that started out medium to full strength and medium to full-bodied and progressed to full strength/full-bodied. The Mummy starts out with less strength. I assessed it to be medium strength at the beginning. By the start of the second half, it progressed to medium to full strength. Toward the nub, the strength did kick up enough to be considered full strength.
The body follows a similar progression. The flavor notes started out medium-bodied. The depth of the flavor notes kept in sync with the strength and by the second half, the smoke progressed to medium to full-bodied. Finally, toward the nub, the Mummy became full-bodied. Given the way the body kept pace with the strength, the Mummy did an outstanding job at balancing both of those attributes.
When I smoked the Little Monsters Series, I found the Tatuaje Mini Mum to be the best of the five blends. As I said up front, I felt the Tatuaje Mummy was a superior cigar. I can’t say if its the best of the Monsters because I have not smoked the full-sized Tatuaje Frank and Tatuaje Drac. I think the fact that the Mummy is amp’d down and has less spice really helps this particular blend shine. While there have been more Tatuaje Mummys produced than any other Monster Series release, I expect these to be just as difficult to find real soon. The Mini Mum was a cigar I recommended to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but the Mummy is a cigar that can appeal to both novice and experienced cigar enthusiasts. The Tatuaje Mummy/Mini Mum combination is certainly a contender for a high spot in our 2012 Cigar of the Year countdown (since its the same blend, we rank them together). It is a cigar I look forward to smoking many more of – and would even consider a box purchase.