The Tatuaje Skinny Face is the fourth vitola based on the Tatuaje Face blend, which is the third installment of the Tatuaje Monsters Series. The Skinny Face was originally released as one of ten cigars included in the Tatuaje Skinny Monsters collection. Skinny Monsters is a sampler of 6 x 38 petite lanceros based on the first ten Tatuaje Monster Series blends. Since 2008, the Tatuaje Monsters Series has been an annual release right before Halloween. For each installment of the series, a different blend with a different large-size pays homage to a monster / horror movie character. There have been several offshoots consisting of different size variations, by which the Skinny Monsters collection is one of them. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the new Tatuaje Skinny Face. Overall I found the Skinny Face to be another excellent vitola with the Face blend – and a surprisingly bolder version of this blend.
As mentioned, while the Monsters Series remains an annual release, there have been several off-shoot sampler releases, one of which is the Tatuaje Skinny Monsters series. With the exception of the original Monsters Series, all have been made available in sampler packs. Each of the collections are (or have been) limited in production. Here is some further details:
- Monster Series: Released annually (usually around Halloween) since 2008. These have been Double Corona or Churchill sizes.
- Little Monsters: Released in 2012, these are shorter, thinner versions of the first five Monster releases from 2008 to 2012. The sampler includes two cigars per blend. The Mini Mum was the little version of the Tatuaje Mummy and is the only case in any Monster Series collection where one of the offshoot sizes was released before the full monster sized vitola.
- Pudgy Monsters: Released in 2014, these cigars are the same length of the Little Monsters and same ring gauge of the original Monsters. This collection introduced two new monsters not previously released before, Chuck and Tiff. Each sampler contains two Chuck and two Tiff cigars as well as one Pudgy size for each of the Monster Blends released from 2008 to 2013.
- Skinny Monsters: Released this year, this includes one 6 x 38 petite lancero of each of the first eight full monster releases as well as 6 x 38 versions of the Chuck and Tiff. At this year’s IPCPR each of the Skinny Monsters were made available in 25 count boxes consisting of a single blend.
- Skinny Monsters Cazadores Edition: This includes a 6 3/4 x 43 vitola of each of the first eight full monster releases as well as 6 3/4 x 43 versions of the Chuck and Tiff. This format was introduced at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show.
- Skinny Monsters Lancero Edition: This includes a 7 1/2 x 38 lancero of each of the first eight full monster releases as well as 7 1/2 x 38 versions of the Chuck and Tiff. This format was introduced at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show.
The Tatuaje Face is one of five blends that is included in each of the six Monster series collections. The other four are: Frank, Drac, Wolf, and Mummy. The recently announced Tatuaje – The Krueger has only been made available in a full Monster size.
The grid below maps each monster / horror film character blend to the cigar that was released in each of the Monster Series collections. A blank indicates the blend was not released in that collection.
(The +) -Annual
|Little Monsters – 2012
|Leather Face (2010)
|The Wolfman (2011)
|The Mummy (2012)
|Jason Voorhees (2013)
|Dr. Jekyll (2014)
|Mr. Hyde (2015)
|Chuck (Child’s Play)
|Tiff (Child’s Play)
|Freddy Krueger (2016)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Tatuaje Skinny Face and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned, the blend for the Skinny Face is based on the blend of the Tatuaje Face. The Face, along with the Tatuaje -The Krueger are the only two in the Monster Series and its offshoots to use an Mexican wrapper.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (My Father Cigars SA)
With the new Cazadores and Lancero line extensions, it brings the total number of vitolas using the Face blend to six.
* Showcased at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, wider distribution coming soon
As mentioned, in addition to being a part of the Skinny Monsters sampler, the Skinny Face has also been made available in 25 count boxes:
The Mexican wrapper of the Tatuaje Skinny Face has a classic chocolate brown color to it. The surface of the wrapper had a coating of oil on it. This wrapper was smooth overall. In fact, this is one of the smoother Mexican wrappers I have seen. The surface of the wrapper had some thin visible veins while most of the wrapper seams were well hidden.
There are a few differences with the Skinny Face when compared to the other vitolas based on the Face blend were released. First up, the Skinny Face does not feature a covered footer. Secondly, the Skinny Face has a normal cap as opposed to the Fuma-style cap. Finally, the Skinny Face is the first vitola based on the Face blend to feature a paper band. The previous three iterations did not have a band, but instead has a jagged piece of natural tobacco wrapped around the cigar creating a band effect – and also paying homage to the Leatherface character.
The band of the Tatuaje Skinny Face features chocolate brown font on a beige background. To the left of the “Tatuaje” scripting is the text “SKINNY” in the a gothic style chocolate font. To the right of the scripting” it says “MONSTERS” – also in chocolate font. To the far right is a chocolate Tatuaje “Tattoo” stamp. The band is finished with a chocolate pinstripe across the top and bottom.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I usually do, I placed a straight cut into the cap of the Tatuaje Skinny Face to remove the cap. I then moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw delivered a mix of chocolate, earth, a slight maduro sweetness (a cross between natural tobacco and dried fruit), and a slight cedar bite. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I lit up the Tatuaje Skinny Face and moved on to the smoking phase.
The Tatuaje Skinny face started out with a mix of mocha (chocolate and coffee), earth, maduro sweetness, and red pepper. The red pepper notes had a slight amount of sharpness to it on the tongue. The red pepper along with the mocha and maduro sweetness became the primary notes early on. The mocha and maduro sweetness alternated in intensity while the red pepper was grounded in the forefront. Meanwhile the earth notes remained in the background.
As the cigar experience moved into the second third, the earth notes moved into the forefront with the red pepper and mocha notes. The mocha notes present definitely leaned more toward the chocolate-side. The maduro sweetness was now more of a background flavor.
By the last third of the Tatuaje Skinny Face, the earth and pepper notes were the main primary notes. The mocha notes from time to time still surfaced in the forefront. There also was still some maduro sweetness in the background. This is the way the cigar experience of the Tatuaje Skinny Face came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall the performance of the Tatuaje Skinny Face’s burn was quite good. The cigar took a straight burn path from start to finish. There was a slight curvature from the burn line from time to time, but the cigar was never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. I also found this cigar did not require many touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was silver-gray in color. This was also a firm ash that came off the cigar in clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
There was a some resistance on this draw. While I normally like a little resistance on the draw, I did find from time to time it was a little more resistance than I prefer. However this was not a cigar where the draw was out of control.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, I definitely found the Skinny Face to be the boldest. In fact, I was a little surprised at how much bolder this cigar was when compared to the other Face vitolas. I found this cigar to be a full strength and full-bodied smoke from start to finish. This surprised me because the other vitolas were mostly around the medium to full range.
Both the strength and body balanced each other nicely and neither attribute had an edge over the other.
I did find that the Skinny Face had similar flavor characteristics to the other vitolas released in the Face blend – namely the notes of mocha and red pepper. The big difference is the higher level of strength and body that the Skinny Face will show. In fact, I liked how this blend performed with the additional firepower. As a result this is going to be a cigar that I would recommend to a more experienced cigar enthusiast who prefers something on the fuller side. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and consistent with the other sizes, it certainly is one that is box worthy.
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy