Cigar Review: Tatuaje Little Monsters “Mini-Mum”

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Little Monsters “Mini-Mum”

Tatuaje Little Monsters “Mini-Mum”

Size: Corona (5 3/4 x 42 )

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler:  Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium-full

Price: $7.50 (Part of the 10 count Lil Monsters Sampler, $75 MSRP)

Grade: 9.0

Welcome to the beginning of Tatuaje Lil Monsters Review Week here on Toastedfoot.com.  We are sharing our first trip through Pete Johnsons Tatuaje Lil Monsters sampler with you, the Toastedfoot.com readers.  Also stay tuned for some surprises soon to be announced.

For those who don’t know, Tatuaje recently released their Limited Edition Lil Monsters sampler.  The Lil-Monsters sampler includes smaller Vitolas of each of the famed Monster Series cigars.  Reports list the Lil Monsters sampler as being a limited release of 10,000 boxes.

When I heard about this release I made sure to order a few boxes as I knew they would fly off the shelves fast, as is typical with Pete Johnson’s limited releases.  Each sampler set includes: 2 Frank Jr, 2 L’il Drac, 2 Baby Face, 2 Wolfie, and 2 Mini Mum which are based on the 2012 Monster Series release, The Mummy.

A few quick thoughts: I love the concept as it gives a much bigger audience the opportunity to try these acclaimed smokes that were very limited.  As a smoker who really enjoys the smaller ring gauges and shorter Vitolas these are right up my alley.  It’s a lot easier to find time for a smaller cigar, especially given hectic work and family schedules.  Finally, the price point seems quite fair for a one time limited release that gives you the opportunity to try all these blends.  It is much easier on the wallet than trying to hunt down the originals, which had MSRP’s of $13 per stick, and can be quite difficult to find.

But enough about that, how’s it smoke?

Pre-Light:  (1.8)  First off, the wrapper is ugly, so ugly it’s beautiful.  The wrapper is full of veins, and is almost multi-colored when you consider the distinctive difference in shades from the foot to the head.  The wrapper goes from brown to rusty orange.  The foot is closed with extra wrapper folded over the foot.  The wrappers appearance matches up well with this years theme of The Mummy.

The Mini Mum feels densely packed to the touch with no soft spots.  The scent off the foot was reminiscent of grass, hay, and a little bit of clove.  The pre-light draw was hard to get a good taste from due to the closed foot but I tasted a bit of old hay with a hint of nuttiness.

Burn:  (1.7)  The Mini Mum started off a bit wavy for me and this continued through the first two thirds, possibly as a result of the closed foot.  The firm packing resulted in a strong, dense ash that held on well through the smoke.  I did have to touch up a few times to try to correct the waviness.  I also had to relight once in the middle of the smoke as I left it resting too long and the burn got weak.

The draw was nearly flawless with just the right bit of resistance that you find in a well constructed Corona.

Flavor:  (2.7)  At first light there is a distinct nuttiness from the extra Criollo wrapper.  The nuttiness is joined by a little black pepper.  As the first third progresses rich creamy notes of hazelnut with a peppery finish dominate the palette.

As The Mini Mum transitions into the second third there is a base flavor of aged leather that is joined by hazelnut, spice, and a floralness I would say most closely resembles clove to me.  The flavors are rich and strong although that clove is not quite as rich as the other notes.  The body though the first half was a solid medium and was increasing through the smoke.

The final third features rich notes of rich toasty leather, a more pronounced clove, spice, and a bit more pepper on the finish.  In the final third the body moved up into the lower range of full body.

Overall: (2.8)  There were a few times while I was smoking the Mini-Mum that it reminded me of a very well aged DPG Blue Label Exquisito, which is one of my go-to cigars.  The Mini Mum had a similar profile and core notes, only far more refined, and the added clove or floralesque notes that came and went are not what I think of when I think blue label.  However, the nuttiness, spice, pepper, and smooth toasty leather all are trademarks of one of my favorite cigars and the Mini Mum built on and above that.

After smoking the Mini Mum, I’m eagerly awaiting the release of it’s larger counterpart later this year.  A great way to start the Lil Monster series!

Total: 9.0

@WillyStyl