Originally released as a 6 ½ x 52 Toro in October 2017, the Michael is the 10th Monster after Frank, Wolf, Drac, Face, Mummy, Jason, Jekyll, Hyde, and Kreuger. Along with the 666 dress boxes of 13 that were released, an additional 4,500 10 count boxes were released of the original Michael. The dress box of The Michael is easily the most chilling for me, sporting a silhouetted image of Michael Myers that immediately brings back some of the feelings of fear I felt the first time I watched the Halloween series of movies as a child. As for the cigar, the original Michael was one that I seemed to offer polarizing experiences. I personally had a very negative experience with the original. It was plagued with bitter, harsh flavors and some burn issues throughout, and that was with 2 to 3 years of age on it. However, I know some people had a vastly different experience with it, and the experience I had was with only one sample so I am not going into this iteration with low expectations.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Vitola: 5 x 52 Robusto
Release Date: September 2021
Company Website: https://www.tatuajecigars.com/
I’m expecting full bodied and flavored smoke with lots of woods, pepper, and earth. These were the non-bitter or harsh notes I recall from the original. What I’m hoping for is some kind of balancing sweetness and maybe some nuts and cream.
The wrapper on this cigar is super clean and a fairly light shade. The cigar also has a pretty firm pack and a dense feel. I love the grayish blue band with white lettering, it is a great combination. This Michael smells of tobacco, cedar, and caramel. The cold draw is red fruit sweetness and leather.
First light brings medium-full body smoke with full flavors of caramel, cream, toasted nuts, and a bit of earth and pepper on the finish. The retrohale is soft pepper, earth, and some toast. This is off to a great start. The cap has started coming off a few puffs in, but I think it won’t pose a problem. About an inch and it’s holding fast to the initial flavor profile, which is fine by me. The cream is carried into the finish nicely. The end of the first third is seeing the caramel turn towards more of a raw cane sugar like sweetness. Other than that there are no other noticeable changes to the profile. The draw and performance have been perfect to this point.
Flavor - 3/4
Performance - 3/3
Experience - 2.25/3
Overall - 8.25/10
The second third is starting to see a bit of a build in earth and wood. There’s still some cream and sugar on the back end. The retrohale is still pretty easy going with little pepper, some cream, and a bit of citrus showing. There was a bit of a lag on one side of the wrapper but it caught itself easily. The halfway mark shows no real changes in the profile. It's still performing well. Ending this third there hasn’t been anything to really denote a strength bump, but my throat is getting a smidge irritated like there could be some strength or a bit of youth to the tobacco. The profile is becoming a bit more savory, but the finish still shows some cream and sugar. The retrohale has shown more citrus.
Flavor - 3/4
Performance - 2.75/3
Experience - 2/3
Overall - 7.75/10
The final third quickly shows a bump in earth and pepper with a lot of wood on the finish. The cream has dissipated but there’s a lingering sweetness still. The body is still medium-full and the flavor is up to full. Approaching the band it’s primarily pepper, earth, some slightly tannic wood, and just a touch of sweetness on the finish. The retrohale is cream, pepper, citrus, and sugary sweetness. Coming to an end it’s still pepper forward, then wood, then earth. The retrohale is showing the cream and pepper still, with the addition of oily wood and less sweetness. The strength may have peaked at around medium. The performance was great throughout the cigar, this third included.
Flavor - 2.5/4
Performance - 3/3
Overall - 7.25/10
I thought this cigar was quite good. It was a much better experience than I had with the original Michael, however, it isn’t necessarily fair to compare them. The first third really hit the mark for me. I enjoyed the way the draw showed more sweet, decadent flavors of caramel and cream that were balanced on the finish by some earth and pepper. The second third also held this theme pretty well. The final third lost some of that balance and the overall profile became more run of the mill Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan innards. That is fine, and it is something I enjoy, but it isn’t going to blow me away or stick with me the way the first two thirds did. The cigar performed pretty wonderfully the whole way through and required no touch ups or relights. The overall burn time was about an hour and 30 minutes. All in all, this was well done, and without looking at scores, I’d say this was among the top 3 for me? A quick look back confirms this a #2 next to the Mummy.
Final Score - 7.75/10
This Monster Mash box was purchased by me through UpDown Cigar in Chicago. Feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, criticisms, or just to talk at @guitarsandcigarsfarm on Instagram, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.