After Frank, Wolf, and Drac, this is the fourth review of the Tatuaje Monster Mash Series. For more information on the Monster Series, check out the Frank review. Originally released in 2010 as the third edition to the Monster series, The Face was an ode to Leatherface. Originally sized at 6 ⅜ x 56, the Face, in my opinion, was the most interesting looking Monster because of the “nipple head” (as I called, I don’t know the technical term), the larger ring gauge, and the lack of an actual band. In place of an actual band, the original Face had a sloppy piece of Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf wrapped around the cigar. A great depiction of LeatherFace. This Monster Series rendition has a band instead of the Connecticut leaf. Let’s get into it.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Vitola: 4 ⅞ x 56 Robusto Gordo we’ll call it.
Release Date: September 2021
Company Website: https://www.tatuajecigars.com/
I get the impression this cigar is going to be bold and strong. I think there is not going to be much complexity and the flavors that are present will be potent. There will likely be pepper, there will be an earthy component, some minerality (hopefully not a lot), and I am hopeful for some dark fruits. I think this cigar will either be a hit for me, or a dud. We shall see.
This is a fairly light feeling cigar considering how beefy it is. The wrapper is a medium dark brown. There’s minimal tooth on the cigar, but it is a velvety texture. I really like the choice of band and font color. There’s not much on the nose, maybe pine shavings. I like the slightly covered foot and the nipple cap. The cold draw is reminiscent of a lucky charms marshmallow. Very interesting. All the cigars in this series have had distinct cold draw notes.
First light brings surprisingly medium body and flavored smoke with draw flavors of a sweet earth with some pepper and coffee. The retrohale highlights the sweetness a bit more and adds in a little cocoa. The draw is a little on the resistant side, but not an issue. It takes a couple quick puffs to get some smoke, unsurprisingly given the draw and ring gauge. About a ½ inch in and the flavor and body are a solid medium. The flavors on the draw are becoming a more undefined richness. The retrohale is still showing a touch of pepper and cocoa. About an inch in and a little cocoa is coming in on the draw too. The cocoa is becoming more milk chocolatey on the draw and retrohale. A little pepper is coming through here and there. There is a darker note in there as well that at times is more earthy and other times, more leathery. Nearing the end of the first third, the flavor and body are still medium. There is still a little bit of cocoa in there, but the dominant flavor is that darker note which is now more of a leather with some sweetness lingering through the finish. I enjoy the flavor profile, but I prefer this profile at a medium-full to full level.
Flavor - 3/4
Performance - 2.5/3
Experience - 1/3
Overall - 6.5/10
Moving into the second third and the profile is more of the same so far. Medium body and flavor. The draw is primarily a sweet, leathery note. There is a little pepper on the finish. The retrohale has changed up a bit. There is some pepper there, but instead of cocoa, there is a berry-like sweetness. It just clicked with me that I am getting some leather and the Face was created for LeatherFace of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. I do not know if this leather note was what they were going for, but it would make sense. Nearing halfway I drop the ash because the burn is trying to waver and I hope dropping the ash helps it correct. In doing so, the flavor came up a bit and added some pepper to the draw. The cigar is still requiring some quick puffs by the way. I did elect to touch up the wavering burn, just so it didn’t get out of hand. The second third is ending with no real changes since the ash dropped. The draw did open up nicely in this third.
Flavor - 3/4
Performance - 2/3
Experience - 1.5/3
Overall - 6.5/10
This final third is starting to up the flavor more into the full category. This is more fitting to my preference for this type of flavor profile. The leather in the draw is becoming less prominent. The sweetness is becoming more of a dark fruit and there is some cocoa coming back in. The finish is holding onto the sweetness and adding a bit of pepper. Some wood, maybe oak, is showing up with pepper on the retrohale. I need to perform another slight touch up. Nearing the band the flavor and body are definitely up to full now. The draw is showing more pepper and some slightly sweet earth. There is a bit of an oily mineral note on the finish with pepper. The strength is just noticeable at a medium. At the band, the palate is getting a little burnt out from the pepper and the wood that was in the retrohale is on the draw now as well. Another touchup is needed here. The finish is getting quite salty. Some more minerality is showing up in the retrohale and the pepper is stepping up on the finish. The draw flavors are back to a more earthy quality.
Flavor - 3/4
Performance - 1.5/3
Experience - 2/3
Overall - 6.5/10
Overall, I think this Face was an unexpected experience for me. It started off much lighter than I anticipated, and a bit light for my taste given the flavor components. It performed pretty well overall. The double puffs were a little exhausting, but not a big deal. The final third started off as my favorite portion of the cigar since the flavor came up to full. There was a rough patch, then, where the palate was getting washed out, but it settled some near the end. I do not look back at other thirds when I do my ranking for the thirds. It is interesting to see the flavor and overall rankings being so consistent with the only differences being the performance and overall experience. The cigar performed pretty well, with only a few touch ups required. I would smoke this cigar again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get more if it was available. The total smoke time was about an hour and 40 minutes.
Final Score - 6.5 /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.