Group Review: Tatuaje The Hyde (Monster Series)

The Hyde is seventh release in the Tatuaje Monster Series.  It is tied in with the No. 7 release which was the Jekyll in honor of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  The Tatuaje Monster series started back in 2008 and includes all the following releases:

  • 2008 - Tatuaje The Frank in honor of Frankenstein
  • 2009 - Tatuaje The Drac in honor of Dracula
  • 2010 - Tatuaje The Face in honor of Leather Face
  • 2011 - Tatuaje The Wolfman in honor of the Wolf Man
  • 2012 - Tatuaje The Mummy in honor of the Mummy
  • 2013 - Tatuaje The JV13 in honor of Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th
  • 2014 - Tatuaje The Jekyll in honor of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • 2015 - Tatuaje The Hyde in honor of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Don't forget about the Lil' Monsters in released in 2012 and the Pudgy Monsters released in 2014.  The Lil' Monsters release included the Mini Mum which gave us a peek at what the Mummy blend was going to be before it was released later that year.  The Pudgy Monsters included two blends which are exclusive to that set and they were Chuck and Tiff in honor of the Child's Play films.

Then you have The Boris and Lil Boris which was in honor of Boris Karloff.  While it was not technically part of the Monster Series, it tends to be included in the conversation.  

OK, let's get back to The Hyde.

Tatuaje The Hyde

Size: 7x49

Vitola: Churchill (109 cap)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

MSRP: $13 per stick

Cigars smoked for review: 2

Cigars for review purchased by reviewers. I bought mine from New Havana Cigars.

Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System

Robby's Rating:  87 AKA "5-Pack Purchase"

Pre-Light: The Hyde features a beautiful Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and a vibrant green band.  The band is a traditional Tatuaje band with "Tatuaje" written in white script and "Halloween Monster" in a black font that reminds me of the original Adams Family.

The wrapper gave of notes of barnyard, hay and damp earth.  The cold draw was good and tasted of tobacco, dough, mild stone fruit and mild baking spice.  There was a lot of complexity present from the get- go.

Beginning: The Hyde got off to a real nice start.  The profile started out with a rich, woody note with a mild baking spice on the retrohale.  The was super smooth in texture and flavor.  A nutty note showed up after an inch or so along with a note dry cocoa powder.  The earthy and sweet notes on the palate were balanced out by the growing baking spice on the retro.  This went on for the first 45 minutes or so.  Did I mention that The Hyde smoked for about 150 minutes?

Middle: The Hyde held its rich and smooth profile while the baking spice on the retro peaked.  The spice was never overpowering and I would not call this a particularly spicy smoke.  The flavors muddled a bit on the palate as I reached the midpoint.  The sweet notes seemed to come and go while the rich notes of wood and nuts remained consistent.  The dry character of the flavors remained and I really enjoyed this.  The finish was rich and slightly sweet, but didn't linger too long.

End: Mr. Hyde showed off a bitter side.  A bitter note showed up in the final third of both samples I smoked.  A burnt/smokey flavor showed up as well.  So things didn't end well.

Final Thoughts: I loved the first third. I enjoyed the second third.  I hated the final third.  I think the flavor will even out over time and this may become one of my favorite blends of the Monster Series.  But for now it will be in the 5-pack range with the hope that some rest does it well.

Matt's Rating:  86 AKA "I'd Buy A Couple"

Another year, another Monster. Like most years, I'm intimidated by the size of the Hyde as its much longer and a little wider than the cigars I typically gravitate towards, but at 7 x 49, it is the same size as last year's Jekyll. The wrapper is dark, but not nearly as dark as I expected - more chocolate than espresso, and has minimal veins. Like most Tatuaje offerings, the cigar appears to be rolled expertly with no obvious seams. The band, again in typical Tatuaje fashion, is understated, but powerful as the neon green contrasts nicely with the wrapper. A clip of the cap and some pre-light draws reveal some chocolate along with wood and pepper in the back of the throat.

I light the cigar up, and there is a nutty sweetness that at times reminds me of my morning coffee. I also pick up some usual notes of wood and a bit of leather on top of the spice I get on the backend. Working my way through the first inch and the sweetness is prevalent and very enjoyable. Surprisingly, the ash falls off at the half-inch mark. While I'd say the sweetness is constant, it is more dominant at certain points than others as a roasted nut and leather flavor lingers. the draw on this exceptional with just the right amount of restriction, and the smoke output is enormous - even at rest. As i'm wrapping the first third, the sweetness seems to have gone away, but the flavors are still nutty with wood. The cigar is starting to burn a bit wonky and might require a correction, but I'll see if it corrects itself first.

About another inch in, I've entered the middle third and the ash falls again. The cigar hadn't corrected itself so I do it manually. The cigar appears to have increased in strength. Flavors remain pretty firm with wood, leather and a bit of earth on the front of the tongue and a sweet herbal flavor through the nose. The draw has tightened slightly, but there is still an impressive smoke output on this. The smoke is exceptionally creamy smooth also which is nice.

I'm now entering the finale. This is a long cigar as I've been going for an hour and a half at this point. The ash has been holding pretty steady at an inch a clip so I'm unsure why it fell off so quick off the light. Great draw and construction continue with same wood flavors dominanting the finale. Wood and earth dominant the finale, but with a bit of bitterness coming on, I decide to pitch the cigar with about 3/4 of an inch left.

This cigar experience lasted close to 2 hours and 15 minutes. That is a long time, but the best praise I can give this cigar is that I never got bored and the flavors kept my interest. That might seem like false praise, but given that I prefer smaller vitolas, it is high praise. I don't know that this is the best Monster I've ever smoked, but it is far from the worst also, and while the score might suffer slightly from my preference for shorter smokes, it is definitely a quality smoke and one that you should definitely experience. If this ever comes out in a smaller vitola, I'll be all over it.

Tuna's Rating:  84 AKA "I'd Buy A Couple"

The cigar has a nice dark Sumatra wrapper that falls between a Colorado and Colorado-Maduro in coloring. There are some medium sized veins throughout and the texture is fairly silky overall. It is rolled well, showing no soft spots with an excellent application of the wrapper. The 109 cap finish is one I am fond of and it is a great 109 cap. The wrapper itself has a dark aroma that shows manure, rich earth, leather and espresso beans. The foot has a sweetness to it, more chocolaty, and it has some wood and citrus notes there. 

In terms of smoking experience, the cigar delivered a solid burn line throughout, while at points deliver a razor sharp burn line. The ash of the cigar held on to the end well and it delivered a firm charcoal coloring throughout. The draw was cool and from beginning to end, it showed no flaws in construction. For flavors, the cigar began by showing some strong earth, wood and metallic flavors. There was no much sweetness but there was some spice present. I was picking up some black pepper notes. When I got into the second third, I began to pick up some strong Asian spice notes that were paired with a tea and herbal quality.

The cigar in general still delivered that earthy flavor profile, strong wood notes as well, but the metallic quality was replaced with this leather profile. When I get into the final third, I find that there is a sweetness that comes into play and it beginning to show a little bit more of that Sumatra sweetness that I like. It is still paired with that spiciness and woody quality, but overall, the final third is not as good as the second.In terms of strength, I would say that the cigar began at a medium-full level, but as it progressed it finished at a solid full level. The body and flavors were at a solid full level throughout, and I found that it matched the name, Hyde well.

Knowing what the Hyde was going to be, I was looking forward to the release. I have always been a fan of Sumatra releases from Pete Johnson/Tatuaje. Along with that, I was a fan of Jekyll, finding that it was a great Sancti Spiritus offering and very different from other Sancti Spiritus releases. It is safe to say that I was under the impression that this release would be a success. However, after smoking the cigar I found myself very disappointed. I felt it lacked a great complexity level and showing the positive transitioning that I want in a great cigar. The construction was good, yes, but there is more to a great cigar than that. I find that this release is not a successful follow up to the Jekyll, and near the bottom of the list when looking at past Monster releases. I give the cigar an 84 rating and I am sticking with my aged Jekyll's.

Overall Rating: 85 AKA "We'd Buy A Couple"

Views: 193

Comment by Charlie on November 9, 2015 at 9:47pm

I really liked this cigar...I was worth grabbing a few to smoke on Halloween but that's about as far as I'd take it (same with other Monsters, I only smoke them on Halloween). Considering I'm a huge Santicus Spiritus fan the Jekyll was much better for me but they haven't changed much since last year.

Comment by Mickey irratebass on November 10, 2015 at 10:39am

Only a couple or a five packs? Man....I'm gonna buy another box when the hype dies down a bit

Comment by Charlie on November 10, 2015 at 10:43am

I swooped up a 5er...I really liked this cigar...boxes will be long long gone when the hype dies down LOL

Comment by Mickey irratebass on November 10, 2015 at 10:50am

Nah.......I'm not scared.....hell I can still get Jekyll's for $99 a box 

Comment by Matt Ross on November 10, 2015 at 10:51am

@Mickey - As I said in my review, I really enjoyed the cigar, but I don't like the size.  Personal preference for me is shorter smokes so a 7x49 doesn't fit in my wheelhouse.  This comes in a smaller size, and I'm all over it.

Comment by Charlie on November 10, 2015 at 12:55pm

Matt I'm not a Churchill fan either but when considering all the OR monster sizes this is about average with a even smaller ring. The Hyde in a 6x38 or a 5x44 would be ideal but I doubt we'll ever see one.

Comment by Matt Ross on November 10, 2015 at 12:58pm

Charlie - i feel the same way about all the Monsters.  I was really referring to a Little Monster version as being interesting to me.

Comment by Charlie on November 10, 2015 at 12:59pm

Another Little Monster series would be great...I'd grab a box for sure!

Comment by Jason Meyers on November 10, 2015 at 1:33pm

I enjoyed this cigar but agree with the draw backs noted in reviews. Mostly on the size and I didn't enjoy the final third as much. I usually buy a few monsters when they come out each year, and smoke one right away. Then I usually smoke the others later during the following summer time. I suspect that I will enjoy this cigar much more 6-9 months from now.

Comment by RobbyRas on November 11, 2015 at 8:53am

Yeah, I'll take my aged jekyll's all day long


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