Cigar Review: The Krueger by Tatuaje Cigars

  • krueger_straightVitola: BeliChurchill
  • 7.25” x 48 ring gauge 
  • $13.99
  • Purchased at Burns Tobacconist

Background

As has become tradition around these parts, I am now publishing my annual Thanksgiving-ish review of a Tatuaje Monster cigar. Honestly, as I write these words, it is October 31—Halloween—and I could probably have everything ready to post tomorrow if I worked at it hard enough. But why mess with tradition? After all, Pete Johnson was able to make this tradition work at least one more time despite the FDA tomfoolery.

“This tradition” is the 9th annual Halloween/October release in the Monster Series by Tatuaje Cigars. Every year 13 very unlucky stores get an allocation of “dress” boxes of 13 sticks of the Monster release, plus an extra allocation of “non-dress” boxes…basically just 10-count plain boxes. Other Tatuaje retailers also get the non-dress boxes so they can sell the sticks. As with every other year, the filler and binder of the cigars in question is Nicaraguan…and they never get more specific than that. The wrapper for this year’s release is Mexican San Andres. This marks the second time that leaf has been used on a Monster, the first being The Face, way back in 2010.

This year’s cigar is called “The Krueger,” in tribute to the villain of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Freddy Krueger, a serial killer of children that swore revenge on the children of the Elm Street residents who formed an angry mob to trap him in his lair and burn him to death. Freddy invades the dreams of the teenagers and kills them there…but, of course, his actions have real-world consequences, too.

I bought several of this year’s sticks at the shop I work at, Burns Tobacconist. This review is based on the second one I smoked.

krueger_screen2Prelight

The packaging of the Krueger follows in line with other Tatuaje and Monster releases. It has a simple, thin band with “Tatuaje,” “Monster,” and “Halloween” written on it. This year the band is a dark green color with red type and trim, along with some type and elements in black. The dress box is a roughly coffin-shaped box with red and green stripes to mirror the striped sweater that Freddy wears, along with claw marks to symbolize his razor-tipped glove.

The cigar was a slightly pressed affair that looks more oval than truly box-pressed. The head was torpedo-tipped which is not my normal preference, but it is the only size made available, so that’s what I went with. The wrapper was a dark chocolate brown in color with a rough and toothy feel in some places, but a good amount of oil overall. The aroma from the wrapper was very earthy, with some notes of cocoa powder and dark roast coffee bean; the foot was a little lighter in aroma, with notes of chocolate coming through the Nicaraguan earthiness.

Once clipped, I had a very good draw that had flavors of earth and cocoa powder mostly, though it also had a little more sweetness than many other Mexican wrapped cigars from the My Father factory in my experience.

Flavor

I introduced the Krueger to his old friend fire and got him smoking at the foot. In the past, I’ve experienced many Mexican wrappers, but especially those from the My Father factory, as tasting like chalky, bitter earth. I got no sense of that in the early going here. It had dark, strong earthiness, but was balanced well by semi-sweet chocolate and rich dark coffee bean, while being accented by spikes of red pepper.

As I cruised into the second third, I got an increase in earth and unsweetened cocoa powder. The pepper stayed at a fairly moderate level and the body of the whole thing was medium-to-full.

In the last third, I got more earth and cocoa powder, an increase in pepper, and the introduction of a mild dark fruit sweetness that really helped the overall flavor balance.

krueger_inhandConstruction

Both samples of Krueger I smoked had a great draw, even-enough burn line, and solid ash. (On a side note, I will mention that one customer told me that the first Krueger he smoked had a tight draw. His brother mentioned the same problem to him. I told him this is more common with torpedo-tipped cigars, but so far it hasn’t happened to me with this blend.)

Value

This was a very good smoking experience and the price on the Monster series has not budged in nine years, which is not bad for a limited edition.

Conclusions

I have previously stated that La Mission from L’Atelier was the best Mexican-wrapped cigar to issue forth from the My Father factory; that assessment has not changed, but the Krueger is a close second and a cigar that I would enjoy smoking from time to time. Krueger has a very pleasing balance of earth, cocoa powder, dark fruit, and pepper spice, wrapped up in a medium-to-full-bodied smoke. It may not be the cigar of your dreams, but it certainly won’t cause any nightmares.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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