Those of you who regularly listen to or watch the TNCC podcast are well aware of our unmatched love for all things horror. And any one who visits our website regularly surely knows by now that we are big fans of Tatuaje’s Monster series of cigars. The Doctor and I did an in-depth collaboration years ago where I reviewed all of the Tatuaje Skinny Monsters paired with his reviews of their corresponding movies (you can read one of our entires HERE). We interviewed the man behind the Monsters, Tatuaje’s Pete Johnson, back in 2019 and we practically begged him to make a Jaws inspired “Bruce The Shark” cigar before calling it quits on the series but with the release last September’s Monster Mash set it was clear that his heart was focused on another aquatic horror legend instead…
Unlike most of Universal’s classic monster movies, I have seen The Creature From The Black Lagoon and am still in awe of its groundbreaking underwater photography. John Carpenter was going to direct a remake of the film back in the 90s but it sadly never happened and whatever studio executive squashed that project should be thrown in a goddamn lagoon. But I digress…
THE CIGAR – CREATURE by TATUAJE
Size: 5 3/8 x 48 (perfecto)
Binder: Nicaraguan double binder
Price: $10.71 (please remember when purchasing some Tatuaje or other fine premium cigars from FamousSmokeShop.com to use your new favorite promo code TNCC20 at checkout where it will knock $20 off your purchase of $100 or more)
The Tauaje Creature is a dark fucking cigar featuring a closed foot and a black-on-black color schemed band that’s damn near impossible to read. But this is a-ok in my book, you’d have to be a total putz to complain about a Halloween-themed cigar being too dark. Sorry to report that there’s no aromas of algae or seaweed present, just a very strong aroma of hay pouring from the Creature’s wrapper.
There is a dry chocolate cereal flavor coming through on the restrained cold draw (a closed foot will do that) that’s reminiscient of both Cocoa Crispies and my beloved Cocoa Pebbles. Upon setting the Creature on fire, there’s a strong overall oak presence immediately. Once I’ve smoked through the closed foot, that same oakiness with the addition of some mineral define the draw while notes of raisin, almond, and leather all emerge via the retrohale with the bright leather leading the way. While there is a tiny bit of black pepper spice present, you really have to hunt for it which is very
The hints of raisin and almond don’t last long as the leather soon becomes the dominant force through the nose. Construction so far is great with a straight burn line, smooth draw, and the Creature is holding a firm dark grey ash.
Near the beginning of the second third, a French Roast coffee flavor saddled with a slight creaminess joins the oak and mineral on the draw. The retrohale is now primarily leather although the previously muted black pepper does seem to be showing signs of flexing its muscle more frequently. All of these transitions benefit the Creature’s overall profile as it is smoking very harmoniously now. The descriptive “smooth” pops in to my head and, if my memory serves me correctly which it very rarely does, The Creature From The Back Lagoon was many things but a smooth operator with the ladies he was not…
At the start of the Creature’s final act, smoke production increases as copious grey clouds pour from both ends of the cigar. Leather and spice continue to rule the retro while the mineral note has now transitioned to the nose as well. The coffee and cream flavors have overtaken the oak on the draw although it is still present underneath the surface… like all good aquatic monsters tend to be. Construction has remained stellar in all categories. Remember that chocolate cereal sensation that I picked up on the cold draw? Well, in the last inch and a half of the smoking experience a chocolate cake batter flavor arose out of nowhere to join in with the coffee and cream. And, yes, that combination of flavors is exactly as enjoyable as it fucking sounds.
The Creature is a damn fine entry in to the Tatuaje Monster collection. It’s a smooth smoking perfecto over the course of its 69 minute running time with excellent flavor transitions, unexpected complexity, and the strength always keeps itself in check which makes this one of the most approachable Monsters that I can remember smoking over the years. I would love to see an official Creature box release separate from the Monster Mash collection in the future as the blend is more than worthy of standing up on its own two webbed feet. Not only is this one impressive Monster cigar, it is one of the most enjoyable Tatuajes that I’ve smoked in a long while…