Get Spooky with the Tatuaje Monster Series: The Jekyll

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Tatuaje Jekyll 1

It’s October in Central Texas. For a good stretch of our friendship, Stephen’s introduced me to the joys of the horror genre (and subgenres), the spooky fun of Halloween, the weird intersection of the cozy fall season and sometimes sheer terror, gruesomeness, and legends. He’s also showed me one of my now-favorite short stories, “An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge,” a Twilight Zone-ish tale about a Civil War soldier’s execution and escape. Stephen also hosts a nightly Halloween movie special for each of the 31 days of the month. It’s a special time at Cigar & Whiskey.

So, last week, we set ourselves up for a cigar/grill/porch/dog night with our good friend, Pynes, who has a Big Green Egg, a wonderful family, and two rambunctious dogs. While setting up the grill, we lit up the Tatuaje Monster Series’ Jekyll, which came out in 2014. Stephen has aged these three Jekylls since last October, and Tatuaje releases the follow up cigar, the Mr. Hyde, this year. We will review the Mr. Hyde soon and see about how it reacts and follows up with the Jekyll, but for now, let’s talk about the nicer, kinder, gentler of the two cigars/literary characters.

We lit up. The first third surprised us, with a strange combination of cream and black peppercorn – almost like a potato soup. No bacon or cheese in this cigar, though. The peppercorn would transform into a spicier flavor. As we continued on, the dogs ran around and through our legs, wanting to be petted or thrown to. I engaged with the American Bulldog in a pretty intense fight over a rubber ball that he was pretty passionate about, and the boxer would come up, put his front legs up on the American Bulldog, and try to assist me. The cigar took a pretty good beating, and never went out. Was glad to see that it held up well.

Dog

In the second third, the cream re-emerged with some light brown sugar flavors. Certainly the sweetest aspect of the flavor profile, I’m sure the cigar makers wanted to include these to indicate Dr. Jekyll’s amiable, kind personality. Smoke production stayed constant and plentiful, as you can see below.Stephen Smoke Ring

Soon, though, a coarser, leathery flavor took over, and even the spicy pepper from before melded with other flavors to become more muted. I love a hard cigar buzz, but the flavor was more powerful than the actual effects. I imagine that the Hyde will be much more powerful, potent, and unpredictable.

An unusual flavor, a mercurial flavor profile, with a hint of something more powerful to come – couldn’t ask for a more enjoyable cigar in the Halloween month. Check in soon with us when we confront the Mr. Hyde – we have no idea what is in store. Stay tuned!

The Cigar Goes Southern: Trying out the Fertitta Christeaux Natural

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Fertitta Close Up

We’re always ready for something new at Cigar and Whiskey. This week’s cigar, the Fertitta Christeaux, comes from Shreveport, Louisiana — not the first place you think of when you consider tobacco and cigar production. But it’s a humid, green and leafy state, with a vivid, tumultuous history, and citizens who make an art out of The Good Life. Why the hell not?

It’s unclear where the cigar is actually rolled, though it sports fine Dominican long-leaf filler and a lovely Ecuadorian wrapper. Patrick Fertitta, the owner of the line, apparently researched dozens of cigar options before getting into the business. His diligence shows. At the time of publishing, the cigar company only produces two sticks – the Christeaux Maduro and the Christeaux Natural, both toro-sized with the latter reviewed here – allowing Fertitta to start small and focus on the details.

Stephen and I sat down on the Back Porch to try these out. He took the Maduro and I took the Natural, knowing that I would work my way to the Maduro later if the baseline Connecticut proved tasty. The packaging is simple, and a little old school, with an anthropomorphic alligator that is less cheesy than it sounds. The Natural had good give, and the cigars were sent to us with obvious care.

The Christeaux Natural seemed aged well before I lit it, with a good, grassy smell. The first third tasted pretty damn autumnal, with plenty of grass, wheat, and some cardamom or allspice sprinkled throughout. And it became clear that both Christeauxs offered plenty of smoke, with easy draws. This seems like an obvious marker of a good cigar, but I’m always surprised when it happens — it’s a true joy when the draw stays easy and the smoke comes with no effort whatsoever. The second third grew a little more complex, introducing some cinnamon and a little sweetness with the earlier grassy-spice, but the primary flavors remained constant. So did the burn — even, slow, and easy to maintain.

The final third intensified only a bit. The grass transformed into a woodsier flavor. The sweetness turned into more of a dark brown sugar. The tar around the end of the cigar collected and added a nice charred taste.

For now, it is unclear on where I can purchase this line. Hopefully, the day will come soon, because this was a delightfully easy and enjoyable smoke, with no frills but also no maintenance required. I could talk at length without worrying about tending to the burn or the heat of the cigar. Be on the lookout for the purple and gold gator when it comes your way. The product excuses the fedora on the packaging.

Update: You can pick one of these up directly from fertittacigars.com!