Monster Cigars From Tatuaje

Pete Johnson, owner of Tatuaje cigars, has more than 600 blood-spattered coffins in his warehouse on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Six hundred and sixty-six, to be exact. He's not planning a satanic ritual, but has kicked off a unique Halloween promotion called the Monster Cigar series, and this will be the first year that Tatuaje fans will have the chance to smoke one of these ghoulish sizes.

A different monster-themed cigar will be released each October. Retail allocation is lottery based, and the 13 "unlucky" shops for 2008 have already been chosen. Johnson announced the winning retailers on October 13 by posting the tobacconists' names on his Web site. Entries were chosen from the top 100 Tatuaje accounts across the country and each retailer was required to accept the entire allotment of 50 boxes.

Some retailers were holding on to the smokes until this week, said Johnson, while others "have already pre-sold their entire allocation."

This year's release is the Tatuaje Frank, a 7 5/8 inch by 49 ring cigar whose large construction alludes to the Frankenstein creature played on-screen in 1931 by Boris Karloff. Like Frankenstein's head, the cigar is blocky and box pressed. The wrapper is stitchy and the band around the cigar is a corpse-like shade of green. Frank comes in a numbered coffin-shaped box of 13 and will retail for $13 per stick.

For more details on the Tatuaje Monster Series, see the current issue of Cigar Insider.