Pete Johnson, the creator of Tatuaje cigars, is continuing his Halloween tradition by releasing the Tatuaje Monster Series, a set of cigars that resemble monsters from cinema packed in dynamic, individually numbered boxes.
The demand created for the cigars by collectors has made the series a commercial success but a “distribution nightmare” for Johnson, who limits the sale of the numbered boxes to 13 retailers chosen by lottery.
This year’s creation is called the Tatuaje Monster Series Wolfman, a torpedo measuring 7 1/2 inches long by 52 ring gauge. It has a rough, uncut foot that exposes the filler tobacco, a first for the Tatuaje brand.
The blend for the cigar is based on Johnson’s Tatuaje Cojonu 2009. Rolled at the Garcia family’s My Father Cigars S.A. factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, The Wolfman is made with all-Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos with a Sumatra Ecuador wrapper. The suggested retail price is $13 per cigar.
Johnson started the project due to his love of monster movies, and decided to limit each Monster Series release to 666 numbered boxes of cigars, each containing 13 smokes, available via 13 brick-and-mortar retailers chosen via a lottery system.
The limits on the cigars and the demand for more have given Johnson headaches.
“The Monster release is out of control,” Johnson Tweeted on October 5. “Problem is people want the box when really the cigar is the only thing that should be of concern.”
Johnson said that collectors are having a hard time getting the cigars, resulting in complaints. Due to the demand, he now also ships additional Monster Series cigars packed in plain boxes of 10.
Last year he shipped 1,300 plain boxes (13,000 cigars); this year he is increasing the amount of plain boxes to more than 1,500, or 15,000 cigars.
The "Unlucky 13" list of retailers who have received boxes of The Wolfman are:
Casa de Montecristo
Rain City Cigars
Castro's Back Room
Belle Meade Premium Cigars
Holt's Cigar Company
Tinder Box #208
Monte's Pueblo Pipe Shop
Las Vegas, NV
Ruben's Smoke Stack
Just For Him
Good Karma Cigar
Gloucester Street Cigars