With the Frank as the debut cigar in Tatuaje’s Monster Series, 2009 saw a pair of cigars join the group – the Drac and the Boris. The first is a homage to Dracula, while the second is a nod to the actor who portrayed Frankenstein, Boris Karloff, and is dubbed “Frank out of costume.”
In this review, the Drac goes under the review lens. Unlike the Frank, a box of the Dracs or Borises wasn’t able to be secured, rather just a few singles, and honestly, the actual amount in the humidor isn’t known. Hopefully some more will show up by this time next year, though it’s not a certainty. Luckily, at least one made an appearance for this review.
The torpedo shape is designed to resemble a vampire’s fang – hence the upside down foot band, and the intention that the cigar should be photographed upside down. Like the Frank, the band features the Tatuaje script logo with six fleur-de-lis images, in a black-and-red color scheme fitting of Dracula.
A Miami-made cigar, the cigar uses a Habano Ecuador maduro wrapper, with Nicaraguan tobacco comprising the binder and filler. It measures 6 ¾” x 52, and while it was packaged in 13-count boxes similar to the Frank, the production was upped to 1,300 boxes, meaning a total run of 16,900 cigars.
The cap was fairly beat up – likely the result of being moved around a bit and transitions in humidity. The rest of the cigar was in very good shape – firmer than the Frank with the wrapper feeling just the slightest bit dry.
Having just smoked the Frank for a review, it’s interesting to notice the stark differences on the pre-light aroma. The Frank offers two distinct notes when sniffed – the front end is syrupy, nudging sweet without being overdone – reminiscent of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, along with a bit of wet wood that bridges into a lingering pepper that stays in the nostrils. The cold draw is easy, cooled by the sweetness and syrupiness of the pre-light aroma but with a citrus-driven note; think orange jam. There’s no spice to be found – a notable difference from the aroma.
The easy draw gets the Drac out of the gates quickly – just a few puffs and the burn line is already ¼” along. The smoke is plentiful but not as thick as the Frank, dissipating quicker and leaving a thinner taste in the mouth. The ash is an eye-catching white – not terribly dense, but a very notable shade.
About an inch in, the cigar is surprisingly mild, though it doesn’t seem to be from age. On the Tatuaje website, Johnson lists the cigar as having a strength of 2.5 out of five, so the Drac seems to be fairly in line with its original direction. If anything, the thick sweetness that was notable in the cold draw and pre-light aroma is there, though as a much thinner palate sensation than it was in the nose. The taste has settled between the orange and cranberry notes, without overstepping into the sweetness department.
Toward the midpoint, the flavor picks up a bit of spice, while the aroma really picks up some of the sweetness – like being in the kitchen when the previously mentioned jams are being made.
The final third seemed to just run out of steam – it became harder to keep the cigar lit, and the overly easy draw didn’t seem to help matters. Had the draw been a little firmer and the burn a little better, this could have easily been nubbed, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The Drac seems to be in a real sweet spot right now – and yes, there’s an emphasis on sweet. The maduro wrapper tastes great and delivers a rich, thick sweetness that never over does the sugary components.
If you’ve got one, it’s a good time to sink your fangs into a Tatuaje Drac.
Next up: the Boris.
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