While I was attending Atlanta’s largest annual party and herf at Tobacco World in Marietta this weekend, I had the opportunity to speak with Pete Johnson about what’s new with Tatuaje. Now I know how much Stogie Review “readers” love the videos, but unfortunately my elaborate camera equipment (i.e. a flip cam and a tiny tripod) seem to have left town early for the upcoming holiday. So this Tatuaje take is all text. (Think of it as a minimalist foreign flick with lots of subtitles.)
Tatuaje Monster Series
One of the first things we talked about was the Monster Series. Having reviewed The Face earlier in the week, it was still very much on my mind. Pete not only confirmed the next one will be a wolfman or werewolf-themed stick, he rattled off the releases for the next three years! For those keeping track, here’s how the monster list is shaping up:
2008: The Frank
2009: The Drac
2010: The Face
2011: The Wolf *
2012: The Mummy *
2013: The Chuck/The Chucks *
Year Unknown: The Blob *
* These names may change.
I didn’t get any specifics on The Wolf or The Mummy, because we wound up talking about the release slated for 2013, The Chuck (or The Chucks). As you may have already guessed, this one will be a tribute to the infamous star of the Child’s Play movies, Chucky. The interesting thing about this release is that he plans for it to be in the form of two smaller cigars sold together as a single unit, presumably in a coffin. (In boxes of 13, of course.) One stick representing Chucky, the other possibly representing Tiffany, a.k.a. The Bride of Chucky.
When I mentioned my idea for “Slimer” (or “The Slime” to fit the monster moniker style) Pete also said he was also planning to make a short, fat, ugly and possibly perfecto-shaped cigar called “The Blob”. He didn’t mention when that would be, so perhaps it will follow Chucky in 2014. (And for the record, Pete did not sound impressed with my idea for cigar that “slimes” you as a result of being painted. That’s probably a good thing.)
And by the way, there is a method to the monster madness. You may have already noticed in the list above. Pete has a ghoul-picking pattern that governs each year’s gruesome goods. After two classic monsters, you can expect to see a more contemporary one. Rinse (in blood) and repeat.
Saints & Sinners Update
I’ve heard sporadic chatter about Saints & Sinners in the past few months, but I really didn’t know what it was, so I asked Pete. It boils down to a club for dedicated Tatuaje fans, especially those who have had difficulty getting their hands on rarities and special releases. It will also function as a way for him to keep the fans informed, so they don’t miss out on events.
For an annual fee of $150, members will receive around 15 cigars, swag and the early scoop on all things Tatuaje. The cigars will include unreleased blends, special limited and/or regional editions and early releases of upcoming smokes. But even more interesting is the special store that members will have access to. Every two weeks Pete plans to sell sticks from his private collection on a first come, first serve basis. I asked him if it would be in an auction format, and he said it definitely would not be. He wants to give everyone a chance to buy the cigars, not just the person with the most money.
Pete also mentioned the possibility of members getting something like a challenge coin or other membership token that would get them discounts on Tatuaje products or other benefits at participating brick and mortar shops.
Tying into the saintly side of things, Pete also plans to donate around 25% of the proceeds (as well as some of his own money) through a charitable foundation he is setting up. The money will go towards helping the poor in Nicaragua and supporting an animal charity.
Pete stressed that Saints & Sinners is still a work in progress, and that many details we discussed are being ironed out and may change. At one point the club was going to have a couple different levels of membership and numerous product shipments throughout the year. In an attempt to keep it manageable and expenses down, the current plans are for a single membership level, and one shipment of goodies each year.
You can’t actually join Saints & Sinners yet, but if you’re interested, I recommend signing up for club email updates at the Tatuaje website.