Actually, three cigars from Tatuaje’s past are back.
The Tatuaje Pork Tenderloin, arguably the company’s most sought after cigar of all time, will return this Saturday.
It, along with the Tatuaje Porkchop and Le Vignoble, is once again being released as part of Pete Johnson’s Oh F*ck I’m Lost tour, which sees the Tatuaje founder visit seven cities over the next two weeks for events at nine retailers.
The Tatuaje Porkchop debuted in 2009 as an exclusive for Gloucester Street Cigars. The now defunct store’s owner Jorge Agosto is nicknamed porkchop and Johnson created a cigar for him, a 4 x 46 Nicaraguan puro with a closed foot and a wrapper similar to Tatuaje’s J21. Just 100 boxes were made, which quickly sold out.
A year later, the Pork Tenderloin arrived. It was a completely different blend using a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan fillers. The packaging was striking: unbanded cigars with a distinctive closed foot and pigtail, packed in bundles of butcher paper that featured a label that looked like an authentic butcher shop label.
The 5 1/8 x 52 robusto extra went on to receive an array of high praise, most notably a 95-point rating and cigar of the year honors from Smoking Stogie, a predecessor to halfwheel.
A total of 200 bundles were made and they sold out shortly after the release. Since then, the bundles have commanded extremely high prices on the secondary market, with some bundles exceeding $1,000 in actions.
As for the re-release, Johnson told halfwheel he tried to create the cigars as close to the original. Both use the same blends as before, the most notable difference is the Porkchop will be made at My Father Cigars S.A., compared to the original which was made in Miami.
The Porkchop will cost $9 per cigar, just like the original. The Pork Tenderloin is increasing to $12, up from the $8 the cigar cost originally.
Johnson said retailers shouldn’t except to receive more than 10 boxes/bundles of each Pork release for their events. That doesn’t mean there are only 90 bundles of Pork Tenderloins produced, rather, there are plans for additional releases of both in 2017, though it’s unclear if that will be limited to events or a different distribution pattern.
The packaging for each is almost identical to the original, with slight tweaks. The Porkchop box has an updated logo and the Pork Tenderloin bundle will get an added sticker, though it will not come with the handwritten “Porktenderloin” message as the original did.
In addition, the Tatuaje Le Vignoble will return in identical form to last year’s debut. That means consumers will once again have the chance to purchase the 6 x 38 petit lancero.
Le Vignoble was notable for a variety of reasons, none more so than the location of where it is made, El Rey de los Habanos. It uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler. The cigar was wet packed in bundles of 10. Last year, Tatuaje released the cigar sending one retailer per week 20 bundles of Le Vignoble; it choose one retailer per week for 10 weeks. Pricing remains $12 per cigar.
All of the aforementioned cigars will be offered to 10 retailers, each getting an event with Pete Johnson:
- Old Oaks Cigar & Wine Co. (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) — Nov. 26, 5-9 p.m.
- Owl Ear Cigars (Scottsdale, Ariz.) — Nov. 27, 11-1 p.m.
- Ye Olde Pipe & Tobacco (Phoenix, Ariz.) — Nov. 27, 2-4 p.m.
- Fine Ash Cigars (Avondale, Ariz.) — Nov. 27, 5-9 p.m.
- En Fuego Cigars (Henderson, Nev.) — Nov. 29, 5-9 p.m.
- FUMARE (Reno, Nev.) — Nov. 30, 3-7 p.m.
- Napa Cigars (Napa, Calif.) — Dec. 1, 4-10 p.m.
- Cigars on 7th (Eugene, Ore.) — Dec 2, 4-9 p.m.
- Union Cigar Society (Seattle, Wash.) — Dec. 4, 3-9 p.m.
- Smoke Inn (Boynton Beach, Fla.) — Dec. 9, 7-10 p.m.
Smoke Inn is not formally part of the tour, but it will be hosting an event with Pete Johnson and the exclusive cigars.
Finally, an event-only five-pack has been assembled. It includes one Tatuaje (Pudgy) Jason, Tatuaje (Pudgy) Frank and three “mystery cigars.” While Johnson isn’t disclosing blends, he confirmed that they are each unbanded and measure between 5 1/2-6 inches in length and 52-54 in ring gauge.