Inspection (14:55): A B&M exclusive (Gloucester Street Cigars in Boston, MA) and part of Tatuaje's Meat Locker series, the Pork Tenderloin (5 1/8 x 52) is not a good looking cigar. The smooth, slightly oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper isn't a showstopper and although the cigar sports a triple cap, the finish - a pigtail, which is an always welcome addition to a cigar - is crude at best.
A punch cut with my Xikar and the pre-light draw reveals just a little bit of spice, and nothing more noteworthy. By the way, this cigar comes to me via Joe (deep), and it was banded by him in August of 2010.
First third (15:00): A medium dose of pepper through the nose, sweetness on the tongue and just a hint of acidity and baking spice on the roof of my mouth greet me in the first few puffs. Gorgeous natural tobacco aroma. The flavors develop into an upfront fruitiness (red cherry, grapefruit) on every puff that is gone almost immediately, and what's left over is a mix of cedar and notes of bright, bitter coffee. There is a very straightforward leather here, but it's not so heavy that it's overpowering. There's also a nice dose of dark chocolate after the first inch or so, as well as a fresh earth/toasted hay flavor that comes and goes. The burn is wavy but a) it's slightly windy out and b) it never detracts from the cigar.
The Tenderloin lets off quite a bit of smoke (though not as much as, say, the La Casita Criolla). Medium-bodied and medium/full flavor.
Middle third (15:50): There's still a very present leather flavor (but again, it's not thick and chewy and an overload on the senses) which is joined by a strong earthiness and a heavy dose of natural tobacco flavors. More toasty cedar enters with each puff, and the pepper on the retrohale is subdued but still there. More bittersweet dark chocolate - I can, if I close my eyes, taste chunks of it melting in my mouth. The coffee at times is deep, rich and bitter espresso and at others it's a natural roast with four shots of cream.
The cigar is still very sweet - almost syrupy sweet - and the fruit has become more of a tart, dried black cherry essence than the sweet red cherry/citrusy grapefruit from before. There are also times that I feel like I've just eaten a spoonful of apricot preserves, some puffs leave a smokey whiskey/scotch aftertaste in my mouth, and sometimes it's beurre noissete (brown butter for you non-Francophiles). Gobs of baking spice are apparent and I'm now also getting a light licorice flavor. The burn has pretty much settled into slightly wavy, it's still smoking like a chimney, the body is medium/full while the flavors are almost full.
Final third (16:35): The spice and warm alcohol taste are very full with dark chocolate/semi sweet dry cocoa taking more of a backseat. I'm getting notes of almond - sometimes dry, sometimes toasted - and loads of cedar, with the same leather backbone, and lots of toasted cocoanut.
While many of the flavors throughout this cigar have been the same, they did transition and change and develop over the course of the cigar. Everything intensified towards the end, the Tenderloin was full of flavors that became so pronounced but still incredibly balanced so that nothing was completely in charge. Full-flavored and the last two inches were very much full-bodied.
Final thoughts (17:19): No question about it... The Pork Tenderloin is the best Tatuaje that I've smoked, which means that it is also the best non-Cuban cigar that I've smoked (the Tatuaje Face was holding the #1 spot). I need more of these... They're absolutely delightful.
Thanks so much for sending this to me, Joe!