the Year in 2010...
Whenever you draw a cigar pre-light, and your lips and tongue tingle, you know you're in for a flavorful smoke. Because these cigars are Pepin Garcia made, that tingle is no surprise. The firm draw of the L'Atelier promises a well rolled cigar with copious amounts of tobacco.
The L'Atelier delivers on the promised spice on the initial draws, with both the front and back of the palate brought to life with bright notes that I can most closely describe as being similar to some of the spices in Thai food. For the first half an inch the spice is so pronounced that it is difficult to discern any other flavors in the blend. After that, though, the blend smooths out and reveals distinct notes of cedar on both the front of the palate, and the lingering finish.
The cigar never gives way to harshness, and maintains a well balanced and spicy character down to the very end of the cigar.
The draw was great for a tightly wrapped cigar, it never failed to provide a large amount of medium bodied smoke. The burn was mostly even though the first half of the cigar, but it did become slightly uneven after that. It wasn't uneven enough to require touching up, however.
The closest I've come to a Cohiba Behike is staring at one through the glass of a Paris Duty Free Shop, so I can't speak to how similar the L'Atelier is to the cigar that inspired it, but I can say that it delivers intense flavor and an enjoyable experience that isn't marred by an uneven burn, and you won't find a Behike for the $9-$11 that the L'Atelier will run you.