L'Atelier LAT 54
Pete Johnson has established himself as one of the truly great cigar makers of the last decade. His Tatuaje brand was true to his commitment to produce flavorful Cuban style cigars. His latest Brand, L'Atelier, takes aim at one of the most lauded cigars in recent memory. Each of the three sizes of L'Atelier is modeled, after the Cohiba Behike, which was named Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of
the Year in 2010...
The cigars are manufactured by the Garcia family and My Father cigars. The key to this cigar is the wrapper, which is an Ecuadorian leaf called Sancti Spirit, a hybrid of Criollo and Pelo de Oro. The wrapper exhibits a smooth silky character that is certainly reminiscent of its Cuban inspiration. The rest of the blend is Nicaraguan. This review is of the LAT 54, a 5 5/8x54 toro.
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.
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