With only a handful of releases under its belt, it seems L’Atelier Imports is off to a quite impressive start – releasing hit after hit in a matter of only 2 short years. Of course, that’s no surprise to anyone familiar with the name Pete Johnson, a man who has made Tatuaje a household name among cigar fans. Pete, along with his brother K.C. Johnson and a few others, have taken a more traditional approach to the L’Atelier brand; creating a solid, core line of cigars based off traditional Cuban-inspired cigars.
At the 2013 IPCPR convention, L’Atelier debuted its first limited edition cigar, the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER13. The cigar is a one-time release, but will be followed up with different size/blends at the annual convention in years following, e.g. the 2014 trade show should see the release of the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER14.
Extension de la Racine ER13 Breakdown
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Length: 5 7/8″
- Vitola: Toro
- Price: $9.25
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo ’98
- Double Binder: Ecuadorian Sancti Spiritus
- Filler: Nicaraguan
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Let me tell you straight away, this is an enjoyable cigar, one I would smoke on nearly any occasion, and here’s why…
The cigar is lit with a healthy amount of smoke and mellow flavors of graham cracker, vanilla, and a subtle, tingling spice in the throat. –>Holding the Extension de la Racine ER13, it has all the makeup of a great smoke. Its wrapper is medium brown, triple capped, and has a medium firmness – there are a few veins running down the cigar and there are spots of bloom around the cigar’s head. The band stands out compared to the usual black, white, and gold of the core LAT cigars; with a glossy red, black, and gold. I know I’m being picky, but I think it would’ve looked more stunning with the glossy gold over a matted/textured red and black.
On the nose I found barnyard hay, charcoal, oak, and some sort of raw vegetable smell. The pre-light draw is absolutely perfect, something that can make or break a lot of cigars. The cigar is lit with a healthy amount of smoke and mellow flavors of graham cracker, vanilla, and a subtle, tingling spice in the throat. Though I did notice a slightly unpleasant ammonia flavor with the first few puffs, it went away rather quickly.
Caramel, tobacco, and vanilla flavors are modest on the palate. It isn’t the type of smoke that demands your attention, it won’t punch your tongue with flavor, but will have you appreciating its subtle complexities with a little effort. But it’s the fantastic construction that has won me over with this smoke, having a literally perfect draw (in my opinion), a great amount of smoke on every puff, and a steady, constant burn.
Smoking this cigar will give you the feeling of luxury, it smokes and tastes much more like a $14 cigar rather its actual $9.25 price tag. At around the halfway point the cigar was really hitting its stride. I noticed soft and Cuban-esque flavors of leather, fresh grass, brown sugar, and cinnamon graham cracker crust! The heat picks up somewhere around this point and the cigar goes from medium in strength, to medium-full, and almost verging around full strength by the end. I smoked this cigar around lunch time and have to admit I was feeling a little nicotine kick by the end.
Nearing the end of this smoke I found flavors heating up and darkening a little. My pace of puffing had to be slowed in order to keep the flavors clean, but it was still enjoyable. More of the leather flavors stepped forward, along with heavily toasted bread and a nice caramel/vanilla/toffee sweetness on the finish. I let the cigar go just at the band.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes of course! I smoked the cigar three times for this review and wouldn’t hesitate a second to smoke another, especially being that these won’t last forever. I find that I really enjoy Pete’s blends that are on the smoother/lighter side – it seems that nearly every Tatuaje cigar has a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper these days and I think it’s refreshing to try something a little different.
- Smokes above its price range
- Pleasant & aromatic smoke
- Perfect draw
- Wavy burn
- Harsh, ammonia flavor at start