As usual, L’Atelier Imports shared a booth with sister company Tatuaje Cigars at IPCPR 2017. Tatuaje is, of course, the more dominant company, taking up a majority of the booth and housing their more sought-after releases (such as the annual Monster Series) in centerpiece displays. The booth is otherwise split nearly 50/50, showcasing the majority of L’Atelier’s products around the perimeter, housed within the walls of the booth itself.

SEE ALSO: What’s New from Tatuaje Cigars at IPCPR 2017

Surrogates 7th Sam

As the name implies, 7th Sam is the seventh blend from L’Atelier’s Surrogates brand. The concept behind Surrogates has always revolved around playful spoofing of some of the industry’s most respected cigars (and favorite blends from L’Atelier owners Pete Johnson, Dan Welsh, Sean Johnson, and K.C. Johnson), hence the name, Surrogates. This is notable in releases like Tramp Stamp (Tatuaje), Crystal Baller (Illusione Epernay), and Satin Glove (Padrón). For 7th Sam, the company hinted that a prominent industry member, known for his fondness of Japanese culture, had long requested a spoof/surrogate be made in his honor. This could be none other than Matt Booth of Room101, but you won’t find L’Atelier flat-out admitting this, understandably. And in a surprising twist that could not have been foreseen by L’Atelier, Matt Booth became the story of the craft industry for 2017, bowing out at the start of the year, only to return weeks before IPCPR 2017 with a new distributing/manufacturing partner in Caldwell Cigar Co. Caldwell and Room101 were among the most buzzed-about topics for this year’s show, and Surrogates 7th Sam no doubt benefitted from the attention.

The cigars are not only the brand’s 7th release, but their first perfecto as well, and incorporate a fitting seven tobacco varietals within the blend. 7th Sam is the first Surrogates cigar to use a Sumatra wrapper, which is rounded out by a diverse blend from three other countries. As is often the case with García-made cigars, the Nicaraguan tobaccos in the blend were grown on the family’s own farms, focusing around Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99 varietals. The size is said to use the same mold from Tatuaje’s popular Avion 11, using a round shape instead of the Avion’s box-press. Finally, the overall experience is described as complex, with exotic spices, ranking in the medium to full-bodied range.

Click images below for full resolution

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaraguan (Double Binder)
  • Filler: Connecticut Broadleaf | Mexican San Andrés | Nicaraguan
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Packaging: 20-ct SLB boxes
  • Vitola: 6¾” x 48/52 “Perfecto Grande”
  • Price: $11.00 (MSRP)
  • Release: July 27, 2017

Négociant Monopole No. 4

While Négociant bears the Tatuaje name, the cigars are described as “an incestuous creation” by Pete Johnson. In this sense, Négociant almost does for Tatuaje what Surrogates is known for with L’Atelier—stealing/borrowing flavor profiles of other respected cigars.

Négociant was introduced at IPCPR 2016 in three sizes (with quite the interesting backstory), with the cigar’s eventual release being delayed until the spring of 2017. Now, Tatuaje/L’Atelier have added a fourth size, appropriately dubbed “No. 4.” The cigar is the smallest/cheapest in the series, using the same mold as Tatuaje’s limited edition Porkchop. According to Pete Johnson, the Négociant blend had to be tweaked in order to subdue the dominant qualities of the cigar’s San Andrés binder (which is one of two binders in the blend, the other being Nicaraguan).



SEE ALSO: Tatuaje Négociant Monopole No. 4 Cigar Review

Tatuaje Négociant Monopole No. 4 cigar IPCPR 2017

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés | Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Packaging: 25-ct boxes
  • Vitola: 4⅛″ × 46 “No. 4”
  • Price: $8.00 (MSRP)
  • Release: August, 2017

Extension de la Racine ER17

Extension de la Racine (Extension of the Root) was introduced at IPCPR 2013, offering retailers that attended the trade show the exclusive opportunity to purchase the brand’s first limited edition product. Each year since, L’Atelier has showcased a new size of the Extension de la Racine blend. Now in the cigar’s fifth year running, L’Atelier has turned to a similar strategy introduced by Tatuaje with the company’s TAA releases, where the blend/size are eventually recycled after a certain number of years (e.g. Tatuaje TAA 2015 is the same blend/size as Tatuaje TAA 2011). In the same vein, Extension de la Racine ER17 is the same blend/size as the first release—Extension de la Racine ER13. The only difference with this release is that the price has increased by 50¢ per cigar—understandable, considering inflation and FDA costs that companies are now taking on.

*Cigars were not on display at the show

  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo ’98
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Sancti Spíritus (Double Binder)
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Limited Edition
  • Packaging: 20-ct SLB boxes
  • Vitola: 5⅞” x 52 (Toro)
  • Price: $9.75 (MSRP)
  • Release: August, 2017

Other

Similar to the strategy with ER17, Côte d’Or has returned to the same cigar released in 2015. Côte d’Or 2017 uses a 7″ x 47 Churchill size and is said to feature a slightly more pronounced box-press than the original release. The cigars have been limited to 1,000 boxes of 10, which began shipping in June. The only major differentiator between this and the 2015 release is the “2017” designation on the cigar’s boxes.

L'Atelier Imports Côte d’Or 2017 cigar display IPCPR 2017