The L’Atelier LAT 52, 54, and 56 were introduced at the 2012 IPCPR. L’Atelier is french for “The workshop” and is the result of a collaboration by K.C. Jonson, Dan Welsh, and Sean “Casper” Johnson, with some close involvement from Pete Johnson (Tatuaje). They released both the L’Atelier line, two new sizes to the Surrogates line, and made the rest of the Surrogates line fully available to B&Ms. The L’Atelier and Surrogates lines are made at the My Father Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua by the Garcia family.
Size: 4 3/4 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian (Sancti Spíritus)
Strength: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3 (One of each size, chose to write the review on the LAT 52)
Construction and Appearance: The LAT 52 features an attractive gold, silver, black, and white band. In the middle is a gold leaf and on both sides are several silver leaves, below is the word L’Atelier written in black on white. The entire band is bordered in gold, and has a nice modern feel to it. The wrapper of the LAT 52 is a gorgeous golden brown, it has minimal veins, and a rich beautiful oil to it. I can’t overstate how beautiful this cigar looks to me. It is topped off with a tight triple cap which ends in a neat tiny pig tail.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the LAT 52 has notes of sweet cedar, cream, nuts, and a little grass. The foot has a scent which is made up of wood, cedar, grass, nuts, and a nice rich earth. Despite the fact that the LAT 52 had a pig tail, I decided to use a straight cut to prepare smoking. In the past I’ve found I prefer using a straight cut and I’m sticking to my guns here. The cold draw on the LAT 52 is absolutely delicious, there are notes of cream, grass, nuts, cedar, and a rich floral tone, I cannot wait to fire this bad boy up.
Smoking Characteristics: I decided to light up the LAT 52 using a piece of cedar, taking care to ensure the the finest smoking experience. The LAT 52 fires up with a little pepper and spice along with a rich blend of cedar, cream, and citrus tones. The flavors are wonderfully balanced and play lightly on the palate with a fair amount of complexity. In this first third, a nice blend of cocoa and earth starts to play into the flavor profile as well.
Into the second third of the LAT 52, the pepper and spice fades completely. The flavor profile is now made up of notes of nuts, cream, cedar, cocoa, earth, and a rich citrus tone. The flavor is absolutely amazing, it is some what light despite its intensity. The draw is perfect, easily providing a full body of smooth, cool, creamy, semi sweet smoke. The resistance on the draw is perfect as well, completely ideal. The ash holds very firm, easily past the inch mark, and the burn is almost surgically sharp. The strength is on the upper end of the medium range, approaching medium to full.
During the final third of the LAT 52, the spice and pepper reemerge in the smoking profile, and the citrus tone fades slightly. The dominate flavors are that of nuts, cream, cedar, cocoa, and a bit of earth. The blend of flavors is still supremely enjoyable, and I savor each draw, yet there is a regret that the smoke is almost at its finish. The strength in this final third peaks in the medium to full range, never tipping the scale into the full side of things. The LAT 52 performs well to the nub, the construction remaining quite excellent.
Conclusion: I was more than pleased with the LAT 52, and cannot wait for the LAT 46 to be released. After smoking all of the current sizes, I have to say I believe the blend plays out best in the LAT 52 size, and I suspect I may even enjoy the blend more in the thinner gauge. The flavor was phenomenal, and as soon as I was done smoking the LAT 52 for review, I fired up another. With the low price point, and the smaller 15 count box, I know I’ll be going through a few boxes of these in 2013.