A deep brown colored wrapper covers this cigar. The wrapper has a little bit of flaking in a couple of spots. The seams are raised in a few spots but it doesn’t appear to be anything serious. The cap is applied nicely and is finished off with a flag end. The cigar has a bit of a press to it which makes it oval in shape. The band looks very nice in contrast with the wrapper. It is very good quality as well. Nosing the wrapper doesn’t give much aroma while the foot gives a bit of sweet hay.The pre-light draw brings a good amount of pepper to the lips and tongue along with a light aroma of raisin.
The L’Atelier La Mission de L’Atelier is a slightly oily, toothy, veiny, dark brown. The cigar is soft pressed providing a nice hand feel. It is also well rolled with no soft spots present and providing just the right amount of give. The pigtailed head has a well applied triple cap. Nosing the wrapper, notes of strong barnyard and cedar followed by slight floral and white pepper spice. Nosing the foot provides white pepper spice and dried biscuits. Cold draw tells cedar and cocoa powder.
Upon lighting, everything is very mellow, from the strength to the flavor. I’m getting a dull cinnamon spice lingering on my tongue and a light version of that on the retrohale also. A little light wood comes into the mix to go along with the dull cinnamon. Three quarters of an inch in, the woodiness picks up and becomes more of a spicy cedar. The retrohale is a bit brighter than the flavors that are detected in the mouth. Nearing the end of the third, the cedar transitions to an oak along with a little bit of pepper. The strength in this third was just shy of medium.
The first inch’s flavor experience provides full tannins and creamy milk chocolate. Encompassing these two flavors is a slick black pepper spice. Roughly an inch and a half into the cigar, the complexity increases giving dry roasted cashews, slight bread, sweet creaminess and intermittent under-ripe stone fruit. Through the retrohale, increased intensity of black pepper spice, and an introduction of floral notes. Body and strength is at a solid medium within the entire first third.
As the third begins, a much fuller oak flavor is present. The retrohale is also oak but of a slightly lesser intensity. After a few more draws, some pepper starts to make its way into the profile which is finally adding some complexity to this cigar. Midway through the third, the pepper transitions to only the retrohale which now has almost a sawdust finish. Shortly therafter, the pepper and sawdust on the retrohale disappear. The flavor is still oak, but the retrohale now has a slight mineral component. Nearing the end of the third, a bit of chocolate comes in and the pepper is returning on the retrohale. The strength in this third was just a bit above medium.
Second thirds flavor profile is for the most part an intensified and more distinctive version of the first thirds flavor profile. At the core of it, increased black pepper spice, more distinctive notes of dry roasted cashews and bread. A new note of cooking spice (perhaps cardamom) enters into the palate. The intermittent under-ripe stone fruit within the first third is unfortunately not seen at all. Body stays at a solid medium within the second third. Strength although staying at a medium, is nearing a medium full as the nicotine is slowly creeping its way into my head.
This third starts off with a slightly damp wood flavor. The retrohale is of dry wood. This third is providing the best smoke production thus far which is really increasing the enjoyment as the flavors are much more present. As the cigar burns down, it is getting a little hotter which brings a little bitterness into the profile, but nothing too detrimental. The wood is turning into a bit of mesquite which is reminiscent of BBQ smoke. The retrohale is smooth with a creamy woodiness. The strength in this third was above medium, but not quite medium-full.
Starting the last third, the flavor profile mimics the second third. Continuous notes of intensified and more distinctive black pepper spice, dry roasted cashes, bread and cooking spice (perhaps cardamom). Towards the middle of the last third, the profile again changes giving very full tannins, incredible thick creaminess and cedar. The black pepper spice has taken a backseat and is barely noticeable. Body stays at a solid medium and strength is back to a solid medium.
The burn was fairly wavy and the cigar did go out on me once in the second third which required a re-light. Ash held on in half to three quarter inch increments.
Very good burn. Strong and sturdy ashes averaging 1.5 inches. The cigar burned cool throughout the entire smoking experience. The only downside is the cigars inability to have a razor sharp burn.
The draw was very firm. I made a second cut in the first third and when that didn’t help, I used the draw tool which found a fair amount of resistance going into the cigar and still really didn’t help much. I went in with the draw tool again in the second third and hit something hard which I pushed through and that ended up helping immensely and allowed for much more smoke production.
I think I ran into a cigar that had some poor construction. Once I got past the problem, the experience improved immensely. With that being said, the experience I had, and the only one I’m able to rate with, was lackluster. With what I’ve heard about this cigar, I had high hopes. Seeing as how things got better, I could see myself smoking another one which would provide much better results. Based on how things ended, the cigar does have good flavors, so I would recommend people give this a try and see if they have better results with construction.
Very good draw. The draw was a tad loose for my liking but this is no real complaint what so ever. Also love the mouth feel of a semi box pressed cigar.
All in all, this was a tasty and complex cigar. A cigar with almost never ending transitions and complexities to the point where I felt like there wasn’t a road map I could follow. I’m unsure if I liked that. Typically, I enjoy a cigar that builds on a set of core flavors and this one jumps all over the map. But nonetheless a cigar that I will happily smoke anytime.
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