Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)
This week we are photographing and reviewing the L’Atelier LAT46 Selection Spéciale. This corona-gorda vitola, made at the My Father factory in Nicaragua, is the latest release from the L’Atelier Imports stable.
This is a true Corona Gorda vitola, measuring 5 5/8 by 46. In a market plagued with obese sticks, this cigar really tickles me pink. Just as I believe the original LATs coming in boxes of 15 was smart, this one coming in boxes of 10 is even smarter. Same basic box concept as the originals; same original band with the addition of a secondary “Selection Spéciale” band. Alright, enough of this mumbo jumbo. Let’s get down to business.
For starters, the wrapper is noticeably darker than the originals, as it is a higher priming leaf. Same proprietary blend as the original LATs. Construction is flawless with the same flag top finish as the originals. The smell of the foot is of hay and amazing tobacco. It literally transports me back in time some 10 years ago when I was first smitten with everything that had to do with cigars. The draw, with a shallow straight cut, is ideal for me. Just a little bit of tug. This has been consistent in both the prerelease (2) and the market release (2) I have smoked for this review.
As soon as I light up, I’m smacked with spice both across my palate and on the retrohale, which is very intense. It has very savory characteristics to start. Toasty, smoky, and cedary. The aftertaste, thus far, is just barely dropping hints of flavor I associate with the core LATs but not quite discernable yet. The lingering mouth feel is smooth with just a touch of grit, almost like an ultra-fine sandpaper; enjoyable. A full inch in, the burn has been RAZOR sharp (not touch-ups) and has a very nice white/gray colors with touches of black throughout. A flavor of toasted artisanal bread has made its way to the forefront of flavor with strong cedar on the retrohale. (Side note: Something interesting I’ve noticed with every one of these I’ve smoked is a tingle on my lips, across my palate, and in the back of my throat. Certainly not unenjoyable, just very interesting.) The spice on the retrohale has stayed fairly intense, but is very enjoyable for me. With the halfway mark approaching, a strong effervescent characteristic has developed. This is something I’ve noticed not only with the LAT46, but the original LATs as well and I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s like menthol without the mint, if that helps explain it any better. The toastiness is still present up front, with the mocha notes I get a lot of in the originals coming through in the aftertaste. With this stick, it’s like clockwork that as soon as you pass the halfway mark, the strength really spikes in intensity. It goes from a nice, consistent medium, to full bodied in the blink of an eye. Cedar is one of most consistent flavors in this stick, which makes sense because it’s very present in the originals. However, I interpret it as a more woody cedar in the 46, whereas it’s sweeter in the originals. I might attribute this to the amped up quality of the wrapper. Nevertheless, it’s a great flavor. Into the final third of the cigar, the construction really shines! Not very warm to the touch and not spongy. The effervescence has really intensified in the retrohale. The mocha aftertaste has all but fade away and has given way to a nice roasted coffee bean characteristic with just a touch of graham cracker. Finally snubbed it out with about a ¾ inch nub.
Smoking time: 1 hour 10 minutes. I personally love this cigar just as a love the original LATs. It’s has the same base bones, but the high priming wrapper really gives it its own unique flare. I often tell people who are trying LATs for the first time that they really need to pay attention to it, as they might overlook a lot of the subtle nuances. The 46, just as its big cousins, seems to make quick changes almost from puff to puff. The flavors jump around and really make for an enjoyable smoking experience. As far as rating this cigar goes, I won’t. I don’t believe in the numbers games. What I will say is this. I will be smoking many more of these! I’ve already set aside a box for aging and I can’t wait to see what time will do to these smokes, provided I can keep my grubby paws off of them! Happy smoking my friends!
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sancti Spiritus (Ecuador)
- click on photographs (slideshow)-