Posts Tagged pete johnson

L’Atelier LAT46 Selection Spéciale

Cigar Review by Steve Royston (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (

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.

Final Thoughts:
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)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 5.625″
Ring: 46

- click on photographs (slideshow)-

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 – REDUX ‘Hassell’

This week, the CigarPhoto is displaying, not reviewing, the latest offering from Rick Gadway’s Federal CigarTatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 – REDUX ‘Hassell.’ If you are familiar with the original Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 Reserva, please be aware that the latest REDUX ‘Hassell’ release is not a continuation of the original Reserva batch but instead, and I quote “… this is fresh new product made with broadleaf and with Hassell band on it – Pete Johnson …

Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 releases:

  • 2011 march – 90th Anniversary release – 300 Rosado boxes (reviewed HERE) / 100 Reserva boxes
  • 2012 december – continuation of the original release with Limited band (both Rosado & Reserva)
  • 2013 march – 92nd Anniversary release with Hassell band (60 boxes / 40 bundles)

It is my understanding that the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 – REDUX ‘Hassell’ will be available for purchase at the Federal Cigar Plaistow location on March 16th, 2013 (in-person only) and on March 18th, 2013 (call). Hassell boxes and bundles are priced at $250 each.

First row / 2nd photograph illustrates the progression of the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 (l to r): Rosado OR, Reserva OR, Rosado 2nd release, Reserva 2nd release, Hassell.


- click on photographs (slideshow)-

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tatuaje ‘The Mummy’

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (

2012 Halloween brought another “Monster Series” limited release. This year, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje introduced 5th installment called “The Mummy.”

Cut: Palio
Drink: Unsweetened Lipton cold brew iced tea
Palate: Fresh. Had not smoked for 4 days prior.

Prelight: As my eyes move from the ragged closed foot, they are drawn to the subtle color variations in the veining on the light brown Colorado wrapper. There are few prominent veins and the creasing is accentuated by reddish hues giving it a mottled and weather-beaten appearance. The wrapper is smooth to the touch, has very little oils, and a very fine tooth right up to the gorgeous triple cap. To sum up the overall appearance: crude rustic elegance. It’s definitely a “Monster.” The prelight aroma is rather unassuming and muted: mild cedar, straight tobacco, and light barnyard. The cold draw is in keeping with the prelight aroma: mild cedar, some raisin notes, sweet tobacco and light hay. Nothing screams bold or adventurous.

Draw: Comfortable and effortless. Balanced to the length of the cigar perfectly.

Flavors: Initial spice, but not the classic Pepin black pepper. It’s a woody spice up front with cedar predominating. There are distinct cinnamon and nutmeg notes balanced by leather and earth. The pepper(black/cayenne) comes on the retro, and it’s BIG! As I settled into the first third there is a core of cinnamon and cedar. Initially, the smoke is drying on the palate, but as the cigar starts to transition a wonderful sweetness emerges and softens the sharp woody edges. It’s not a dense, thick molasses sweetness. It’s a bit nebulous at first. It’s there, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s light and engaging. I’m hoping it continues to develop. The smoke becomes creamy and mellows on the palate. As I get into the second third the strength is consistent. On my palate it’s a medium minus. Flavors that continue to dominate are mild cedar and cinnamon and then that sweetness begins to take on a more defined role heading into the latter portion of the second third. I know what it is now. It’s fantastic. It’s graham cracker! As it transitions into the final third there are some fleeting herbal, grassy, and minty notes, but the cinnamon, cedar, and graham cracker are still center stage all the way to the nub.

Burn: Excellent. Two touch ups. The ash was a flaky salt and pepper and split in funky directions. The burn rate and temperature was spot on. Smoke production was good. Total smoke time was 2 hours.

Construction: Excellent.

Descriptive adjectives: Rustic Elegance, “Cinn-a-Monster”

Box worthy: Yes

Overall: Pleasantly surprised. Of the mini-monsters, the Mum was my least favorite. I was so underwhelmed, after my experience with it’s little brother, that I did a box split for the full size Mummy this year. That was a mistake!

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Length: 7.75″
Ring: 48

Please consider the following post:
* Tatuaje ‘The Face’
* Tatuaje ‘The Boris’ (* not Monster Series)

- click on photographs - 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saints & Sinners 2012 Cigars

Saints & Sinners – private social club and a brainchild of Pete Johnson of Tatuaje and Sean ‘Casper’ Johnson of L’Atelier.

In 2011, CigarPhoto posted an exclusive summary of the Saints & Sinners 2011 kit.

The expectation was / is that each year will bring another kit filled with prototypes and regular production cigars. This week CigarPhoto is delivering an exclusive overview of the Saints & Sinners 2012 kit. In addition, one can visit the following link to preview what was included in 2012 Saints & Sinners registration package.

For an annual registration fee of $150, each member will receive:
1. Exclusive, one-off products available only to members (select products may not be available for purchase through the S&S webstore)
2. Everyday Tatuaje branded merchandise at the Saints & Sinners discounted club rate.
3. Access to members-only forums, where you can discuss the finer points of cigars, smoking accessories, spirits, and anything else associated with the Saints & Sinners lifestyle.
4. Access to the Pete Johnson video blog. Here, Pete will update members on everything PJHC. Watch Pete as he travels around the world, visiting his production facility in Nicaragua, engages fans on cigar tours, and dishes on anything else he feels his Saints & Sinners family should know.
5. First looks at new cigar blends, swag, as well as insider info on Tatuaje and other Pete Johnson brands.
6. The knowledge that a portion of your annual membership fee will go to an eclectic mix of charities that Pete chooses for their commitment to their particular cause.

- click on photographs - 


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CigarPhoto at Cigar Safari 2012 (after)