Last year L’Atelier Imports released the Selection Speciale, this cigar is based on the L’Atelier core line but features a higher priming of the Sancti Spiritus wrapper giving a slightly darker appearance. L’Atelier Imports cigars are blended by Pete Johnson and are made at the My Father factory in Nicaragua. L’Atelier is a company run by Pete and his brother KC as well as a close group of friends.
The Selection Speciale was introduced at IPCPR in 2013 in the LAT 46 vitola of 5 5/8×46. Earlier this year a 5×50 robusto was released as an event only cigar, then at IPCPR 2014 two additional sizes were released; the 6 1/8×52 Torpedo, and the 7 1/2×38 38 Special Lancero. The cigars come wrapped in the higher priming of the Sancti Spiritus leaf (a Criollo and Pelo de Oro hybrid) grown in Ecuador by the Oliva family (not Oliva Cigars), with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The cigars retail for $9 to $12 depending on your location.
Being a lancero lover I couldn’t pass up this cigar. It comes with the standard L’Atelier band and the Selection Speciale secondary right underneath it. The cigar is noticeably darker than the core line that features the same leaf. The cigar is a pretty good looking lancero,with a fantail cap. The cigar has a sweet tobacco note to the nose and a nutty dry draw.
Once lit, the first third really takes some time to start producing any discernible flavors. Most of what I pick up on are just very mild tobacco notes and a very slight floral note. The opening really felt like smoking a very mild Connecticut that was almost like smoking air.
The 38 Special began to pick up a bit in the second third. I began to pick up a nutty flavor, much like the one on the dry draw along with just a touch of sweetness. The burn of the cigar at this point needed a bit of touching up here and there.
In the last third the cigar really started to need touching up, I tried to smoke the cigar as slow as I could to keep it cool but ended up needing to relight. This was an instant clue that some of the flavor issues and burn issues I had could probably be solved by dry boxing or a longer humidor time. This cigar really disappointed me as I am a huge fan of the LAT 46 SS. As it stands with the 38 Special though I must recommend letting it sit for now. I do plan to revisit this cigar and at such time I will provide a follow up review to show any changes. At this time I do not find it fair to give this cigar a rating, if anything it is a try one just to see if you don’t believe me, honestly I would not have believed it if I hadn’t smoked it for myself.