Sometime in early February I caught wind of a new cigar coming about by L’Atelier, a company I(admittedly) was never thrilled by. That’s not to say that I haven’t liked any of their previous cigars, just that none of them that I had tried had ever really knocked it out of the park. It’s safe to assume at this point that I wouldn’t be excited to try this one; however, I heard from a few of my sources that this was a killer blend and should be right up my alley. Here comes one of the nice parts of being a retail tobacconist, the day these hit the shelves at the shop I got to light one up before anyone else could (except my co-workers).
Yes, I am that guy, and I did position everything just so for a photo. Right from the cut and the pre-light foreplay this cigar dropped a serious flavor bomb! It was every bit of cedar and sweet without that fake sugary syrupy sweet that some offer. Nicely balanced at the light with just a hint of pepper on the retro-hale and I was off.
From start to finish I didn’t get a whole lot of variation in which flavors were present. The La Mission stayed fairly consistent with lots of Cedar, an easy semi-sweet note that enhanced rather then took away from the other notes, hints of pepper, and just a touch of a dark dark coffee that was almost more of an after thought. First third flavor bombs right out of the gate that scale back as you progress. Second third stayed nice and easy at the start and that let some of that sweeter side come through, but then it builds a little more and just before you hit the final third it hits that magical “sweet spot.” From here it kept right on going and didn’t change at all. In this case it was a good thing. I was in heaven for the last 20 minutes or so. Every flavor was there in perfect harmony, not too much cedar, not too little pepper, just the right amount of everything I liked from before. Unfortunately, about 1 hour into smoking I was starting to burn my fingers and I had to let it go.
After my first experience with La Mission, I had to buy a box. If I wasn’t a L’Atelier fan before, I am now. This cigar is an excellent representation of what San Andres tobacco has to offer as a wrapper, and with an MSRP of $8, definitely a must try.