EXCLUSIVE—Pete Johnson Adding Corona Gorda to L’Atelier

The flagship brand of Pete Johnson's new company, L'Atelier Imports, is getting a new size that is not only slimmer than its predecessors, but also covered in wrapper leaf from a higher priming.

L'Atelier Selection Spéciale, or the LAT46 SS, is 5 5/8 inches long by 46 ring gauge, the same measurements of a traditional Cuban corona gorda. Slated for a launch early in April 2013, the LAT46 SS sports a pigtail cap like the other L'Atelier sizes as well as the same blend, but the wrapper is "noticeably more darker," says Johnson. L'Atelier uses a wrapper called Sancti Spiritus, a hybrid of Criollo and Pelo d'Oro that is grown by Oliva Tobacco Co. in Ecuador.

According to Johnson, when he was sorting the Sancti Spiritus wrapper at the My Father Cigars factory, where L'Atelier is rolled, he noticed the higher priming leaves were darker, closer to the prototypical dark reddish-brown of a maduro cigar, than the mid-primings being used in the L'Atelier line. He opted to save the darker leaf, and the result is the LAT46 SS.

The core of the LAT46 SS is still all-Nicaraguan, but Johnson says the higher priming wrapper leaf adds "a bit more tickle in the nose." The LAT46 SS is a full-production size and will only be shipped in 10-count, black laquer boxes. Johnson also plans to use a secondary band on the LAT46 SS. The cost has not been set, but expect the suggested retail price to be below $10.

L'Atelier debuted at this summer's trade show and recently received an outstanding 92.7 average rating in a Cigar Insider vertical tasting. The brand consists of three sizes: LAT52, which measures 4 3/4 inches by 52; LAT54, 5 5/8” by 54, and LAT56, 6 1/2” by 56 ring. The cigars are medium to full in body.

For more on L'Atelier, read First Look at L'Atelier, Pete Johnson's Newest Cigar

Check out the newest Cigar Insider for the full tasting notes on L'Atelier.

"Glad hes doing a CG for L'Atelier, cant wait to try it!" —December 22, 2012 17:42 PM