If you've been following Pete Johnson's social network feeds, you may believe he's adrift somewhere in the western United States. Well, he isn't. In fact, he knows exactly where he's going, because he and his colleagues from L'Atelier are currently on tour visiting a handful of tobacconists with special cigars in hand for in-person events.
The "Oh F*ck I'm Lost Tour" began last Saturday in Thousand Oaks, California and is continuing through this week with three more stops, including one tonight at Napa Cigars in Napa, California. Joining Johnson are three of his closest friends who work on the day-to-day operations of the L'Atelier brand: K.C. Johnson (Pete's brother), Dan Welsh and Sean Johnson (no relation).
The quartet isn't flying to each of the cigar shops. Instead, Johnson has tapped into his inner rock n'roller by renting a luxury bus from Taylor Tours out of Anthem, Arizona. The bus comes complete with eight bunks, two lounges, televisions and, of course, is a cigar-friendly space. Coincidentally, the bus was last used by the band Styx on a recent tour.
"We are driving at night and sleeping on the road," said Johnson, who was somewhere between Henderson and Reno, Nevada when Cigar Aficionado caught up with him.
So far, hundreds of supporters have come out to not only meet the men behind the Tatuaje and L'Atelier brands, but to possibly get some limited cigars, too.
"It's rare to get all of us together in the same room,"Johnson said.
The cigars being sold at the store events are limited and coveted by fans of Tatuaje and L'Atelier. Included are Pork Tenderloin, a 5 1/8 inch by 52 ring cigar draped in Connecticut broadleaf with Nicaraguan binders and filler. Pork Tenderloin stands out for its unique 25-count packaging, which is not a typical wooden box, but instead is wrapped in white butcher's paper.
Tatuaje "groupies" will also be able to purchase Pork Chop, which features a covered foot and sports an Ecuadoran wrapper over Nicaraguan binders and filler. It measures 4 by 46 and also comes in 25-count boxes.
The other limited smoke being offered is the Le Vignobles, which is still made in Miami at the Garcia family's U.S. factory, El Rey de los Habanos. Le Vignobles, inspired by Johnson's love of wine, measures 6 by 38 and features Cuban-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador over Nicaraguan binders and fillers.
Additionally, Johnson and his gang will be giving away tour t-shirts, beanie caps and even copies of the tour poster, which features Johnson's rottweiler, Arnold.
Johnson said that the idea to do a tour like this has been kicking around for a few years, and should it be successful, he will likely do follow-up with a similar tour in another part of the country.
The tour stops left include:
Napa Cigars, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
1147 1st St, Napa, CA 94559
Cigars on 7th (The Pint Pot), 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
195 East 17th Ave Eugene, OR 97401
Union Cigar Society, 3 p.m. to 9p.m.
2046 Westlake Ave N # 201, Seattle, WA 98109