Cigar Review: L’Atelier Maduro MAD44

L’Atelier Maduro MAD 44 (41/2 x44)

The follow-up to Pete Johnson’s debut release under the L’Atelier Imports umbrella, the L’Atelier Maduro is an entirely different animal than its predecessor. Well, almost. It still contains the Ecuadorian Sancti Spiritus tobacco used for the wrapper on the original L’Atelier, but here it finds a new role, along with some Nicaraguan Sancti Spiritus, as the binder. The wrapper is one of Pete’s specialties, Connecticut Broadleaf, and the filler is an all-Nicaraguan blend exclusive to this cigar. Needless to say, this was an easy choice for review, especially when I saw the MAD44 (4 1/2×44) vitola.

The cigar was decked out in a dark brown Broadleaf wrapper with rough texture and just a few noticeable veins. This stick was evenly and solidly packed with a clean triple-cap up top. For my personal taste, I would describe the size of this cigar as perfect. If every cigar were available in this vitola I would be a happy man. Pre-light draws gave off a rather “clean” taste of slightly sweet cedar/oak.

The MAD44 opened up with an awesome array of bold flavors- coffee, cocoa, earth and nuts with a white pepper finish that lingered on my palate well after each puff. Ensuing draws saw the flavor “calm down” a bit, with the profile’s focus shifting toward the coffee and earth notes and the pepper dying down to a dull roar. Smoke production was great, the burn was spot-on, and a neat white/grey ash was coming along nicely.
In the 2nd third I was picking up a ton of smoky wood flavor and more deep coffee notes along with some light black pepper. As I burned closer to the band a new note of salty earth developed on the finish, making  for a pleasant aftertaste.
The final portion of the smoke was much smoother than what I usually get from any final third, with balanced notes of coffee, cream, and earth melding together harmoniously. Light complimentary flavors of salt and sweet cedar worked to bring the profile full circle.

The L’Atelier Maduro was a stand-out smoke in all regards. Instead of cramming hundreds of tasting notes and nuances into the profile, this cigar concentrated on a few key flavors and conveyed them flawlessly. Both burn and draw left nothing to be desired, and only helped me enjoy the vivid and easily identifiable flavors of the cigar. The L’Atelier Maduro outshines the original in my opinion, and I give it an A grade. Wait-..what’s this?…I am getting a vision….oh yes…It’s the MAD44 appearing in my personal humidor in the very near future.

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