L’Atelier Imports – Surrogates Cracker Crumbs
L’Atelier Imports, led by Pete Johnson of Tatuaje, K.C. Johnson, Dan Welsh, and Sean Johnson, made its debut at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. L’Atelier, which means “workshop” in French, has developed a diverse portfolio over their five years of existence with many of their cigars being well received here at Casas Fumando by our honorary guest contributor, Jeff Oda (where is that guy?) It is hard to believe L’Atelier Imports has been around for nearly five years as it seems like only yesterday news broke of the creation of the new company. And practically speaking, they are rather new in my book as I have only smoke a couple of their lines. I can now add the Surrogates Cracker Crumbs to that short list.
Blended by Pete Johnson and the rest of the L’Atelier crew, all of the cigars in the Surrogates brand are manufactured at My Father Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua, which contains Skull Breaker, Bone Crusher, Tramp Stamp, Satin Glove Crystal Baller, Animal Cracker, and Cracker Crumbs. The Cracker Crumbs launched at the 2014 trade show alongside the L’Atelier Travailleurs, El Suelo Vuelos, and Trocadero Ruelles. Each of these releases come packaged in soft-packs containing five 4 ½ by 38 cigars. The most similar packaging I have seen to this is the J. Fuego Originals. And I absolutely love it! The blend of the Cracker Crumbs in based on the Surrogates Animal Cracker.
Price: $14.50 per 5-pack
Vitola: Petite Corona
Size: 4 ½ by 38
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Smoke Time: 55 Minutes
The Surrogates Cracker Crumbs wears a medium to dark brown wrapper that has some color variations and is rustic in appearance. The leaf is covered in veins, bumps, stretch marks, and oils. The cigar feels solid as I examine it for any soft spot, but I can feel the contours of the underlying binder leaf. As I bring the cigar to my nose, mild aromas of cedar and earth are first to greet me, followed but a very light syrupy sweetness, while the foot aroma is mainly of rich cedar. The pre-cut Cracker Crumbs has an open draw, maybe too free, showing off a mild cedar and a spice heat lingers on the lips and in the mouth.
Right of the bat, this little cigar comes out kicking with a full amount bright spice against a sweet generic woodsy flavor as each draw brings forth a mouth-full of smoke. Due to the level of spice that is hitting the back of my throat, it is necessary to exhale some of the smoke from my mouth prior to retro-haling. But with that said, the retrohale is a must as it shows off a different dimension of the spice. Closer to a cayenne pepper. The Surrogates Cracker Crumbs is burning remarkably well as a light gray ash is formed.
Being still early in the cigar, I am caught off guard by the amount of strength the Surrogates Cracker Crumbs brings to the table. The flavors appear to have settled, most noticeably in the spice department, and the sweetness in the first third has calmed allowing for more of an earthy flavor to move in. There is a somewhat sour quality to the smoke that comes across every so often. Near the midway point, a small section of the wrapper is lagging behind the rest of the burn, but I expect it to self-correct. In addition to the lopsided burn, the ash is not nearly as pretty as earlier
As move into the final inch and half of the Surrogates Cracker Crumbs, this Petite Corona is coming across much richer but with less body than earlier. The cigar remain pretty consistent with the second third and the nicotine is really hitting me. As expected, a touch-up was not necessary as the burn self-corrected.
Coming in at less than $3 a cigar, the Surrogates Cracker Crumbs by L’Atelier Imports is the perfect little cigar to accompany you on a commute or fill in those limited time slots during the day that won’t allow for a larger cigar. But don’t let the size trick you. This 4 1/2 by 38 Petite Corona packs a punch in spice and strength. It may be best reserved for later in the day.
You can order yourself some Cracker Crumbs from our good friends at Ford on Fifth HERE .