L’Atelier Selection Spéciale: 38 Special | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Sancti Spíritus Ecuadorian
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 7.5 x 38 “Lancero-38 Special”
Body: Medium
Price: $9.75 ($9.00 at Small Batch Cigar minus 10% discount = $8.10)


Today we take a look at the brand new L’Atelier Selection Spéciale: 38 Special. It made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show. It will be a limited production cigar.

It is also called the LAT38 Special.

This is what I call an “errand” cigar. Petite coronas and lanceros are great for driving around do endless things that must be done.

L’Atelier cigars are made at the My Father Cigars factory in Esteli. The new L’Atelier Selection Spéciale: 38 Special is based on a wrapper grown in Ecuador by the Oliva family. (Not to be confused with Oliva Cigars.)

The wrapper is called Sancti Spiritus and is a hybrid of Criollo and Pelo de Oro.

The 38 Special Selection Spéciale uses only the highest priming of the Sancti Spiritus leaves. These high primers are much darker in color than the rest of the plant. And are supposed to have a significant impact on the flavor of the cigar.

This cigar is no new there is virtually no info on it at the moment.

Thanks to one of my sponsor/readers, I was able to purchase these cigars. Thanks buddy.

The leaf stats are the same as the other Selection Spéciales.

In addition, more blends will be added to the Surrogates and L’Atelier line: Surrogates Satin Glove, L’Atelier Cracker Crumbs, El Suelo Vuelos, L’Atelier Travailleurs and Trocadéro Ruelles. All 4.5 x 38 five packs that will retail for $14.50.

Construction is inconsistent. One stick is covered in veins, the others not so much. The seams on the one I picked to review is perfecto. The triple cap with the little fan tail is perfectly executed. The wrapper has a slight oiliness and is very, very dark. It has the standard L’Atelier cigar band with a secondary band calling out the blend.

I clip the cap (Using the yarmulke cut removing the cap’s wrapper only) and find aromas of strong spice, fudge brownies, cinnamon, herbal notes, cream, and fresh peaches along the shaft.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are wonderful. Full of red pepper and rich dark chocolate. A sweet tobacco presence, perfect draw and loads of smoke, strong oak, coffee, and a slight bitterness.

There is a minor graham cracker element. Or some sort of butter cookies. It tastes like Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies with that buttery sandwich and the dark chocolate holding two cookies together.

At the ¾” burned mark, creaminess appears in a very light fashion.

The strength is a tad over medium bodied.

The creaminess is on an upward trajectory.

The lancero size causes a big difference in the flavor profile. Much more intense. I’ve reviewed the L’Atelier Selection Spéciale and it was a great cigar. It was a LAT46 which means it was probably a corona gorda. I don’t know. The names the manufacturers give their cigars is fluid and inconsistent.

After burning 2-1/2”, the cigar becomes a raging flavor bomb.

I have a single criticism. And it is not about the cigar’s flavors. It is about the size. Lanceros make a good errand cigar because it doesn’t take long to smoke. I predict that the cigar will take no longer than 30-35 minutes to consume. The tradeoff is that the L’Atelier Selection Spéciale: 38 Special has an amazing flavor profile. And it gets there almost instantaneously.

The cigar is perfect in every way. Here are the flavors: Creaminess, spice, dark fudge, butter cookies, black cherry, oak, cedar, extreme tobacco sweetness, and a touch of leather.

The strength is heading towards full bodied. Will I make it to the end without passing out from the upcoming nicotine? Place your bets.

Having the Small Batch Contest giveaway is really nice. I am finally getting to hear from the unsung readers and followers that were always too shy to say anything. I hope they continue to comment on a regular basis. We have a tight knit group of regulars that have become my friends but one can never have enough friends…..I’m so lonely….whine, simper, sigh….

Since giving up the bass a couple years ago because of my back injuries from that horrific skydiving accident, I don’t know how to make friends. Plus, I’m a snob.

For 45 years, my music was everything to me and all my friends stemmed from playing with good musicians. Now that’s gone…whine, simper, sigh….

The cigar is beautifully balanced. Perfect complexity. A long, long, long finish.

I began the second third a few minutes ago. There are other flavors hidden like Where’s Waldo?

But it is so complex my puny brain is having trouble defining them.

I gotta take a dump.

The chocolate and the creaminess take the cake so to speak in terms of leading the charge.

My boxer dog is sitting next to me and just staring. Really annoys me when she does that. Like a groupie.
I’d like to fuck a groupie right now. But not with my dick. Any volunteers?
That was my biggest disappointment playing bit time rock n roll…the groupies. Mostly skanks.

I fart.

The flavor profile hasn’t changed in the slightest. Doesn’t need to.

There is a little bit of citrus. I’m sure the A List reviewers will do a better job of dissecting all the different flavors than I.

The price point. The MSRP seems a little high…but lanceros are always more expensive. The price from SBC of $8.10 is much better. I have no problem with that price point. This is a fantastic cigar and $8 is not too much.

I check around and find that most online stores are selling the stick for the almost $10 price. Pirates. Their price won’t come down until the feeding frenzy stops.

The last third begins and I’ve invested about 30 minutes. So, my prediction is a bit off.

The L’Atelier Selection Spéciale: 38 Special is a unique bird. Incredibly flavorful. Very complex. Perfect balance. I like it.

My sphincter is doing sit ups.

So far, so good…no nicotine.

It is here that we have the true sweet spot. Flavors explode on my face. I get a towel. But I never swallow. I am a gentleman.

Remember the first time you gave head to a woman? First comes fear…then that strange sensation…then moaning but not from you…then the fun kicks in.

Back when Charlotte and I were in our late 30’s, she promised to do a ménage à trois.
She was drunk, and high, when she made that promise.

With 2” to go, something happens. The flavors become subtle and nuanced.

And heeeeeeere’s Nicotine!

Woo Hoo. The room is spinning and my hands don’t work.
I use my nose to type.

If I had the stereotypical Jewish nose, it would be easier. But I’m an Ashkenazi Jew. Meaning my people come from Central and Eastern Europe and we have small noses. Drat.
Sephardic Jews emanate from Spain. Big noses.

So because I don’t look Jewish, for 35 years, my cohorts in construction felt at ease making Jew jokes. Lovely. Even though the name Kohn couldn’t be more Jewish.

That’s the nicotine speaking.

It took me 45 minutes to finish the L’Atelier Selection Spéciale: 38 Special. A wonderful cigar experience.
The last 1-1/2” sees the flavor profile explode once more. And it moves to full bodied.

There are more flavors going on than I was able to define. I am ashamed.

If you haven’t tried any of the L’Atelier Selection Spéciale sizes, I would try the lancero first. It takes no time whatsoever to age and be ready to smoke. I smoked one the first day I received them. And it was great. But I still did my ritual of dry boxing.

I’m sure that a couple months of humidor time will only make them better.

Don’t forget to use the Katman10 code if you buy them from Small Batch Cigar in order to get your 10% off. Tell Andrew that the degenerate Katman sent you.

And now for something completely different:

I’ve run out of stories so I must dredge up old ones to keep the customers satisfied. I know, I know…you older loyal readers are muttering to yourselves, “Damn you Katman! Can’t you come up with something new” Why don’t you just rot in hell?”
Or something like that.

I was in this very strange three piece power blues trio called the Todd Hart Band in Phoenix. Todd had his 15 minutes by becoming the lead singer of the legendary English blues band “Savoy Brown” for a couple of years.

Todd had an extraordinary voice and was an average guitar player. But since he lived on the money we made from gigs, and his girlfriend, he didn’t want to expand the band into a four piece by adding a really good guitarist.

Somehow he got caught up in this horseshit with the Hell’s Angels. His new neighbor was the grand poobah or something.

So we started doing gigs for them. They had just recently muscled their way into Arizona and forcing the other outlaw gangs to either join up or disappear.

These were real thugs. Mindless, vicious thugs. The top 1% had the brains and were actually well educated.
During their charity fraud every Christmas at their big toy drive for kids….I sat at a table next to an older Angel who was quite intelligent. It was a Sunday and we discussed the morning news shows. And discussed financial politics.

I had my CCW. My family was a victim of violent crime so packing a gun seemed a smart thing to do since we sent a gang member to prison and the gang vowed vengeance on me and my family.

I always wore a Blues Brothers type black sport coat. I wore my Glock 30 .45 cal subcompact in the small of my back.

One night at a gig the boys took turns guarding the hundreds of bikes parked in the parking lot. They all had guns. It was legal to openly carry. I’m not so sure it was legal if you had a criminal background but the cops left them alone.

A shit load of them wore the Don Johnson Miami Vice style of shoulder holster where the gun is parallel to the ground and the butt of the gun sticks forward away from your chest.

The only problem was that, and I learned this in all the gun classes I took, that when you pull a gun from a shoulder holster, you sweep the area before the gun is pointing at the assailant.

In studies with cops, they found that a cop would shoot 2.3 times from the time he began to remove his gun from his holster until it was aimed at the target.

Imagine that if you sweep on an arc from a shoulder holster and how many innocent bystanders get shot while doing so.

So, during a break, I went outside and got about 6-7 of them to stand in a line and instructed them how to properly remove the gun from the holster and shoot your victim.

Yeah, real bright. I know.

You basically pull the gun out, twist your hand so the gun is aiming at the ground immediately, put your other hand on the gun, and bring it up vertically so that there is no sweep.

I spent 20 minutes teaching these baboons.

And as they were slapping me on the back, it dawned on me.

This was the Hell’s Angels. They had just moved a major criminal faction into Arizona and there were probably one or two undercover ATF or DEA agents in the group.

And these agents watched as I showed the Hell’s Angels how to shoot their victims correctly. Ooh.

Not long after that, Charlotte and I were invited over to Todd and his girlfriend’s for dinner. Charlotte couldn’t keep her mouth shut and told Todd how much I made as a project manager. I grimaced. I saw his jaw drop.

From that day forward, I only received $50 a gig. He told me bullshit stories about the gig only paying $150. Yeah, right.

So between playing for animals (My apologies to animals) and the lousy pay, I quite the band and moved on with my life.
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3 replies

  1. The music never dies man…That’s a myth…Our friends have slowly succumbed to attrition and lifestyle…They are gone and we are here to play another day…Sorry about your sphincter…Rock on my brother from another mother…Smokin…As always !

  2. I helped put 1502 on the map early on while no one knew who they were. They used my photos and posted me on their FB page constantly.
    And then Emilio got involved and I was swept off the earth. They have a new stick out called Nicaragua I believe and I never got samples.
    So they can go fuck themselves. I hate it when a cigar company gets me to help them out and then when they are flying high…Katman who?

  3. Not sure if there is a better way to describe how a dog will hang on its owner’s every move.

    I have three groupies and there’s times when I will simply fold under the pressure of having six eyeballs trained on my every puff. Makes me self conscious–a feeling I don’t like.

    Fortunately, the groupies went easy on me yesterday. Each of them has an unwaivering penchant for black walnuts and we have two walnut trees. They managed to find the first few walnuts of the year and that’s enough to make them devout walnut hunters–for the lab, it’s a tie between walnuts and the frisbee.

    In the winter, they’ll dig through the snow to find a black walnut. Never seen anything like it. They’ll even pass over a newly fallen walnut for a riper one–apparently, they have all agreed to let them age properly.

    Needless to say, I’ll be smoking under the walnut trees until the weather turns too cold to bear.

    Great stuff as always.