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In 2013, L’Atelier Imports launched a new series with a specific purpose: as an incentive for retailers who attend the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.

Named Extension de la Racine—which translates to extension of the root—the exclusive cigars combine a Nicaraguan sun grown criollo wrapper over Nicaraguan tobacco used in both the binder and filler and are produced at My Father Cigars S.A. in Nicaragua. The series now includes five different vitolas—although the debut release and last year’s version are exactly the same size—and they are all packaged in boxes of 20.

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The focus of my review today is the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER15, which at 6 3/4 x 43 is both the longest and thinnest of the series so far. The lonsdale was limited to just 30,000 total cigars priced at $9.25 each and were shipped to retailers in September of 2015.

Here is what I said in my first review about 30 months ago:

I have smoked each of the other two vitolas of this blend and different points, and I have to say, while they are similar in profile, neither one of them holds a candle to the amount of complexity, nuance and balance that the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER15 shows. Both the constant red pepper heat on the retrohale and the maple and peppermint sweetness on the finish were extremely well integrated, and the combination increased the amount of complexity in the profile significantly. This is easily one of the best cigars I have smoked this year in a vitola I adore.

  • Cigar Reviewed: L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER15
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun-Grown Criollo
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 43
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $9.25 (Boxes of 20, $185)
  • Release Date: Sept 21. 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

As with the first samples, the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER15 is covered in a mocha brown wrapper with an obvious reddish tint that is smooth to the touch, although there are plenty of bumps running up and down the length of the cigar. Aroma from the wrapper is an intoxicating combination of dark chocolate, creamy almonds, leather, hay and earth, while the cold draw brings distinct flavors of oak, leather, salty nuts, earth, nougat sweetness and touch of cinnamon.

Starting out, the Racine ER15 features a multitude of flavors, although none really stand out from the rest at this point: creamy cedar, cinnamon, leather, chocolate covered espresso beans, almonds and just a touch of citrus. There is a small amount of spice present on my tongue as well as some nice white pepper on the retrohale, but both begin to recede almost immediately until they are nothing more than background notes. While I taste some generic sweetness on the retrohale as well, it is not a major part of the profile so far.

 

The second third is where the profile of the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER15 really takes off, with the dark chocolate nougat sweetness becoming significantly more noticeable in the profile, along with the creamy cedar becoming the dominant flavor. Those are followed up by notes of citrus, leather, popcorn, hay, cinnamon and salty almonds, all of which stick around through the end of the cigar, although a great expresso bitterness does show up on the finish about halfway through the final third, bumping up the complexity of the profile quite a bit.

Construction-wise, while there was a bit of an issue with running in the first third, it corrected itself fairly quickly and gave me no more issues for the rest of the cigar. In addition, the draw was excellent after a simple straight cut, giving me just the right amount of resistance, while the smoke production was billowy and dense off of the foot. The overall strength was a virtual non-factor, starting out the first third between the mild and medium marks before gradually increasing at the halfway point and finally finishing just under the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with a little less than an inch left after one hour and 22 minutes.

90 Overall Score

Unlike the first time I smoked the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER15 close to three years ago, the flavors in the profile take a little while to get started, although that issue was a thing of the past by the time the second third rolled around. In addition, the maple sweetness that was so prevalent in the first samples—while still a main flavor in the profile—has morphed into a distinct dark chocolate nougat note, combining nicely with dominant flavors of creamy cedar and cinnamon. While the flavors in the profile might have changed, the overall complexity and excellent construction I loved about the cigar is still present, first third notwithstanding. While it has lost its step a bit, the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER15 remains an excellent cigar that shows exactly what the combination of great blending, age and an awesome vitola can produce.

Original Score (September 2015)
93
Redux Score (June 2018)
90

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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