Four New Cigars from L’Atelier Imports

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It will be a busy IPCPR trade show for Pete Johnson, as the owner of Tatuaje and Havana Cellars will have several new lines debuting as well as a new company formed under his watch.

Johnson will be overseeing L’Atelier Imports, which will be based out of Miami and run by a three-man team of K.C. Johnson, Pete’s older brother; Dan Welsh of NewHavanaCigars.com; and friend Sean Johnson. Pete Johnson will have an advisory role at the company, telling Cigar Insider that he wanted a way to expand his footprint in the cigar industry without adding to the Tatuaje portfolio, which he said is at capacity. Cigar Brief first broke news of L’Atelier in May.

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L’Atelier (French for the workshop) Imports has announced their initial offerings, a pair of bundle lines and a pair of premium cigar lines that includes a trio of cigars that share a striking resemblance to the Cuban Cohiba Behike BHK trio of cigars. The LAT line will sell for between $8.50 and $10 per cigar, with sizes of 4 3/4 x 52, 5 5/8 x 54 and 6 1/2 x 56 that will all be made at the My Father Cigars factory in Estelí, Nicaragua using a Nicaraguan filler blend and an Ecuadoran wrapper.

The other new premium line is the somewhat-new Surrogates. The brand was originally made available through Welsh’s online retail store,  but has now been licensed to L’Atelier Imports as a four-cigar line:

  • Skull Breaker –  5 1/4 x 52 Belicoso
  • Bone Crusher – 5 1/4 x 55
  • Crystal Baller – 5 3/4 x 56 Box-Pressed
  • Tramp Stamp – 5 1/4 x 48

Johnson told Cigar Insider that the Tramp Stamp is “a little play on Tatuaje and Black Label.” The collection uses an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper with a Nicaraguan blend, giving the cigar a full bodied profile with MSRPs between $7-$8.50. On July 10, he posted a photo on Facebook of what appears to be the new Tramp Stamp:

For those unfamiliar with the term tramp stamp, it’s a term referring to a lower-back tattoo popular among women. The butterfly-like graphic on the cigar band seems to fit that description well, with a P visible to the left of the image and an ST to its right, making it fairly likely that this is indeed the Surrogates Tramp Stamp. In his comment on the photo, Johnson said “About 6000 bottles made a year…..Great 2nd label. The cigar you ask…..Well that’s something special! Coming real soon.”

The two new bundles lines will be named El Suelo and Trocadéro, both coming in 20-count packages with prices of $3.75 – $4.75 per cigar. The lines focus on big ring gauge and use  a blend of American, Ecuadoran and Nicaraguan tobacco and will be rolled by the Garcia family’s staff at TACUBA, a factory about a mile away from My Father Cigars.

Trocadéro will be a mild to medium cigar, with three sizes available:

  • Cambon – 5 1/4 x 52
  • Honoré – 5 3/4 x 56
  • Montaigne – 6 1/4 x 60

El Suelo (the soil)  will be medium to full bodied, again with three sizes available:

  • Prado (5 3/4 x 58)
  • Terreno (5 1/4 x 56)
  • Campo (6 1/4 x 60)

Johnson told Cigar Insider that he expects the production run for all four brands to be about 100,000 cigars.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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