L'Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto - Blind Cigar Review

L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto – Blind Cigar Review

Cigar Info

The L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten, initially introduced as a limited edition at the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, has expanded its lineup with a new regular production size. This addition was showcased at the 2023 PCA Convention & Trade Show, with its market release occurring in the summer of 2023. The latest offering is a robusto measuring 5 1/4 inches by 52 ring gauge, featuring an Ecuadorian habano rosado oscuro wrapper, complemented by Nicaraguan binders and fillers. This robusto serves as a continuation of the blend introduced with the Britanicas Extra vitola, a 5 3/8 x 48 perfecto, which marked the blend’s debut.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.

Pete Johnson of Tatuaje/L’Atelier, discussing the development process, highlighted the team’s decision to adopt the anniversary blend from the Britanicas Extra, ultimately settling on the 5 1/4 x 52 size after testing various options. Notably, this new vitola utilizes a slightly lower priming of the wrapper compared to its predecessor, a choice that, according to Johnson, yielded a flavor profile favored by the project team.

Unlike the Britanicas Extra, which was limited to 500 boxes of 20 cigars, the new size will be available as a regular production item, also packaged in 20-count boxes. Final pricing for the Surrogates Big Ten Robusto is set at $9.50 per cigar. Like the rest of the Surrogates brand, the Surrogates Big Ten is crafted by My Father Cigars S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua.

L'Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto - Blind Cigar Review

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Blender: Pete Johnson
Number of reviewers: 5 Fred L. (Fred L.) Jason A. (Jason A.) Bradlee W. (Brad W.) Mickey T. (irratebass) Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Price: $9.50
Age: 8 Months
Release Date: July 2023
Contributed by: Tatuaje Cigars

L'Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto - Blind Cigar Review

Initial Impressions – L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto

Appearance: 90

“This cigar is sleek, a perfect hand-sized cigar, light cocoa in color with a beautiful oil sheen. Firm packed and ready to go, like a suitcase ready for vacation!” –Bradlee W. (Brad W.)

Aroma: 91

“The aroma takes me back to my younger years, back when shopping malls were all the rage and were the hangout for youth. This is reminiscent of walking into a Wilson’s Leather Store. Overwhelming with the smell of new leather.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

First Third
L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto – Blind Cigar Review

First Third

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“This cigar is smoking like a beaut in the first third and initial light up. The tobacco has notes of warm bread pudding, toasted almonds, cream, and toffee. The initial light-up was a mouth punched of red pepper that didn’t live past the first few plumes of fire. A medium body and creamy mouth feel is really hittin’ right!!! The retrohale is STUPID smooth. Bringing a blast of cinnamon, baker spice and roasted nuts.” –Bradlee W. (Brad W.)

“On the first light, the cigar has an excellent draw, a Coffee note on the puff, a slight citrus note on the retrohale with a pepper tingle finish on the lips. Later into the first third, it transitioned into nut note and with a creamy finish.” –Jason A. (Jason A.)

Second Third
L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto – Blind Cigar Review

Second Third

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium

“More than a couple inches in now, and salted peanuts are still the dominant profile, but the pepper is slowly crept its way up. No doubt, the pepper is definitely in command on the retrohale side of things. No gentleness about it!” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

“The strength has upped a notch and I’m getting more earthly notes. It’s not harsh just getting some spice as well. There is some really nice coffee flavors that lingers on my tongue now that was a nice addition.”-Mickey T. (irratebass)

Final Third
L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto – Blind Cigar Review

Final Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The final third holds an almost beef-like flavor, a new sensation for myself, that is complimented by hints of mineral and salt. This subtle flavor is, of course, complimented by a deep sweetness and the ever-present baking spice. The sweetness and spice hold steady, while the earlier notes of cedar and earth begin to return for a pleasant surprise. At this point in the cigar, the sweetness and spice mixed for a confectionery-like profile reminiscent of cinnamon graham cracker with hints of cedar and toffee.” –Fred L. (Fred L.)

“During the final third, everything comes up to its full potential and puts the cigar just under full strength. Heavy doses of salted peanuts and pepper are really thing I’m picking up but there is no shortage of either.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

Overall Impressions – L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto

Draw: 90

“Excellent draw throughout the entire cigar, not a smoke bomb but adequate smoke output.” –Jason A. (Jason A.)

Burn: 95

“Very nice burn throughout the entire smoking experience. One minor touch up in the final third.” –Jason A. (Jason A.)

Construction: 93

“Overall the cigar is well-made, however, there is a slight soft spot running down the middle of the first third.” –Fred L. (Fred L.)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 92

“All in all, this cigar holds a lot of spicy-sweet flavors. While the smoke time is short, expect a lot of flavor that makes the time pass quickly. Certainly unique in some of the tertiary notes, I believe this cigar would pair fine with an equally hearty rye or a dark stout.” –Fred L. (Fred L.)

“A very enjoyable cigar. Pleasing notes of creamy coffee throughout with a constant pepper finish. Some tobacco and earth came in for the second half but it t was pleasant.” –Jason A. (Jason A.)

“Toasted almonds, cream, toffee, brown sugar, bread pudding.” –Bradlee W. (Brad W.)

“Overall this was a good cigar. It started out with some wood/earthy flavors then transitioned into more creamy and floral notes and then transitioned again with coffee, and some spice to wrap it all up. It definitely keep my interest going from s medium, to a medium plus and then ending with a mild-medium. Would like to smoke more.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)

“This was a fair cigar for me. It wasn’t all that good, but it also wasn’t all that bad. Middle of the road that just didn’t excite me all that much. When I look at the notes, I think to myself, ‘Would I smoke that again?’ I would, but I also wouldn’t go running out to buy a bunch either.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 70

ReviewerAppear.Aroma1/32/33/3DrawBurnConstr.Overall
Experience
Fred L.909590929292959592
Jason A.929090888895959292
Bradlee W.10092100100971009797100
Mickey T.909088889088939090
Doug S.889085858585858885

To view the complete scores and notes, click here

L’Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto – Blind Cigar Review

L'Atelier Surrogates Big Ten Robusto
Summary
"Overall this was a good cigar. It started out with some wood/earthy flavors then transitioned into more creamy and floral notes and then transitioned again with coffee, and some spice to wrap it all up. It definitely keep my interest going from s medium, to a medium plus and then ending with a mild-medium. Would like to smoke more." -Mickey T. (irratebass)
Appearance
90
Aroma
91
First Third
88
Second Third
88
Final Third
89
Draw
90
Burn
95
Construction
93
Overall Experience
92
91
Very Good