It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out a Pete Johnson-made stick that’s been gaining popularity. La Mission du L’Atelier in the 1959 size is a 4.75×52 box-pressed stick featuring a Mexican San Andres wrapper securing all Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. It was made to honor a French winery with all size names representing years the winery received a 100-point rating.
The slightly rustic wrapper gives off a chocolate and bold earth aroma. Out of the foot, I smell black pepper and curry. On the cold draw, there is a damp leather flavor with a hint of grass. The first light hits my palate with black pepper spice and cocoa alongside a creamy cinnamon note. Through the nose, there is a balanced mix of spicy cedar, cocoa, and black pepper. The finish bombs me with cinnamon and leather.
After twenty-five minutes, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up rich cocoa alongside espresso and black pepper. Through the nose, I find creamy hazelnut complimented by more cocoa and cedar notes. The finish offers bold, spicy cinnamon with metallic earthy and a hint of plum. For a Pete Johnson smoke, I don’t find as much spice as I expected. Both strength and body settle in at the medium mark.
The second third ends at fifty minutes. The draw gives me slightly spicy coffee and stout beer mix with a big jump in black pepper. On the retro-hale, there is perfume and rich earth on top of hay and leather. The finish is long with a delicious blend of dried fruit, dark chocolate, and black pepper. Both strength and body jump up to the full mark in this third.
The final third closes out at an hour and ten minutes. The draw offers smooth smoke with creamy cocoa, black pepper, and a smoky peanut note. Through the nose, a grassy cocoa mixes with cedar and more leather. The finish bombs me with dark chocolate, espresso, and oak. Strength and body finish out at the full mark, although manageable.
La Mission is a wonderful smoke. The hype is justified as this stick offers bold, complex flavor with underlying reminders that it’s a Pete Johnson creation. It’s strong enough to stay interesting, but it won’t kick you in the head too hard. Construction is perfect on this finger-burner, and it’s easily box-worthy. To top it all off, it’s only around $8 per stick. I highly recommend it.