Coming to us from Nicholas Melillo, “The Chief of Broadleafs’,” former VP of International Sales for Drew Estate and current Founder and Master Blender for Foundation Cigar Company, is The Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is the newest Ultra Premium Cigar from Foundation Cigar Co. who, last year, brought us El Güegüense.
In order to “showcase the flavors of northern Nicaragua,” The Tabernacle is blended at AJ Fernandez’s factory in Esteli. Since 2015 when Melillo announced his own cigar company, we all expected him to release a Connecticut Broadleaf, but were pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful Corojo presented in his first cigar. This year, we finally get to experience Melillo’s own Connecticut Broadleaf cigar, the wrapper for which was selected two years ago and carefully fermented, in the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle will come in six vitolas:
Torpedo (4-1/2” x 52)
Corona (5-1/4” x 46)
Robusto (5” x 50)
Toro (6” x 52)
Doble Corona (7” x 54)
Lancero (7” x 40)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: San Andreas Mexico
Filler: Jamastran Valley – Honduras, Esteli & Jalapa Valley – Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro (6” x 52)
Appearance: The Tabernacle is an absolutely gorgeous, regal cigar in appearance. The rich Broadleaf wrapper is dark, toothy, and oily; wonderfully complemented by a gold and gray band bearing the profile of Haile Selassie, 225th King of Abyssinia.
Pre Light: The Tabernacle provides a sweet aroma off the wrapper and some cedar notes off the foot. The well constructed cap clips easily and the cold draw provides notes of hay and tobacco with an easy draw.
First Third: Upon lighting, The Tabernacle begins with a bit of earth and leather with an undertone of dried cherry, spice on the retrohale, and malt on the finish. The draw is fairly unrestricting, providing good smoke output and a clean burn line. The cigar is at a medium plus in strength and full of flavor during the first third.
Second Third: The Tabernacle begins to increase in strength during the second third as the dried cherry becomes more prominent along with notes of black pepper, walnut, and an overall bold yet well balanced profile. At the halfway point, the cigar mellows out just a bit bringing it back to a medium plus in strength. The ash holds well, the draw remains fairly unrestricted, and the burn line continues to stay clean, not requiring any touch-ups. There is also a bit of espresso and pepper on the retrohale which provides some added strength as the cigar moves into the final third.
Final Third: Here comes the chocolate! As The Tabernacle moves into the final third, notes of rich dark chocolate begin to fill the palate, accompanied by traditional Nicaraguan flavors of black pepper, leather, and cedar with the cherry note slowly fading away. The retrohale provides notes of rich tobacco and spice. The construction was stellar all the way through, providing a solid ash with a great draw, never requiring the slightest touchup, and smoking cool all the way to the nub.
Overview & Closing Thoughts: Overall, The Tabernacle was a full flavored cigar that was medium plus in strength, had excellent draw, great construction, and deep complexity. Although I am very impressed with this cigar, I am not at all surprised by the balance of rich flavors, complexity throughout and perfect construction; I would expect nothing less from Nick and Foundation Cigar Co. I had high hopes for this cigar and it did not disappoint. I can’t wait to let some age and see how they are again after a bit more rest.