Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale

Cigar Info

Foundation Cigar Company added a new Habano version of it’s Charter Oak line last September. Previously, the Charter Oak was available in two blends, Connecticut Shade and Connecticut Broadleaf, now we have Charter Oak Habano. The line is relatively inexpensive, but has always been regarded as a great budget cgar.

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.

The bands and packing look really close to the original using the same historic 600-year-old oak related to Connecticut’s legacy of independence and industry. The box color is different for the Habano blend having a warm, honey colored box and black corner label. The Habano is available in the same five sizes and 20 count boxes as the original lines, but will also a Torpedo vitola. The original sizes are: Petite Corona – 5 ¼ x 42, Rothschild – 4 ½ x 50, Lonsdale – 6 ¼ x 46, Toro – 6 x 52, and Grande – 6 x 60. The new Torpedo measures 6 x 52. The new torpedo size will come in boxes of 50, not 20. The blend is described as medium-bodied.

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Lonsdale
Length: 6 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 46
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Nick Melillo
Number of reviewers: 5 Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) Isaac M. (The Nothing) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Jake P. (Jake P.) John I. (John I.)
Price: $6.00
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: November 2020
Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 93

“This sample is presented with a closed foot and a toothy light brown wrapper. There are abundant veins along the length of the cigar and the seams are completely invisible.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)

Aroma: 90

“Aroma starts with sharp fermented notes that round out to nice chocolate notes.” –John I. (John I.)

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale
Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale
Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale

First Third

Flavor: 93
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“This cigar has a closed foot, so I do not toast the foot as normal. In doing so, the first few puffs are pure wrapper leaf flavor. That flavor is freshly toasted bread that quickly transitions to a wonderful grain and floral sweetness. Pushing some smoke through the nose and I find some great raisin notes. This, together with the palate, makes me think of raisin toast. This profile stays the same for the majority of the third. As the third comes to an end there is a nice undertone of oak wood that joins the fray. The smoke is silky smooth and the finish is long and pleasant.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

“This cigar started off with a fair amount of a dry earth flavor–alkaline playa, smoked paprika, and cumin. Before long a sweetness joins in and creates a sweet and salty umami taste. Flavors seem to hit all over my palate. On the retrohale I found pink Himalayan salt and a hint of pepper.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale
Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale

Second Third

Flavor: 92
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Into the middle portions, the black pepper still dominates the flavor profile but is not enough to wash away the tangy leather finish. Through the nose, the smoke packs a significant pepper punch… strong but enjoyable.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)

“The hints of bitterness in the first third have happily faded. The overall profile has deepened into nicely rounded and rich flavors. Toward the end of this third, some very exciting notes of baking spices begin to appear.”-John I. (John I.)

Final Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale
Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale

“Into the final portion, I’ve not seen any further changes from the leather and black pepper profile I got from the first puffs. This isn’t a bad thing for me as I like a fuller-bodied cigar. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)

“The spice came back with a heavy pepper. In addition to the pepper the earth flavors like bark and grain played a big role. ” –Jake P. (Jake P.)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 94

“Even with a closed foot, the draw on this cigar was great. This allowed the cigar to smoke nice and cool.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Burn: 92

“Fantastic burn held an ash nicely.” –John I. (John I.)

Construction: 92

“This cigar highlights the craft of cigar rolling. It used quality ingredients to create a phenomenal smoking experience. Bravo!” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 91

“Flavor-wise this was a very good cigar for me. Unfortunately, the wrapper issues and messy ash distracted me from the overall experience and factor heavily into my review. I’d certainly smoke another one and hope for better performance.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)

“I feel like it has been a long time since a cigar demanded the attention of my taste buds so much as this one. There were so many times that I could actually feel the flavors attach to specific points of my palate and tongue. I found this cigar to provide an exceptional smoking experience that I look forward to trying with drink pairings throughout the day.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)

“First and foremost, I have to say I love this cigar size. I find it to be the perfect balance of wrapper to filler. On top of that, you have a perfectly constructed cigar. This makes it a winner in my book. The only complaint I would have was that it lacked a bit of complexity. All that being said, I could see this cigar finding a home in my humidor and my regular rotation. Find one and enjoy.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

“Solid mild to medium cigar. The spice and pepper on the front and end of the cigar were nice. With the middle, a tad more mild and less pepper and more earth and coffee it did not overwhelm you like som peppery cigar will to some people. This should be a cigar to try on many people’s list.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)

“Fantastic cigar, in a wonderful vitola. The flavor profile hit all of my personal sweet spots, pepper, spice, caramelized sweetness.” –John I. (John I.)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 89

Reviewer NameAppearanceAroma1/32/33/3DrawBurnConstr.Overall Experience
Jason H.909092929095928890
Isaac M.909092909295909597
Estevan Z.959092929095979592
Jake P.858890909088928890
John I.979092929293929292

To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale

Overall Score – 92 – Great

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale
Summary
"Solid mild to medium cigar. The spice and pepper on the front and end of the cigar were nice. With the middle, a tad more mild and less pepper and more earth and coffee it did not overwhelm you like som peppery cigar will to some people. This should be a cigar to try on many people's list. " -Jake P. (Jake P.)
Aroma
93
Appearance
90
First Third
93
Second Third
92
Final Third
91
Draw
94
Burn
92
Construction
92
Overall Experience
91
92
Great

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