Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | The Tabernacle Toro – In July 2016 Foundation Cigar Company’s showed off The Tabernacle, its most current super premium stogie, sporting a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and some of Nicaragua’s finest fillers. It is a mix of tastes that approaches originator Nicholas Melillo’s underlying foundations in the Connecticut River Valley and his work with the finest artisanal tobacco clusters in Nicaragua.
Additionally wanting to keep showcasing the tobacco of northern Nicaragua, Melillo rolled The Tabernacle at AJ Fernandez’s facilities in Estelí. The Tabernacle box recounts the narrative of the stogie’s name. The fine art highlights a picture of none other than Haile Selassie, 225th King of Abyssinia, whose heredity follows straightforwardly to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The reference to “tabernacle” is a storage box for the Ark of the Covenant. You know? Like Indiana Jones.
This stogie utilizes a CT Broadleaf wrapper, chosen by Melillo for this venture two years prior. The Foundation | The Tabernacle Toro additionally utilizes a San Andres Mexico binder and fillers from Jamastran Valley in Honduras, in addition to the Esteli and Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua. The Tabernacle was distributed across the nation July 25th and has a retail cost of $9.00 – $13.00 and offered in the accompanying sizes: 4 1/2 x 52 – Torpedo – 24 check box, 5 1/4 x 46 Corona – 24 ct box, 5 x 50 Robusto – 24 number box, 6 x 52 – Toro – 24 ct box, 7 x 54 Doble Corona – 24 ct box, 7 x 40 Lancero – 13 ct box.
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: San Andreas Mexico
Filler: Jamastran Valley Honduras, Esteli and Jalapa Valley Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez
Blender: Nicholas Melillo
Number of reviewers: 4 – Eric, Jason H., Alan, Ryan
Age: 2 Months
Release Date: July 2016
Contributed by: Foundation Cigar Company
“This ruggedly handsome Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper has a matte feel to the touch as well as slightly rough seams and a large vein running the length of its body. While not unattractive, this cigar certainly has a more rustic appearance — characteristic of Broadleaf.” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
“Heavy compost is what immediately jumps out at me when I breathe in the aroma from this unlit cigar. It takes me back to the days of my childhood when I would turn over spadefulls of loamy compost to search for worms when I wanted to go fishing…I love that smell…it is sweet and earthy, and lingering just on the edge of being ready to mold…This appears to be a well aged wrapper leaf.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The first puffs of this cigar were heavy on creamy, sweet leather, however this quickly changed into a pepper and earth bomb. From time to time I could pick up a bit of the sweet compost notes but mainly I’m getting a pepper zing on my lips, and tongue, along with a heavy earthy note. Not at all dirt, but the compost almost peat note.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The first flavors to come through after toasting the foot and lighting up are very earthy and the profile is a bit muddy. Notes of cocoa powder and light cedar begin to form around a sweetened wheat core. As the smoke burns, the saltiness of the first few puffs fades to a more comfortable prevalence in the blend.” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
“Alas the flavors have returned. The spices, mainly cinnamon, have prevailed and taken over. The mocha flavor is still as an after flavor but it is being overpowered by the spices. Still enjoyable. Not to powerful. But tasty to me. There is even a slight hint of pepper. Maybe it’s the cinnamon.” –Eric (smalls29)
“Very similar to the first third in profile, but the level of pepper has died down. There’s still an all over peppery mouth feel, but it’s more of a light tingle now compared to the very aggressive first third. Stone fruit, dark chocolate, and bitter coffee are all still there and are working beautifully together.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“The final portion of this cigar is where the power really starts to kick in. The earthy espresso flavors have remained however a charred oak flavor has developed and really kicked things to a new level. I’m wishing that I had a glass of good bourbon right now, because I’m thinking the full flavors of this cigar would pair wonderfully with a good bourbon. Really nice!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“There’s been no changes from the second third to the final third, but that’s not a bad thing. The peppery draw, dark chocolate, stone fruit, and bitter coffee really work in this cigar.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“After cutting the draw was a bit firm. I used my Blind Man’s Puff Cigar Repair Kit poker tool to loosen the draw a bit. However, around the halfway point, the poor draw began affecting the flavor.” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
“There were no issues with the burn of this cigar…It was nice and slow, and a true pleasure to smoke.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“From inspection to final ash, this was a superbly performing cigar. Well done!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The start was good, it then began to fade but each flavor came back on with the cinnamon being the strongest with a nice mocha flavor following. The final third had a nice blend of the two flavors even though the cinnamon was a bit stronger. I will say the dark wrapper did not give way to a bold cigar but rather a flavorful and not overpowering smoke. I could enjoy this one again.” –Eric (smalls29)
“It’s been a while since I had a cigar that I felt was truly extraordinary, and that dry spell has been broken! This cigar is firmly in my wheelhouse in all areas. The flavors were deep and meaty, the performance excellent, and the strength was just enough to pair with any meal or beverage that I’d want to enjoy it with. This probably isn’t something I’d push off on a new smoker, but really…I liked it so much that I’d be hard pressed to share it with anyone. Can’t wait for the reveal on this!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“One of the best cigars that I’ve had this year. There may not have been any profile changes, but the profile that was there was phenomenal. I would certainly purchase this cigar or smoke one anytime it was offered to me.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“This was a pleasant, but not entirely memorable experience for me. First of all, I love Broadleaf tobacco, so I am more predisposed to rating these smokes higher than others. However, I feel this particular size and blend did not rank much higher than its contemporaries. Having said that, I feel this stick has potential for greatness with some age and possibly some hot buttered-rum.”-Ryan (Youngryan216)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 82
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.
Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | The Tabernacle Toro