Wrapper:  Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder:  Nicaraguan Habano
Filler:  Esteli, Jalapa (Nicaraguan)
Vitola:  4 1/2 x 50 (Rothchild)
Brand:  Foundation Cigar Company
Factory:  Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Source:  IPCPR 2016
CigarNoise Price Range:  $4

Click any of the above links to view other cigars that we’ve reviewed with the same characteristics

Foundation Charter Oak Broadleaf – First Thoughts

After reviewing the Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Shade a couple days ago, I’ve got high hopes for the Connecticut Broadleaf version.  This cigar shares many of the same qualities:  closed foot, 4 1/2 x 50 vitola, and a matte finish.  The wrapper is toothy, shows it’s seams more than the Connecticut shade, and smells much sweeter, with a couple protruding veins that detract from the appearance.

A cold draw shows hints of earth, coffee, and sweet cedar.  As before, there’s plenty of background information on the Charter Oak from the Foundation Cigar Company’s website.

Foundation Charter Oak Broadleaf – First Half

Earth, Chocolate, Nougat, Cream, Milky Way, Coca Cola, Cocoa Powder, Espresso, Caramel

Attempting to isolate the wrapper from the closed foot as much as possible, my first impressions are of rich earth, chocolate, nougat, and heavy cream. Lighting the rest of the cigar yields much of the same but with a fizzy texture.  Imagine a carbonated milky way – that’s the sensation bouncing around in my head over the initial 1/4 inch.

Foundation Charter Oak Review

Approaching the 1/2 inch mark, chocolatey goodness and gentle earth form a trio with what I consider Coca Cola flavors.  Not just the carbonated texture, but the unmistakable sweet flavor of Coke.  When Nick said that the Broadleaf was sweeter in his IPCPR coverage, I had a hard time believing him after smoking the Connecticut Shade.  Believe me, though, if you enjoy the sweeter side of the wheelhouse this cigar needs to be in your humidor.

Foundation Charter Oak Review

Mechanics?  Glad you asked!  The burn line thus far is immaculate, showcasing a crisp char line and maintenance free experience.  Our draw, however, is a little tighter than I prefer.

With approximately one inch of ash, chalky cocoa powder, espresso, and mouth-watering caramel lead the charge.  At $4 MSRP, the pair of these Charter Oaks over deliver in the flavor department.  It’s like finding a diamond in the rough only to find out that they’re regular production, affordable, and you can tell your friends about them without worrying that they’ll deplete your source.  If I never take another puff of this cigar, I’d consider it more than fair for the suggested retail price.

Foundation Charter Oak Review

Dropping the ash before the halfway point, Coca Cola notes take over and propel us into the second half.

Foundation Charter Oak Broadleaf – Second Half

Coca Cola, Earth, Chocolate, Nougat, Cream, Sweet Cedar, Brown Sugar, Walnut, Pepper, Roasted Meat

Our last segment of the Foundation Charter Oak Broadleaf begins much like the first, yet even sweeter if that’s possible.  Coca Cola, earth, chocolate, nougat, and cream are still here with the additions of sweet cedar and brown sugar.  The body is slowly getting fuller, providing a richer, deeper experience.

Foundation Charter Oak Review

Whereas the first half was had dueling personalities of creamy / carbonated smoke textures, this half seems to be intermittently creamy and chalky, coating my palate much more than the previously noted.  The draw has also improved past the midway point.

In what would be considered the beginning of the last third, if that’s how we dissected this stick, walnut flavors emerge carrying along hints of that walnut bitterness with them.  Strictly speaking, this is where I would chuck this cigar if I were enjoying it for pleasure and grab another.  At this price point, there’s just to much win in the first 2/3’s of the Foundation Charter Oak Broadleaf to even worry about trying to finish it.

Foundation Charter Oak Review

Maybe it was there in the beginning and I just wasn’t paying attention, but I’m detecting a lot of pepper near the end that I didn’t notice before.  Combined with sinus heat, it’s a distinct transition making me think that I probably should’ve broken this review down into thirds instead of halves.  At this point, each mouthfeel is of earth, pepper, and walnut, with a finish of roasted meat.

And that’s how we wrap up the Foundation Charter Oak Broadleaf:  full-bodied with copious amounts of pepper augmenting earthy, nutty notes with a savory finish.

Foundation Charter Oak Broadleaf Review
9.3 Reviewer
0 Cigar Noise Network (0 votes)
Pros

Immaculate Burn

Excellent Flavors

Ridiculous Price Point

Cons

Snug Draw

Summary
Being my first encounter with Nicholas Melillo's infamous Broadleaf, I can definitely say that he didn't come by the nickname Chief of the Broadleafs lightly. Considering that this cigar is firmly within the budget stick MSRP category, he once again over delivered in the flavor department. Whether you're looking for a humidor staple, a quick smoke, or an undervalued gem, Charter Oak delivers.
Value
Burn
Draw
Flavor
Enjoyment
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Dave West

Editor and Contributor at CigarNoise
Identifying as a Cigar Enthusiast more than an Aficionado, I enjoy trying new cigars and attempting to annotate my experience. Disclosure: As of June 2017, I began writing for SmallBatchCigar.com and will no longer be reviewing SBC exclusives
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