Wrapper:  Connecticut
Binder:  Sumatra
Filler:  Esteli, Jalapa (Nicaraguan)
Vitola:  4 1/2 x 50 (Rothchild)
Brand:  Foundation Cigar Company
Factory:  Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
CigarNoise Price Range:  $4
Source:  IPCPR 2016
Availability:  Regular Production
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Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut – First Thoughts

Looking at their website, I found a lot of neat background information on the Charter Oak, specifically Nick’s origins in Connecticut and the homage he’s paying with this cigar.  Great reading if you want to check it out.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Review

This vitola has an MSRP of roughly $4, and sports a Connecticut shade wrapper with a closed foot.  The wrapper feels nice and smooth, but looks like it has a matte finish applied to it – almost like pigskin leather on a football.  A couple of veins draw attention from an otherwise seamless presentation.  Beautiful piece of work.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Review

With soft aromas of cedar being the only thing that I can detect from the exterior, a cold draw is surprisingly more substantial with notes of apricot, earth, and cocoa leading the way.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut – First Half

Cedar, Graham Cracker, Honey, Pepper, Earth, Apricot, Cream, Roasted Meat, Veggies, Mocha

I’m a sucker for a closed foot and isolating the wrapper as much as I can.  In this case, applying flame to the foot yields delicate notes of cedar, graham cracker, and honey.  After lighting the rest of the cigar, these same flavors merge together with a peppery, earthy background.  Apricot reveals itself at about half an inch in and I’ve got to say – this cigar over delivers in the flavor department for the MSRP.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Review

There’s more than enough body to this cigar to accentuate the flavors beautifully.  Spice lingers in the back of the throat, but is otherwise tempered by a creamy texture with ample amounts of honey and just a touch of roasted meat.  I would consider this the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory sensations.

At an inch in, vegetal notes develop in an interesting way.  Usually I avoid these flavors, but like everything else in the Charter Oak Connecticut it’s soft, refined, and adds character to the overall profile.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Review

Dropping the ash, graham cracker surges back to the top of the hill with mocha flavors riding shotgun.  Imagine a Mocha and Graham Cracker Latte with a drizzle of honey and a dash of spice for good measure – that’s how the first half of the Charter Oak Connecticut leaves us primed for the finish.  The aroma pouring from the foot is equally pleasing, like a burning log.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut – Second Half

Cream, Cedar, Spice, Earth, Mild Coffee, Honey, Bitterness, Burnt Molasses, Leather, Oak

Forcibly removing the ash to get a clean slate, my first encounter with this segment is of creamy cedar and sustained spice from the first half.  A few more moments in, generic earth, mild coffee flavors, and our oh-so-heart-warming  honey notes join the party.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Review

Bitterness also develops early on in this portion of the cigar, starkly contrasting the sweeter notes.  And yet, just like the vegetal presence before, it tends to add to the profile rather than detract, showing equal affection to my taste buds without prejudice.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Review

Burning down a little further, burnt molasses, leather, and oak notes take up the fight against the bitter foe.  Our creamy texture intermittently comes and goes in this segment.  When it’s present, all is well in the world; when it disappears, bitterness crosses the line and takes on a much larger role.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut Review

How ’bout those mechanics?  Well, the burn line has shown to be completely maintenance free and further increases my impressions of this “budget” cigar.  Our char line, however, wasn’t aesthetically pleasing in the first half but seems to be sharpening up in the second.  The draw has just the right amount of resistance, allowing for optimal air flow.

Foundation Charter Oak Connecticut
9.2 Reviewer
0 Cigar Noise Network (0 votes)
Pros

Exquisite Flavors 1/2

Great Mechanics

Cons

Less Interesting 2/2

Summary
High expectations for the Chief of Broadleaf didn't disappoint with the Charter Oak Connecticut. Although the second half saw many of the scores moved to the left, the fact remains that the first segment was a beautiful experience that I'll be reliving soon. At less than $6 MSRP for any vitola in the line, this cigar is a game changer.
Value
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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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