IWrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Honduras and Esteli, Jalapa (Nicaragua)
Vitola: 5 1/4 x 46 (Corona)
Brand: Foundation Cigar Company
Source: IPCPR 2016
CigarNoise Price Range: $8 – $10
Foundation The Tabernacle – Initial Thoughts
My review of The Tabernacle cigar must begin with the visual aesthetics of this cigar. Descriptors which come to mind for The Tabernacle are toothy and rustic. However, surrounding my cigar is a highly ornate band. The artwork on the band is reportedly the 225th King of Abyssinia, Haile Selassie, whose lineage is believed to have been responsible for bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia. This artwork is surrounded with gold and black bordering with a splash of red. It’s quite beautiful.
My cigar is rolled to be mostly firm with just a touch of give approximately one inch above the foot. The broadleaf wrapper bestows scents of heavy tobacco and chocolate, allowing a mild hay scent to follow. The foot of The Tabernacle gives off a mixture of hay, raisin and cocoa. I apply a straight cut to experience the cold draw and am not disappointed. A melody of raisin, cocoa and espresso compliment a perfect pre-light draw of the The Tabernacle.
Foundation The Tabernacle – First Third
Raisin, Dried Plum, Leather, Mild Tobacco, Black Pepper, Cocoa, Cedar, Black Cherry
Drenching my palate with thick smoke, the flavors are immediately complex. Raisin, dried plums, leather and mild tobacco join together providing an amazing start. The smoke instantly coats my mouth with an oily feel and is luxurious in nature. The finish is long, leaving a black pepper essence all over my palate and tongue.
Warm and layered with notes of pepper, cocoa and cedar, the retro hale is very pleasant without overpowering. With an inch of ash hanging off the cigar, pepper drops out of the profile and the body of the cigar increases. As an added bonus, cherry notes creep into the show to further compliment the flavor bouquet. Notably, The Tabernacle continues to hold the ash like a champ!
Foundation The Tabernacle – Middle Third
Cream, Cedar, Raisin, Chocolate, Black Pepper, Leather, Dark Fruit
The middle portion of my experience begins with the ash finally succumbing to gravity. This drop of the ash brings an entirely new lineup in the flavor chain. Cream leads, bringing in tow cedar, raisin, chocolate, and black pepper with a long finish that’s heavy with dark fruit flavors.
Foundation Cigar Company founder, Nicholas Melillo is quoted as saying, “Broadleaf is more than tobacco for me. It is something sacred.” Over two years ago, Mr. Melillo selected the broadleaf for the project of The Tabernacle. The perfect draw, impeccable burn and complexity I have experienced thus far speaks volumes to the care taken in perfecting The Tabernacle.
The body of the smoke continues to grow with cedar flavor as this third progresses. Black pepper is more evident in the retro hale as well, battering my sinuses with a short uppercut to wake me up.
Foundation The Tabernacle – Final Third
Cedar, Leather, Earth, Cream, Black Pepper, Cherry
Clearly this cigar is intent on changing it’s mind, yet again switching things up as the final third begins. The profile is heavy with cedar at the start. When cedar finally concedes the spotlight, leather, earth and cream notes share the stage. Providing a balance of strength in the background is black pepper.
Cherry flavors dance through the nearly heat-free retro hale and it’s amazingly pleasant. The oily coating in the mouthfeel continues through this third and finds me sipping water consistently to cleanse my palate. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t unenjoyable; I’m just attempting to not miss any of the flavors in this fantastic cigar.
The only negative notes in this experience thus far occur in the final third. Offering a tighter than perfect draw, it requires me to work a little to pull air through the last section of The Tabernacle. The burn line also requires one touch-up in the lingering stages. With my fingers getting warm, I am forced to finish my smoking time with The Tabernacle. I’ve been smoking the corona for one hour and fifteen minutes.
Complexity In Flavors
Near Perfect Draw and Burn
Tighter Draw In Final Third
One Minor Burn Correction