When I think Nick Melillo, I think Connecticut Broadleaf. So, naturally, I was rather pumped when I heard that Foundation Cigars was introducing the Broadleaf wrapped Tabernacle at IPCPR.
The Tabernacle hit stores in early August and is available in six sizes:
We caught up with Nick at IPCPR in Las Vegas. Check out the interview below.
Foundation Cigars The Tabernacle
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Nicaragua and Honduras
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
Cigars smoked for review: 2
Cigars for review were provided by Foundation Cigar Co.
Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System
Pre-Light: The Tabernacle is a beautiful cigar. The band is ornate and really pops on the dark broadleaf wrapper. Check out the video above for an explanation of the artwork.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper was rough to the touch and very rustic in appearance. The wrapper smelled of earth and black peppercorn. The cold draw was smooth and surprisingly sweet with notes of sweet cream and cedar.
Beginning: The flavor profile started out earthy and rugged with a fair amount of red pepper spice on the retrohale. The finish balanced thing out with notes of cedar and creamy milk chocolate. The balance of earth on the palate, spice on the retro and sweetness on the finish was perfect. This was the theme of the first third. The only real change was the steady increase of spice on the retro.
Middle: The spice peaked at the midpoint while the earth, cedar and milk chocolate intensified on the palate. I can't say enough about the balance of flavor here. The flavor was chewy and the finish supplied the sweetness, but the spice on the retro stole the show for me. Normally I'm not a huge fan of spicy smokes, but there was something special about this one.
End: The strength picked up quite a bit as the final third got going. I'll admit, this one got me a little bit. This is NOT a cigar to attack on an empty stomach. The flavor profile maintained its beautiful balance with the spice abating a bit as things came to a close. The wrapper split on me as I neared the band of the second sample, but it didn't impact the performance. You can see the crack in the photos. Other than that I have nothing but praise for The Tabernacle.
Final Thoughts: The Tabernacle is a Cigar of the Year candidate. It's a bit on the pricey side, but I'm 100% ok with paying for a sublime smoke like this one. It's not an everyday cigar anyway. The Tabernacle is a cigar that I would fire up every Friday or Saturday night after dinner. I can't say enough about it and I can't wait to try a few different vitolas.
Rating: 95 AKA" Box Buy"
This is the cigar that broadleaf fans have been waiting for Nick to make. The only questions is which vitola will the box be.