Foundation Cigar Co. The Tabernacle – Rough Cut Cigar Review

Foundation Cigars "The Tabernacle"

The Foundation Cigar Company is brainchild of Nicholas Melillo who you may or may not know. Nicholas, a refined world traveler, forged together, his lifetime passions, cigars and international business, when he joined Drew Estate in 2003. Working through the ranks for 11 years,  Nicholas became a partner in the company and a true cigar blender. He was the one responsible for blending numerous Drew Estate brands including the Liga Privada #9, T52, Unico Series, Dirty Rat and more.



After leaving Drew Estate, Nicholas Melillo,  AKA Nick-R-Agua founded the Foundation Cigar Company. At this years IPCPR, he launched a number of new blends, one of which is “The Tabernacle”.   When asked why the name Tabernacle, Nick will tell you:

“I have been working closely with the farmers in Connecticut for over ten years. Broadleaf is more than tobacco for me. It is sacred.”

Tabernacle is a reference to the container for the Ark of the Covenant. A sacred artifact.

The blend of The Tabernacle is described as:

  • Capa (Wrapper): Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Capote (Binder): Mexican San Andres
  • Tripa (Filler): Esteli, Jalapa y Jamastran

The Tabernacle is available in 6 Vitolas:

  • 4 1/2 x 52 – Torpedo – 24 count box
  • 5 1/4 x 46 Corona – 24 count box
  • 5 x 50 Robusto – 24 count box
  • 6 x 52 – Toro – 24 count box
  • 7 x 54 Doble Corona – 24 count box
  • 7 x 40 Lancero – 13 count box

For this review I sampled the Toro

Cigar Review Notes

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  • Dark and blotchy Connecticut broadleaf maduro
  • Bumpy with some veins
  • Sweet fermented tobacco on barrel
  • Bread and fruit on foot
  • Cold draw delivers pepper on tip of tounge and lips
  • Initial  light produces a distinct cocoa flavor
  • Restricted draw
  • Early pepper in retrohale
  • Woody and chocolate notes develop
  • Burn is perfect with a medium grey ash and medium char line
  • 80% bitter chocolate coming in strong as the pepper faded
  • Spicy nut aroma
  • Definite dry cocoa powder on the palate
  • Retrohale is ultra smooth after and inch of burn
  • Smoke is medium to full volume
  • Sweet cherry enters
  • Touch of cedar
  • Ash fell after 2 inches
  • Perfectly centered burn cone – solid construction
  • Wrapper is showing signs of oiling up
  • Toasted bread aroma in second third
  • Lip smacking sweetness on the head of the cigar
  • Chocolate and spice re-emerges mid second third
  • Medium strength
  • Leather note wraps the spice as the chocolate builds some bitterness
  • Sweet cherry enters again in final third
  • Retrohale is a touch spicy at the end

Overall, The Tabernacle is a fantastic introduction by the Foundation Cigar company and I would certainly recommend buying a box of these. The Tabernacle shows that Nicholas is a true master blender.

Foundation Cigar Company "The Tabernacle"

Foundation Cigar Company “The Tabernacle”