Since his departure from Drew Estate a couple years ago, Nick Melillo has been holding his own in the cigar industry. He has been cranking out several popular brands from his company, known as Foundation Cigar Company in Nicaragua. Today I wanted to review the Charter Oak Shade.
What am I Smoking?
Cigar: Charter Oak Shade
Wrapper: US Connecticut Shade
Length: 4.5 Inches
Ring Gauge: 50
Power: 4 / 10
Packaging & Design
The cigars come packaged in 20 count boxes using a standard cedar box with a large oak tree and the words Charter Oak on the lid. The bands have a glossy look and feel to them using a cream and black color scheme. The only visible difference between the Connecticut version and the Broadleaf version is either a red or blue seal on the upper left hand corner of the box. With this one being the Connecticut, the seal is blue. I like the style of these boxes, as it is simple and straightforward.
As for the look of the cigar, it has a velvety smooth Connecticut shade rapper with a slight texture to it. On top of that, there are hardly any veins or seems to speak of.The foot of the cigar is unfinished and after cutting with my Lotus Jaws cutter, I noticed the draw was a bit tight because of that. Before lighting up, a strong note of cedar wood and earth are very present.
Right after torching up with my Black Label Dictator, the draw opened up right away as if there was nothing wrong to begin with. The first couple draws offer a sweet and slightly salty taste that rest easily on the palate. It has a mellow mouth feel and is very easy-going through the nose when retrohaled. I’m also very impressed with the smoothness of the smoke, it is performing just as a good Connecticut cigar should.
During the halfway point, I started to detect a faint increase in its power. However, that increase was very slight and hardly noticeable. It has managed to stay on the mild side of things so far. I don’t see hat changing. However, those same notes of cedar and cream are really hitting the spot right now.
Finishing up on the Charter Oak Shade and it’s been enjoyable to say the least. This blend performed just like a good Connecticut shade cigar should. It offered subtle changes throughout while maintaining a smooth and flavorful profile. It wasn’t overly complex, making for a solid “work time” smoke that I didn’t have to think about much. Total burn time was right around the 40 minute mark.
For the price of this little guy, I’m super pleased with the way it treated me. I don’t really have anything negative to say about the Charter Oak Shade. Construction was top notch, flavor was on point, the draw was great… This is next on my box-purchase list for sure.
This cigar was featured on this weeks “Cigar Spotlight”.