The Tabernacle is Foundation Cigar Company’s newest super premium cigar. It is a combination of tastes that calls on founder Nicholas Melillo’s roots in the Connecticut River Valley and his work with the finest artisanal tobacco batches in Nicaragua.
The Tabernacle box tells the story of the cigar’s name. The artwork features an image of none other than Haile Selassie, 225th King of Abyssinia, whose lineage traces directly to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The reference to “tabernacle” is as a container for the Ark of the Covenant.
Cigar Review: The Tabernacle
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez S.A.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: San Andres (Mexico)
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Ring Gauge: 46
Cutter: Lotus Jaws
Lighter: Black Label Domininator
The Prelight: One of things I really like from Nick Melillo is the history behind the names he is using for his product. Even the hard to pronounce El Gueguense had such an interesting back-story to it, the name stuck. Now he releases Tabernacle with another great back story, and tomorrow we will review Charter Oak which too has a great story to it.
The cigars are presented in cabinet style slide top boxes of a darker more weathered wood. The top of the box has a groove cut out that allows retailers to place the lid with its outstanding art in the groove. Inside, the naked cigars (sans cello) are presented cabinet style tied in a ribbon. The dark chocolate wrapper is flawless, with a band that really stands out especially the gold powder foil that frames the piece of art.
The Notes: Prior to lighting up the cigar has a rich sweetness off the wrapper and nose of the cigar with a touch of leather as well. Those aromas transition to the cold draw which also has some earthy elements of tobacco.
Once the cigar is lit it is the classic Connecticut Broadleaf. There are notes of dried fruit which give a sweetness that helps cut the power of the wrapper. The core note is leather and black pepper that is especially prevalent on the moderate finish. The cigar has a lot of flavor and is balanced to perfection with its power.
The second third of the cigar sees the notes of leather continue to be the dominant profile of the cigar with the addition of some earth. The sweetness of the dried fruit begins to transition to a fig like flavor profile. There is some black pepper that remains on the palate and is especially noticeable on retrohale.
As we smoke through the last third, the fig like notes really take hold on the front end of the profile as the leather and earth dominates the finish of The Tabernacle. The retrohale continues to serve up notes of ground black pepper with a subtle sweetness.
The Finish: In a press release, Nick Melillo refers to himself as the King of Broadleaf. One can make an argument that the title can be given to Pete Johnson or Steve Saka. However, the Tabernacle gives Nick the right to make that statement. For me it is reminiscent of the Liga Privada from its days of the original release. In fact, at its price it just might be the best cigar released at this years IPCPR.