Cigar Review: The Tabernacle by Foundation Cigar Co.

Cigar Review: The Tabernacle by Foundation Cigar Co.

Foundation Cigar Company
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: USA (Connecticut Broadleaf)
Binder: Mexico (San Andrés)
Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras
Size: 6” x 52
Strength: full
Price: $11.50

Overall Rating: 9.5

In Exodus, God commanded Moses to erect a Tabernacle in the dessert, situated due east and west, which was where in the Holy of Holies the Ark of the Covenant was to be kept. This is where Foundation Cigar Company’s new The Tabernacle takes its name from. Nick Melillo teamed up with AJ Fernandez’s factory to produce this excellent full bodied Connecticut Broadleaf cigar. Nick Melillo’s return to working with Broadleaf tobacco has produced a cigar that is as good as any on the market, and will definitely please fans of his El Güegüense. The Tabernacle is certain to be as sought after by avid cigar enthusiasts in their local shops as the Ark of the Covenant was by Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark.Foundation_Tabernacle_2

Pre-Light: The Tabernacle has a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, which is the color of the darkest dark chocolate. There’s a slight ruggedness to the wrapper that has a couple prominent veins and is dry to the touch. The Tabernacle features one of the most original bands I’ve ever seen. A Kohen or Jewish Priest, is front and center on the primarily black and gold band, while green and red accents lend it another level of depth. Somehow the band manages to Byzantine is style, while drawing on various artistic traditions.


Cocoa, earth and black pepper are noticeable on from the broadleaf wrapper of The Tabernacle. From the unlit foot there are scents of sweet cedar, earth and pepper. A slightly firm cold draw lets through a sweet mix of cedar, earth and pepper flavors.


Burn: Overall the draw of The Tabernacle is quite good, but it begins a tad on the firm side before loosening up over time. The Tabernacle burns evenly throughout. A beautiful bright white ash holds nicely to the foot of the cigar.


Flavor: The Tabernacle start off with a nice sweet milky cocoa flavor. On the palate there’s a mix of cedar and cocoa notes to the Tabernacle, with a mild black pepper that begins to develop about a quarter inch into the cigar. On the retrohale there is a blend of black and red pepper and a subtle hint of nutmeg, which makes for a unique experience through the nose. As the cigar develops the earth and cocoa notes begin mingle together in new ways, with some wood, nuts and pepper joining the existing flavors in the second third of the cigar. The black pepper note becomes more prominent by the halfway point in the cigar, but never overpowers the backbone of earth and cocoa flavors. In the final third of the cigar there is a good mix of earth, cocoa, pepper and sweet cedar notes.


Overall: Of the many cigars released at this year’s IPCPR in Las Vegas, Nick Melillo’s The Tabernacle was one of the most talked about. While oftentimes a much anticipated release falls short of expectations, The Tabernacle is one that manages to surpass the high bar set by expectations. This full bodied Broadleaf cigar, has a depth to its earth, cocoa, pepper and cedar notes that is surprising. The full bodied smoker that enjoys broadleaf cigars is sure to find The Tabernacle quickly becoming one of their favorites. Personally, I like The Tabernacle even more than last year’s El Güegüense, which earned the No. 2 spot on our Top Ten Cigars of 2015 list. The Tabernacle is sure to be in contention for this year’s Top Ten List. I’d highly suggest picking up a box (or more) when they arrive at your local retailer. I know I will.


Pairing: When smoking cigars for review, I typically pair them with a bottle of sparkling water at first. I strongly suggest smoking The Tabernacle the first time through with a bottle of some kind of water, so as to experience all the cigar has to offer. Beyond that, The Tabernacle will pair well with a wide variety of beverages. Personally, I think the Tobermory 15 goes extremely well with this cigar.


Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210

Cigars for this review were provided by Foundation Cigar Company before August 8, 2016. No request for review was made. Although the generosity is greatly appreciated, it does not alter the Overall Rating of this cigar. At Toasted Foot LLC we remain committed to providing fair and impartial cigar reviews.