Foundation Highclere Castle Edwardian Toro
Posted on June 11 2021
Smoking Time: 107 Minutes
Cigars Smoked: 3
Body: Mild +
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Foundation was created by Nick Melillo, and has been changing the industry since its inception. Melillo has over 20 years in the business under his belt, and has worked for some big name companies you have all heard of. Based out of Connecticut, and mainly using tobacco from the U.S. and Nicaragua, Foundation is a unique company that toils in all blends of cigars. From their infused line, The Upsetters, which utilizes Jamacan tobacco, to The Tabernacle line, which uses Connecticut Broadleaf and A Havana Seed. Foundation is no stranger to awards, with exceptional scores on their budget line Charter Oak, to their debut release El Gueguense, and many in between.
Visual Inspection: I am a notorious fan of the Charter Oak Shade, being almost 3 times as much, I am very much looking forward to this cigar. The wrapper is typical for a shade grown stick, it feels slightly brittle and a buttery yellow color. Veins are present on the wrapper, but are the same color, and spider web the length of the cigar. Squeezing the cigar brings no alarming soft spots.
The aroma is rather floral and is met by barnyard and coffee. A cold draw brings familiar flavors of barnyard, coffee, with an added dash of cream and citrus.
First Third: The Edwardian took flame very well, and immediately screams with notes of graham cracker, cream cheese, coffee, and cream. Right from the start, this is one of the best breakfast cigars I've had in a long time. There is a slight bitterness lingering as I make my way down the cigar, it is not an acrid, young tobacco taste but more of an espresso or dark chocolate bitterness that only translates that characteristic.
The burn line is less than ideal, dipping down in a v shape. Ash appears loose, and flaky, but it is not drooping at this point. After letting the stick rest for 5 minutes, the ash fell off, however, with that comes a much cleaner burn line. Finishing up this third, flavors of coffee, cream, plain bagels, and a slight hazelnut are up front and a retrohale brings cinnamon sugar to the profile.
Second Third: While staying very consistent in flavor profile, I never expected this to be a complex cigar. The Connecticut shade leaf has never been a complex one, but when mixed with the Brazilian binder, it really does make for an ultra creamy profile. Citrus is starting to become more prevalent, while still retaining the cream, coffee, and bagel flavors.
The burn line has gone back and forth, clean, then dipping and wavering. I tend to be a quick smoker which often causes problems for shade grown wrappers. That being said I am sure a slower smoker wouldn't have any problems with it burning poorly.
Last Third: After removing the band I noticed there are two small holes in the leaf, but they aren't causing any draw issues. Flavors have stayed the same, and a retrohale brings cinnamon deeper into the profile again. After resting the cigar again, the burn line tidied up significantly.
Starting to get slightly spicy, black pepper shows up as a sub tone, and compliments the ever prevalent cream, coffee, citrus, and bagel. As I have little over an inch left, the cigar starts to get hot on the lips, but does not taint the flavors.
Final Thoughts: For being one of Foundations higher end cigars, the burn line is concerning, but not problematic. The quality of the cigar is very good, if you overlook burn issues, it performs very well. Overall a smooth, not complex, but consistent cigar, the flavors are very welcoming and complementary. This is a huge step up from the Charter Oak Shade, and a small step down for an Atabey. The Brazilian binder truly makes this cigar stand out from your run of the mill shade grown stick. I would recommend smoking this at the start of the day, and believe anyone would appreciate it. I have paired this stick with black coffee, and I highly recommend you do the same!