Foundation Tabernacle Broadleaf Double Corona
Posted on July 06 2021
Smoking Time: 135 Minutes
Cigars Smoked: 5+
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa, Jamastran)
Foundation was founded 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: The Tabernacle Broadleaf is one of my favorite looking cigars, the bands are very classy and the wrapper is extremely elegant. Visually, the wrapper has a rustic look to it, and is a dark brown, similar to dark chocolate. There are plenty of veins and tooth present, but are not distracting, adding to the appeal and the elegance of the stick. What I love about these cigars is that they are so similar to some harder to find or more expensive sticks, like Liga Privada, for example. The aroma is almost exactly like Liga’s as well, and if you know anything about Foundations owner, Nick Melilo, he worked for Drew Estate underneath Steve Saka, so it is no surprise there are so many similarities between the two cigars.
The aroma is so lovely, and one of the more fragrant boxes to open. Screaming with aromas of raisins, a sweeter fruit that resembles black berries or black cherry, leather, damp earth, and dark chocolate. A cold draw brings notes of berries, raisins, espresso, and chocolate.
First Third: Upon lighting the fruity undertones fade substantially, and give way to espresso, pepper, and bakers chocolate. I lit this sampler with a match and cut the cigar with a Colibri V Cut. Cutting caused a slight split in the head cap, but it was minor enough to be repaired by moistening it. Strong notes of baker’s chocolate and pepper, as I mentioned earlier, are met with a very mild black cherry, that is reminiscent of Full Sail’s Session Black Cherry Beer. As well as cinnamon, and a lightly charred wood. Immediately, I am searching to identify tons of different undertones, and then searching more.
Only half an inch in, and the complexity is other-worldly, something that generally takes a little more time to develop. The burn line is very clean, not razor sharp, but better than most cigars in this price range. The smoke is light enough that it doesn't feel like a full bodied stick, which I enjoy when starting out a cigar. The ash is very white, and not flaking at all.
Second Third: Cinnamon is becoming more prevalent and is complemented by familiar notes of espresso and bakers chocolate. The black cherry flavors are also starting to ramp up, and are accentuated by a retrohale. Pepper isn't a part of the profile at this point, which can be appealing to the beginner cigar smoker.
The burn lie is still exceptional, barely wavering, and hasn't needed any touch ups. The wrapper has held up extremely well and the head cap that split when cutting has not broken any further. Black cherry is becoming stronger, but is still overpowered by cinnamon and espresso. A retrohale brings pepper back into the profile as this third comes to a close.
Last Third: Consistently earning an average of 90 between all of the Tabernacle vitolas, you can expect these to be consistent and complex. Starting to develop a whole wheat bread flavor, that is met with familiar notes of cinnamon, black cherry, bakers chocolate, and new undertones of walnut and black tea.
The ash is still very white, and visually appealing, the burn line has stayed clean the entire cigar and didn’t require any touch ups, despite the prominent veins that would usually cause some issue. Appearing firm, with little to no flaking of the ash, I am extremely pleased with the performance of this Tabernacle. I have yet to smoke a Tabernacle David, but it is a great substitute for the Goliath. It is more tame than Goliath but does not fall flat at all. Pepper has grown immensely, and makes for a nice finish.
Final Thoughts: This is an overall exceptional stick, but one that is best paired with a full stomach. Filled with nuanced flavors and deep complexity, while performing like a medium bodied cigar.New undertones continued to pop up the entire cigar, and finished strong which is exactly what I expect from a Broadleaf wrapped stick. This isn't a cigar for the faint of heart, while overall it is smooth and welcoming, a beginner could smoke it and appreciate the flavors. Certainly a dark and intimidating cigar, it has been properly fermented and provides a smooth overall experience. Pair this with a coffee, or a smooth sweet bourbon.