Nick Melillo is adding a line extension to The Tabernacle, his biblically inspired brand that debuted in 2016. And while the new blend is largely the same as the original Tabernacle, Melillo says it uses a cover leaf that’s “one of the most difficult wrappers to cure.”
The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142, named after its finicky wrapper leaf that’s grown in the Connecticut River Valley, will be introduced at this month’s IPCPR trade show in four sizes: a 6 inch by 52 ring gauge Toro; 5 by 50 Robusto; 5 1/4 by 46 Corona; and 7 by 54 Double Corona. The cigars will be packed in boxes of 24 and sell from $9 to $13.
Havana Seed No. 142 is covered in its namesake wrapper, with binder from San Andrés, Mexico, and filler from Nicaragua’s Estelí and Jalapa regions along with Honduran tobacco grown in Jamastran. According to Melillo, the binder and filler are the same as the tobaccos found in The Tabernacle, only Havana Seed No. 142 uses less Jamastran leaf.
Melillo says that the Havana Seed No. 142 wrapper differs from the Connecticut broadleaf found on The Tabernacle in looks. While broadleaf grows large leaves that droop towards the ground, Havana Seed No.142 has a tendency to point up more to the sky. Compared to broadleaf, Havana Seed No. 142 shows “less vein structure and is a bit thinner,” Melillo said.
He added that Havana Seed No. 142 is also difficult to cure. “It has a tremendous amount of oils in the leaf that have to be cured down. That window is small. If undercured, [Havana Seed #142] doesn’t burn well. Past the window, and you just completely destroy it.”
According to Melillo, the Havana Seed No. 142 wrapper has been curing under the watchful eye of A.J. Fernandez for the past three years. Fernandez is also rolling Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 at his Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua in Estelí.
Melillo said that the new brand will begin shipping in the fall.