The follow-up project to Foundation Cigar Co.’s The Tabernacle is now shipping to retailers. The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 is a modified version of the original Tabernacle, released in 2016. Brand owner Nick Melillo says the new line is named after the tobacco seed varietal used for the wrapper, which is grown in the Connecticut River Valley.
“This Cuban-seed wrapper grown in Connecticut has been in fermentation for three years and is finally ready for release,” Melillo told Cigar Aficionado. “We only have about 200 boxes of each size to start because the rest are still aging, which will be ready in January.”
Blending The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 was a passion project for Melillo, and he says it took three years to perfect. The wrapper, he explains, was particularly difficult and time consuming to ferment.
“This wrapper is incredibly oily, unique and flavorful,” Melillo said. “It is one of the most difficult wrappers to ferment in my opinion but the end result is well worth it. The wrapper is much thinner than broadleaf but due to the tremendous amount of grasa on the leaf, as we say in Estelí, or fat on the leaf—it takes a considerable amount of time to cure.”
Under the wrapper lies another dark leaf, Mexican San Andrés binder. The filler is from Nicaragua’s Estelí and Jalapa regions, along with a bit of Honduran tobacco from Jamastran. The cigar is shipping in four sizes: Toro, measuring 6 inches by 52 ring gauge ($11.50); Robusto, at 5 by 50 ($10.50); Corona, 5 1/4 by 46 ($9.00); and Double Corona, at 7 by 54 ($12.00). The cigars come packaged in 24-count boxes.
The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 is rolled for Melillo at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua in Estelí, Nicaragua.