Nick Melillo’s Foundation Cigar Co. showed off a slew of new products for 2019 at this year’s industry trade show, and now those cigars have begun hitting shops nationwide.
Heading to stores are Menelik, a one-time events only cigar; Highclere Castle Victorian, which Melillo says is stronger than the original; and a new lancero size for his Tabernacle Havana Seed CT #142 line.
Menelik comes in one size only, a soft-pressed petit robusto with a pigtail that measures 4 1/2 inches by 52 ring gauge. It’s rolled with a Corojo ’99 binder from Jalapa, Nicaragua, along with a filler mix of Nicaraguan tobaccos grown in Estelí, Condega and Jalapa. The bunch is covered in a dark, oily wrapper from San Andrés, Mexico.
Menelik will carry a suggested retail price of $13 and come packed in 12-count boxes. The boxes will only be available at select Foundation Cigar retailers, and will be shipped once per quarter in batches of 1,000.
Also shipping to stores is Highclere Castle Victorian, the second collaboration cigar between Melillo and George Carnavon, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon. While the Castle Victorian blend looks identical to its predecessor—Ecuador wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder and a filler blend that’s entirely Nicaraguan—according to Melillo, “It’s a completely different blend. The only commonality is the Mata Fina Brazil binder.”
Melillo calls the stronger, darker Castle Victorian full bodied, It comes in five sizes: Churchill, 7 inches by 48 ring gauge; Toro, 6 by 52; Robusto, 5 by 50; Corona, 5 1/2 by 46; and Petit Corona, 5 by 42. The smokes range in price from $12 to $16 per cigar.
Rounding out the new releases is the Tabernacle Havana Seed CT #142 Lancero, which measures 7 inches by 40 ring gauge and is rolled with a dark, inky, Cuban-seed wrapper that’s grown in Connecticut.
The new Lancero sports a Mexican San Andrés binder and filler tobacco from Nicaragua’s Estelí and Jalapa regions, as well as Honduran tobacco from Jamastran. It carries a retail price of $12.75 per cigar and comes packaged in 24-count, slide-lid wooden boxes.