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Cigar Aficionado

Steampunk Smokes

While some might be very familiar with the term “Steampunk” it isn’t a word that normally finds itself in the cigar world. But General Cigar Co. aims to change that with Foundry, a new brand that incorporates elements of the Steampunk genre into its packaging and even into its cigar blend.

Firstly, what is Steampunk? Essentially, it’s a literary, fashion and visual design genre that is informed by a Victorian-era notion of futurism—science fiction from an industrialized, 19th century point of view with a bit of mysticism thrown in there, too. If you can imagine a steam-powered time machine full of old iron levers, mechanical gears, burnished hydraulic pistons and steam whistles, then you’re starting to get it. Readers of Jules Verne or H.G. Wells are well acquainted with such imagery. Now cigar smokers can be too.

General’s new Foundry brand “entices the premium cigar connoisseur to take a bold step back in time and a quantum leap into the future to envision the artistry of handmade cigars through the lens of unbridled innovation.” So, General sought to do this by building Foundry around a proprietary wrapper that they’ve dubbed H-47 Pleno Sol. General, which has large tobacco inventories, says the wrapper is eight years old.

The blend is rounded out with an additional five tobaccos from four different countries.

Foundry will come packaged in boxes that nod strongly to Steampunk’s industrialized roots.
Box shot of the new Foundry cigar.

The four sizes of Foundry are named after influential figures of the Steampunk movement: Wells (as in H.G.) measures 6 inches by 50 ring; Lovelace (as in Ada), 6 1/4 by 54; Talbot (as in Bryan), 5 by 60; and a pointy 6 1/2 by 60 figurado called the Cayle (as in Sir George). The shape even looks like one of Cayle’s flying machines. Clever. They’re set to land in shops by October and should retail in the $7.95 to $9.45 range.

True to its genre, Foundry will come packaged in boxes that nod strongly to Steampunk’s industrialized roots. An actual metal gear comes curiously fastened around each individual cigar band, and every box is a decoupage of distressed metal surfaces, antiqued patterns and other period motifs you might find in the fantasy world of Victorian sci-fi—minus the triode vacuum tubes and coal dust, of course.

"I just hate gimmicks on my cigars, but gimmicks aside this was a damn good stick. To Nolan, I hope you don't give Peter Jackson the credit for LOTR, It was the great Tolkien that wrote about the fantasy relm back in 30's and 40's." —February 5, 2013 16:30 PM
"I think these look very interesting, but sadly I have not been able to find any available for purchase. If anybody could point me in the proper direction it would be greatly appreciated. (online or in the metro Detroit area) Thanks " —February 1, 2013 17:23 PM
"I think these look very interesting, but sadly I have not been able to find any available for purchase. If anybody could point me in the proper direction it would be greatly appreciated. (online or in the metro Detroit area) Thanks " —February 1, 2013 17:23 PM
"Smoking one now and it is very nice. Great draw, very mild spice, complex flavor for a medium/mild body smoke. Burn could be more consistent, but all in all a keeper. " —December 20, 2012 19:39 PM
"Just tried one at a promotional event in NY. One of the best damn new cigars I have tried in a long time. Bravo Michael Giannini." —December 11, 2012 16:28 PM
"Check out the You Tube videos for info on the gears. It sounds like it should be something pretty cool. Just type "Foundry Cigar" and you will be able to watch Michael Giannini walk you through how he designed these cigars and wat the gears will be for. Pretty interesting videos." —November 16, 2012 11:38 AM
"I have just bought my second Talbot. I agree with Gregory on the flavor of this cigar. It has an aged tobacco taste on first light and continues into the first third, after that there is a slight oily leather taste into the center and finishes off with the aged tobacco and leather. I found the burn even and it draws very nicely. I have been smoking cigars for over 20 years and have tried just about every brand out there. I would say that this cigar is a good smoke for that mid-day relaxation when you can just sit and enjoy it." —November 16, 2012 11:33 AM
"I got my hands on one and it's definitely unique but quite delicious. Some real draw issues but hopefully I just got a rare bad one anyone smokes one I'd appreciate feedback. :) " —August 18, 2012 16:22 PM
"Nothing wrong with a nod to enthusiasts, as long as the tobacco can hold its own." —August 8, 2012 10:56 AM
"I hope this cigar does a lot for General because as someone who has smoked cigars since 1968 some of their brands have not done so well. Bolivar was a disappointment, the original Partagas line slipped badly, and the acquisition of Villazon has not done much for that company.On the other hand, the new Partagas 1845 both a great cigar and sells at a bargain price. Hopefully General is on the way back Paul Dunn " —August 7, 2012 23:48 PM
"As a fan of Steampunk I think these are cool and will definitely try some when they come out. and as far as the LOTR smokes go, I would love some Old Toby from the Shire." —August 7, 2012 22:32 PM
"I have to applaud General Cigar Co. for thinking outside the box on this one. The cigars themselves are very neatly packaged and have a very cool visual appeal to them. I am very anxious to get these in our store!" —August 7, 2012 17:42 PM
"Poor Nolan. He thought he was submitting a negative, derogatory comment. He might have hit on a whole new line by trying to criticize a new cigar. General is a sharp company and might just act on this one. Sorry Nolan, but General Cigar puts out some really great products and those 'in the know' are aware that they (General) does not have to revert to trickery to get their products 'tested live'. " —August 7, 2012 16:40 PM
"For more information about the desk built for General Cigars new FOUNDRY Cigars seen at the trade show built by www.DrGrymmLaboratories.net, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmarsdesign/sets/72157630732853958/" —August 3, 2012 20:57 PM
"The heat sink at the band may work to dissipate heat and cool the smoke. It works on e-cigarettes to cool the atomized vapor. " —August 2, 2012 20:08 PM
"As a fan of steampunk art I can wait to get my hands on a box. As a even bigger fan of LOTR, I hope someone creates a middle earth line of cigars soon too!" —August 2, 2012 12:34 PM
"Gandalf-churchill Aragorn-torpedo Bilbo-petit robusto hey,I should talk to Peter Jackson for the licensing rights to Hobbit Cigars. " —August 2, 2012 11:50 AM
"+1 for the Hobbit cigars :)" —August 1, 2012 23:28 PM
"Hobbit cigars. Great Idea!" —August 1, 2012 16:50 PM
"wow, people will do anything to get you buying their smokes, what's next? limited edition Hobbit cigars? " —August 1, 2012 12:22 PM
"I applaud their creativity. Too bad they couldn't go back in time and score some vintage Cuban tobacco. Pre-embargo of course. " —August 1, 2012 11:35 AM