Last year was a fun journey into discovering Foundation Cigars, but I quickly learned that in order to understand Foundation Cigars, you really needed to learn about its President and CEO, Nicholas Melillo.
About Nicholas Melillo
Nicholas Melillo was an integral part of Drew Estate, being responsible for its purchasing and operations in Nicaragua as well as blending. In 2014, Melillo left Drew Esate. In June of 2015, Melillo announced Foundation Cigar Co. and setup its headquarters in the state of Connecticut, near his hometown roots.
“I am assembling my team in the Connecticut River Valley, home to some of the finest and best broadleaf tobacco in the world. I am from Connecticut, I started smoking cigars with my grandfather here, so to incorporate some of that into what we do is very important for me,” Melillo said.
Foundation Cigar Co.
In July of 2015, Melillo and Foundation Cigar Co. released its debut cigar, The El Gueguense, which translates to The Wise Man. This cigar paid homage to Melillo’s time in Nicaragua, as El Gueguense is a folklore in Nicaraguan culture. The cigar received plenty of awards, honors, and high ratings and instantly solidified Foundation Cigar Co. as a serious cigar producer.
What I enjoy about following Nick Melillo and Foundation Cigar Co. is that Melillo is very tuned into social media. He is very sociable online and always appearing in interviews, youtube videos, etc. It enhances the experience of following the brand.
Charter Oak Cigar
At the 2016 IPCPR, Foundation Cigar Co. officially promoted its Charter Oak line of cigars, which is actually produced by A.J. Fernandez. The Charter Oak maduro, sports a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
“I wanted to choose a name that represents the greatest symbol of my home state of Connecticut, the Charter Oak. I wanted to create an economy-minded, everyday smoke for connoisseurs; something tasty and delicious but didn’t break the bank.” Says Melillo.
According to Wikipedia: The Charter Oak was an unusually large white oak tree growing on Wyllys Hyll in Hartford, Connecticut in the United States, from around the 12th or 13th century until it fell during a storm in 1856. According to tradition, Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden within the hollow of the tree to thwart its confiscation by the English governor-general. The oak became a symbol of American independence and is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter. In 1935, for Connecticut’s tercentennial, it was also depicted on both a commemorative half dollar and a postage stamp.
We initially decided to go with the Charter Oak maduro lonsdale and rothschild sizes at our shop. They immediately became a hit among our local shopper. The cigars are incredibly priced and the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is very flavorful. This is a cigar that ages extremely well. It’s has those immense notes of chocolate and coffee complexity, so they always pair great with a coffee or espresso.