My Take on Some of the Year’s ‘Top Cigars’

It’s a new year so let’s start with cigar ratings.

All publications, whether print or online, put out their lists of the TOP cigars of the year. Some of them hold weight in the eyes of the cigar consumer, such as Cigar Aficionado, Cigar Snob, Cigar Dojo, Cigar Coop, Halfwheel and a few more.

I won’t go into specific lists and whether or not I agree with their assessments, but I will talk about some that I think are worth mentioning.

Tabernacle Havana Seed cigar

Let’s start with Foundation Cigar Company. Founded by Nick Melillo, AKA on facebook and IG as Nick R Agua, Foundation has received industry-wide recognition that usually comes with a brand that has spend many years establishing themselves and endearing themselves to cigar smokers around the world.

Established recently in 2015, Nick comes with a history and pedigree that isn’t too common with new companies. Nick started as Drew Estate’s Master Blender on DAY 1 in Nicaragua and is responsible for some of their most successful blends, and some of the most popular cigars on the market today. Nick developed massively successful lines, such as, Liga Privada, Undercrown, ACID, and Larutan (formerly known as Natural).

As a matter of fact, I started in this business running Uptown Cigar Company for Michelle Tuchman, creator of the Brooklyn Cigar, under the Natural brand, in partnership with Marvin and Jon. Nick was the blender for this cigar…..one that I’ve missed dearly for years.

Today, several publications have recognized Nick’s new blends under Foundation Cigars as some of the very best cigars in the world. Wise Man Maduro has shown up on several lists, as has his newer Tabernacle Havana Seed. No. 142.

I have been smoking the Wise Man maduro since it’s been released, to the tune of several per week. I find the robusto to be the perfect ring gauge for this smoke, with the perfect ratio between wrapper and filler tobaccos, in my opinion.

Using all Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos and a Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper, this has become just a perfect cigar for me, basically anytime of day. Rich, balanced and delicious are the 3 words that come to mind when I think of this smoke.

The next cigar that stands out to me from his profile is the new Tabernacle Havana Seed. The original Tabernacle was a massive success, as retailers soon realized when back orders kept getting larger and larger. Nick will not rush the production of his cigars, so as the market demands more of them, the supply will decrease. That’s the double-edged sword of a brand’s success.

Production has certainly caught up and we’re not seeing the backorders we used to and I believe it’s because the rest of his lines are starting to reach that same level of success. In comes the Tabernacle with the new wrapper he found from a single farmer in his home state of Connecticut. Full bodied with an incredible full flavor profile, the strength on the Tabernacle Havana Seed is a drop less than his original Tabernacle, which I always enjoyed. Personally, I find his new addition more in line with the flavor profile I enjoy.

We started with just one line from Nick and have now expanded to include all the following lines: El Gueguense, Wise Man Maduro, Tabernacle and Tabernacle Havana Seed No.142, Highclere Castle and his infused Upsetters line, infused with essential oils and botanicals, and made with Nicaraguan and and extremely rare Jamaican tobacco strain. Everything we put on the shelf from this man SELLS. My regulars enjoy them and I enjoy them immensely.

Next time you come into the shop, ask me about them. I’ll glaldy recommend one for you based on your preferences. If you have any questions on any of Nick’s cigars or ANY cigars on the market, feel free to shoot me a message through the contact section of this site, on facebook, IG or even by phone.

With this being my first blog post, I hope you get as much as out of it as I did in writing it. Until next time, friends.

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