The Tabernacle Toro

27 May 2020  •  Posted by Jack  •  Foundation Cigars  •  281 views

Nick Melillo is one of the fellows behind the Liga No. 9 and T52 cigars from Drew Estate.  The fact that he is doing his own thing with Foundation Cigars is just terrific news for us cigar nerds.  I have smoked my way through his whole catalog and actually found every single one to be simply incredible - some of the best on the market today.  Heck, the Charter Oak Connecticut is my go-to daily cigar.  The subject of this review is...well, it's a special cigar.  The Tabernacle is a labor of love that showcases his ability to absolutely rock the broadleaf.  Let's get smoking, shall we?

Construction: It's a pretty cigar.  The wrapper is oily and toothy - something you really want to see in a  broadleaf cigar.  The band is an elegant thing of beauty.

Pre-light Aroma and Draw: No cellophane here.  These are cabinet cigars.  From the wrapper, I get a really notable sweet floral note.  From the foot, some sweet dense chocolate like brownies.  A cold pull shows off a nice draw with just the right amount of resistance - with notes of figs - like Fig Newtons - and some spice.

Light and Burn: For a broadleaf cigar this thing performs like it was programmed.  Laser perfect burn - and that is sitting in my back yard with a mild breeze too.  Only the Umbagog by Steve Saka impresses me more in terms of outdoor performance.

Tasting: Starting off I get a hefty no-nonsense blast of black coffee and about a dump truck load of earth.  After about a quarter of an inch things turn notably sweeter.  Baker's chocolate, a nice sweet cinnamon spice, a touch of pepper, and an amost espresso like coffee note.  It's dense and deep and rich right out of the gate.  Something you should smoke on a full stomach.  On the retrohale, I get something that reminds me of chocolate mousse - a deep creamy sweetness.  There are some not-so-sweet notes in there as well.  That espresso morphs into a strong black coffee, some mineral notes like wet granite, and the core is all earth.

The middle third starts out with with a surprise of cut wood, an increase in the pepper notes, and a forest floor note that reminds me of northern Minnesota - always a plus in my book.  The finish is a sweet dense creamy affair with a mild burn to the mouth.  Overall a nice effect.  Strength is on lower side of full at this stage.  Not a cigar for the novice - the density of the flavors and the power behind them would knock most noobs to their knees.  More notes of wood, earth, coffee, cocoa, and a terrific sweetness round out the middle.  The retrohale becomes much easier in this stage as well - less painful and much smoother - with a huge amount of creamy sweet dark chocolate.

Into the final third the strength hit a solid full.  Cinnamon, some red pepper, cream, something like hot fudge is in there too - ever so slight.  The core is still earthy with that black coffee note.  The spice picks up a bit towards the end.  The sweetness is still there too.  As I get close to nubbing this beauty, I get tons of that fudge and sweetness.  Just a simply amazing end to an outstanding cigar.

Value: The Tabernacle is not a cheap cigar.  I think I coughed up around $12 bones for this beauty.  Not an every day cigar price but worth it every payday or when you want something truly special after a big dinner.

Final Thoughts: If you haven't tried one of these you are missing something special, folks.  It's like a dessert in a 6 x 52 package.  I drank a Left Hand Milk Stout with this and the cigar actually made me forget how good that beer is.  I have smoked a ton of these and honestly never really paid super close attention to the flavors before - I just found that I liked them so much that I wanted more.  Really paying attention - like I do in these reviews - made me realize just how incredible the Tabernacle is.  Without reservation very highly recommended!

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Nicaragua - Japala and Jamastran

Strength: Full for certain

Size: 6 x 52

That band is just awesome.  Nice classic design!

Final rating:


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