The Chief of the Broadleaf now has a Broadleaf of his own. Nicholas Melillo, who earned the name “Chief of the Broadleaf” (for his work with Broadleaf tobacco) during his tenure at Drew Estate is introducing a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper offering into his Foundation Cigar Company portfolio. The cigar will be called “The Tabernacle” and it will be officially launched at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show opening July 24th in Las Vegas.

“I want to show my love for Connecticut Broadleaf,” commented Melillo in a press release announcing his first Broadleaf offering with Foundation Cigar Company. “I was born in New Haven where, at the turn of the century, there were many cigar factories.”

The Tabernacle is slated to become the third cigar in the Foundation Cigar Company portfolio joining the Nicaraguan puro El Güegüense and the new Jamaican tobacco release, “The Upsetters”.  For this new offering, Melillo turns to Tabacalera Fernandez, the factory owned by A.J. Fernandez. This is a new factory Melillo is working with as he produces El Güegüense out of Casa Fernandez’s TABSA facility and The Upsetters at an undisclosed factory.

As for the name, The Tabernacle is said to be the resting place for the Ark of the Covenant, which is said to be a wooden chest containing two stone tablets representing the Ten Commandments. The Tabernacle is said to have been dismantled and superseded by the Temple of Solomon built by King Solomon. The bands contain an image of Haile Selassie, an Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 for was said to be a descendant of King Solomon. The tie to Ethiopia is that it is one of the places that claims to house the Ark of the Covenant.

As for the cigar, in addition to the’Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the cigar has  a Mexican San Andres binder and fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan tobacco comes from La Soledad, a farm owned by A.J. Fernandez.  The Tabernacle is getting launched in six sizes.

“AJ Fernandez has been meticulously fermenting this broadleaf wrapper and the combination of both of our passions for tobacco is dangerous,” commented Melillo. “AJ grows some of his tobacco on the farm, La Soledad, where I lived on when I first moved to Esteli in 2003. I know firsthand that AJ’s farm is blessed with the perfect location for growing filler tobaccos. He has incredible tobacco inventories and gave me full access to some of his best leaf for this project.”


Cigar Aficionado reports that The Tabernacle will be made available to select retailers before the IPCPR launch.

At a glance, here is a look at The Tabernacle by Foundation Cigar Company.

Blend Profile

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan (La Soledad)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)

Vitolas Available

All sizes will be in 24 count boxes with the exception of the lancero which will be in 12 count boxes. Pricing ranges from $9.00 to $13.00 SRP per cigar.

Torpedo: 4 1/2 x 52
Robusto: 5 x 50
Corona: 5 1/4 x 46
Toro: 6 x 52
Lancero: 7 x 40
Double Corona: 7 x 54

Photo Credits: Foundation Cigar Company