Highclere Castle is a world-renowned estate in Hampshire, England that is most recently known as the main filming location for the award-winning British Television period drama, Downton Abbey.  What people may not know is this historic estate has a long tradition of cigar enjoyment. Now the owner of Highclere Castle has launched Highclere Cigar Company and is teaming up with Nicholas Melillo and Foundation Cigar Company to produce a cigar reminiscent of those enjoyed at Highclere Castle during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The cigar will also be distributed by Foundation Cigar Company and launched at the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show.

“Nick is arguably one of the most well-respected cigar blenders in the industry,” said Highclere Cigar co-founder and CEO, Adam von Goatskin in a press release. “Partnering with him to craft this masterpiece cigar speaks to his obsession with quality while embracing the rich history of enjoying cigars at Highclere Castle. His access to rare tobaccos and high-quality, by hand, production capabilities has led to what will certainly be a very special, well-respected cigar.”

George Carnarvon, who is the current 8th Earl Carnarvon, owner of Highclere Castle and farmer of the 5,000 acre estate, is an active partner on the project. He commented, “Having had the opportunity to visit Nicaragua and tour the tobacco fields and factories where our cigars are made, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the passion and skill that goes into making a super-premium cigar. The cigar itself is an excellent representation of that, and I think my ancestors would be proud it bears the Highclere badge.”

Nicholas Melillo (Left), George Carnavon (Right)

Highclere Castle has a long history of cigars, going back to 1862 when cigars were first introduced into England. Records at Highclere Castle show cigar purchases going back to the early 1900s.  There is a tradition at the Castle to enjoy a cigar and whiskey after dinner in the library.

Melillo took into account the profile and style of these types of cigars and crafted a cigar to reflect these attributes. The cigar – also called Highclere Castle, features a Connecticut Shade wrapper, a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and  Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo from Jalapa and Ometepe. The blend also features a tobacco from a hybrid seed known as Nicadán. The cigar will be available in five sizes (Churchill, Toro, Petit Corona, Robusto, and Corona) – each in 20-count boxes. The cigars are being produced at A.J. Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Nicaragua.

Foundation already partners with Tabacalera Fernandez for its Charter Oak and Tabernacle lines.

At a glance, here is a look at the Highclere Castle cigar:

Blend Profile

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo from Jalapa and Ometepe, Nicadán
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)

Vitolas Available

Corona: 5 x 42
Robusto: 5 x 50
Petit Corona: 5 1/2 x 46
Toro: 6 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 48

Photo Credits: Provided by Foundation Cigar Company