When the calendar year comes to a close, it becomes the season of lists ranking the top cigars of the year by various media outlets. In 2017, there was one cigar that dominated the lists like no other had before – and that was Foundation Cigar Company’s The Wise Man Maduro. It would finish as the #8 Cigar of the Year on Cigar Coop, and would also steamroll to the #1 ranking on the 2017 Halfwheel Consensus. Going into 2018, Foundation Cigar owner Nicholas Melillo was riding a wave. However soon the attention turned to what Melillo would have planned for an encore to The Wise Man Maduro. That encore would be unveiled just before the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show. It would be in the form of a unique offering that would be the Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142. Today we take a closer look at the Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 in the Toro size.
Tabernacle is a line that Melillo and Foundation Cigar Company introduced back in 2016. It is a line produced at AJ Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigar would be highlighted by a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. With the Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142, it uses a special hybrid Havana seed wrapper grown in Connecticut known as Havana #142.
As for the name, the Tabernacle is said to be the resting place for the Ark of the Covenant. This 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 The Tabernacle is said to have been dismantled and superseded by the Temple of Solomon built by King Solomon.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
As mentioned the Havana Seed #142 wrapper of the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 is grown in Connecticut. Since 2014, Melillo worked with farmers in the Connecticut River Valley on the plants produced by that seed. This seed was developed by combining the Havana Seed #38 with Havana Seed #1207 (also called Page-Comstock). In addition, there was an extended fermentation process used on the leaf grown from the Havana Seed #142 wrapper.
The remainder of the blend consists of a San Andres binder and a combination of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos.
Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Havana Seed #142 Grown in Connecticut
Binder: San Andres Mexican
Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí, Jalapa), Honduran (Jamastran)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
The Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 is available in four sizes. Each is presented in 24-count boxes.
Corona: 5 1/4 x 46
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Double Corona: 7 x 54
The Havana Seed #142 wrapper of the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro had a rich brown color to it. Upon closer examination, there was some darker mottling that could be seen on the surface. The wrapper also had a light sheen of oil on it. The veins visible on the surface were on the thin side. Any visible wrapper seams were also minimal. Overall, this was a wrapper that was on the smother side.
The band contains an image of Haile Selassie. Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 and 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, the resting place for the Tabernacle. The image is surrounded by a gold frame. Below the image is a red background with the text “THE TABERNACLE HAVANA SEED” in gold font. The sides of the band have a black, gold, and red design going around the band.
The cigar experience of the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro commenced with placing a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, it was time for the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of coffee, earth, and some light cedar. At this point, it was time to light up the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro started out with notes of coffee, earth, red pepper, and orange sweetness. The coffee and earth notes moved into the forefront with the pepper and orange notes settling in the background. There was a creamy texture to the overall flavor profile. Meanwhile, there an additional layer of red pepper on the retro-hale.
Midway through the first third of the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro, the orange sweetness joined the coffee and earth in the forefront. As the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro entered the second third, there was a gradual increase in the pepper. By the midway point, the earth and orange notes jockeyed for position to be the top secondary note while the coffee remained grounded in the background. During the second third, the retro-hale shifted to more of a black pepper varietal with red pepper remaining on the tongue.
The last third saw the coffee notes remain grounded with the earth and orange still alternating as the main secondary note. By this point, the red pepper on the tongue had also slightly increased. This is the way the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. There was a slight amount of jaggedness to the burn line, but this didn’t prove to be problemsome, nor did it result in an excess amount of touch-ups above the norm. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but it was not loose, nor flaky either. This had somewhat of a medium to darker gray color to it. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro was on the open side. It was not overly loose, although I do normally like a little more resistance on it. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength, the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro comes in at a medium. There was a slight increase in strength along the way, but in the end, this cigar remained in the medium range of the spectrum. Meanwhile, the flavors of the cigar came in at medium to full. Like the strength, there was a slight increase in the intensity of the body, but the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro didn’t come out of the medium to full range.
In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained the edge throughout the smoking experience.
When it comes to the Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 Toro, this is a cigar that is going to excel in the most important category – flavor. Add in some excellent construction and the right amount of complexity, and it’s going to make for an excellent cigar experience. One thing I have noticed is that this is a cigar that seems to be adapting very well to some mid-range aging. The Tabernacle Havana Seed No. 142 hit the shelves in November, and it was performing well. Now add 3 1/2 months of aging, and this cigar is coming into its own. This is a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast, but I certainly would not discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one that garners box worthy consideration.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Orange, Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
News: Foundation Cigar Company to Release Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142
Brand Reference: Foundation Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop