There’s a reason why we all tend to wait with special anticipation for Foundation Cigar Company’s president, and master blender, Nicholas Melillo’s latest undertaking. His depth of passion and knowledge for tobacco, Nicaraguan culture, and his intimate connection to the Connecticut River Valley, where he is based, almost guarantees another head turner. Nick’s visionary approach to cigar blending has most recently yielded, Tabernacle Havana Seed CT #142.
The box depicts Ras Tafari Makonnen as King Regent before he was crowned as the Haile Selassie. The brand will consist of four sizes including a 6 x 52 Toro, 5 x 50 Robusto, 5 1/4 x 46 Corona, and a 7 x 54 Double Corona.
Wrapper – Havana Seed #142 Grown in Connecticut
Binder – San Andres Mexico
Filler – Esteli, Jalapa and Jamastran
“It’s unknown exactly who brought the seed to the River Valley, although we do know it arrived between 1870 and 1880,” says Melillo. “It is somewhat smaller and smoother than broadleaf and grows upright on the stalk making for better yields. On one hand it reflects characteristics that are very different from broadleaf; while it’s spicy and earthy like Cuban tobacco, with hints of cedar, it also has a pronounced sweetness like Connecticut Broadleaf.”
The Havana Seed CT has been evolving in the Connecticut River Valley for well over 100 years. Melillo has been working with farmers in the valley since 2014 to help optimize the plant’s overall health while maintaining the seeds unbelievable flavor characteristics. The culmination of these efforts involved combining the seed with Havana Seed #38 and Havana Seed #1207, also known as Page-Comstock. The end result is Havana #142.
“While the leaf is incredibly oily and full flavored, the leaf itself is quite thin, making for an extended fermentation process, and at lower heat,” says Melillo. “The tobacco has been curing for almost 3 years in Nicaragua under the watchful eyes of Abdel Fernandez and myself. The tediousness involved in developing Havana Seed CT #142 is well worth it, as the leaf is incredibly flavorful and unlike any other tobacco in the world.”