Team Cigar Review: Foundation Charter Oak CT Shade Rothchild

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Cigar Details: Foundation Charter Oak CT Shade Rothchild

  • Vitola: Short Robusto
  • Length: 4.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Shade
  • Binder: Sumatra
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
  • Blender: Nicholas Melillo
  • Price: $5.00
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: Foundation Cigar Co.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a very light tan and has a patchwork of veins and some lumps and bumps. The seams are fairly visible but smooth. There are two caps, one that extends along way over the shoulder and a second one that just sits at the very top of the flattish head and looks a shade darker than the rest of the wrapper. The foot is closed with excess wrapper that is folder over. The band is a fairly simple glossy one with the cigar name and the large oak tree. The aroma from the wrapper is a very light hay, while the foot, even though it is covered lets a bit of sweetness out to go along with the light hay. The pre-light draw is snug due to the closed foot, but I get some light sweet hay and leather. There is also a nice spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Charter Oak Connecticut Shade Rothchild sports a silky smooth Colorado claro wrapper. The veins are well pressed and seams fairly tight. The cigar feels well rolled with no soft spots and a nice uniformed even give. The head is finished off with a well adhered triple cap. Wrapper aroma consists of pungent barnyard, nose tingling white pepper spice and cedar. The foot aromas are fairly muted (having an enclosed foot), therefore I mainly nose cedar and white pepper spice. Cold draw tells namely cardboard, cedar and white pepper spice.

First Third

The initial draws bring a very spicy (almost cinnamon) cedar. A quarter inch in and the very spicy cedar remains. The retrohale is a dialed down version of the same profile, so it doesn’t really sting through the nose. A half inch in and the spice really mellows. The cedar is still present in the mouth, but the retrohale becomes a more creamy and general wood. A few draws further in and the mouth profile and retrohale are now the same creamy woodiness. Near the end of the third, the creaminess goes away and a slight char takes its place both in the mouth and retrohale. The strength in this third was just a touch under medium.

First Third

Upon initial light and draw, I knew this was not your stereotypical, run of the mill, mild, Connecticut shade cigar. Delicious notes of sweet and creamy bread, floral perfume, roasted dry nuts, lip and tongue tingling white pepper spice, rich cedar and bitterness. Through the nose, a pleasantly surprising amount of semi-nose stinging white pepper spice, followed by sweet bread and bitter roasted nuts. The finish consists of dry roasted bitter nuts and airy bread. In terms of strength and body, medium (knocking on medium full’s doors) and medium, respectively.

Second Third

The same charred wood from the finish of the first third is how this third begins. A quarter inch in and some of the creaminess comes back to mix with the slightly charred wood. About a half inch in, the woodiness becomes more defined as oak. At an inch in, the smoke becomes a bit drying. The creaminess still remains along with the slightly charred oak. Nearing the end of the third, the oak becomes very toasty in the mouth and on the retrohale. The strength in this third was just above medium.

Second Third

The second thirds flavor profile walks right along side the first thirds flavor profile. Still medium bodied flavors of sweet and creamy bread, roasted dry nuts, lip and tongue tingling white pepper spice and rich cedar. The floral perfume becomes intermittent within the first half of the second third. Further, the bitterness is amplified (but not over taking the other notes). Through the retrohale, still the same semi-nose stinging white pepper spice, followed by sweet bread and bitter roasted nuts. The finish still consisting of dry roasted bitter nuts and airy bread. I still put the strength at a medium, trying to edge to medium-full.

Final Third

As this third begins, the toasty oak remains and a bit of minerality and bitterness joins the profile. At about a half inch in, the minerality goes away, but the bitterness remains with the toasted oak. Three quarters of an inch in, some creaminess returns which pushes some of the bitterness out. An inch in, the bitterness has completely gone away and a little bit of minerality has returned. As the third nears the end, the profile is creamy oak with a little bit of minerality. The retrohale is a smooth creamy oak. The strength in this third is slightly above medium.

Final Third

The first half of the final third mimics the second third. Still medium bodied flavors of sweet and creamy bread, roasted dry nuts, lip and tongue tingling white pepper spice, pronounced bitterness and rich cedar. Through the nose, semi-nose stinging white pepper spice, followed by sweet bread and bitter roasted nuts. The finish is still full of dry roasted bitter nuts and airy bread. Halfway through the last third, the cigar shows its youth as the profile becomes a bit too bitter, at times taking over the other notes. Further, the draw heats up and an ashy note enters. Body and strength is still at a medium.

Burn

The burn was fantastic. A razor sharp burn line and the first ash didn’t drop until two inches in. After that, the ash held on in one inch segments.

Burn

The burn was fantastic. Ashes held on nice and tight averaging one inch increments. The burn line was fairly razor sharp throughout the entire burn time.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but still very good. Based on the flatness of the head, I might recommend punching this cigar rather than a guillotine cut.

Overall

I was very interested to try this Connecticut Shade from Foundation and it didn’t disappoint. It was more along the traditional Connecticut profile, just with slightly less bitterness. Not any vegetal notes to report, so I think it keeps the profile interesting to more smokers. Creamy wood is typical and this produced a good rendition of it. Anyone can smoke this cigar and at anytime of day. Construction was fantastic. I could definitely see picking some more of these up for a nice morning smoke with coffee.

Aaron
Jiunn
Average Pre
Light
Very Good
Good First
Third
Very Good
Average Second Third Very Good
Good Final
Third
Good
Amazing Burn Very Good
Very Good Draw Subpar
Good Overall Very Good

Draw

The draw was tight for the first two thirds. Even cutting to the very end of the cap resulted the same tight draw. Smoking through the last third, the draw although still a bit tight, opened up quite a bit. Very uncharacteristic of a cigar produced at AJ Fernandez’s factory.

Overall

I may have just found my new favorite Connecticut shade cigar. Granted, I have yet to smoke some of the other anticipated Connecticut shade versions released this year (Illusione Rothchild Connecticut, Sacra Folium, etc.) Regardless, this was a great cigar that I can smoke all day. Well rounded body and flavors providing sweetness, spice, bitterness, delicious retrohale and finish. Nick Melillo blends a killer Connecticut shade cigar!

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.80

Cost/Point

$0.74

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.40

Cost/Point

$0.68

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Foundation Charter Oak CT Shade Rothchild

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