Team Cigar Review: Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo

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Cigar Details: Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo

  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez
  • Blender: Nicholas Melillo
  • Price: $7.00
  • Release Date: September 2020
  • Source: Developing Palates via Lake Country Cigars

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo is a medium marbled brown with a couple of lightly raised veins present. The seams are easily visible as they are slightly raised while the Torpedo head is very well finished. The foot is covered with excess wrapper that is folded over. The band is the traditional design for the line and it does not indicate the wrapper type. The aroma from the wrapper is just a light hay while the covered foot brings a slightly fuller hay note along with a very mild spice. The pre-light draw brings a dry, aged cedar note with a mild spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

With an aroma of earth, cedar, red pepper and nuts, the Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo is finished with a dark Colorado wrapper. It has veins present throughout and they are small to medium in size. The cigar is firm from foot to head, and it is finished with a nice tapered head. The foot was slightly closed and this is a decent presentation for the price of cigar.

Pre-light Experience

The Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo has no UPC code or cigar identifying sticker on the cellophane. For complications it’s a Torpedo head with a closed foot. Aromas from the cigar included graham cracker and light wood. From the foot, all I was able to pick out was hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo has an even Colorado claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and Torpedo head is loosely wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper give faint traces of cedar and hay. Nosing the wrapped foot gives pronounced red pepper. Cold draw tells faint bread and cedar.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of wood, creamy nuttiness and baking spice. At a quarter inch in, the wood becomes more defined as an aged cedar while some mustiness joins the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the cedar shows as very aged, bordering on stale along with the mustiness and mild baking spice while the creamy nuttiness is no longer present. The retrohale brings musty aged cedar. At an inch and a half in, there are hints of nuttiness that pop in on random draws. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The cigar begins by delivering a flavor profile of cedar, earth, nuts and red pepper. There is this cedar shaving quality on the finish, and I found the first third to be cedar heavy overall. The body and strength smoke at a medium level and the burn is a little off.

First Third

My first few puffs bring flavors of medium strength baking spices and wood. Creaminess joins the retrohale almost immediately. There’s a biscuity middle to the flavor profile as the first third settles in. As the cigar progresses, a sweet biscuit and wood combination settles on the palate between draws. By the halfway mark, spices have fallen to light plus in intensity.

First Third

The first third gives a mixture of baking spices, balanced white pepper spice and roasted nuts. Retrohaling gives nostril clearing white pepper spice but also does a good job of more intense roasted nuts. The finish gives a light cedar note that’s medium in length. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the cedar gains a toasted note and is no longer verging on being stale. At a quarter inch in, the baking spice has morphed into black pepper and become a bit fuller. At three quarters of an inch in, the fullness of flavors have picked up with the toasted cedar slightly ahead of the mustiness and black pepper. At an inch in, some dry earth joins the profile. The retrohale is toasted and musty cedar along with dry earth. As the third wraps up, the dry earth has a slight lead over the toasted cedar while the black pepper is a bit further behind. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Second Third

The second third shows a lot of continuation from the first third and I am picking up cedar, red pepper and earth notes. There are touches of nuts present as well, but like before it is cedar heavy. In terms of strength and body, the cigar smokes at a medium level.

Second Third

A balance of cream and baking spices, with biscuit and cedar take the cigar into the second third. Cedar sits on the palate between draws, with baking spices providing accents. There are no other flavor transitions through the second third as the profile remains consistent.

Second Third

The second third picks up a burnt note to the cedar. This creates a toasted and charred wood vibe to the overall flavor profile. The balanced white pepper and roasted nuts are still in full effect though. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

The profile maintains itself moving into the final third and is becoming a bit dry. At a quarter inch in, the toasted note moves to a decent level of char. The retrohale remains toasted and musty cedar along with dry earth. As the cigar comes to a close, the dry earth remains slightly ahead of the charred cedar with light black pepper in the background. The strength remained at slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third was truly identical to the second third. Nothing new to report at all.

Final Third

The last third kicks things off with baking spices, wood and graham cracker with a lingering tannic cedar to carry into the post draw. By the halfway point, sweet wood is driving the profile with tannic cedar defining the post draw.

Final Third

The final third has no changes from the second third. Still a toasted and charred cedar, balanced white pepper and roasted nuts. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn was a bit wavy throughout, but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

Burn improved in the final half of the cigar, but it was never burning even and I was expecting more with construction.

Burn

The burn was very straight, with an ash that held up to two inches and refused to knock off.

Burn

Aside from flaky ashes, the burn performance was top notch. Overall even burn, cool burning temperature and ample smoke production.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo walks a fine line at times of being nuanced and flavorful or a bit stale and light. I think it will be a bit divisive in how it is received based on this. For me, the fist half of the cigar was pretty nice in how the flavors transitioned and increased in fullness. The second half took a fairly rapid decline in the nuance while the char in the final third was a bit of a disappointment. I would definitely recommend this cigar to others and would have no problem smoking it again. The price point is quite attractive and I’m interested in trying the other vitolas to see how they stack up.

Draw

I somehow cut this perfectly, because the draw was awesome.

Overall

I am not trying to criticize the Charter Oak brand here, but this was exactly what I expected. This was an average Habano release out of AJ Fernandez. The most shocking aspect was the perfect draw and imperfect construction. It is not a bad cigar, especially for the cost, but the Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo is not something I would come back to in the future. I have never been one to be high on the Charter Oak brand, I would rather smoke their other offerings from Foundation and Wise Man to Highclere Castle, but there is a place for Charter Oak. I think adding the Habano offering is smart, but not wowing or ground breaking. Lack of complexity, depth and transitioning.

Draw

The draw had some resistance to it, roughly 2-1/2 to 3 notches into the resistant spectrum.

Overall

The Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo is a great example of a cigar that punches above its price point and delivers flavor complexity that is still restrained enough for the light bodied cigar smoker. I’m a big fan of both the Habano and Maduro lines, and the Torpedo represents another consistently good offering. Construction was excellent, although at this point that’s to be expected coming out of Tabacalera AJ Fernandez. I will happily return to the Charter Oak Habano. Total smoking time was a somewhat quick 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Draw

The Torpedo head caused no issues with the draw. The ideal air flow.

Overall

I found the Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo an average tasting experience throughout the entire cigar. While there weren’t any undesirable flavors, the flavors were too earth and spice forward, without having enough softer flavors to balance. The price point is quite attractive, so it won’t break the bank to try a couple. But even with that said, my preference hands down goes to the Connecticut Shade version of the Charter Oak.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
AveragePre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Average
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
GoodSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnGoodBurnAmazingBurnVery Good
AmazingDrawAmazingDrawGoodDrawAmazing
GoodOverallAverageOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.37

Cost/Point

$1.10

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.55

Cost/Point

$1.26

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$1.07

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$1.24

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Foundation Charter Oak Habano Torpedo

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