Team Cigar Review: Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

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Cigar Details: Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Length: 5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Esteli and Jalapa
  • Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez
  • Blender: Nicholas Melillo
  • Price: $15.50
  • Release Date: October 2023
  • Source: Developing Palates via Corona Cigar Co.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: The wrapper on the oval pressed Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto is light brown with just a couple of slightly raised veins. The seams are smooth and the cap is finished off with a tightly wound pigtail. The band is blue, gold and red, has an image of Rubén Darío, with the line name and country of origin on front and the company name on back. The aroma from the wrapper is the faintest of cedar, while the foot brings a light mix of bread and cedar. The pre-light draw consists of light cedar.
Seth: A lovely Claro, the Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto has a nice light brown coloring. Heavily creamed coffee. Few veins throughout, the cigar has a silky texture. Nicely pressed as well. Aromas of soft spices, dry wood, light leather and sweet earth.
John: The Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto does not come in cellophane and it appears the retailer has attached the UPC to the back of the band which assists in differentiating between the Claro and the Maduro. For additional artisanal complications, the cigar has a soft box pressed shape and also a curly tail cap. I weighed the cigar at 11.7 grams and the humidity as measured by the HumidiMeter Pro was 62.3%. Aromas from the wrapper I could pick out included sweet bread, some vegetation, mushroom and damp wood. From the foot, I’m picking up sweet tobacco, vegetation, mushroom and dry wood.
Jiunn: The Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto wrapper shade is a bit dull to the overall even Colorado Claro. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and the mega man bun is tight. Aromas consist of heavy cedar and barnyard.

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with toasted cedar and candied cinnamon. At a quarter inch in, the candied note leaves the cinnamon and a light mustiness joins the profile. The retrohale is toasted cedar, mustiness and lightly zingy cinnamon. At an inch in, some dry earth joins the profile. As the third comes to a close, the toasted cedar is up front, with cinnamon, mustiness and earth all a bit behind. The strength was right at medium.
Seth: The first third starts out with this light cedar and cream profile. Bits of tobacco and this nutty quality as well. Medium in strength and body.
John: The initial flavor impressions are creaminess, spicy wood and medium strength spices that combine with pepper into the post draw. After a few puffs, some chocolate is developing as the pepper also moves up to medium-full intensity. Vegetal notes are present in the aroma as it continues and the post draw pepper is almost overpowering on the palate. I would liken it to Thai chili peppers. Roughly a quarter inch into the review, the pepper has receded to medium strength, giving my palate a much needed break. The strength continues to fall and by the 26 minute mark, the overall impression is medium minus. The retrohale is comprised of creamy chocolate and medium minus pepper to finish. Creamy wood comes through approaching the halfway point with tobacco sweetness and wood on the post draw. Through the bottom half, cinnamon hits just on the finish of the retrohale.
Jiunn: The first third has plenty of barnyard funk (in the best way possible), leather tannins, cedar and sweet roasted nuts. On the retrohale, a nice pop of dried red pepper spice develops as well as the sweet roasted nuts are fuller. The finish is lengthy, with leather tannins and cedar. Strength is medium-full and body is medium.

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, the cinnamon has morphed into black pepper. At a quarter inch in, the black pepper is now quite mellow. The retrohale is now toasted cedar, mustiness and dry earth. At an inch and a quarter, the earth is now even with the toasted cedar up front. As the third comes to a close, the toasted cedar and earth are even up front, with mustiness a bit behind and light black pepper in the background. The strength remained at medium.
Seth: The second third is in line with the first. I hate to classify the cigar like this, but it’s lacking. Cedar, cream and tobacco notes. Bits of nuts as well. No spice. Medium in strength and body.
John: Creamy wood leads the cigar into the second third, with a cardboard center and a spice and wood combination into the post draw. Some chocolate pushes into the center of the retrohale as the review progresses. Creamy cinnamon combines with wood on the retrohale moving towards the halfway point.
Jiunn: The second third’s flavor profile is the same (barnyard funk, leather tannins, cedar, sweet roasted nuts). But what changes the most is the strength level. It’s not full blown full in strength, but it is very much so a gut punch. Body remains medium.

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, the black pepper is barely holding on in the background. The retrohale is now toasted cedar, mustiness and light earth. At three quarters of an inch in, a light vegetal note joins the profile. As the cigar wraps up, the profile is toasted cedar and earth up front, with mustiness a bit behind and light amounts of black pepper and vegetal in the background. The strength remained at medium.
Seth: The final third is right in line with the first and second. Wasn’t expecting the cigar to take off at this point, so I guess I should be happy it’s consistent. Medium in strength and body. Cream, cedar and tobacco.
John: Creamy carboard leads off with medium strength pepper and wood through the post draw, lingering well between each puff. The profile remains consistent to the halfway point, with no deviations in strength or flavor components. I could only detect a shift to a more wood forward profile through the bottom half.
Jiunn: The final third loses out on some complexities such that it’s now mainly leather tannins and cedar without the added benefit of the nutty sweetness and barnyard stank. Strength and body remains medium-full and medium, respectively.

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Burn

Aaron: The burn was a bit wavy at times and the cigar went out twice, requiring re-lights.
Seth: Burn was solid from start to finish.
John: The burn started fairly straight, but went out at the bottom of the first third, requiring a re-light. The cigar went out at the halfway point of the second third, requiring a second re-light. No issues for the remainder of the review.
Jiunn: Burn performance was perfect. Even burn, ample smoke production, tight ashes and cool burning temperature.

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Draw

Aaron: The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.
Seth: Nice draw from beginning to end.
John: The draw was perfect, right in the ideal zone between resistant and open.
Jiunn: Draw performance was on point, providing the ideal balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with toasted cedar and candied cinnamon. The candied dropped out pretty quick and a light mustiness joined in. Some dry earth joined a bit later. The second third saw the cinnamon morph into black pepper. The final third saw a light vegetal note join in. The Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto had a nice start, with the cinnamon being the star of the show. From the beginning of the second third, the flavor profile just dropped off and was average and linear the rest of the way. I really liked how things started, but it was just a teaser as majority of the cigar wasn’t all that exciting. Not sure I’d come back to this one, but we’ll see how the Maduro fares.
Seth: I wasn’t surprised at how this Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto smoked, and I imagine the maduro will smoke better or about the same. I’ll find out shortly. That’s how these releases are these days with AJ. On top of that, Ecuadorian Sumatra is not smoking that well right now. This was not as harsh as a lot of Ecuadorian Sumatra being delivered, but it was too light and lacking. The coloring was better, but the flavors were still lacking.
John: The Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto was a miss for me overall. The initial flavor impressions were interesting, but the pepper and spice became dominant and overwhelming on my palate to a degree I can’t recall experiencing in recent review history. The second and final thirds were pleasant but lacked depth and complexity to keep me engaged. The draw was perfect, while the cigar went out twice, requiring two re-lights. I was pretty disappointed by the overall experience. While the price point isn’t unreasonable, it is more expensive than other Foundation offerings which in general have been good to very good. I’m hoping that the Metapa Maduro will deliver. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 6 minutes.
Jiunn: The Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto is another Foundation release that’s a hitter. At this point, new releases from Nick should become an auto buy. Barnyard funktastic, earthy, nutty, sweet. I’ll also add, it doesn’t matter where it’s made. It’s good, so just go buy at least a few.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
AveragePre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
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AverageFinal
Third
Average
AverageBurnAverageBurnAverageBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawGoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$2.74

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.15

Cost/Point

$3.01

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.45

Cost/Point

$2.84

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.82

Cost/Point

$2.27

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Foundation Metapa Claro Robusto

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