Team Cigar Review: Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

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Cigar Details: Foundation Metapa Maduro 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 rectangle pressed Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto is milk chocolate brown and has some lightly raised veins present. The seams are smooth and the head is finished 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 a light mix of damp wood and earth. The foot brings spice bread and cedar. The pre-light draw brings a light, smoky cedar along with some mild spice.
Seth: The Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto is finished with a delicate maduro wrapper. There are some cracks and a little piece missing. The wrapper has a faint oiliness, and there is a fine gritty texture as well. The cigar is firm in hand with aromas of rich earth, spices, barnyard, tobacco and leather.
John: The Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto did not come in cellophane and has a UPC sticker attached to the back of the band by the retailer. For artisanal complications, the cigar has a soft box press shape along with a twisted curly tail cap. I weighed the cigar at 13.0 grams and measured the humidity at 61.3% with the HumidiMeter Pro. Aromas from the wrapper included sweet wood and barnyard. Out of the foot, I could smell hay, wood, light tobacco and indistinct sweetness.
Jiunn: The Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto has a Colorado maduro wrapper shade. The wrapper is consistent and oily. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and the man bun is well bunned. Aromas provide cedar and ample sweet roasted nuttiness.

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with toasted cedar, baking spice and light earth. At a quarter inch in, some mustiness joins the profile while the baking spice increases. At a half inch in, the baking spice transitions to a potent and slightly sharp black pepper. The retrohale is toasted cedar, zingy black pepper and light earth. As the third comes to a close, the toasted cedar is now just ahead of the slightly sharp black pepper with earth just a little further behind and mustiness in the background. The strength was slightly above medium.
Seth: The first third starts out with a lot of peppery spices up front and it is paired with some barnyard and tobacco qualities. Rich earth present on the finish with more spices. Medium to medium-full in strength and body.
John: As I take my first few puffs, I’m getting tobacco sweetness, mild earth and wood joining up in the center, and that same wood lingering into the post draw. I pick up on a light plus spice medley through the post draw after a bit of a delay. The spices rapidly build to medium through the retrohale and at the same time some medium to medium-full earth pushes into the post draw. As the review progresses, the earth and spice flavors stabilize at medium strength while light chocolate moves into the retrohale. Sweet tobacco also joins the center of the retrohale some time later. Through the bottom half, the chocolate on the retrohale moves up to medium strength.
Jiunn: Spice and strength are the dominant players here. Dried red pepper spice layers the palate thick and heavy. In addition to the spice, cedar and hay. Retrohaling no doubt favors the same spice, but also has a creamy cedar following. The finish is incredibly long, bringing full spice and leather tannins on the palate. Strength is medium-full, and body is medium.

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, the black pepper loses the sharpness. At a half inch in, the mustiness picks up a bit. The retrohale is now toasted cedar, light zingy black pepper, earth and mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the black pepper mellows a bit and is now even with the earth a bit behind the toasted cedar while some mustiness remains in the background. The strength remains at slightly above medium.
Seth: The second third is in line with that of the first. Lots of peppery spices up front with some barnyard and tobacco notes. Medium to medium-full in strength and body.
John: My initial impressions through the second third are creamy chocolate and spices at medium strength, with spices and wood teaming up into the post draw. Once the second third has settled in, the middle of the profile is largely defined by medium strength wood. Chocolate and spices return to the retrohale through the bottom half. Those spices move into the post draw and take over the post draw finish.
Jiunn: The second third’s spice intensity (thankfully) tones down. As a result, my palate is still heavy, but leaning towards more creamy cedar and leather tannins. Strength however is still medium-full. Body is still medium as well.

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, the black pepper, earth and mustiness have all met in the middle of the profile. At a half inch in, a metallic bitterness has joined the profile. The retrohale is now toasted cedar, earth and light mustiness. The cigar wraps up with toasted cedar up front, black pepper, earth and mustiness in the middle and light metallic bitterness in the background. The strength remained at slightly above medium.
Seth: The final third was very harsh. Very harsh.
John: Wood, tobacco sweetness and medium strength earth define the beginning of the last third. Once the last third has had a chance to settle in, some medium strength spices break into the retrohale and bring with them tobacco sweetness on the finish. As the last third continues, the post draw is defined by earth, sweetness and spices.
Jiunn: The final third picks up some cafe au lait notes but the general vibe stays the same. A profile that is focused on (less) dried red pepper spice, creamy cedar and leather tannins. Strength and body finishes the same medium-full and medium, respectively.

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Burn

Aaron: The burn was a bit wavy throughout, and the cigar went out once in each third, requiring re-lights.
Seth: Average burn.
John: The burn had a wavy start to it but straightened out without intervention. In the bottom half of the second third, the cigar went out, requiring a re-light. The cigar went out again at the end of the second third, requiring another re-light. The cigar went out again in the final third, requiring another re-light.
Jiunn: Burn performance was perfect. Even burn, ample smoke production, tight ashes and cool burning temperature.

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Draw

Aaron: The draw was slightly looser than I prefer, but didn’t seem to cause any issues with the smoking experience.
Seth: Solid draw throughout.
John: The draw had some resistance to it, roughly 2 to 2-1/2 notches into the resistant spectrum.
Jiunn: Draw performance was on point, providing the ideal balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with toasted cedar, baking spice and light earth. Some mustiness joined in fairly quickly. Later, the baking spice transitioned to sharp black pepper. The second third saw the black pepper lose the sharpness. The final third saw a light metallic bitterness join the profile. The Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto had an average flavor profile throughout that was fairly unbalanced with some sharp flavors. The burn issues were also a downer. The Claro version had a better showing, and I wouldn’t see myself coming back to this cigar.
Seth: I was wrong. I thought the Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto would be better than the Claro if anything, not worse. There was way too much spice present with this cigar and it blasted the palate from start to finish. A lot to unpack with this cigar and these releases.
John: The Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto had a promising start, with a combination of tobacco sweetness, earth, wood, spices and chocolate to keep me engaged. The second third wasn’t able to strike the same level of balance and the last third I found less complex than the rest of the cigar. The draw had some resistance to it and the burn struggled with three re-lights required in total. I was hoping the Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto was going to be a substantially better experience than the Claro, and while it was better, the overall flavor coupled with the re-lights left me with a fairly average impression. This isn’t a cigar I’d be likely to return to. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 18 minutes.
Jiunn: Typically, Nick does a great job of creating his own unique blends that are different than a lot of the homogenous blends out there, especially out of AJF. But this cigar isn’t the case. It tastes more like a spicier, stronger version of most AJF cigars. The monotony of strength and heavy handed earthiness isn’t palate enticing. As a result, the Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto is a pass for me.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
SubparBurnAverageBurnSubparBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawGoodDrawGoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallSubparOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.20

Cost/Point

$2.98

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

4.43

Cost/Point

$3.50

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$2.87

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.70

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Foundation Metapa Maduro Robusto

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