Cigar Review: Charter Oak From Foundation Cigar Co.

Cigar Review: Charter Oak From Foundation Cigar Co.

Nicholas Melillo announced the release of Foundation Cigar Company’s new line earlier this year, The Charter Oak. The line was showcased during the 2016 IPCPR trade show from July 24-28 in Las Vegas, NV. Charter Oak is intended to honor the home state of Connecticut, the state Nick Melillo founder and owner of Foundation Cigar was born and raised in.

I wanted to choose a name that represents the greatest symbol of my home state of Connecticut, the Charter Oak. I wanted to create an economy minded, everyday smoke for connoisseurs, something tasty and delicious but didn’t break the bank.” Says Melillo. 


“Historians estimate that this unusually large Oak tree began growing sometime during the 12th century on a plot located on what is now downtown Hartford. Native Americans, who by the way cultivated tobacco nearby long before settlers, held councils beneath its massive branches.”

Charter Oak will be available with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and Connecticut Shade option. The blend is comprised of tobacco from the Nicaraguan Estelí and Jalapa regions.

Available Sizes:

  • Rothschild: 4 1/4 x 50
  • Petite Corona: 5 1/4 x 42
  • Toro: 6 x 52
  • Lonsdale: 6 1/4 x 46
  • Grande: 6 x 60




The Connecticut shade broadleaf wrapper is light brown in color with minimal seam, tooth and vein. The vitola has no blemishes or notable soft spots. The singular band on the cigar is colored in earth tones of muted brown and beige. Squared in black trim in the center of the band is a giant oak tree in black showing roots deep in the ground representing Nick’s heritage with Connecticut tobacco. Above the oak reads “CHARTER OAK” underlined in black font, underneath the black line reads “Connecticut-Nicaragua”. Along the sides of the band on a white background reads “FOUNDATION CIGAR CO.” In small black font. The vitola has a rounded cap and and unfinished foot. Pre-light aroma produced flavors of cedar, brown sugar and earth. I didn’t get much off the cold draw but detected some earthy notes.


One second of resistance on the draw then it opened wide up, notes of leather felt mostly in the throat area. Sweet flavors of vanilla with a nuance of graham cracker. The Charter Oak is producing a spicy flavor of creamy pepper on the palate with the strength being felt in the throat area. The retro is producing full white pepper through the nose evolving into a flavor of dry Cheerios.


At cruise control black pepper is noted at a minimum level. Flavors of leather, walnuts and a sweet nuance of natural tobacco and graham cracker are the dominating flavors heading into the final third. The retro is producing consistent full flavors of white pepper right through the nose evolving into flavors of dry Cheerios with the nuance of caramel.


Into the final third flavors of leather, coffee and sweet flavors of caramel have appeared with nuances of charred cinnamon spice and sweet natural tobacco. All remnants of black pepper have completely dissipated, however the retro is producing full white pepper right through the nose evolving into flavors of caramel and dry Cheerios.


The construction of the Charter Oak was very good on all examples smoked for review. The V-cut produced the perfect amount of resistance as soon as the unfinished foot burned off, it literally took seconds to open up. The ash was dark in color and held tight without flaking off until it was topped off, with zero re-lights required on all examples. The strength of the Charter Oak was in the straight MEDIUM bodied range with an array of FULL and balanced flavors. I have several left and plan on pairing them with my morning coffee, as far as Connecticut broadleaf goes the Charter Oak ranks right up with the some of the best examples I’ve ever smoked.


  • Walnuts
  • Graham Cracker
  • Vanilla 
  • Creamy Black Pepper (Mild)
  • Sweet Natural Tobacco 
  • Leather
  • White Pepper on the Retro Evolving into Caramel and Dry Cheerios


Cigars Purchased From: Boiling Springs Wine & Cigar ( two 5 packs Rothschilds & Petite Coronas)

Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Cigar Smoke Rate: 93

Size: 4 1/4 x 50 (Rothschild)

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Binder: Sumatra 

Filler: Nicaraguan Estelí, Jalapa Region 


One Response to “Cigar Review: Charter Oak From Foundation Cigar Co.”

Leave a Reply

Cigar Smoke – Est. 2010
Cigar Smoke
Rob’s Twitter
Subscribe to Newsletter
Drew Diplomat
Drew Diplomat App
Cigar Rights of America
Cigar Rigths o America
Foundation Cigar Co.
RoMa Craft Tobac
Viaje Cigars