In the June of 2023 Nick Melillo owner of Foundation Cigar Company announced the release of two special editions of Charter Oak.
The “Charter Oak Pegnataro and Pasquale” these cigars pay homage to the unwavering spirit and timeless wisdom passed down by his grandfathers. They also serve to pay tribute the opening of Foundation’s new office on a 300-acre farm in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley tobacco growing region.
According to Melillo, “My love for handmade cigars exists only because of my grandfather’s. One was an avid CT Broadleaf smoker and the other loved CT shade. These blends are completely different than the core line of Charter Oak. They are richer and more complex.”
Cigar Review: Charter Oak Pegnataro
Size: 5.5 x 48 (Soft Box Press)
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli & Jalapa)
Debut: October 2023
Box Count: 12
The Cigar: Featuring a pale brown Connecticut shade wrapper that is loaded with oils. Thee cigar does however lack the golden color that is seen on the regular Charter Oak line. The band has a turn of the century look to it featuring the famous Charter Oak which inspired our Colonial forebears in their militant resistance to tyranny. The wrapper does have a few significant veins and the cigar is well packed with no voids of tobacco.
The Taste: The cold draw of the Charter Oak Pegnataro does not have a lot going on. It’s a straight forward earthiness with the slightest hint of cedar while the foot is straight tobacco. Once the cigar is clipped and carefully toasted the initial notes are toasted almonds.
Smoking further into the first third the toasted almonds are joined by wisps of vanilla and cedar over a canvas of earth. There is a mild creaminess to the cigar with an underlying sweetness from the Jalapa tobaccos with just a touch of spice from the Esteli grown tobaccos.
In the second third the toasted almonds remain though not as dominant as in the first third. The cigar remains earthy with a subtle floral component. That on top of the vitola give this cigar a Cubanesque feel to it. I dread using that word as it is one of the most overused terms in the industry but it does fit the experience. The retrohale adds some extra spice with hints of nutmeg and brown sugar with an additional earthy component and vanilla on the short finish.
The final third is nutty with copious amounts of earth. There is a hint of burnt caramel that is actually quite enjoyable as it adds a new dimension to the cigar with brown sugar on the aroma and retrohale where it is joined by more nuttiness and increased pepper.
Conclusion: The original Charter Oak Connecticut is one of the of the best value priced cigars on the market. So the natural question is this cigar worth double the price of that cigar. The answer is probably not, but it is one of smoothest and balanced cigars I have lit up in a long time with a sub $20 price point. With all that said if this was under $10 I would recommend buying multiple boxes, but at $13 I hesitantly say its probably worth adding a box to your collection.
Price: $13.00 (Before local and state taxes)