Foundation Cigar Co Charter Oak Especiales Pegnataro Review

The Charter Oak line from Foundation Cigar Co has always been an ode to his lineage and the history of his home state of Connecticut. The original line was created in honor of his grandfather - a cigar smoker who exclusively smoked Connecticut Broadleaf cigars manufactured in Connecticut. The original blends in the Charter Oak line were created as budget friendly cigars that smoked above their price point. The Charter Oak Especiales was created as a limited production, higher end extension to the line and bare the names of Foundation Cigar Co founder’s, Nick Melillo, grandfather - Pasquale and Pegnataro. This is review is of the Connecticut Shade Pegnataro blend.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Vitola: 5 1/2 x 48 Corona Gorda

Price: $13.00 MSRP

Link to Purchase: The Cigar Farm (Use code “WW10” to save 10%!)

This cigar has a lovely presentation from the 12 count boxes to the band. It is firmly packed and sports a more tannish Connecticut wrapper with some veins. It smells of slight cedar and the cold draw has some baking spice and earth. First light reveals medium-full bodied smoke with medium flavors of nuttiness, wood, toast, and subtle spice. Quickly the flavors turn up to full. There’s a bit more pepper and now a bit of vanilla. The retrohale is quite spicy. Near the end of the first third there’s a bit of creamy citrus joining in. The retrohale is still spicy but has a bright sweetness now, along with some floral notes. Hitting halfway the flavors are rolling along. The construction and performance have been perfect. Passing halfway creamy citrus and vanilla have taken over the flavors on the palate with a nice baking spice and wood on the finish. Nearing the band the citrus component has moved to the finish leaving the draw full of creamy baking spices. Into the band it’s still full of creamy baking spices and the retrohale now holds some of those citrus notes, along with some herbal earthiness. Coming to an end at about an hour it concluded mostly the same flavors with the exception of a bit of soapiness becoming present. It performed flawlessly up to, and including, the final puff.

Overall Experience

Overall this was a fantastic cigar. The first one of these I smoked, I enjoyed, but not to the point of this one after it had a little rest. The entire experience is what I enjoy in a Connecticut shade cigar - creaminess, no-to-little bitter grassiness, plenty of flavors, and on the fuller side in flavor and body. This cigar continuously coated the palate with cream, baking spices, citrus, and subtle sweetness. It had the qualities of a bold, robust smoke, but with a profile that you’d want, or expect, from a Connecticut Shade cigar. I absolutely recommend giving this one a try. If you are not a big smoker of Connecticut Shade cigars, then I really think this is something you would like and could change your mind. However, if you exclusively smoke more traditional Connecticut Shade cigars, then this may be a bit out of your wheelhouse.

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