Foundation Cigar Co Metapa/Aksum Claro Robusto Review

Released in fall of 2023, Metapa pays homage to Ruben Dario, a famed Nicaraguan Poet. Early this year it was announced the line would be rebranded to Aksum, named after the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. To be honest, I do not fully understand the decision to rebrand the line, especially to something that seems unrelated (though I am not educated on the subject). At any rate, this blend is very popular for the company. I have smoked this Claro in the Toro and was quite impressed with it. I am excited to try this robusto. 

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

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

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf

Filler: Nicaragua

Vitola: 5 x 50 Robusto

Price: $15.50 MSRP

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

This is a fairly lightweight cigar that definitely seems a tad smaller than its advertised size. The wrapper is velvety and paper bag brown. It smells a bit earthy with maybe some cocoa. The cold draw is very subtle to the point I can’t pick up any certain flavor. First light reveals tons of full bodied and full flavored smoke with plenty of wood, earth, oil, and a touch of black pepper. The retrohale, right off the bat, is peppery but has some dark fruit and a touch of cocoa as well. A half inch in this thing is producing TONS of smoke. The wood and tannins have come down a touch on the palate. There’s some baking spices that linger on the finish. I may be getting a little bit of black licorice in there now as I near the end of the first third? At about halfway I needed to do a slight touch up to the burn. The profile is rolling along mostly the same. There is a touch of leather in the draw now. The retrohale has seen the pepper come down in intensity, but remain in flavor. Nearing the primary band some fruity sweetness is joining the fray. Nearing the end the sweetness is sharing the floor with baking spices. The retrohale is still the same with the addition of some cream. Coming to an end at just over an hour the profile remained consistent and the cigar performed perfectly, since the slight touch up, to the end. 

Overall Experience

Overall I think this was a solid cigar with a balanced, full profile, however I would recommend the toro to this robusto. I thought that while the profile from this size was good, it was a bit less nuanced and transitional as compared to the larger toro format. I definitely have a preference for this Claro over the Maduro in the Metapa/Aksum blend. I think that you would enjoy this Claro Robusto if you like an intense flavor experience that isn’t overwhelmingly earthy and peppery. It is important to note as well that I did not pick up any noticeable strength in this cigar. So, if you like strength to be paired with your intense flavors, then you may opt for a different blend. 

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