Foundry Tobacco Company – Time Flies
In late September, news broke of Michael Giannini departing General Cigar Company. Giannini may be best known as the creative mind behind Foundry Tobacco Company. The leave may not have been totally unexpected considering the uncertainties of the new FDA regulations. While there are still many questions that need answering from the FDA, it seems that the regulationas will most likely have a drastic impact on innovation in the industry, the realm where Foundry Tobacco Company has operated since General Cigar Co. launched it in 2012.
Prior to Giannini’s departure, he collaborated with A.J. Fernandez to create Time Flies, a cigar that features an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Released at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, Time Flies is produced at Tabacalera Fernandez in four vitolas: 550 Robusto (5 by 50), 526 Toro (6 by 52), 54725 Churchill (7 ¼ by 54), and 606 Gordo (6 by 60). The suggested retail price ranges from $7.50 for the Toro to $9.00 for the Gordo.
Size: 6 by 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 3o Minutes
The oily, dark brown Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper on the Time Flies is smooth to the touch with a couple of large veins that are lighter in color and a few dark color imperfections. Oils are easily felt on the tips of my fingers as I examine the cigar for soft spots. No soft spots are found and the cigar is firmly filled from head to foot.
A pungent aroma is found on the wrapper with vinegar, earth, cardboard, and a very faint cocoa. Notes of pepper, dusty cocoa, and woodsy notes greet me as I bring the foot of the cigar to my nose. The spice tickles my sinuses and brings on a sneeze. A shallow cut through the double cap opens up an easy draw with just the right amount of resistance. The dry draw is rich with cinnamon, cedar, and natural sweetness.
The Time Flies 526 Toro fires up quickly as pepper and dry cedar awaken my palate. A saltiness and earthiness come across on the backside of the profile and a gritty earth pushes forward. The pepper is medium in heat and lingers on the finish, along with a dusty cocoa. Already, the flavors are bold, dark, and full and I am picking up some strength. A white, layered ash is being left behind as the cigar burn even with a thin burn-line.
The dry cedar and earth are now on par with each other with a red fruit sweetness rounding out the profile. The cocoa dominates the finish and the spice has considerably calmed, but nowhere near departing the profile. At the midway point, a richness begins to build. For a few minutes, a section of the wrapper lagged behind, but corrected itself without requiring a touch-up.
Pushing into the last third of Foundry’s Time Flies, the flavors are darker and heavier on the palate. Earth and coffee characterize the flavors, along with some richness. I am not finding any sweetness at this point. The strength has held steady since the first third, but is now putting me in a relaxed state of mind.
I haven’t smoke a lot of Foundry sticks and the ones that I have smoked were easily forgettable for the most part. The move of the Bolivar and Ramon Allones under the Foundry Tobacco Company umbrella in 2015 stirred up new interest for their products, so when they announced a collaboration with A.J. Fernandez, I knew I had to get my hands on this cigar. Time Flies 526 fared well in the performance arena with great smoke production, solid ash, and an even burn after the small wave in the beginning. This 6 by 52 Toro delivered full flavors with a medium/full strength profile that showed off dark and heavy flavors that were rounded out nicely by a red fruit sweetness in the middle third. While I wish the sweetness remained longer and would have appreciated a bit more complexity, the cigar was enjoyable from start to finish.