Foundation Cigar Co. Olmec Maduro
It’s been raining for about a week straight here in El Paso and the weather has opened up and given me just enough time to squeeze in a review. This week I take a look at Foundation Cigar Co.’s Olmec Maduro paired with a bottle of Modern Times Dragon Master Imperial stout beer.
The Good Stuff:
Olmec is the newest release from Foundation Cigar Co. showcased at this year’s PCA event. Olmec is an homage to the Mesoamerican people who inhabited the San Andrés Valley area in Veracruz. As you can guess the cigar features Mexican San Andrés wrappers and is offered with two different version of that wrapper, the Claro which is a lighter color and the Maduro version which is the one I am taking a look at today. Underneath the Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper is a binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. Blended by Foundation Cigar Co.’s founder Nick Melillo, these cigars are produced by A.J. Fernandez and offered in five sizes: Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 48), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52), Grande (6 x 60), and the Double Corona (7 x 52). Each offering is packaged in boxes of 12 running between $12.50 and $16 per cigar. I purchased mine over from our good finds at Cuenca Cigars who have them available both in boxes and singles currently.
- Size: 6 x 52
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Body: Medium/Full
- Strength: Medium/Full
- Price: $13.50
- Pairing: Modern Times Dragon Master (Imperial Stout 13.6% ABV)
The Olmec Maduro starts out with a gorgeous, extremely consistent, extremely dark brown wrapper. The wrapper’s texture is extremely gritty and toothy with a decent amount of oils coating it. The wrapper feels very thick and hard while the cigar as a whole is nicely packed and carries a great weight. Th wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself. There are a few mild veins running their course through the cigar’s long, soft-boxed pressed body leading up the it’s round, double-wrapped cap. The cigar is polished off with an orange, black, white and gold band showcasing the “Olmec” crest on the front.
The wrapper on the Foundation Cigar Co. Olmec Maduro gives off notes of hazelnut, floral, and spice while the foot of the cigar is very cedar forward with some backing spice and nut. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces notes of graham cracker, musk and hazelnut.
The Foundation Cigar Co. Olmec Maduro starts out with a crazy amount of dark chocolate over hazelnut, oak, soft spice and graham cracker with an overall pretty dry profile. Thats dry as in the absence of sweetness by the way, not mouthfeel. The draw is flawless as each little puff kicks out huge clouds of white smoke which really stick around for a while as the cigar releases a good amount of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. Also as a note, I love soft box-pressed cigars. They are so comfortable in both hand feel and in my mouth. The burn line is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted white ash which held on for an inch before giving way and falling into my lap.
Into the second third of the Foundation Cigar Co. Olmec Maduro and the balance in this profile is really something. It reminds me of a really balanced Mexican Abuelita Hot chocolate. For those unfamiliar its a dark chocolate with cinnamon. On top of that is some great cedar, hazelnut, and musk. Its a great profile. The retrohale brings out spice and ramps up the spice so I find myself doing it pretty often. The burn line is still perfect and I close out the second third with nothing in terms of nicotine.
The cedar/oak and musk really start to come out and dominate the floor profile in the final third of the Foundation Cigar Co. Olmec Maduro backed by dark chocolate, hazelnut, and spice. It took me about and hour and a half to smoke the Olmec Maduro down to the nub and I loved every minute of it. the cigar burned like a dream from start to finish with no harshness, sap, or extended heat. I closed out with the cigar’s strength and body in the medium/full range with only a little nicotine kick that I didn’t really feel until the very end.
The Foundation Cigar Co. Olmec Maduro has been on my radar most of the year and not only am I glad to finally get my hands on it, but I am also glad that it lived up to the hype. The cigar delivered in flavor profile, performance, and price. Emphasis on flavor profile here as Nick hit the nail on the head. I have a few of these left and they won’t last long so I will be picking up at least another box to keep these in my regular rotation. Be on the lookout for the Olmec Claro version being reviewed on Casas Fumando very soon.
I have been waiting for a cigar that carries a good amount of hazelnut flavors to pair this beer with. Modern Times Dragon Master is a 13.6% ABV Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels with hazelnuts, vanilla, and cocoa added. Brewed in San Diego, California Dragon Master leads with a nice berry tartness under a good amount of chocolate and coconut, hazelnut, light brown sugar, roasted malt, and toffee with a very heavy and sticky mouthfeel before finishing with more chocolate and toffee over a real nice hazelnut and light bourbon finish. This beer paired perfectly with the flavor found in the Foundation Cigar Co. Olmec Maduro as so many of the flavors were nearly identical while the sweetness in the beer helped balance out some of the dryness from the cigar.