Cigar Reviews

Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer

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As temperatures begin to finally let up a bit, I find myself out back a little more soaking up the heat. This time I an accompanied by a Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer.

The Good Stuff:

The Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer is a very limited edition cigar created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s Tomb:

One hundred years ago, Lord Carnarvon left Highclere Castle for the ancient sands of Egypt. He, along with archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun, hidden for 3000 years. We crafted this cigar for the Highclere Castle Cigar line to pay homage to archaeology’s greatest discovery. With our secret blend, we have endeavored to capture the spirit of ancient incense; “Senetjer” is the ancient Egyptian word for incense or “that which makes holy”.  The box design is an exact replica of a storage box from the tomb itself.  This cigar embodies life at Highclere in the era of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, his love for cigars, and his passion for ancient Egypt.

Blended by Nick Melillo, Foundation Cigar’s founder and produced by AJ Fernandez, The cigar features a special 7th priming Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and undisclosed filler tobaccos. The cigar comes in a single 6 3/4 x 52 perfecto format, packed in boxes of 12 running $33 per cigar. I purchased mine over from our friends at Cuenca Cigars.

  • Size: 6 3/4 x 52
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano (7th Priming)
  • Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Body: Full
  • Strength: Medium
  • Price: $33


The Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer is a very big cigar. Let’s just get that out of the way. The cigar starts with a very consistent, very dark brown wrapper. The wrapper’s texture carries some slight toothy grain and a whole mess of oils coating it. The wrapper feels a bit thin and delicate while the cigar as a whole is very hard, very heavy, and packed very tightly. There are a good amount of veins running through the wrapper leading from the cigar’s tapered foot up to the cigar’s tapered, double-wrapped cap. The cigar is finished off with a gold, black, and purple band with the Senetjer crest and logo embossed on the front.

The wrapper on the Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer gives off mostly oak and dark chocolate aromas while the foot is so tapered in I get pretty much the same scents off of it. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter while the cigar releases loads of gingerbread, cedar, and dark chocolate on the cold draw.

First Third:

The Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer starts out with a very small cayenne pepper blast which quickly fades away allowing the cigar to release bold notes of dark chocolate, brown sugar and cinnamon over lighter notes of cedar and spice with mostly oaky undertones. This cigar tastes like Christmas in the best way possible. The draw is so perfect as each little puff kicks out huge clouds of thick white smoke which really stick around before dissipating while the cigar releases a good amount of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray as the oils burn off the wrapper. The burn line is mostly solid with one smaller wave in it, which is to be expected with a perfecto footed-cigar. The ash left behind is tightly compacted and medium gray which held on for about an inch before falling into my astray.

Second Third:

Into the second third of the Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer and a really awesome grape/raising flavor has started to become a dominant force in an already jam-packed flavor performance. The sweetness has dropped back some allowing the cedar and oak to join the dark chocolate leading the charge while all the cinnamon, brown sugar, and spice are still there just not as potent. The retrohale brings the spice to the forefront of my palate so I find myself doing it quite often. As expected the burning has completely resolved itself without any assistance from my torch and the cigar is now burning like a dream. I close out the second third with only a minor nicotine kick.


The sweetness is just about gone from the Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer leaving behind bold notes of cedar and oak mixed with dark chocolate and lighter notes of espresso and cinnamon. It took me a little over 2 hours to smoke the Senetjer down to the nub and I didn’t want it to end. I experienced no harshness, no extended heat, and I never once had to reach for my torch to touchup or relight the cigar.


While the $33 price tag is pretty impressive, so is the performance that the Foundation Cigar Highclere Castle Senetjer put on. The flavors are incredible, in tune with my personal palate, enjoyable, and complex with just the right amount of change-ups to keep me entertained all the way through. The burn-time is a factor here as well as you get a lot of bang for your buck. While these aren’t a cigar that I will keep in my regular rotation mostly due to price, they are a cigar that I will keep around for those days when I have an urge to smoke something extra special.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

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