Foundry is a new brand of cigars released by General Cigar in October 2012. These cigars are unique in that they are made with a proprietary blend of five filler tobaccos from four nontraditional countries. We can't tell you which countries the tobacco came from, but at least we know it did not come from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras or Mexico. The cigar is also made with a special Connecticut wrapper that was aged for eight years. Another unique feature about Foundry is that each cigar is banded with a metal gear in addition to a traditional paper band. Michael Giannini (of General Cigar's La Gloria Cubana) led the team that developed this new brand of cigars. To find out more about Foundry, including the reason to save the metal gear on these cigars, watch our Video with Micheal Giannini from the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show in Orlando.
Foundry cigars are available in four sizes ranging in price from $7.95 to $9.45 per cigar, and can be purchased in boxes of 24 cigars.
- No. 1 Wells (6" x 50) is $7.95 per cigar or $190.80 per box
- No. 2 Lovelace (6¼" x 54) is $8.45 per cigar or $202.80 per box
- No. 3 Talbot (5" x 60) is $8.95 per cigar or $214.80 per box
- No. 4 Cayley (6½" x 60 x 56 x 43) is $9.45 per cigar or $226.80 per box
The sizes sampled for this review were the No. 2 Lovelace and No. 3 Talbot.
Contrary to my initial impression of Foundry after smoking only one Talbot cigar, these cigars are closer to the lower end of the medium-to-full bodied range (as opposed to being fuller bodied), based on additional samplings of several more Foundry cigars in two different sizes over a period of three months. However, Foundry cigars do have a full flavor that is unique (or nontraditional). The unusual spice and somewhat sour herbal flavors with a dry peppery aftertaste were not quite as radical or strong as my first sample, after the later samples had a few months to rest in my humidor. I liked the No. 2 Lovelace size a little bit more than the No. 3 Talbot.
In my opinion, Foundry is a boutique cigar with unusual flavors that may appeal to some experienced cigar connoisseurs, but not to beginners nor to most mainstream and occasional cigar smokers. I believe that traditional tobacco is traditional for a good reason, it appeals to the vast majority of cigar smokers. Those looking for something different (but not too different) may prefer a cigar that contains both nontraditional and traditional tobacco in the blend, as opposed to one made entirely with nontraditional tobacco. Cigars (like Scotch) are an acquired taste for most people, but Foundry cigars just might be an acquired taste for most cigar smokers. As Michael Giannini stated in our IPCPR video, Foundry cigars are "like enjoying a meal from a different ethnic culture that you've never tried before". I agree with that assessment, and add that the new flavors that you might experience can be good or bad, and perhaps even grow on you over time (if you give them a chance).