During the 2013 IPCPR Foundry Tobacco Co. gave out some mysterious information about their new lines. The mystery deepened when it was announced that out of the twelve new offerings half would be online only and the other half would be at your local brick and mortar tobacconist. The Foundry Tobacco Co website showcased these rare blendings to create the Compounds, Elements & Musings line. The Foundry Tobacco Co site states:
“Inspired by the periodic table, Compounds, Elements, and Musings is a study in contrasts and complexities. Here, chemical elements are represented by 18 exotic blends, each exhibited in arresting packaging. Multitudes of tobacco, handpicked from obscurity, compose the common thread among them.”
There are six offerings that are exclusive to brick and mortar stores. For the H2O line, there are three distinct blends that combine to form…water. Honestly you get three cigars that share the box and the shape. An interesting box, an interesting shape and some interesting tobaccos.
The format of our review is based upon the individual blends. They all share the same sizes and the same base tobaccos but with no real blend info. The box states that the tobacco origins are Costa Rica and Mysterioso.
Here are my notes on the H, 2 and O cigars:
- Maker: Foundry Tobacco Co.
- Size: 4 inches
- Ring gauge: 49×48
- Vitola: Short Perfecto
- Wrapper: Secret
- Binder: Secret
- Filler: Secret
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- No. smoked: 1 of each
Each of the cigars comes with an enormous band stating either H, 2 or O. The band slips off effortlessly making lighting and smoking the cigar easy to accomplish. Looking at the bands, they are simple photocopies of the letter of the element, a couple screws below and then a radian bursting out toward the base of the band. The picture reminds me of an older, manual typewriter and ribbon. Each of the cigars are very well rolled short perfectos, which means that they will all have draw issues at the start. The best thing that I have found for any perfecto is to toast a good quarter inch of the foot, puff a little and then really start smoking. This worked well with each of the cigars.
Checking out the cigar the toothy wrapper had some aromas of hay and cocoa. This vitola had an oily sheen and was built solid. The cap was slightly crooked but glued well. The color of the cigar was a chocolate brown with a slightly reddish hue. The pre-light tastes were faint but had some earthiness and pepper. When lit, it started very bitter and followed into huge notes of spicy pepper. As the cigar progressed the pepper stayed there on full tilt with some hints of oak and rich notes of cocoa. At the end of the cigar some distinct flavors of graham cracker came through the spiciness and finished strong. The ash on this particular vitola was dark grey and flaky. The strength of the cigar kept even in the medium to medium full range and the body was strong.
For the second cigar of the water formula, the look was completely different. Showing some nice oils and a little bit of tooth, the wrapper was much darker than the others. The cap was better on the 2 and the construction was solid. Aromas of sweet tobacco and bread were very apparent and the pre-light draw gave some cocoa, tobacco and a slight salitness. On the light, the cigar started on a sweet, almost fruity note followed by some cedar and mild pepper flavors. As the smoke progressed an espresso came out with the pepper, the fruitiness receded and a nice molasses taste left a sweetness in the mouth. Smoke production was very good with this cigar and construction was very nice. The ash was grey and flaky, similar to the H. The strength of the cigar was a solid medium and the body was medium as well.
The last cigar in the group showed some veins on the toothy wrapper and was definitely the lightest shade of the bunch, the color of a café latte. The wrapper gave aromas of sweet wood and tobacco and the pre-light flavor was papery. Construction was well done on this cigar, similar to the other vitolas in this offering. After lighting, the cigar opened up very well with some huge notes of sweet cedar. Layered below the cedar, which lasted through the length of the cigar, there was a very light leather taste with some almond nuttiness and a slight tanginess. The middle of the cigar had some very light pepper flavors but the star of this particular cigar was cedar. Toward the end the spicy pepper flavor ramps up but has no chance against the cedar.
The entire offering shared some great flavors of pepper and cedar. To be certain, they share some tobaccos between them but they are distinct in certain flavor profiles: the H with the huge spicy pepper, the 2 with its sweetness and the O with the cedar.
Each of them were well within the range of medium strength with the H coming out a bit ahead of the rest.
A label on the box shows the various countries of tobacco origin for the entire Foundry Elements line. The box for the H2O had only the Costa Rica and the Mysterioso boxes checked. I was told that this was done purposefully by the creators of the line so that tobaccos would not give you a specific pre-smoke impression but would allow the smoker to simply enjoy rare tobaccos.
As we stated, this cigar line, the Foundry Elements, has been released to both the online/catalog retailers as well as the brick and mortar communities. Personally I think that this ultimately hurts the local tobacconist as the consumer will come in, ask for a Foundry Elements and then be told that only half of them are available.
Most of the Elements blends will be very limited in the number of boxes made and will become a rare commodity. These are made small batch and limited production. Once they are off the shelves, they will be gone forever. Only two blends in the line will be available after the others are gone: the Carbon and the Uranium.
Overall, these cigars are something that everyone should try to get. As they are uniquely for the brick and mortar retailers, I highly advise that you try to get some of each to try now before they disappear. Visually the box is unique: all three cigars packed in the same box in different sections. The packaging is definitely not unique to Foundry Tobacco as many manufacturers put multiple blends in a single box, oftentimes as a sampler of a line. What makes the H2O Elements cigars unique would be the mystery behind the blends and the idea to just try it. What recommendations would I give for pairing this offering: the H would have to be with a Chile Colorado, the 2 has some great dessert qualities, especially with crème brulee and the O would be fantastic with a pulled pork sandwich and all the fixins.
My recommendation: get some now and try to keep a few stocked in The Humidor.
ArnaudMCK Aaron McKinley