Nick Melilo, the owner of @foundationcigars , has always shown respect for various cultures and telling a story. He continues in line with telling of the historic lineage through his line of cigars with the Menelik. #Menelik was an Ethiopian Emperor and son of King Solomon, also known as the wisest man in the bible. This all falls in line with the well known ‘Wise Man’ and ‘Tabernacle’ cigar in the Foundation brand. Son of the Wise Man, the Menelik cigar was once an event only release that is now readily available in most humidors. The cigar wears a San Andres wrapper over a Jalapa Corojo 99 binder, and Nicaraguan fillers grown in Condega, Esteli, and Jalapa.
Initial Light and first 3rd
The Menelik takes a royal position in the humidor with its adorned crown and coat of arms in the center of the gold, black, green, and red band. The smooth, dull, brown outer leaf is the color of roasted coffee beans. It allows the band shimmer to catch the eye among the many other cigar choices. The small diameter takes to lighting quickly. Early in, I’m getting very savory, earthy notes such as nutmeg, chestnut, and high acidity coffee. The aroma from the smoke is dark chocolate with a touch of floral…very enticing to anyone passing by.
Going into the second portion, a bit of citrus and dark cocoa shine through. I would say someone may also pick up raisin tannin on the finish, but it’s faint. If you are looking for more kick, a few retrohales should satisfy you. It’s a hot cayenne and black pepper. At the midway point, there’s a tingling on the tongue, like cardamom. The spice on top of the dark cocoa is rich and punchy flavor. Side notes: the ash doesn’t hold on long, but I wouldn’t recommend it anyway because it seems to smother the smoke and cigar, forcing relights.
The last portion is a spice pantry of cardamom, green and black pepper, clove along with leather and herb notes. There is also a heavy char on the back end that adds even more pow to the smoking experience. In the last inch or so, the cigar deepens with an increase of soil and mineral. This is a cigar that can stand up against a decadent dinner or smoky scotch.