Believe it or not, it had been a solid four years since Nick Melillo and his Foundation Cigar Company had introduced a flagship line at the time of the Olmec’s arrival in September 2022. The previous such release—The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142—was awarded Cigar Dojo’s Cigar of the Year for 2018. Of course, Foundation wasn’t completely silent during this stretch, keeping fans busy with an affordable Habano, a fifth anniversary release, the David and Goliath series, and a host of other shop exclusives. Still, there’s just something more fulfilling about a true flagship release—knowing the care and planning that went into every portion of the project, from the tobacco recipe to the aging process, the narrative, design, and everything in between. Taking all of the above into account, it’s safe to say there was a healthy buzz in the cigar-o-sphere (some might call it the Dojoverse) at the time of the cigar’s release. Lighting up the Olmec for the first time, there’s quite a high expectation, being the most expensive regular-production line from Foundation to date. And without further dancing around the issue, it should be stated plainly: the Olmec is something special. As with many cigars in our Top 10, the Olmec is blended in both natural (Olmec Claro) and maduro (Olmec Maduro) varieties. Albeit a close decision, we’ve given the nod to the Claro, lighting up with a viscous texture and stick-to-your-ribs flavor from the start. The cigar is high in flavor and complexity, with the body not far behind, delivering ever-evolving intricacies of sweet cashews, cappuccino, suede-like leather, and toffee candy.

  • Atlantic Cigar Sale

Olmec Claro Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Negro
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernández Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Vitolas: 5
  • Price: $12.50–$16.00 (MSRP)

  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
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