Foundation Cigars "Charter Oak CT Broadleaf Maduro" Review: Earth, Spice, & Tannin Time

There's been a lot of talk over the years about the rise and fall of certain cigar types. But while everyone remains enamored over cigars with fat ring gauges, the stoic Lonsdale style of cigar still retains its slot on the cigar chart.

With its slim 42 ring-gauge, 6.5" length, and unmistakably appropriate arborist inspired band, the Charter Oak CT Broadleaf Lonsdale from Foundation Cigar Co. oozes with rustic subtleness. A throwback smoke of sorts, with a nice looking maduro cigar wrapper, and a loosely capped foot. 

Toting a medium strength rating, and promises of sweet earthiness and spice, I went into this cigar fairly unprepared. It had been many moons since I last smoked a Lonsdale, and the unfamiliar premium cigar blend seemed very enticing.

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Unlit Impressions

Charter Oak Lonsdale Maduro

Veiny and vintage looking, with a milk chocolatey colored Connecticut Broadleaf cigar wrapper, the maduro version of the Charter Oak line is a saloon stogie if I've ever seen one.

It has a nice earthy smell to it, and the covered foot imparted  a bit of a peppery tingle upon the nose. Definitely more of a toasted oak sort of darker smoke than a chocolate fudge bomb. Most appropriate, considering the name of the cigar and the band that wraps around its circumference.

Initial Smoke

Charter Oak Lonsdale Maduro


No sooner had this Lonsdale been lit, and its ash began to flake heavily. While the unkempt capping of the foot had some to do with this, there was a feeling of unevenness to the cigar as it combusted. Perhaps just the victim of a loose roll when it came time for the binder to go on.

Speaking of binders, apparently the layer directly beneath this Broadleaf maduro cigar wrapper is a Nicaraguan Habano. The tobacco leaf's familiar, toasty spiced taste plays a large part of this smoke's intro, thus making the first third of the cigar a slightly peppery earthen experience.

2nd Half

Charter Oak Lonsdale Maduro

Halfway through this maduro, and things begin to heat up a bit, and not from a peppery spice perspective either. Yes, that side of the cigar flavor profile is still very much a part of the cigar, but it's subdued compared to how hot the barrel of the cigar itself gets.

This is one of the issues with slimmer cigars, as they tend to heat up quickly. An issue that can often mask subtler flavors, or worse yet, make a cigar unfinishable. Fortunately, the all-Nicaraguan filler/binder combo, accompanied by the toasty earthiness of the Broadleaf cigar wrapper helped keep the taste of this cigar prominent enough. 

Flavors were turning cedary and clay-like, with a dash of dryness that made me recall the aroma of toasted chestnuts.

Parting Puffs

Charter Oak Lonsdale Maduro

Toward the final portions of the Charter Oak Lonsdale Maduro, the Connecticut Broadleaf starts to really play second fiddle to the Nicaraguan internals beneath. It's a pepper spice and loamy soil sort of situation.

Where dashes of dry tannin notes and cedar still remain notable. Definitely not the most complex finish I've ever encountered, but definitely not a bland bucket of boringness either. It's an easy-going way to finish a balanced stogie with very few surprises along the way.  

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw

Outside of being a bit on the one-sided end throughout its duration, the Charter Oak Lonsdale Maduro only suffered from one other issue: Construction. 

A flakey ash, followed by a wavering burn line and a spongy feeling barrel all spelled trouble. Fortunately, no canoeing or dead spots were encountered, and the draw allowed ample amounts of smoke to be pulled through the lengthy little Lonsdale. 

Final Thoughts


This is going to be one of those cigars that I will have to revisit here before too long. Although it may have not ruined the smoking experience, the construction issues I encountered along the way definitely made me wonder if I got the one dud in the box.

However, the primary reason why I would like to smoke the Charter Oak CT Broadleaf Maduro Lonsdale once more, is so that I can pair it with a pint or two of brown ale. For that would surely encourage all of those earthy undertones and oaky tannins to become all the more pronounced, which in my eyes is what Foundation Cigar Co. intended in the first place.


Cigar Stats

Cigar Foundation Cigar Co. Charter Oak CT Broadleaf Maduro Lonsdale 
Wrapper Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Tobacco Binder/Filler Nicaragua/Nicaragua
Factory Nicaragua
Size Lonsdale
Strength Medium
Pairing Drink Cream Coffee
Rating 3.8/5

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