Foundation Cigar Co. is helping The Humidour Cigar Shoppe in Cockeysville, Md. celebrate its 25th anniversary by releasing a new, limited edition Corona Gorda vitola in the company’s Menelik line.

It is a 5 3/4 x 46 vitola that uses the same blend as the Menelik’s regular production sizes, with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Nicaraguan corojo 99 binder grown in the Jalapa region, and Nicaraguan fillers from Condega, Estelí and Jalapa.

The cigar gets its name from Menelik I, the ancient Ethiopian ruler who is said to be the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Menelik was also known as Ebna la-Hakim, which is Arabic for Son of the Wise, which relates to Foundation’s El Güegüense and The Wise Man Maduro releases. It debuted as an event-only cigar in April 2017, offered in a 4 1/2 x 52 box-pressed short robusto vitola. In June 2019, it became a regular production vitola, and in August 2022, a 6 x 52 toro vitola was added.

“I’m so honored to be a part of the Humidour’s anniversary celebration,” said Nicholas Mellilo of Foundation Cigar Co., in a press release. “Twenty-five years is a true testament to the quality that is the Humidour, and I believe this cigar is a perfect complement to the occasion.”

This is the third cigar to be released in celebration of The Humidour Cigar Shoppe’s silver anniversary, along with the Baka Yelli from RoMa Craft Tobac and the Eiroa Classic 48×7 from CLE Cigar Co.

“Our Humidour family first met Nick when he started in the industry back in 2003,” said Finnie Helmuth, owner of The Humidour Cigar Shoppe, via a press release. “There was an instant connection between us as Nick shared his knowledge about the growing of tobacco and blending of cigars. We were beyond excited with the formation of Foundation Cigar Company and requested a shipment of Foundation Cigars as soon as they were available. We were honored when Nick agreed to work with us on our 25th-anniversary cigar. We created the blend with Nick based on our favorite cigar size to smoke, a Corona Gorda. What an unbelievable smoke he created!”

Production of the Menelik Corona Gorda is limited to 350 boxes of 12 cigars, which come with an MSRP of $15 per cigar and $180 per box. They are available both in-store and via The Humidour Cigar Shoppe’s website.

Images courtesy of Foundation Cigar Co.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.