At the 2012 IPCPR trade show, General Cigar Co. unveiled a new brand called Foundry. Its first line had a steampunk look to it and while we might not have rated the Foundry Wells very high, we did give its packaging eighth place in our 2012 Packaging Awards.

At the 2013 IPCPR trade show, Foundry Tobacco Company not only showed off a new line called Compounds, Elements and Musings that increased the wow-factor of the line’s packaging significantly, placing it sixth in our 2013 Packaging Awards. The line features 20 different sizes, 18 different blends and is broken down into 12 different unique elements and packaging designs. Here’s what Foundry Tobacco Company’s website had to say about the line:

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. Intricacy reigns. Take Plutonium, with four different blends, each in the same size, all within one box. Or H2O, with three blends applied to one size, also within the same box. Then there’s Titanium, with two different sizes together in one box. It doesn’t end there. Just two of the blends will stay, with Carbon and Uranium. The remaining 16 blends and their outrageous presentations will be retired once their supply is depleted. The quantity of each blend is set according to the scarcity of the tobacco it contains. As unpredictable as science itself, no two blends will retire together. As the periodic table predicts new, yet to be discovered or synthesized elements, this grouping of extremely limited blends foretells enigmatic, provocative releases to come.

Foundry Elements Compounds  Musings

  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Hydrogen (6 1/2 x 46 x 56) —$5.85 (Boxes of 20, $117.00)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Helium (6 5/8 x 54) — $5.30 (Boxes of 20, $106.00)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Carbon (5 1/2 x 60) — $4.99 (Boxes of 77, $384.23)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Argon (5 x 50) — $5.49 (Boxes of 25, $137.25)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Titanium Belicoso (6 x 52) — $4.45 (Boxes of 20, $88.95)1
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Titanium Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 46) — $4.45 (Boxes of 20, $88.95)1
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Vanadium (6 1/8 x 54) — $5.99 (Boxes of 20, $119.80)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Xenon (6 1/4 x 54) — $6.25 (Boxes of 20, $125.00)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Europium (7 x 60) — $6.75 (Boxes of 20, $135.00)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Gold (5 1/2 x 55) — $5.75 (Boxes of 20, $143.75)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Uranium (7 x 70) — $6.99 (Boxes of 18, $125.82)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Plutonium (5 x 50) — $5.99 (Boxes of 25, $159.75)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Plutonium (5 x 50) — $5.99 (Boxes of 25, $159.75)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Plutonium (5 x 50) — $5.99 (Boxes of 25, $159.75)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Plutonium (5 x 50) — $5.99 (Boxes of 25, $159.75)
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings H (5 x 50) — $5.00 (Boxes of 36, $180.00)2
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings 2 (5 x 50) — $5.00 (Boxes of 36, $180.00)2
  • Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings O (5 x 50) — $5.00 (Boxes of 36, $180.00)2

11The Titanium is sold in one box of 20. The box contains 10 cigars of each size.

2The H, 2 and O are three cigars with different wrappers sold in one box of 36. Each box contains 12 of each wrapper.

(Image via Foundry Tobacco Co.)

Foundry Vanadium Box

Vanadium is known most for its striking box, which is shaped like a v. Compounds, Elements & Musings are split between blends that are sold only at brick and mortars and other sold only at larger catalog retailers, Vanadium falls in the latter category.

Foundry Vanadium 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings Vanadium
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: STG Estelí
  • Wrapper: n/a
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Size: 6 1/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: $5.99 (Boxes of 20, $119.80)
  • Date Released: September 24, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

The Foundry Vanadium, along with the majority of the rest of the line, have two bands that cover up most of the cigar. The foot band has the element name made to look like a square on the periodic table while the larger band in the middle is just a design without any wording on it. What little I can see of the wrapper is a dark brown, applied seamlessly and has a silky smooth oily feel to it. Clipping off the cap, the tobacco looks very bunched together and the draw is quite tight. I’m hoping that once lit and the burn line gets past the bulge it will open up some. The wrapper has a sweet barnyard aroma to it while the cold draw has grassy notes alongside some cocoa and a slight nuttiness.

It begins with a sweet, medium bodied profile consisting of some spice, coffee and cocoa. I tentatively retrohale a little smoke and find that I can retrohale the entire draw getting an interesting toast note that finishes with an odd chlorine note. The draw is still a little tight, though there is still plenty of smoke production. Ash is holding on well to over an inch. Except for a small touch up at the very beginning the burn line has been nice and even. The spice and cocoa are getting stronger while and unfortunate chlorine note from the retrohale seems to be creeping into the rest of the profile now.

Foundry Vanadium 2

The second third really sees the chlorine ramping up with an added saltiness to the profile. The spice is still there, though it’s mostly overshadowed by the other flavors. Any coffee and cocoa notes that might still be there I’m unable to detect. The draw has opened up some into an acceptable range and the light gray ash is still holding on solidly to about an inch.

Foundry Vanadium 3

I can’t say the final third is completely missing the earlier unpleasant notes, but they’re much more subdued with just a general bitterness coating the spice note. Draw is still acceptable and the burn line continues to be great. The Vanadium ends with meaty, salty, bitter and spice notes that just don’t seem to coalesce very well.


Foundry Vanadium 4

Final Notes

  • Michael Giannini has said in interviews that the cigar was made in honor of Victoria McKee Jaworski, vp of public relations for General Cigar Co.
  • Not only are the boxes the cigars come in impressive, but most of the bands in the line are quite striking by themselves. As noted above, the Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings packaging placed sixth in our 2013 Packaging Awards.
  • As Brooks Whittington mentioned in his review of the Europium, most of the different packaging doesn’t have anything to do with the corresponding element.
  • The price point for this entire line is quite reasonable, with the largest cigar only coming in at $6.99.
  • Both samples I smoked were very consistent in tasting notes and construction points, without either being better or worse in either aspect.
  • Unlike Patrick Lagreid, I didn’t have trouble removing the bands considering the tapered shape of the cigar made it so they were wanting to constantly slide off whether I wanted them to or not.
  • The samples for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking averaged an hour and 45 minutes.
75 Overall Score

With Patrick Lagreid and Brooks Whittington having such contrasting views on their two cigars, I wasn't sure what I was getting into with this cigar at all. The construction was great, the packaging is more than impressive, and even though the first third started out with good notes, the quick and less than enjoyable downward spiral of the profile made for a mostly unpleasant experience. With three of the 20 different cigars reviewed, there’s definitely some sense of hit or mess. While there might be another stellar cigar in the remaining 17, I know I won’t be seeking out any more of the Vanadium.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.