In 2015, Foundation Cigars owner Nicholas Melillo went to Jamaica for a celebration of what would have been Bob Marley's 70th birthday. What’s a blender to do on holiday but check out the local tobacco and cigar scene, right? He hit up a number of places, including Montego Bay, Kingston, and May Pen. While traveling, he met an old farmer growing an interesting traditional Jamaican tobacco leaf he called “cow tongue.” The indigenous Arawah had planted it for ages and ages, long before Europeans ever set foot on the island.
Nick’s next blend was taking shape.
Perhaps drawing inspiration from Drew Estate’s ACID line, he set about producing a cigar with intriguing infused flavors. Ultimately, he brought in a Nicaraguan filler blend and created a “Caribbean atmospheric herbal infusion” for the leaves. Your guess is as good as ours as to exactly how he wound up flavoring these cigars, but we know they offer an intriguing smoke when you need a break from earth, coffee, leather, and pepper spice.
Okay, that’s clear enough, but who are “the Upsetters?”
Put simply, they them rude boys. In the early 1960s, Jamaica was newly independent. As the economy surged forward, not all people were raised up equally, and street life in the poor shanty towns by places like Kingston created a large number of rebellious youth. It was this experience that fueled the creation of a uniquely groovetastic and conscious form of music: reggae.
It went hand in hand with its own herbal infusions, as a matter of fact, but that’s a story for another website.
Anyhow, Melillo obviously is a lover of reggae, but he’s also into Jamaican cigar traditions. He credits smokes like the Macanudo Hyde Park (made in Kingston) with fostering his initial love of cigars. Over time, Jamaica lost much of its cigar industry, but Foundation is trying to put it back on the map with a full line of innovative blends to honor the Upsetters and their music:
Consider these your license to misbehave, and please browse our selection of Foundation Upsetters cigars at your leisure.