Given that the art of making cigars has existed for more than 500 years, one must marvel at the innovation exhibited in the Foundry (www.cigarworld.com, $7.95 to $9.45) cigars. Inspired by H. G. Wells and the modern steampunk movement, each Foundry cigar features a parchment-like band encircled by a ridged metal gear—a guaranteed conversation-starter. “The cigars are made from five different tobaccos that no one in the industry has ever used before,” says Michael Giannini, the creative director of General Cigar Company, one of the largest cigar makers in the world. “There is no Dominican, Nicaraguan, or Honduran tobacco in these cigars at all.”
In fact, Foundry cigars contain five proprietary tobaccos—all aged three to six years—from four unnamed countries. The 8-year-old wrapper is known only as H-47 Pleno Sol—which might very well be the model number of the alien robot that, one imagines, rolls these mild, futuristic stogies. Of the four available shapes, our favorite is the diagonally cut 6½ × 60 Cayley, which is named for Sir George Cayley, the father of modern flying machines.