For this review of Foundation Cigars Upsetters line, I hope to cry tears of joy today. It’s ironic that this infused cigar has nothing to do with making me cry; instead, it’s inspired by Jamaican cow tongue tobacco and the country’s love for the underdog. A lot of people don’t know that Jamaica has a long history of growing tobacco which rivals Cuba and Nick Melillo, President of Foundation cigars, has always been a fan of Jamaican culture and tobacco.

In 2015 Melillo went to Jamaica to celebrate Bob Marley’s 70th birthday and after the party he went on a search for great cigar tobaccos and blending traditions from the island. Luckily for him he found one of the oldest cigar tobacco growers on the island in the mountains outside Montego Bay, Kingston and May Pen.

While there he not only learned about indigenous Jamaican cow tongue leaf but also an old infusion method called “Caribbean atmospheric herbal fusion,” which hugely amps up the flavor profile in Upsetters blend – along with tobaccos from northern Nicaragua.

The east coast of Nicaragua is known as the Reggae coast too. When you think about how close historically/geographically both countries are (and were) it really is a two-nation blend made in heaven.



Melillo used to work at Drew Estate – arguably still THE household name in flavored cigars – so he decided to sprinkle some of that magic onto Foundation Cigar Company’s second line after their award-winning debut stogie El Güegüense (meaning ‘Wise Man’).

This stick comes in three different wrappers therefore giving connoisseurs an embarrassment of choice. Each one named after Jamaican underdogs from 1960s who refused bow down & give up – whether it was defeating Goliath or giving birth reggae music… so you have names like “Rock Steady” & “Small Ax” which reflect this resilience to adversity. However, this Foundation The Upsetters cigar review looks at 5 x 54 Robusto size in line-up – The Upsetters Django.


Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium – Full

Wrapper: Sumatra

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Jamaica / Nicaragua

Smoking Time: 90 minutes

Sizes Available:

Foundation The Upsetters Django (5 x 54)

Foundation The Upsetters Para El Sapo (4.5 x 54)

Foundation The Upsetters Rock Steady (7 x 48)

Foundation The Upsetters Small Ax (4.5 x 40)

Foundation The Upsetters The Original Rude Boy (6 x 60)

Foundation The Upsetters
The Skipper (4.5 x 54)

Foundation The Upsetters Zola (6 x 52)


Black bands background is covered in green, red & yellow with a silhouette of gunslinging dreadlocked man called Django who appeared in numerous spaghetti western films. This traditional Rasta influenced artwork is used throughout the Upsetters line.

The natural Sumatra wrapper has a slightly spongy feel to touch with minimal veins and during infusion process there’s minty/menthol quality about it that I can’t quite put my finger on – but let’s just say it’s very refreshing… sweetness comes through massively before lighting up too; once thick double cap comes off there are sweet spices & cloves purring away on pre light draw forever.


They combine perfectly with dark and rich flavors from Jamaican and Nicaraguan tobacco. Individually, these types of tobacco are famous for their earthy spices and nuttiness, among other things.

At a quarter inch in I found that there’s some black pepper which is discernible but faint and some spice which carries into the retrohale. However, the sweetness at the cap is just too good to give up. Dry cedar, citrus zest, and earth also come into play quite generously; it has a medium body with strength being solidly placed within this range.


In the final third there is some heavenly floralness but still toast with baking spices again featuring heavily alongside honey and orange that seem to jumble them up like in first or second thirds. It occurred to me that maybe puffing on one of these babies next to a botanical gin or spiced rum might take things even higher than they were already at this point but for now all I can say is wow – what an evenly burning stick full of flavor!


I was able to enjoy more of infused cow tongue leaf from Jamaica when it settled down into its base notes of soil and spice although stronger than before as well as being different than anything else out there.

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