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Press Release

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April 14th, 2023- Ellington, CT


Fifteen Seventy-Three, Britain's newest and finest cigar importers, are excited to announce an exclusive partnership with Nicholas Melillo's Foundation Cigar Company.


From Foundation's lines, 1573 Cigars will be importing the award-winning El Güegüense, The Wiseman, The Tabernacle, Highclere Castle, and Charter Oak Broadleaf.


Foundation Cigars, founded in 2015 by industry veteran Nicholas Melillo, has quickly gained recognition for its high-quality cigars, made with the finest tobacco and crafted using traditional techniques. With a focus on small-batch production and attention to detail, Foundation Cigars has garnered a loyal following among cigar enthusiasts worldwide. "I am very excited to open the British market with 1573. We share the same passion for this industry, and they understand Foundation's core principles," said Nicholas Melillo, owner of Foundation Cigars. 


 Blending Connecticut and Nicaraguan leaf with meticulous attention to detail, Melillo is rapidly growing a reputation as the finest cigar maker in the world. Foundation's portfolio of blends has become stalwarts of any serious smoker and has achieved many awards, including #3 Cigar Of The Year (Cigar Aficionado, 2018) and Cigar Of The Year (Cigar Snob, 2022). 


  Fifteen Seventy-Three is the fateful year the golden leaf first unrolled onto Albion shore, the perfect name for the new British cigar company founded by Damien O'Donohoe, Winston Marshall, and industry veteran, cigar-sommelier, and historian George Frakes, three friends bound by a love for burning sticks, carrying the fine tradition of British cigars into its fifth century.


1573 will distribute a wide selection of Foundation Cigars' products, including popular lines like The Tabernacle, El Güegüense, and Charter Oak.


"It is a true honor to be Foundation Cigars' U.K. Distributor. I can state with every fiber of my being that these are, without doubt, the finest cigars produced today. I first smoked Foundation in 2016 and was completely overwhelmed by the range's depth of flavor, balance, complexity, and quality. The incredible story of both the brand and Nicholas Melillo sharpened our attention further. We have been intent on seeing Foundation Cigars at home on U.K. shelves and it is with great pride that we can now offer U.K. cigar smokers these same incredible experiences." said George Frakes. 


Foundation Cigars are being distributed to U.K. retailers immediately. For more information, please visit or contact

For the complete Foundation Cigars collection, visit or contact

About Foundation Cigar Company


Foundation Cigar Company was formed by Nicholas Melillo in June of 2015 and debuted El Güegüense, The Wise Man - Corona, which was awarded among Cigar Aficionado’s ‘Top 25 Cigars’ of 2016. The Company launched The Tabernacle, Charter Oak, and the infused line, The Upsetters, in 2016. In 2018, The Wise Man Maduro was named #3 Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado, and The Charter Oak was named Best Value Cigar.  Foundation’s home offices reside in the Connecticut River Tobacco Valley, and its production is in Estelí, Nicaragua. Foundation Cigar Company’s goal is to bring top-quality premium cigars to connoisseurs around the world.

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