When Nick Melillo, the master blender behind Liga Privada came out with his first line of cigars we all scratched our heads wondering why he would name it something this Average Joe can’t pronounce. El Gueguense wasn’t a name that rolled off the tongue and in my opinion the brand suffered. If you can’t pronounce it, chances are you can’t remember the name.
This year, Foundation Cigar Company released a followup to that cigar this time using the English name of The Wise Man for the Maduro release. The result is a cigar that has received accolades from customers, shop owners and social media pundits.
Cigar: The Wise Man Maduro
Wrapper: San Andres (Mexico)
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 (Jalapa)
Length: 5 5/8″
Ring Gauge: 47
Size: Corona Gorda
The Look: Much like the original El Gueguense, these cigars come packaged in cedar boxes of 25 cigars. Inside the Maduro wrapper pops against the red band that adorns the cigar. The band of the cigar pays homage to a satirical masterpiece called “El Güegüense” (Gwe-gwe-nse), or “The Wise Man.” It is Nicaragua’s signature work of drama, the ultimate expression of its unique history, language, dance, and culture. This soft box pressed cigar has no voids of tobacco and a well packed foot.
The Notes: Once we clip the cap of the WiseMan Maduro there is a dominant sunflower seed with a touch of mocha and pepper. Also there is a lingering component that reminds me of a seaweed salad at a Sushi restaurant which I love so there is nothing but love in that comparison. The aroma off the wrapper and foot of the cigar reminds me of mocha.
Once the cigar is cut and toasted, the first draw of the cigar is that of a dark espresso. As we progress into the first third the espresso note remains the focal point as mocha notes develop with a subtle raisin like sweetness that lingers on the finish. The retrohale of the cigar in this particular size is loaded with white pepper notes and a touch of wood.
Moving on to the second third the strength of the Wise Man Maduro kicks up a few notches. There is still continued espresso notes and a touch of oak, but the white pepper from the retrohale makes it way to the palate.
The last third sees a leather component develop with the slightest hint of mocha however white pepper is the focal point of the cigar especially when the retrohale is added into the mix.
The Finish: I’ve smoked a lot of the Toro Huaco and was excited to light up the cigar in my favorite vitola today, but it didn’t reach expectations. It was good, but the complexity of the larger size didn’t transition to the Corona Gorda. For me, I’ll continue to smoke the Toro Huaco, but if you prefer more strength over complexity then this might be for you
Price: $9.99 / $222.99