I returned last week from a stay-cation to a series of events with Nick Melillo from Foundation Cigar Company. At the events, he soft launched his new Wise Man Maduro as a follow up to the original El Gueguense and I couldn’t help but grab a few. Needless to say this is all I have smoked since Friday, and it just might be the best release from Nick R. Agua. If you haven’t checked it out, Nick was a guest this past weekend on The Cigar Authority and it just may of been our best show to date.
Cigar: The Wiseman Maduro (El Gueguense)
Wrapper: San Andres (Mexico)
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 (Jalapa)
Ring Gauge: 56
Size: Toro Huaco
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. The wrapper has a brindle like appearance to it and it feels like velvet under the fingers. This soft box pressed cigar has no voids of tobacco and a well packed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw on the Wiseman Maduro takes me back to the day when cigars like Tatuaje, Illusione and Liga Privada ruled the boutique scene. There is that wow factor which I haven’t been able to find from a new cigar in a while. At least for my personal tastes.. The dominant mocha note is intoxicating with touches of pepper and sunflower seeds. The mocha is matched on the aroma off the unlit foot. Once the foot is toasted and the cigar lit I get two notes right off the bat of raisin and pepper.
Smoking our way into the first third of the Wise Man Maduro there are notes of mocha and raisin with a retrohale of pepper notes that don’t overload the senses. The sweetness on the palate helps keep the retrohale in check, and once you get past those pepper notes there is a nice creamy espresso note present as well.
As the cigar enters the second third some of the mocha sweetness has faded, but there is still a hint of raisins present and the creamy espresso note on the retrohale makes its way to the palate. The retrohale which continues to serve up pepper notes enhances the finish of the cigar which holds on to some of the mocha notes that were so dominant early on.
The last third sees the mocha return and serve as the canvas for rich dark espresso note notes and a spicy aroma. The retrohale sees the addition of some wood notes and continued pepper but it still continues to enhance the sweetness on the finish which also has a touch of leather to it.
The Finish: With each release, Foundation Cigar Company continues to build on its success. The Wise Man Maduro is a complex cigar that encompasses a lot of the elements that pulled me into the cigar community. While it hasn’t scored the highest rating of 2017, its 94 puts it up near the top and its well deserved.
Price: $12.19 / $269.99