Cigar Review: El Güegüense (The Wise Man) Maduro

El Güegüense (The Wise Man) Maduro






Foundation Cigar Company President Nicholas Melillo announces the release of The Wise Man (EL Güegüense) Maduro, for IPCPR 2017 in Las Vegas, NV.

The release provides for a line extension to Melillo’s premier brand released during IPCPR 2015, where the Nicaraguan puro enjoyed a highly successful launch, going on to find inclusion in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 list for 2016. 

Melillo blended the The Wise Man (El Güegüense) Maduro using Nicaraguan filler tobaccos from Condega, Esteli, and Jalapa and covered the cigar with a beautiful, oily, and rich San Andres Mexican Maduro wrapper.





“We’ve enjoyed a lot of success with El Güegüense, and it is an honor for people to recognize a project that personally means so much to me.” says Melillo. “I was looking to create a line extension with a whole different level of complexity and the San Andrès wrapper brings just that.

The blend encompasses bold flavors of black pepper, dark roast espresso and cacao. Medium plus in body and strength and rounded out with a nutty finish.”

I have always been drawn to San Andrés, Mexico and have been buying tobacco there since 2003. The wrapper is one of my favorites, not to mention one of the oldest seed varieties in the world, which predates even Cuban seed.

The combination of this unique capa and Nicaraguan fillers makes for an amazingly flavorful smoke.



  • Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
  • Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
  • Toro Hauco: 6 x 56
  • Churchill: 7 x 48
  • Torpedo: 6 1/4 x 52




The Mexican San Andres wrapper is dark coffee bean in color, semi boxed pressed with notable seam, tooth and vein. The EL GÜEGÜENSE Maduro has one band with a burgandy background. Ornately colored figures in traditional Nicaraguan dress are depicted mocked arriving Spanish Conquistadors in a colorful, costumed satirical masterpiece called “El Güegüense” pronounced (pronounced “El-Wah-Wen-Say”) or “The Wise Man.”

It seems that history is not without a touch of irony, in mocking the same Spanish Conquistadors that ultimately brought tobacco back to Europe from the new world. It is Nicaragua’s signature work of drama.

Atop the motif reads  “THE WISE MAN” in white font with “EL GÜEGÜENSE” right below. Under the squared label reads ESTELI NICARAGUA surrounded by a gold label. Pre light aroma had notes of milk chocolate, cedar and dried fruit. The cold draw produced flavors of earth, oak and plum.




Warm chocolate cedar off the toasted foot. Upon first light flavors of charred cedar with milk chocolate nuances. Once combustion became constant flavors of cocoa bean, leather and roasted walnuts.

Heavy doses of coffee and chocolate notes. A solid stream of upper medium black pepper is perfectly balanced with the dark sweetness of the vitola. A sting of white pepper through the nose on the retro evolving into flavors of dark chocolate.

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Cocoa Bean
  • Leather 
  • Roasted Walnuts
  • Coffee
  • Black Pepper/Upper/Med



Entering cruise control The heavy doses of cocoa bean and dark chocolate taper down slightly into milk chocolate flavors similar to rich chocolate milk and hazelnut. Background flavors of mild cedar char, mild bitter walnuts and leather.

All of the aforementioned flavors have accompanying doses of chocolate nuances with an expresso and peppery aftertaste creating an extra long finish. The retro has increased with an assault on the nostrils producing heavy white pepper tapering off to flavors of dark chocolate.

  • Cocoa Bean
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate/Rich
  • Hazelnut
  • Cedar/Char
  • Walnuts/Bitter
  • Leather
  • Expresso/Peppery Aftertaste



In the final third flavors of rich chocolate syrup, black cherries and charred oak. Background flavors have remained consistent with milk chocolate, black coffee, roasted nuts, most notably walnuts and creamy hazelnut.

The spicy element has been a consistent stream of upper level black pepper that balanced in with an explosion of chocolate and coffee giving the cigar an extra long finish to the last draw. The retro is producing a consistent sting of upper level white pepper right through the nose evolving into flavors of dark chocolate and coffee grounds.

  • Chocolate Syrup/Rich
  • Black Cherries
  • Charred Oak
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Coffee/Black
  • Roasted Nuts/Walnuts/Hazelnut
  • Black Pepper/FULL
  • White Pepper/Full on the retro evolving into flavors of Dark Chocolate and Coffee Grounds



CONSTRUCTION: The vitola was somewhat soft with no construction issues

BURN: Started slightly crooked but self corrected I’m cruise control

ASH: Salt and peppered colored ash, loose only holding a half inch

CUT: One v cut, one straight cut

DRAW: Perfect milkshake type resistance producing adequate chocolatey smoke output


STRENGTH: Solid upper MEDIUM bodied hitting all notes of the chocolate spectrum with the perfect balance of coffee and black pepper 



Cigars for review: Purchased

Cigars smoked for review: 2

Cigar Smoke rate: 94

Size: 5 5/8 x 46 ( Corona Gorda )

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres

Binder: Corojo 99 Jalapa

Filler: Nicaragua

News source and additional photo: Foundation Cigar Company

Toar Campbell

Toar Campbell

Love of all things cigars, craft beer, Stouts, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untappd @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder
Toar Campbell

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