Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | The Wise Man (El Güegüense) Maduro LanceroCigar Info

This year, at the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Nick Melillo showed off an extension to his release from last year’s The Wise Man Maduro in a format. The original blend scored a 95 in our review and earned #1 Cigar of the Year.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

This release follows the schedule of the extension was released a year later for the original El Güegüense. The cigar measures 7 ½ x 40 in a Cuban-box-press and comes in boxes of 13 sticks. The cigar is made at TABSA in Esteli, Nicaragua and has suggested MSRP of $13 per cigar or $169 for a box. Production for the first run is only 500 boxes.

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | The Wise Man (El Güegüense) Maduro Lancero

Vital Stats:

Length: 7 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 40
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: San Andres Mexico
Binder: Corojo 99 Jalapa
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA)
Blender: Nick Melillo
Number of reviewers: 5 Eric (smalls29) Steve (ThaGreatWazoo) Alan (Eulogy) Adam B. (Bushboy) Derek (StogieNinja)
Price: $13.00
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: July 2018
Contributed by: Cigar Co.

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 93

“Long skinny with dark wrapper with very noticeable leafy veins. Smoothly applied cap and lighter colored tobacco hanging out of the foot. Looks like the cutting tool on the foot wasn’t very sharp.” –Adam B. (Bushboy)

Aroma: 94

“The aroma coming off the cigar was very crisp. Hints of spice, earth, and espresso paired well off of the foot. The cold draw was full of spice and was very full bodied. I am very excited to get this one going.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)

First Third

Flavor: 94
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“Surprisingly bold in flavor and strength. There’s a hit of rich dark bitter chocolate, followed by a deep tobacco flavor with a very strong white pepper finish. The smoke output is probably one of the best in recent memory; providing thick creamy clouds of smoke. The only drawback so far is that the is thin and falls off without warning.” –Alan (Eulogy)

“The first third started off rather full bodied, and then mellowed to a medium-full profile. The flavors that I was picking up off this cigar were great. Notes of a dark roast coffee, a slight clove, and a really full barnyard undertone were all mixing very well with each other. The ash was lighter than I thought it would be, and flaked off rather quickly.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)

Second Third

Flavor: 92
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“There’s a slightly sweet not that pops up occasionally. The note of dark chocolate has disappeared from the first third. Dry, well aged tobacco is now the dominate flavor with notes of rich leather and a slight mineral finish. The white pepper still has the same intensity as the first third and really brings a nice life into the experience.” –Alan (Eulogy)

“Into the second third, I can’t really believe that I’m enjoying this as much as I do. Dark chocolate, a creamy sweetness, espresso, cinnamon, nutmeg. I’m loving it.” –Derek (StogieNinja)

Final Third

Flavor: 92
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Full

“The final third finished with a nice balance of the dark espresso, barnyard, and some slight char flavors. A nice juicy meat flavor began to develop, but left as fast as it came. This was a great finish with real dynamite features to it.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)

“The pepper spice kicks up a bit in the final third, but so does the warmth of the spices. Dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet cream, dark coffee beans, and skirt steak. I realize that sounds weird, but it isn’t. It’s balanced and really good.” –Derek (StogieNinja)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 95

“Draw was great, although I had to clip a few times from the initial cut to release the tar build up. But great effort to smoke ratio.” –Adam B. (Bushboy)

Burn: 96

“Burn did not falter from dead even the entire time. For a small cigar this thing burn for a while being untouched. The strength made me put down a few times but the cherry fired right back up.” –Adam B. (Bushboy)

Construction: 96

“I am a sucker for well made, well created lanceros. From the look of the dark wrapper, to the overall burn and smoke experience, this cigar build was fantastic.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 92

“With a nice start of flavors and aromas, this cigar switch from nice barnyard, and woodsy flavors to a bitter, tart taste that was still nice. There were nice flavors to start of wet grass, cedar and other spices that gave way to a bitter cup of coffee. The range of flavors kept this one in good standing for me. Even though there was a transition, it maintained a nice taste and balance over time. In the end it became very bitter and not for the faint of heart. Overall it was nice with nice after tastes. Most would leave a bitter taste behind but being a coffee drinker, it was a nice one overall.” –Eric (smalls29)
“This cigar was an absolute dynamite to smoke and enjoy. From the rich dark roasted espresso notes, to the clean and crisp retrohale and finish, there was nothing about this cigar that I did not love. Grab some of these and enjoy. They are smoking great right now.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“Overall it’s an incredibly solid cigar. The flavors were solid though out but if there was a bit more evolution would have made it even better. The smoke output was phenomenal. The quality of smoke made this cigar stand out from others. The only real fault that I can find is the ash was very flaky and would fall off around a quarter of an inch every time. If the weather was hotter this may have caused an issue but in cold weather it wasn’t a problem. ” –Alan (Eulogy)
“I think these tobaccos are a fantastic blend. Aroma is great and the flavor is fantastic. The tar buildup killed this cigar for me, however. Too much build up after each inch. I had to snip a few times, and never had a performance problem. The larger ring gauge and this thing would be money.” –Adam B. (Bushboy)
“I’ll be honest: I don’t like maduros. Most give me cottonmouth, and the ones that don’t are usually too syrupy or meaty to enjoy. This really took me back to when I first started smoking cigars and loved big, bold maduros. I also don’t like lanceros much. They usually require too much care when smoking, and in my experience the narrow gauge is great for shorter smokes but gets stale in a longer format. This one performed really well. I really enjoyed this one and will be looking forward to the reveal.” –Derek (StogieNinja)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 66

Eric 909090888888859088
Steve 959393959295959795
Alan 929595929297979395
Adam B. 959393888593959788
Derek 909595959595959595
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: |

Overall Score – 93 – Great

  • Appearance 93% 93%
  • Aroma 94% 94%
  • First Third 94% 94%
  • Second Third 92% 92%
  • Final Third 92% 92%
  • Draw 95% 95%
  • Burn 96% 96%
  • Construction 96% 96%
  • Overall Experience 92% 92%