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el gueguenseEl Gueguense Robusto (5 ½ x 50)

W: Corojo ‘99 Nicaragua
B: Corojo ‘99 Nicaragua
F: Corojo, Criollo Nicaragua

Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.

Foundation Tobacco Company, headed by former Drew Estate man Nicholas Melillo, debuted with this cigar in 2015 and it has since made an appearance on many “best of” lists for that year. “Full body and full flavor” get tossed around frequently in this industry, but this Nicaraguan puro will blow away any expectations you have for that phrase. Named after one of Nicaragua’s oldest plays (pronounced “el wah when say” and translated as “the wise man”), it is Melillo’s tribute to the country he has come to love since moving there 11 years ago.

el gueguense 2Notes:

    • The aroma of the cigar pre-light was surprisingly mellow, giving off muted tones of wood and earth. The cold draw, however, harbored spicy red pepper, hay, wood, and a bit of lacquer.
    • Right from the get-go there is enough red pepper to make retrohaling a tear-jerker, at least for an inch or so. This is joined by quickly developing flavors of cedar, espresso, and undergrowth.
    • The finish was a delicious milk chocolate that stretched out to almost an eternity in between draws.
    • At the halfway point, a fruity sweetness coated the entire profile, blending perfectly with the creaminess that also started to build around the same point.
    • This cigar displayed a characteristic that I’ve only seen in the best of ‘em. While maintaining some primary flavors, the main show was a carousel of tones that changed every few draws. Often it was not one, but two flavors pairing up in these rapid transitions.
  • In the final third, the sweetness and cream ramped up even more while still maintaining some of the milk chocolate in the finish. Cherry, barnyard, and vanilla all made an appearance as passing tones to cap off a truly incredible smoking experience.

Flavor Report: Cedar, Red Pepper, Espresso, Undergrowth, Milk Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Cream, Earth, Barnyard, Vanilla, Cherry

el gueguense 3Overall: 10/10

As the first cigar I’ve ever given a ten (that I’ve reviewed here on the site), I have to say that I’ve simply never smoked another cigar quite like this. When we talk about the artistry and magic of the cigar experience, this is the true embodiment of it. If you haven’t had it yet, then you owe it to yourself to indulge in this one. It doesn’t get better than this.


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