Last month Nicholas Melillo announced the formation of his cigar company, Foundation Cigar Company.  Details of the company’s debut cigar named “El Güegüense” have now surfaced.  El Güegüense will keep close to the ties Melillo has made in Nicaragua as the cigar not only features 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos but is a reflection of some of the culture that country. Initial details of the release were announced to the Cigar Insider on 7/7/15.

The name El Güegüense means “the wise man”, but it is also the name of a drama that is considered one of the oldest literary works in Nicaragua. It deals with rebellion from the native inhabitants  against colonial rule against the Spanish Conquistadors during 16th century Nicaragua. Over time this play has continued to play a role in Nicaraguan culture. It is often performed in elaborate costumes. The packaging and banding of the El Güegüense brand reflect the symbolism from the play.

In a press release Melillo commented on the release, “This brand is all about Nicaragua and my love of Nicaragua. Yes, this is a new cigar but this brand is over a decade of walking the factory floor and breathing tobacco as my life. This is twelve years of being with the people in Esteli, building relationships and getting to know friends and their families. I really want this brand to show my passion and love for a country that has become my home. It’s also the reason we are using only Nicaraguan tobacco in this cigar, it is pure Nicaraguan.”

As for the cigar, it is Nicaraguan being made at Casa Fernandez’s TABSA factory. The cigar utilizes a Corojo 99 wrapper, a Jalapa binder, a combination of Criollo and Corojo taken from 2011 and 2012 harvest years. The cigars are available in five sizes and packaged in 25 count boxes.

In describing the cigar, Melillo says, “We are aging these cigars in cedar before shipping them out for the market. The cigar is complex yet well balanced, rounded with cedar notes, hints of spice and a touch of sweetness belying the undertones. Overall I would say El Güegüense is an elegant full flavored cigar.”

The cigars will make their debut at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show and are expected to be available this September.


Photo Credit: Foundation Cigar Company


At a glance, here is a look at Foundation Cigar Company’s El Güegüense:

Blend Profile

The blend incorporates Criollo 98 and  Corojo 99 tobaccos from Jalapa and Esteli.  It features leaves from third, fourth, sixth, and medio tiempo primings.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
Binder: Jalapa
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo taken from 2011 and 2012 Harvest Years
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (TABSA)

Vitolas Available


Photo Credit: Foundation Cigar Company

There will be five sizes of El Güegüense. The cigars will be packaged in 25 count boxes. Pricing will be in the $9.00 to $13.00 range

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