Foundation The Wise Man Maduro Torpedo
Posted on March 10 2021
Smoking Time: 83 Minutes
Cigars Smoked: 6
Body: Medium +
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Corojo 99 Jalapa
Foundation Cigars was founded by Nicholas Melillo in 2015. However, he was no stranger to the business, Melillo has worked in cigars for years, most notably for overseeing production at Drew Estates factory in nicaragua. After starting his company, he released the precursor to this cigar, El Güegüense. Followed by The Wise Man Maduro 2 years later.
Originally named El Güegüense “The Wise Man”, when the maduro version was released, it was called The Wise Man Maduro “El Güegüense”. Slightly confusing, but after a few encounters with each cigar, it starts to click. Both cigars are made at TABSA in Nicaragua, with Foundation’s other lines being made elsewhere. “The Wise Man Maduro has received numerous accolades including a 95 rating from Cigar Aficionado, a 93 rating from Cigar Dojo, winning Halfwheel’s Consensus, as well as being included in various Top 25 lists.”
Visual Inspection: Wrapped in an exceptionally smooth, dark brown San Andres leaf, The Wise Man has a small, almost unnoticeable tooth covering it. There are many veins, but they are smooth, and barely felt when I run my finger over it. The seams on the wrapper are obvious, but do not peel back when felt. The head cap feels very sturdy. While this is certainly a subtle torpedo, appearing to only taper for a half inch, I think that the draw will be improved over a torpedo with a longer taper. And finally topped off with a box pressed shape.
This is a very fragrant cigar, with a sniff of the foot, notes of heavy barnyard, chocolate, toast, and cinnamon are upfront. A cold draw brings cinnamon, dark chocolate, and fig. I already know what I am in for, I tend to smoke these often, but this is the first time I will be thinking about what flavors are present.
First Third: The cold draw and aroma were not sweet, but upon lighting, immediately sweetness blasts through. Very bright notes of chocolate are met with espresso, and a hazelnut sweetness. After exhaling, I am left with notes of gingerbread, and cinnamon. Quickly the profile changes, turns towards a creamy finish and a minty mouth feel. Small notes of earth are present after exhaling. The burn line is wonky, simply a cosmetic issue. Ash is very firm and has a light grey color.
This is a more unique torpedo shape and met with the box press, this cigar has an amazing draw. Ample smoke per toke, with not much residual smoke when I rest the stick. Only the first third, and this has been a rollercoaster. With a retrohale, trace amounts of pepper come to, which blends the chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee together.
Second Third: After a touch up of the burn line, The Wise Man shouldn't have any more problems. The profile is certainly bolder than the first third, flavors of dark chocolate, walnut, cinnamon, coffee, a tinge of pepper, and salted caramel are most prevalent. The creamy finish has calmed down, which was overtaken by a more full profile.
The Wise Man Maduro is different from most San Andres wrapped cigars. It is creamier and less spicy than what I would normally expect, and met with the bold nicaraguan binder and fillers, it blends the cigar together nicely. Unfortunately I had to touch up the cigar again, I’m having a hard time identifying the cause of the issue.
Last Third: Breaking in this third it has become more spicy, notes of chili pepper and black pepper have peaked through. Still being overtaken by the consistent flavors of cinnamon, dark chocolate, coffee, cream and walnut. Overall remaining very consistent, I have thoroughly enjoyed this smoke.
The burn line is a bit of an annoyance, but is only that. If not doing a review I would not think twice about it. The flavors bounced back and forth enough to justify calling it a complex cigar.
Final Thoughts: While retaining consistent flavors, The Wise Man Maduro has out performed my expectations. I think the maduro version is much fuller than its counterpart. El Gueguense has a special place in my heart, the maduro wrapped is unsurprisingly stronger, and frequents my humidor more often. Not following the norm for San Andres wrappers, this cigar pushes the limits for what to expect from them. An extremely smooth yet full bodied experience, the flavors will draw you in, and keep you coming back. At approximately $12 a stick, I wouldn't call them budget sticks, the price is not a deterrent after enjoying what it brings to the table.