In early June 2015, it was announced that Nicholas Melillo, the former vice president and director of tobacco and producion at Drew Estate Cigar Company, had formed the Foundation Cigar Company (see the press release here). Melillo, also known as Master Blender Nick R Agua will serve as president and CEO, and will also be in charge of tobaccos and blending. The company's first blend will debut at the upcoming International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) annual trade show, as announced in this week's press release below:
Foundation Cigar Company to Launch El Güegüense as Debut Brand
July 6, 2015 (Southbury, CT) – Foundation Cigar Company has announced it will debut its initial brand at this year’s International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association Show in New Orleans.
El Güegüense (pronounced: L – Wha –When-say) is an indigenous word meaning, “The Wise
Man.” The brand is based on a Nicaraguan folklore masterpiece and will be a Nicaraguan Puro
featuring carefully selected fillers from vintage crop years.
“This cigar is a tribute to Nicaragua, its culture, people, land and the bridge between the old world traditions and the new,” said Nicholas Melillo, President of Foundation Cigar Company. “This brand encapsulates the twelve years of living in Esteli and my respect for all things Nicaragua,” Melillo adds.
El Güegüense will be produced in limited numbers at the Tobacos Valle de Jalapa, Tabasa, facility in Nicaragua under the watchful eye of Melillo who hand selects each bale of tobacco used in El Güegüense. The capa and capote are Nicaraguan Corojo 99 with the former coming from Finca Puntalito in Jalapa and the latter from Finca San Jose in Jalapa. The tripa in El Güegüense is Nicaraguan criollo and corojo from Esteli and Jalapa from vintage crop year tobaccos 2011 and 2012.
Regarding the strength and flavor of El Güegüense 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 be available in twenty-five count boxes in five traditional sizes. The varieties will
include a 5½" x 50 Robusto, a 5 5/8" x 46 Corona Gorda, a 6" x 56 Toro Huaco, a 7" x 48 Churchill,
and a 6¼" x 52 Torpedo. The cigars will be priced in the retail range of $9-$13 USD.
Melillo adds, “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.”
El Güegüense will debut at the IPCPR Show in New Orleans in July of 2015. The cigars will be
available in stores in September of 2015.
For more information contact Foundation Cigar Company.
Foundation Cigar Company
436 Judd Road
Southbury, CT 06488
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