Team Cigar Review: Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario

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Cigar Details: Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario

  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • Length: 4.75″
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Nicholas Melillo
  • Price: $15.00
  • Release Date: October 2020
  • Source: Developing Palates via Lake Country Cigars

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario has a very familiar shape sans the pigtail finish on the head. The wrapper is in the medium brown vicinity with some fine veins that are well pressed. The seams are very smooth and the caps on the head and foot are very well applied. The cigar has two bands with the primary being the traditional design for the line while the secondary strip band carries the same color combination and denotes 5yr Aniversario. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and sweet hay and I’m not able to detect anything different from the small foot opening. The pre-light draw brings a nice aged and sweet cedar note.

Pre-light Experience

A beautiful and fat perfecto, the Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario is finished with a lovely cap and beautifully tapered head. The cigar is firm throughout and the wrapper sports few veins. The wrapper is silky and oily in texture and it has a lovely Colorado coloring to it. The cigar has aromas of leather, tobacco, spices and rich earth, and that is on the wrapper and foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario checks quite a number of boxes on the pre-light experience. The cigar is double banded, and because of the vitola, the combination of bands takes up close to half the length. The cigar is a zeppelin shaped perfecto. There is no cellophane, and therefore no UPC code or sticker to identify the cigar. Aromas form the cigar included light bread and sweet wood, with some light moss underneath. It was difficult to pick out anything specific from the small opening on the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario has an overall caramel Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and firm and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper and enclosed foot gives baking spices, cedar and hay. Cold draw gives some minute notes of cedar and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with dry, aged cedar, baking spice and mellow black pepper. At a half inch in, the baking spice departs as the black pepper becomes slightly fuller. The retrohale has a nice mix of the dry, aged cedar and black pepper. At an inch in, some dry earth and light mustiness join the profile. As the third comes to a close, the profile is a dry mix of aged cedar and earth with black pepper right behind and some light mustiness. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third opens up with some strong earth notes that are paired with some mineral qualities on top of black and red pepper. There are some salty wood notes present as well, and there is a nice tobacco spice on the finish. In terms of strength and body, the cigar is smoking around a medium-full level.

First Third

My initial flavor impressions are baking spices, earth and wood. Baking spices settle on the post draw as the cigar progresses. The baking spices on the retrohale move up to medium plus rapidly, and linger between draws. Mild tannins join the cedar to add some sharpness. By the halfway point, powdered cocoa has joined, pushed aside somewhat by the intensity of the baking spices and cedar.

First Third

The first third touches on most of the major flavor spectrums, but the depth of flavors feel light. There’s baking spices, ginger snap cookies, cedar and hay. Retrohaling gives a good dose of red pepper spice and lingering cedar. The finish is fairly soft with tapered baking spices and bread. Strength is nearing medium-full, body medium.

Second Third

The second third shows the profile becoming a bit more dry as the black pepper has mellowed. At a half inch in, the dry earth has a slight lead. The retrohale is dry, aged cedar, dry earth and mild black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the cedar gains a heavy toast. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Second Third

The second third shows a slight continuation of the first third and the cigar is delivering a flavor profile of earth, damp wood, tobacco and spices. There are some pepper notes present, black and red, and the finish has this soft salted meat quality. In terms of strength and body, I would classify the cigar as being medium overall.

Second Third

Medium strength baking spices and cedar, along with accents of cocoa take the profile into the second third. Bread and sweetness join the retrohale as the second third settles in. Earth has settled into the post draw by the halfway mark, and brings with it a drying component. The profile is cedar forward at the very end of the second third.

Second Third

The second third picks up strength such that it is now a consistent medium-full (body still medium). Further, the profile shifts to being more baking spices, red pepper spice and cedar forward, as compared to being more balanced with ginger snap cookies and hay.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the heavy toast has transitioned to a light char. At a half inch in, the char picks up a bit as the black pepper has departed. The retrohale is toasted cedar and dry earth. The cigar wraps up with the charred cedar slightly ahead of the dry earth. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third is right in line with that of the second third and I am picking up some soft earth notes with some red pepper as well. It has wood qualities present as well, and the finish is of soft minerals and tobacco. It really has come down in body at the finish. It smokes around a medium level for strength and body.

Final Third

Bread and wood lead the cigar into the last third. The wood pushes into the post draw after a few puffs. As the last third settles in, mild baking spices join the profile. Earth begins to take over the profile approaching the halfway point of the last third.

Final Third

The final third continues to shift further towards being baking spices, red pepper and cedar focused. At this point, the softer notes of ginger snap cookies and hay are undetectable. Strength and body finishes the same medium plus and medium.

Burn

The burn was fairly wonky throughout and required a touch-up and a re-light.

Burn

Burn was very good from start to finish. Well constructed cigar.

Burn

The burn was fairly straight with the ash holding on past the halfway point of the review.

Burn

The burn performance was pretty terrible. Tunneling throughout, flaky ashes and multiple sizable touch-ups.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The flavor profile was pretty nice for the first half inch or so and then became a bit dry and dried out even more as the cigar went along. This Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario didn’t really pan out to be a special release of the line that it was categorized under which is a bit of a disappointment. I’m curious to see what the others experienced and based on that, will determine if I revisit it in hopes of a better experience. Barring that, I don’t really see myself returning to this.

Draw

The draw was nice from beginning to end. It was not as restricted as I would have liked, but it did not have a problem.

Overall

I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed with the Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario. Beautiful perfecto, but the blend was lacking. I found the original El Güegüense to be better overall in terms of flavors delivered. This cigar lacked complexity and lots of depth and transitioning. Well constructed, but just lacking. This is in line with a lot of cigars out of TABSA this year and it’s a shame. With that being said, I appreciate that Nick released a five year anniversary cigar in year five and also did it from the factory where he started.

Draw

As is the case with many perfecto cigars, the draw started out almost plugged, 4-1/2 to 5 notches into the resistant spectrum. Once the burn reached the shoulder, it opened right up to 2-1/2 to 3 notches for the entire smoking experience.

Overall

The Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario overall was a good experience, but I still find myself a bit disappointed. When you consider some of the high performing past Foundation releases, the fact that this is an anniversary cigar, and the price point, I feel that the cigar under performed. I would smoke this cigar again if it was available, but if I was purchasing, I would be inclined to reach for the exceptional experience from the Wise Man Maduro, or the Tabernacle. Burn was amazing, the draw was good. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 26 minutes.

Draw

The draw on the other hand was perfect, striking the ideal air flow.

Overall

For a 5 year anniversary, coming out of TABSA, blended by Nick, who I very much respect, I certainly had high hopes for the Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario. After smoking it, I’m disappointed. It’s not bad by any means, but it is every bit average overall. There wasn’t enough depth of flavors, it was unbalanced and lacked in finesse. Also, the burn performance was awful, perhaps playing a part in the tasting profile. Although average at this point, this cigar begs for a revisit, and when that time comes, I surely hope it is better.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
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Very GoodPre
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Good
AverageFirst
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GoodFirst
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GoodFirst
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Good
AverageSecond
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GoodSecond
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SubparFinal
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AverageBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnSubpar
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Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.10

Cost/Point

$2.94

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.56

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$2.30

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.70

Cost/Point

$2.63

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Foundation El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario

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