Alongside Sobremesa by Steve Saka, one of the more anticipated releases of 2015 was El Güegüense by Nick Melillo. Nick was the former master blender for Drew Estate, and like Saka, was heavily involved in the creation of Liga Privada. Both Saka and Melillo’s non-competes were up in 2015, allowing them to create their own lines. The word “El Güegüense” is a native Nicaraguan word meaning “the wise man.” As someone who was a huge fan of Liga Privada, I was interested in seeing what Melillo would come out with. I was hoping that someone who called themselves the “Chief of the Broadleaf” would not come out with something using a broadleaf wrapper, despite the fact that I am addicted to broadleaf. And luckily, he didn’t. He created a 100% Nicaraguan blend, using a Corojo 99 wrapper, Corojo 99 binder, and fillers also from Nicaragua. As I mentioned in my review of Saka’s Sobremesa, these two cigars will unfairly be compared to Liga Privada, and only solely out of ignorance. Both Saka and Melillo’s lines are completely different than Liga Privada.
I chose this size because I’ve sampled every size of The Wise Man. I feel, in my estimation, this size brings out the best of what this blend has to offer. The Churchill starts out with a sweet base, similar to that of candy, a hint of earth, with a white-pepper undertone. The finish is long-lasting, often lingering on your palette until the next puff. The Churchill size is full-flavored, with a medium-strength level. In my past experiences, the flavor profile hasn’t changed too much throughout the smoking experience. This is something I have come to accept and like. A lot of blogs and magazines will criticize and deduct overall points on a cigar that is not complex. If there is something in the flavor profile I enjoy that ends up vanishing with no return, it makes a case for why certain cigars that are one-noted are favorable. In the case of The Wise Man, there are different flavors that pop in and out of the profile, however, what you get out of the first two inches is what you’ll get throughout the smoking experience. The earthiness, sweetness, and white-pepper will all take their chances at dominating the overall profile. So in a sense, it is complex, with those core flavors dominating at different times. If you haven’t given The Wise Man a shot, I suggest trying the Churchill first, only because I believe that this vitola is the best example of how the blend was meant to be perceived.