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Spotlight Brand: El Gueguense

An ode to Nicaragua...

Pronounced el-wah-when-say, the initial release from Foundation Cigar Company helmed by former Drew Estate vice president Nicholas Melillo is a love song to Nicaragua. Meaning “the wise man,” El Gueguense is the oldest Nicaraguan play, and the bands of the cigar pay tribute to the theatrical work.

A Nicaragua puro, El Gueguense features a Corojo ’99 wrapper in the starring role. Rounding out the cast are vintage Nicaragua Corojo and Criollo long-leaves imparting a full-bodied flavor profile. Additional aging in cedar before its release, this blend is hearty and complex. Expect to be met with flavors of cedar, baking spice, dried fruit, pepper, espresso, and earthy tobacco notes. El Gueguense is a fantastic debut from Foundation Cigar Company and truly reflects the depth, richness, and complexity of Nicaraguan tobacco. If you’ve been searching for a perfect example of a Nicaraguan puro, El Gueguense will have you at hello.

#25 Cigar of 2016 – ‘92’ Rated by Cigar Aficionado

Q & A: Rehydrating Dried Cigars

I recently discovered a few cigars that I had purchased a week or so ago and completely forgot about them. They’re completely dried out, can they be saved?

6/08/17 | by PJ in Savannah, Georgia


It’s happened to all of us, we buy a few cigars, shove them in the glovebox, only to pull them out a week later. By then, those precious handmades are as brittle as well... dried leaves. Fret not, there is a way to save them but it takes some work and a lot of patience. 

First, find a cool place with stable temperature and humidity. Second, carefully and SLOWLY rehydrate. Doing this requires precision, so pick up a few Boveda packs with relatively low humidity (about 60% is ideal), because too much moisture will cause your cigars to expand to quickly, and potentially cause the wrappers to crack. Next, insert your cigars into a ziplock bag or an airtight plastic container with the Boveda pack. Replace the Boveda pack if it solidifies. This could take a few weeks depending on climate, but taking these measures will return your handmades to normal. If some cracking appears at the foot, don’t worry, this is normal. It just means that the appropriate moisture has returned to your cigars and they are ready to be enjoyed.

by Tim

Review: ROMEO 505 Nicaragua

Tim Rome 505: A Bolder Departure

Romeo y Julieta is a brand that needs no introduction. It’s had staying power in a crowded field, simply because its cigars are timeless blends that enthusiasts have flocked to for over 130 years. The brand wanted to appeal to enthusiasts who prefer bolder flavors, so it branched out a few years ago with its Romeo line-up. Which brings us to its newest release: Romeo 505

Named for Nicaragua’s country code, 505 is distinct among the brand’s portfolio for a couple of reasons. First, it’s the only Romeo blend that is primarily sourced in Nicaragua. Secondly, it’s a lot bolder than any of the brand’s offerings to date. A combination of rich fillers from Jalapa, Esteli, and Condega are wrapped in a dark and oily Habano Jalapa leaf, which is smooth to the touch and has rich a aroma with sweet notes of leather and cedar. 

I tend to gravitate toward bolder cigars, so this seemed right up my alley from the start. After taking a few puffs, it was clear that this cigar stands out from Romeo’s other cigars. It definitely lives up to the hype with ample sweetness, spice, and earthiness. This is not a cigar you would want to enjoy on an empty stomach, because as promised, it packs the punch you would expect from a full bodied cigar. 

I enjoyed the hell out of 505 and I can say with certainty that it appeals to anyone who prefers full bodied cigars with tons of flavor and quality construction. Hats off to Romeo y Julieta, this is a cigar that I can see myself lighting up again in the very near future.

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Article: Like Father, Like Son: Q & A with Kyle Gellis of Warped Cigars

By: David Fisher

There is no doubt that a large portion of the cigar industry is the result of generational traditions passed down from father to son. Carlos Fuente Sr. and Carlos Fuente Jr., Hendrik and Henry Kelner, Ismael and AJ Fernandez… the list goes on and on. From father and son collaborations to just the love and knowledge of cigars passed down from generation to generation, many of the great cigar brands across the world are a result of these strong bonds. Recently we caught up with Kyle Gellis, President of Warped Cigars, to discuss his latest blend released in honor of his father, Ronald.

David Fisher: How did you get into cigars?

Kyle Gellis: Growing up, my dad was always smoking a cigar. I was constantly around it. He would let me pick the cigar out of his humidor, cut it, hold the lighter, and most importantly, he would let me sit with him while he enjoyed his cigar. He would tell me what flavor profiles he would get, construction issues, and what the cigar meant to him. This started my path down the cigar road at a very early age, because I was learning from a consumer standpoint about what he liked and did not like.

DF: So what is Don Reynaldo? 

KG: Don Reynaldo is a cigar I blended at El Titan de Bronze to honor my dad and for all the support he has given me over the years with Warped. When I blended it, I took his two favorite habano marcas, Hoyo de Monterrey and Partagas, and worked to blend that known creaminess and cinnamon aspect of those two marcas into his cigar. In keeping with his love of Habanos, the cigar is rolled at El Titan de Bronze in Little Havana by category 9 master rollers all hailing from Cuba. Only 100 of these cigars are rolled per day, so it’s something truly exquisite and of the highest quality.

DF: What can you expect from Don Reynaldo?

KG: A true medium-bodied blend with cream, fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, and white pepper. With each cigar rolled the history of its roller comes along with it, many of them are 15+ years in Havana as category 9 rollers, and feature all signature Cuban rolling techniques such as entubado and triple capping.

DF: How many vitolas are currently available?

KG: Right now, just one, a 5.0”x46 corona, available in 10-count boxes.

DF: Thanks Kyle. I can’t wait to try this one. In closing, is there anything else you would like to say to our customers about Warped Cigars?

KG: Our emphasis has always been on quality and consistency. And working with the two of the best factories of TABSA in Estelí utilizing AGANORSA material and El Titan de Bronze in Little Havana, Miami. Both of these factories employ traditional Cuban rolling techniques and have an extreme level of quality and consistency standard in a level all their own. We work with them because of this so we can bring you the best possible experience each and every time.

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