Cigar Review: Nub Maduro

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Size: 4×64, Short Torpedo

Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 24, $125

Grade: 8.8

Ok, ok, so we all know about the Nub. The invention of Sam Leccia, liquor salesman turned cigar salesman turned garage-cigar-roller turned ultra success story via the Oliva Nub and Cain. But, it’s a good enough story to tell again.

So, the Nub. The sweet spot of a cigar, where the flavor punches you, is typically somewhere around the 3-4 inch mark. The idea behind the Nub was to start at this sweet spot, rather than work toward it; with that in mind, no Nub cigar exceeds the four inch mark and they all have insanely large ring gauges. The Nub was born in Sam’s garage back in 2006 and the Maduro is the latest offering, presented in two sizes, the 4×60 Short Toro and the 4×64 Short Torpedo.

Here is some of the story, which can be found at their website.

The first step was to determine what blending techniques would result in the flavors and smoking characteristics he was seeking. This process involved deconstructing and analyzing some of his favorite cigars and researching the aging and curing of the tobacco leaf. Early results did not meet his satisfaction. Back to the drawing board he went, however this time he began to focus on finding the appropriate ring gauge and length, as the blended filler was showing promise, yet needed refinement. Through trial and error, it became apparent that larger ring gauges provided a cooler burning, longer smoking cigar while accenting the flavors and smoking qualities of his uniquely blended filler.

During a meeting at their Nicaraguan plantation, the Oliva family also became convinced after sampling some of Sam’s prototype “Nubs”. They were on board…

As a big fan of the Oliva line of cigars, I was intrigued at the arrival of the Nub a few years back.  The few Nubs I have smoked have been very good. Matt, the workhorse of Toasted Foot, picked up the Maduro for me on a recent trip to Mississippi.

nub_3_webAppearance, 1.7:
The appearance of the Nub always makes me a little uncomfortable. It just seems unnatural for a cigar to be that large but short at the same time. That being said, the Brazilian wrapper was flawless and the weight was excellent, but I did notice several soft spots throughout the smoke. The pre-light aroma was all Maduro tobacco and the cold draw was very similar but with some spice on the tip of the tongue. The band is classy and fits the profile of the cigar well, as you can see from the pictures.

Burn, 1.7:
I cut the smoke, toasted the foot, and took my first full draw, which was spot on and produced an adequate amount of smoke. The Nub Maduro burned evenly, with a nice temperature, but the ash was very loose and did not hold as well as other Nubs I have smoked in the past. The cigar did not require any re-lights or touch ups and was consistent throughout.

Flavor, 2.7:
Sam Leccia and Oliva have done a great job with the idea behind the construction of this smoke. It is full flavored with notes of sweet tobacco, mocha, and spice right out of the gate. The cigar does not really transition for me but stays consistent per the above flavor profile. The only difference in the first ten minutes and the last ten minutes is the presence of more spice towards the end.

Overall, 2.7:
I did not enjoy this Nub as much as the ones I have had in the past. The flavor profile was satisfying but not as complex as I would have liked. Also the burn was somewhat disappointing and I always felt like I was having to nurse the cigar a bit. At over $7 a stick, I think there are other smokes out there that would be better for the money, but if you have not tried a Nub, I do encourage you to do so as it is a unique smoking experience.

(Total: 8.8)

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