Unless you’ve been living under the rock the past 3 weeks, you’ve probably heard of the Nub. If not, here’s your crash course:
After tasting countless cigars and working hands on in the Oliva factory, Sam Leccia concluded that a cigar normally hits its ‘sweet spot’ within 3 to 4 inches of the burn. Therefore, one must invest a good amount of time with a cigar prior to being rewarded with its true character. So, Sam worked with the Oliva Cigar Family (maker’s of Serie ‘V’ and Serie ‘O’) and developed the Nub line: a variety of blends and sizes within the 4 inch range, with ring gauges ranging from 56 to 66. These cigars were engineered - using three wrapper varieties - to capture the essence of the blend from the get-go, rewarding you with the cigar’s sweet spot throughout the entire burn. Packaged in boxes of 24, each box contains the weight and burn time of the cigar, so you know exactly what’s in store.
Nub offers three blends. Cameroon, Connecticut, and Habano. Each blend offers four sizes - three are shared among all three blends, then a fourth that is specific to each blend. Clear as mud? Good. I’ve burned them all and can say each size in each blend offers an entirely unique bouquet and body. For that reason, I decided to do a vertical tasting of each blend...today, it’s Nub Habano.
Nub 358 Habano: The smallest vitola offered by Nub Habano. This size seems to be the least complex of the four, but offers a pleasant, straightforward flavor. Rich tobacco, some white pepper, and a smooth, smoky aftertaste. It did get a little hot with about an inch left, but burned like a pro. Medium-bodied. Lasted roughly 45 minutes.
Nub 460 Habano: Chunky. Very complex, with a variety of flavor. It’s spicy up front, but quickly becomes rich and creamy, with good tobacco flavors. There’s a unique touch of almonds throughout. The finish is smoky and toasty. Great, spicy aroma. Thick clouds of smoke linger above. A solid smoke, sporting a firm white ash. Every bit of full-bodied. Lasted just over an hour.
Nub 464 Torpedo Habano: A nice-looking torpedo. Opening is loaded with peanuts, with a short, refined aftertaste. Smoke becomes quite creamy after the first quarter of an inch. The Torpedo shape lends a balanced concentration of flavor that instantly coats the palate with a heavy, velvety texture, offering smooth notes of tobacco, oak, and toasted nuts. Smoke is much cooler. Perfect burn producing a white and grey, concrete-like ash. The build-up in strength is much more gradual in this size than with the rest. Overall, it is medium to full-bodied with a spice that grows more intense during the smoke. Lasted just over an hour. My favorite size.
Nub 466 Habano: Holy cow this thing is huge and heavy in the hand. Had to hunt for a cutter capable of snipping the cap. Maybe a punch next time. A bit awkward with the mouth feel, but I got used to it quickly. Creamy and spicy opening, pumping out thick clouds of grey smoke. I notice a slightly metallic component in the beginning. The aftertaste gradually becomes nutty and spicy. Smoke is hearty, offering notes of earth, almonds, and leather. Full-bodied from the start with an even stronger finish, oh my. Flavors mellow midway only to become quite intense during the home stretch. Lasted just under an hour and 20 minutes.
Ok, my head is officially spinning.
There is a lot to know about Nub, and I really do suggest giving this line a shot...and it’s not just because of its innovative twist on handmade premium cigars. Since it may be difficult to choose a size or blend, I created a nifty chart to quickly break down the entire line:
This is no gimmick, folks. These cigars burn slower and cooler than most churchills, with more complexity to boot. Nub is legit. Today’s makers are doing amazing things with great tobaccos, and Nub is launching our little hobby to the next level. The Habano is a home run in my book, and I will certainly be adding the 460 and 464 Torpedo to my regular rotation.