Reviews by Joe

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I'm Nubbin' It!


I love cigars. If you’re surprised by that, you may be reading the wrong website… but bear with me a moment, because I want to lodge a little complaint against our handmade industry. Quite simply – there’s a lot of “noise” out there. Every cigar brand likes to hearken back to their century old history, their great-great-grandad’s original vision of “proper, Cuban” fermentation methods, the magic beans they purchased from an Ecuadorian peasant for two cows that went on to become the basis for their farm, or the secret song they sing to their tobacco plants to make them grow big and strong. It’s a lot of marketing nonsense, to be blunt. At the end of the day, here’s what I care about: does a cigar taste good, or nah? 

Why do I bring this up? Because as much as I love Nub cigars, the story behind them is a little hocus pocus-y. Here’s the pitch: standard length cigars take a little while to develop, yeah? If you read the crazy cigar blogs out there, they’ll tell you all about how a cigar’s first through twenty-ninth puff tasted of lemongrass and alfalfa sprout waffles before it finally blossomed into lightly roasted coffee, Madagascar vanilla beans, and licorice sticks. Nub cigars by Oliva, on the other hand, are supposed to start at their “sweet spot” right away – basically, hit the good notes from the beginning and keep things short and sweet (unlike this lengthy Oliva cigar review.) Is it true? Who knows. But today we’re going to ask the more important question — the new Nub Sumatra… does it taste good? 

Yes. Yes it does. 

Oh, you want more? Alright, let’s do this thing. Nub Sumatra by Oliva is a recent release of one single size, a 4”x60 Gordo (sort of the Nub standard) in 10-count boxes. Easy on the eyes and easy on the wallet, I knew I’d be doing a little employee order as soon as these babies hit the dock. Sumatra is an entry in the recent “Studio Tobac” sub-brand of Nub: a series of single-size expressions that each offer something totally unique to the Nub lineup. So what’s this cigar’s claim to fame? It utilizes the same wrapper leaf as the uber-popular (and my personal favorite) former #1 Cigar of the Year – Oliva Serie V Melanio.

Basically, if you love Melanio, but wished it came in a bigger and badder version, stop reading this thing now and pick yourself up a box ASAP. 

Sparking this sucker up, I was nervous. I friggin’ love Melanio, and if this thing didn’t perform as expected, it’d feel the same as watching someone pour out a glass of Pappy Van Winkle and then taking it like a shot of Jack – exciting, and then real, real disappointing. Luckily, the folks behind Oliva Tobacco Company did not let me down. Nub Sumatra is a little smoother and mellower than the Serie ‘V’ Melanio, but beyond that, it was everything I love about that sultry Sumatra profile. The wrapper leaf is dark, thick, oily, and seamless in appearance. Coming in just a notch below full-bodied, this full-flavored Napoleon complex of a stick delivers rich and unique nuances including a slightly-sweet baseline of flavor, complimented by leathery notes, some chocolate, and a nice hint of black pepper that’s never overwhelming. Overall, one of the best Nub cigars I’ve tried to date.

I’ll be clear – this is never going to replace Melanio for me. But it’s definitely an awesome “tweaked” version of the blend that I’ll be sure to keep in my humidor for the foreseeable future. Or, more simply: does Nub Sumatra taste good? Hell yes.