If you put all of Nomad Cigar Co.’s releases on a table and told me to pick one, I’d have a difficult time.
It’s not that I don’t know which Nomad release I’d choose, I do; rather, I really don’t know what it exactly it looks like. The cigar I’d choose is the Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386, a limited edition cigar that Fred Rewey released in 2013. The problem? It sort of looks like every other Nomad with no special markings or identifiers other than it’s the only 6 x 52 toro the company has done.
For most people, the issue with the Lot 1386 is not that it didn’t get special packaging, but rather that it was limited to just 307 boxes of 12 cigars. The cigar was received successfully, our own Brooks Whittington rated it 91 and it finished in 12th on The Consensus that year, but Rewey’s backstory on the cigar was that there was at least one particular tobacco used that was limited to just two bales.
Rather than trying to make more bales magically appear, Rewey choose to create a follow-up cigar that would be similar to the 1386, hence Estelí Lot 8613.
The new cigar is regular production, made at Tabacalera Fernandez—as opposed to by Noel Rojas—and offered in five sizes: Robusto (5 x 50, $8.50), Coronita (5 1/2 x 46, $8.50), Toro (6 x 50, $8.75), Grand Toro (6 x 58, $8.95) and Churchill (7 x 48, $8.95).
While Rewey would not disclose the blend details, he said it was very similar to the Estelí Lot 1386.
- Cigar Reviewed: Nomad Estelí Lot 8613 Toro
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto Gordo
- MSRP: $8.75 (Boxes of 21, $183.75)
- Release Date: April 6, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
The easiest way to tell the 1386 and 8163 apart is the foot band on the latter. If for some reason that has fallen off, the 1386 uses black accents on its band, whereas the 8163 features a metallic ring. If the bands are completely missing, you are probably going to need a cigar measurement tool—because the wrappers are pretty close. I will say, the cap on the 8613 is much more obvious, not necessarily something I would immediately associate with A.J. Fernandez and company. Aroma-wise, I pick up a mild earth, leather and sweet cedar. The foot has an extremely strong and pungent aroma with earth, cinnamon, water chestnuts and a bit of pepper. It’s also somewhat aggressive on the cold draw with saltiness, lots of cherries and white pepper in the back of the throat.
Despite all that, the 8613 does not start out as heavy as I would have expected. In fact, it’s medium. There’s some touches of an aggressive habanero pepper, but it’s short-lived and minor. A creamy cedar quickly piles on top and adds some sweetness before a nuttiness transition the Nomad into the finish. In each sample, it took about five puffs and then the smoke production hit completely new levels, and with that, I’m able to pick up a lot more in the nose: sweet apple, mild woodsiness and a barbecue like finish. There’s also sunflower seeds and some mushroom flavors, not totally what I would associate with Dominican olor, but not too far off. I’d peg strength at medium-plus with the body slightly above that at medium-full.
Things calm down quite a bit in the second third. Some part of me is a bit bummed to see a few of the unique flavors disappear, but the profile of the Nomad is better with an earthy cedar flavor becoming the dominant flavor, fruitiness as a secondary flavor and an acidic grapefruit on the finish of the tongue. Through the nose there are a lot more acidic sensations, along with both saltiness and vanilla. It sounds like a lot more than it actually is, but my nose is definitely a bit confused. Smoking quicker is the way to go for the first two thirds of the 8613 with the warmer smoke profile producing more defined flavors. The body and strength seem to switch in levels with the body declining to medium and the strength building to medium-full.
The grapefruit flavor loses its acidic characteristic, which makes it much sweeter and enjoyable. Cedar and water chestnuts are still present behind it, as well as the barbecue flavors through the nose. On two of the four samples I smoked there was a very light starch-like flavor in the nose, somewhat like rice. The Nomad’s smoke production declines a bit in the final third, meaning it has gone from an exploding volcano to a normal cigar. It coincides with me drastically slowing down my smoke pace, something that seemed to be only effective in the final third.
- Adapting a naming scheme that relies on numbers, as Nomad has done, is something I would rarely recommend. However, I think—much like Illusione—if you stick with it, you can get away with it. This is the fourth cigar to receive a numerical number naming scheme following the aforementioned 1386, C-276 and S-307.
- The 8613 comes in a three-piece box where the top lid is actually two pieces. The reason is because like the Cubao and Illusione *R* Rothchildes boxes, the box features a grooved slot to display the lid for retail presentation. This is great for retailers, but the two piece design is going to be an added annoyance for consumers who purchase boxes because it means you need to slide out two pieces to open the box.
- It’s been a while since I reviewed a round cigar with a paper secondary foot band.
- I would describe the cigar as medium-plus, although it briefly gets to be medium-full.
- The draw was slightly loose, about to the limit of where I’m okay with it before I would consider it to be too open. As I oftentimes mention, I like the draw to be slightly tight, so this is probably right at most people’s sweetspots.
- On one of the four cigars, the smoke production actually increased in the final third, almost to the point of being overwhelming.
- Nomad is distributed by House of Emilio.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Nomad Cigar Co.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes.
While there are a lot of ways to confuse the Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 and Estelí Lot 8613—see what I did—there’s no confusing the two when smoking them. The 1386 is a very good cigar, the best I’ve had from Noel Rojas’ factory, but the 8613 is a bit pedestrian. While construction is great and there are some unique flavors, it fails to stand out. It’s a decent cigar and a very good example of balancing different types of Nicaraguan tobacco, but it so desperately needs an edge.