At the July IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Nomad Cigar Company introduced one of its new limited editions, a 6 x 52 Toro named the Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386. Breaking away from its Dominican Republic roots, the Estelí LE Lot 1386 is comprised mostly of Nicaraguan tobacco rolled in Nicaragua, and is limited to 307 boxes of 12 carrying a price of $8.75 each.

We posted the news in a press release back in April:

April 23, 2013 (Orlando, Fla.) – Fred Rewey, founder and president of Nomad Cigar Company, formally announced the introduction of a Nicaraguan blended cigar to the Nomad family. The Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 will be released in July at IPCPR with future blends later in the year.
Until now, Nomad’s entire production has been limited to Dominican Republic. The move of expanding the line to include Nicaraguan tobacco seemed a natural one.
In keeping in line with Nomad’s philosophy, the release will have a few “twists.”
Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386, will be limited to 307 (12 count) boxes.
The box count is Nomad’s tribute to the approximate square miles of Estelí. The reason behind the lot number is a bit more secretive.
When asked about the release, Fred added…
“Take one look at the foundation of the town of Esteli, Nicaragua and you can understand why some of the best tobacco blenders in the world come to this small town.
For me, the tobacco grown here was a newfound playground. When I launched Nomad I wanted the company to be like its namesake. I figured I would wander where I needed to create the type of cigar I was going for. It was a simple fact I would end up in Nicaragua sooner rather than later. This [first] cigar is the result of that very endeavor.
The Nomad Esteli LE was limited to a production of 307 boxes. I chose ’307′ because it is the approximate area (in miles) of this rich area. I chose ‘Lot 1386′ by also paying homage to the region – how exactly I will leave to those who speculate the topic over a cigar.The town of Esteli was easy to love. The culture, the people, the tobacco. I hope that my initial plunge into a Nicaraguan blend can pay them some small form of the respect and honor they have so earned.”

Nomad brand owner Fred Rewey had this to say about the blend:

The creation of the Esteli Lot 1386 was really the manifestation of my journey learning the differences in blending in the Dominican Republic vs. Nicaragua. The goal was to create a transitional cigar that introduced the typical Dominican smoker to Nicaraguan tobacco; without overwhelming them.
Really, looking back, the cigar could have been more complex, but again, the goal was to introduce two things… Esteli Ligero and Jalapa. The newer version will add a layer of complexity.
Each cigar has a full leaf of some great Esteli Ligero. I only found two bails of it…so if I could have made more, I would have. Combine that with lots of Jalapa (both in the filler and the binder) and the user gets to experience the tobacco at, what I believe, its most simplest form. I added the Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper to tie it altogether (and keeping in line with what came over from my DR line).

Here is a photograph of what the boxes of the Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 look like:

Nomad Esteli Lot 1386

Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Rojas 
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $8.75 (Boxes of 12, $105.00)
  • Date Released: July 2013
  • Number of Cigars to be Released: 307 Boxes of 12 Cigars (3,684 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

The Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 is covered with a light mocha brown wrapper and a triple cap. The resistance when squeezed is ideal and there are very few prominent veins to speak of. Aroma off the wrapper is a strong and sweet cedar with leather, barnyard and pepper underneath. The cold draw is a bit tight, but still has a large amount of milk chocolate and coffee notes.

Right off the bat at the start of the first third, the Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 is an explosion of milk chocolate, coffee, leather, hay and cedar. There is a wonderful amount of white pepper on the retrohale for the entire first third that slowly seems to be getting stronger. A generic sweetness ties in well with the dominant milk chocolate note, but it does decrease quite a bit as the first third winds down. Construction-wise, the draw is a bit firmer then I like—although well within acceptable limits—but the burn is razor sharp. Smoke production is well above average, and the strength ends the first third a little below the medium mark.

Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 2

The dominant flavor in the second third of the Nomad shifts slightly, to a combination of the aforementioned milk chocolate and creamy cedar, along with other flavors of coffee, nuts, cinnamon, hay and leather. The sweetness from the first third has also morphed into a slight vanilla note, and while it is still not overly strong, it is noticeable enough to affect the profile positively. Smoke production is still copious, and the draw is still a bit tight, while the burn remains arrow straight. Strength-wise, the Nomad has hit a solid medium going into the final third.

Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 3

The final third sees a large increase in both the sweetness—which is now more of a maple flavor—and the milk chocolate note, along with other flavors of nuts, coffee, grass, cinnamon and cedar. The white pepper is a bit stronger, but still not even close to overpowering and works well with the other flavors. There is still a huge amount of smoke coming off of the cigar, and the strength has not moved much, ending the cigar just slightly north of medium. Thankfully, the draw has loosened up a bit, and the burn stays excellent until the end of the smoke.

Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 4
Final Notes:

  • The cap was almost totally flat on both of my samples, although whether by design or happenstance I could not tell.
  • When I asked Rewey about why he chose the name Nomad for his brand, he explained:

    I think the reason was two-fold. One, I really like to travel. I felt cigar smokers seem to find a place to smoke with each other (making new friends) as they travel (a common bond of the leaf if you will). Secondly, I wanted a brand that could jump around the tobacco community (country to country) in a quest to create a cigar from another region. 

  • The Ecuadoran Habano wrapper on the Estelí LE Lot 1386 is the same that is used on the Nomad core line.
  • While less than 4,000 cigars will be released, Rewey said there were about 5,000 total cigars made in this blend, but he is keeping the remainder for himself and gifts. This isn’t terribly uncommon for the industry.
  • As Patrick mentioned in his review of the Renegade, Nomad is the only manufacturer I know that has their Twitter handle on the outside of their bands, although Ezra Zion has it printed on the inside of theirs.
  • Interestingly, both brands are distributed by House of Emilio.
  • There is no secondary band or foot band on this release. In fact, other than the fact that Nomad has not released this specific size cigar before and the name on the box these come in, there is no indication this is a limited cigar at all. Fred Rewey told me that the run of these cigars was so small, he decided a different or secondary band were not worth it.
  • Rewey has put the accent on “Estelí” when referring to this blend and left it off, just see the press release above.
  • The Toro vitola in this blend tastes great, but I just can’t help wondering what a Lonsdale or Corona would bring to the table. The ligero used in this blend was depleted, so this exact blend is a one a done. However, as noted above, he is working on a newer version for release in the future.
  • The finish is one of the best I have tasted in a while, a sweet milk chocolate that lingers for quite a while.
  • The draw on one of the two samples I smoked for this review was bit tight, but otherwise they both had excellent construction all around.
  • Samples for this review were given to halfwheel by Nomad Cigar Co. at IPCPR 2013.
  • The final smoking time for both samples averaged one hour and 40 minutes.
91 Overall Score

I am betting that quite a few people reading this cigar have never heard of Nomad Cigar Company, or tried any of their cigars. Well, let me assure you that this is a excellent cigar and well worth the effort to track down. In a cigar this size, I am usually looking for a profile that changes flavors a few times to keep me interested, but honestly, the flavors were so well-balanced and distinct in this cigar that I did not mind. While not showing the most complexity in the world, there is easily enough going on to keep me interested and the fact that it is a sweet chocolate bomb from the retrohale to the finish does not hurt at all. The under $10.00 MSRP and the fact that it is a 12-count box are both just icing on the cake; although neither play a role in scoring. A very good full-flavored, medium-bodied blend.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.