The Nub – Habano
The "Nub" Concept – Marketing hype or truly an innovation?
One of the hard-to-miss trends in the cigar trade over the last couple of years has been the emergence of the "Nub" cigar. Nub is an actual brand name, produced by creator Sam Leccia and the Oliva family, both longtime and respected players in the hand-rolled, premium cigar market. The concept is rather simple. It asserts that the best and most flavorful part of a cigar is typically in the middle of the stick, after you have smoked through the first inch or two of the cigar. If you design and blend a cigar that simply eliminates that first inch or two, you get that sweet spot taste within your first puffs, and it stays at its peak flavor point through the rest of the cigar, down to the nub. The Nub is the original line of these cigars that seems to have ignited this hot trend.
Today, many cigar manufacturers offer a "sawed off," "short and stout stub," or "nub," of a cigar for the smoker to enjoy a more efficient smoke, optimizing the flavor over the timeframe you are smoking.
Now, I personally struggled to buy into the concept, especially given that the pricing appeared to be no different than for a full-sized cigar. I also believe that the reason the middle of a traditional cigar is so tasty is due to the smoke being drawn through the length of the cigar from the initial inch. As this smoke passes through the middle, it helps to enhance the flavor. The skeptic in me wondered if the "nub" concept was simply a marketing ploy that was designed to lower production costs and increase profits by using less tobacco due to the shorter cigar. I decided that I cannot pre-judge and simply must try the original Nub.
So, let's get smokin'!
The Nub – Habano
Size: 4 inches long, 64 ring gauge
Price: $7 to $8
The cigar is a produced via a partnership between Sam Leccia and the Oliva family. Oliva is the manufacturer.
- Wrapper: Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
I smoked this on a warm summer day on my side porch under a paddle fan. Again, I was approaching this smoke with a fair amount of skepticism. However, I forced that out of my mind in the attempt to experience my first "nub" without prejudice.
Look and feel
It provided some pleasant surprises. One was the high quality look and feel; it looked and felt nicely weighted, packed and rolled. Also, the Habano wrapper was nearly flawless, with a beautiful sheen of reddish-brown hues, and thin veining.
Aroma and Taste
In the initial puffs, the cigar started nicely with a nice balance of wood, earthy tobacco, and bread. I found the smoke to be of medium to medium-full bodied and flavorful. As I smoked a bit, a sweetness appeared on the palate to successfully contrast the more smoky flavors. The spice of the cigar was evident through most of the smoke, but never overpowering.
The aroma was certainly inviting, both pre and post lighting. The burn was flawless and the smoke plentiful. The biggest surprise was that the cigar burned so slowly and consistently that this 4-inch cigar turned into a one-plus hour smoke, rivaling many longer cigars!
RATING: 9.0 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – This is a very nice cigar, worthy of purchase. This old skeptic is sold on the Oliva Nub cigar. I still suspect that you have to be careful with a number of knockoff brands, but I will no longer dismiss the shorter formats out of hand. Instead, I will experiment with the offerings from some of the stronger brands in the industry, especially Oliva – a true innovator in this sector of the market.
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"After a truly good meal, an outstanding cigar is still the most satisfying after-dinner activity that doesn't involve two human beings." – Brad Shaw, Radio Announcer