The Day That Nub Came To Town

After months of waiting, Atlanta finally got some Nub love this weekend. On Friday, Sam Leccia, one-time Oliva cigar rep and brains behind the new Nub cigar line, loaded up the Nub Mini Cooper and drove into Georgia. His destination was La Casa Del Tobacco in Buckhead which locals may know by previous incarnations as “Georgia Cigar” or “Cigar World”.

Nub Mini Cooper
Nub Mini Cooper

In case you haven’t heard about the Nub cigar yet, here’s a quick explanation of these unusual looking stubby smokes. The theory is that these chubby four inch cigars capture “the sweet spot” of the tobacco, which they say generally begins around the 3 1/2 to 4 inch point on a normal cigar. At the same time the larger than normal girth of the stick gives you the same quantity of tobacco as a much longer cigar and keeps the cigar cool at the same time. So in theory, you’re doubling up on the best part of the cigar.

Nate and Eddy Fontana
Nate and Eddy

In the months between the announcement of the Nub and it’s arrival in Atlanta, I had plenty of opportunity to talk with people about both the concept behind the cigar and the cigar itself. As you might expect, early on the buzz was huge. People who had only just seen pictures and a read a quick blurb about the cigar were asking if they could buy boxes of them. But then as time wore on, I started to notice more an more skepticism. Some of it made sense, and some of it just seemed like the natural backlash against the initial feeding frenzy.

Nub Connecticut
Nub Connecticuts

And then a month or so back I finally got my hands on a sampler. I’ll be honest, they weren’t that impressive. The Cameroon had a flaky ash and none of the Cameroon flavor I so enjoy. The Connecticut and the Habano had a better ashes, but the cigars seem to have no soul. Where was this “sweet spot” flavor I heard so much about?

So it was with a healthy dose of skepticism that I headed over to the event. I knew it would be a great time, but I had serious doubts as to whether I’d enjoy the cigars. After taking a quick moment to check out the Mini Cooper and say hi to some of the folks, I picked up a few to smoke there at shop. I decided to start with the Cameroon, both because it because it had been the poorest performing before, and because, oddly to me, Nate, the local Oliva rep who joined Sam on this leg of the journey, said it was probably his favorite.

Nub Mini Cooper
Nub Mini Cooper

I quickly lit it up, and noticed something I hadn’t before. Flavor. This cigar had a very pronounced and very enjoyable Cameroon flavor! Hey, this was great, what’s the deal? So I asked Nate. He told me that some of the early sampler cigars were rushed a bit, and that he had actually had the same experience.

Nub Cameroon Ash Stand
Nub Cameroon Ash Stand

So with a tasty cigar in hand and drink in hand, I sat back and watched the Sammy the Roller show, starring Sam Leccia, a pile of tobacco and the cool rolling table Walt White made for him. It wasn’t like touring a cigar factory, watching torcedors (or tabaqueros) pounding out cigar after cigar. This was more like “cigar hacking.” And I mean “hacking” in a good sense. Sam was creating little Nub masterpieces by stealing wrappers from other cigars to create double wraps, triple wraps, pipe shaped cigars and even more interesting wrapper combinations.

Sam Rolling
Sam Leccia Rolling Another Special Edition

Special Nubs
Special Nubs

And then it got even more interesting. Sam turned the table on us literally and had a number of us roll our own cigar. Yes, I’m happy to say that I tried my hand at making a cigar. After 20 or 30 minutes of applying and re-applying the habano wrapper (and pained grimaces from Sam), I succeeded in making a Nub Habano “gummy bear.” Let’s just say it had the shape of a cigar, with the gooey, vegetable-gluey consistency of a pudding.

Brian Rolling A Nub
Brian Rolling: More Idiot Than Savant

Finally, the evening was winding down. I opted to buy a mixed box of Nub torpedos, now that I found myself enjoying them. (Interestingly, I found myself enjoying the Connecticut and Cameroon more than the Serie V-esque Habano) And I wanted my shot at winning the Mini Cooper. A name was called for the Mini Cooper finalist and it wasn’t mine. But hey, I walked out of there happy, with a box of good cigars and a free t-shirt. And the knowledge that I won’t be rolling cigars for a living any time soon.

Mini Cooper Finalist
And the Nub Mini Cooper Finalist Is…

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10 Comments

  1. Stew said,

    June 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Brian,

    It looks like you had a great night! I bet it was an awesome feeling to finally get to roll a cigar. Did anyone smoke the special NUBS? Now that would make a cool cigar review!

  2. June 29, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    LOL…so when will the Nub Gummy hit the market? I’d like one!

  3. Partamian said,

    June 30, 2008 at 4:55 am

    I went to the event in Marietta. Sam’s a nice guy. He rolled a custom NUb for me. The NUb’s are pretty good, and… I’m the finalist for the NUb Mini!

  4. Gary K said,

    June 30, 2008 at 8:33 am

    I recently sampled the nub, and was very impressed with the flavor of the Connecticut. I even have a couple of more samples to smoke. Although I think the concept is quite cool – even ingenious in some ways – I wonder as to whether the nub is here to stay, or just a passing fad. IMO, most cigar smokers want to smoke a cigar for at least an half-hour or more. I got about 20 minutes out of mine.

  5. Brian said,

    June 30, 2008 at 11:38 am

    It was a blast Stew,
    And though I was definitely in over my head when it comes to cigar rolling, I’d really like to try it again. Once those lottery tickets pay off, I think I’ll volunteer at a cigar factory in Miami just so I can learn to roll a pipe-shaped cigar. LOL

    Jerry,
    Well it could hit the market now! It all depends on how much you’ll give me for the one and only Nub Gummy! LOL

    Partamiam,
    Sorry I missed that event, congratulations! Sounds like we’ll be seeing your picture on NubLive.com sometime in the future! (They have a gallery for all the finalists, if you haven’t checked it out.) When you win it, we gotta take a herf on the road- you can drive!

    Gark K,
    I’ve been wondering the same thing: Does Nub have staying power? I think it does. I’ve noticed a number of manufacturers coming out with shorter smokes that people can squeeze in on their commute or over a lunch break. Given the strength of the ash, I wouldn’t be surprised if this cigar becomes a commuter favorite. (Ashing on yourself on the way to work does get a bit old.)

  6. buckhead beauty said,

    July 1, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    It was a great event, but then again, having an event at La Casa del Tabaco was ideal. The huge humidor with hundreds of choices and a large inviting relaxing smoking area was perfect. Plenty of room for the whole party and just a great bunch of guys. I have been to all the great metro Atlanta shops and La Casa is like being at home. The NUb fits into this store perfectly. I have been to five of Nubs events (Chattanooga, Raleigh, and two in Charlotte,), and this was the best of the bunch. NUb rocks!

  7. Cigars Man said,

    July 4, 2008 at 2:35 am

    It’s incredible how a great cigar night stands out in memory. The Oliva family are very nice people and very progressive. The shorter cigars might not pack all that the longer ones do in reference to complexity of flavor, but in these days of smoking bans they come in handy.

  8. Lonnie said,

    July 8, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    The event was a blast…
    Getting a custom Nub from Sam and then having him roll a pipe for Glen was great…
    But seeing Brian and Nate roll their first stogies was even better…

  9. Joe Drinker said,

    July 9, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    LOL @ the “more idiot than savant” remark. Maybe you should ease into it…do they make a SnapTite cigar kit?

  10. Brian said,

    July 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys, I’ve been a bit distracted lately. (Hey, it’s work, whatcha gonna do?)

    JD,
    That’s a great idea! The problem is I would STILL probably glue the cigar to my hand. (Yeah, I know those snaptite kits don’t use glue, but I’m tellin’ ya, I’d make it happen.)


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