Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386
Nomad Cigar Co. is one of the newer kids on the block, coming onto the scene in 2012. It didn’t take long for their cigars to become regular features on review sites and “best of” lists. Besides the obvious appeal of producing quality cigars, smokers most likely appreciate the fact that the owner, Fred Rewey, is highly interactive with customers on Twitter. In fact, his Twitter handle is printed along the side of the band on all cigars he produces. In case you haven’t seen it, you can find him @Godfadr.
Prior to the release of the Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386, Nomad cigars were comprised of Binder and Filler tobacco from Dominican Republic and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Though the wrapper is the same, the Esteli LE has Nicaraguan Binder and Filler from both Esteli and Jalapa. From other interviews of Fred I’ve read, it seems that the name of the company was chosen so he could do exactly what he did for this blend; wander around the globe to find the best tobacco available for his blends.
The LE in the name of this cigar means “Limited Edition”. There were 307 boxes (to represent the 307 sq miles Esteli covers) of 12 produced in this blend. To my knowledge, these have been selling rather quickly. If you see them and are interested in trying some I wouldn’t wait. Once they’re gone-they’re gone!
Since this particular blend was deemed a success, Nomad also has another Nicaraguan creation coming out called the S-307. The S stands for Sumatra, which is the type of wrapper it will don (Ecuadorian Sumatra to be exact). Look for that to hit shelves…NOW!
I’m not going to lie; this Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386 is not a pretty cigar. It has an overall rugged appearance, with some prominent veins, visible seams, and tiny black specs all over the wrapper. The wrapper is a nice milk chocolate shade of brown. The foot of the cigar appears to have been slightly flattened, though that could be something I did in transporting it from the shop to my house.
The band on this cigar is the same as that of all other Nomad releases, with no distinguishing names or secondary bands to let the smoker know this is a LE stick. The design is fairly simplistic, with the logo in the center. It has red, black, and silver with “Nomad” in white. As previously mentioned, Fred Rewey’s Twitter handle is on the side of the band (@Godfadr).
I do have one issue with the band on this Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386; I had to peel it off to remove it. When I did, it tore a piece of the wrapper due to the glue being stuck to it. While I was able to reattach it (saliva), I was a little annoyed with having to fret with it at all. Not a deal breaker by any means, just something that I feel is worth noting.
Looks can be deceiving, so I give this one a good sniff test. The aromas are far better than the appearance, as I detect earth, molasses, and chewing tobacco (pre-chewed!) on the foot and molasses, wood, and grass down the barrel. Very enticing!
Other than the bumps from some of the veins, the wrapper feels good. The stick is well packed with no lumps or voids. It passes the squeeze test as well, not too firm or spongy. I think it’s ready to party!
Again, I use my trusty Calibri CRA cutter to make quick work of the cap on this Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386. The pre-light draw reveals wood and molasses and the airflow is just about perfect. Let’s light it up!
I went with the two-match light again and it fired right up. Off the bat, the burn was even. As surmised on the pre-light draw, there is great airflow on this cigar without it being too open. The draw remains almost perfect for the entire time. It produces an ample amount of smoke.
For the first 2/3, the burn is mostly even with only a slight wave to it. In the final 1/3, this Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386 does develop a small run, which is easily corrected with a touch-up. Like the initial appearance, the ash is not pretty. In fact, it is pretty gnarly looking, mostly black and gray and very lumpy. The first ash holds on pretty well, but from the first drop it is very flaky and falls off easily.
While this has not been the most attractive cigar in the world, it has produced nice aromas. How did it fair in the flavor department?
The Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386 starts off with notes of wood, grass, and a white and cayenne pepper combination. As the first third progress, it gets herbal, creamy, then woody and nutty. The pepper turns to black, leaving a nice spice on the back of the throat. There is also a nice floral note on the retrohale and finish.
The second third continues where the first third left off- wood, nuts, black pepper, grass, and floral notes. The flavors seem to smooth out and blend together as this section develops.
After the minor touch-up that was need in the final third, the flavors remain mostly the same, with some creaminess reemerging. Near the end (last in) the stick is mostly woody and nutty. It never gets hot or bitter, remaining enjoyable until the very end.
The Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386 is medium in strength and medium-full in flavor. Smoke time was right at 2 hours.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes, but it will be hard to find many left on the shelves at this point.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Maybe, but not with it being so limited. I plan to hold on to the few I have left and let them age a bit.
Would I Buy a Box?
Yes! They come in a box of 12 for around $105.
As you can probably tell, I was not impressed with the appearance or ash of this Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386. I feel that people who rely more heavily on this aesthetic might pass it up based on how it looks. This would be a big mistake as I feel the flavors make it a very enjoyable cigar. While it is really good now, I strongly believe that this cigar will really improve with a little bit of age. I look forward to testing this hypothesis! I truly believe it would be rated at least a 9 with some age on it.
Though I do not heavily penalize a cigar for appearance, I do think that the issue with the band and the ash detract from it just a bit. Other than that, this is a LE cigar that I recommend giving a shot. But, to be honest, at this point, I would probably recommend the Dominican line of Nomads over this one. I just don’t think it has hit its peak yet.