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Stogie Reviews: Nub Habano 464 Torpedo

7 Jul 2009

I admire a guy like Sam Leccia. It takes a lot of guts to go from being an employee with a steady paycheck to a true cigar entrepreneur. But that’s exactly what this Pittsburgh native did when he left his position as a sales representative at the Oliva Cigar Company to found his own lineup of smokes.

Nub Habano 464 TorpedoThe concept for Nub was born of Leccia’s appreciation for the “dedication, passion, and manpower it takes to create a cigar.” It was during his time at Oliva, circa 2006, that he hatched the idea for “a high quality cigar that developed its optimum flavor extremely quickly.” He ultimately concluded that a short, stubby format provided for a cooler, tastier smoking experience.

After getting Oliva on board (Leccia reportedly rolled the prototype himself), Nub launched in the spring of 2008 with three blends: Connecticut, Cameroon, and Habano. Each includes Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos.

The Habano blend is supposed to be the most robust and most complex of the lot. I paid $6.50 apiece for the two Nub Habano 464 Torpedos (4 x 64) that I sampled for this review, but you can find them for around $5.50 apiece online when bought by the box of 24.

This cigar’s stubby, pointed posture and firm feel makes it look like it could be discharged from a firearm. Despite its aggressive appearance, though, the reddish-brown 464 Torpedo is a very refined stick. Its well-crafted cap cuts cleanly to reveal a tight cross-section of tobacco and an even draw. Spice tingles the lips and the pre-light aroma of rich coffee, bitter chocolate, and leather sets the tone for the full-flavored experience that is to follow.

Even though the area of the foot is far bigger than cigars with more standard ring gauges, it’s surprisingly easy to establish an even burn line and get the gray, sandy ash to start layering. Take a few moments to enjoy the toasted scent of pepper and firewood before tasting the first puff.

Whether or not you believe in Leccia’s “sweet spot” theory, you can’t deny that Nub Habano packs a powerful punch from the get-go. The flavor has plenty of that deep tobacco taste with traces of pepper, oak, and espresso. Faint notes of sweet caramel add balance.

While I couldn’t force myself to stand the Nub Habano up on its ash—a pose that is prominently featured in Nub marketing materials—the excellent construction leads me to believe that I could have done so without incident. My samples included decent burns, well-fortified ashes, and excellent draws. It’s also worth noting that I especially enjoy this particular vitola because, given the cone-shaped head, it still feels like I’m smoking a cigar with a mere 48 ring gauge.

When it’s all said and done, and after the spice gently accelerates until there’s nothing left to smoke, I have to give Sam Leccia and Oliva a lot of credit for creating a unique, well-built cigar. I’m especially grateful that the Nub Habano 464 Torpedo maintains balance and nuance throughout the 45-minute smoke. For avoiding the pitfall of many full-bodied cigars—all strength and no complexity—this hearty gem earns four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

8 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Nub Habano 464 Torpedo”

  1. furious Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 1:57 am #

    I am not a fan of these; however, there are many who swear that the Nub is the greatest thing going. Not only do I find the ring guage awkward, but the examples that I smoked displayed only average construction. The flavor profile was overwhelming with an abundance of pepper and spice with an acrid finish. 84 points.

  2. Patrick A Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 3:35 am #

    Thanks for sharing your point of view. While I don't consider Nub the "greatest thing going" and while I may be skepitcal of "Nub theory," this little torpedo really hits the spot. For me, it is more balanced than overwhelming. And, given its narrow head, this vitola isn't awkward to smoke.

  3. furious Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    I agree that the narrow head is a plus though. One of the reasons why I really enjoy this website is the overall depth and quality of the reviews. Naturally, we don't always agree, and the real value of this medium is in the discussion of our experiences.

  4. dmjones Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    I like the Habano, although I find it to be on the overly strong side sometimes. I think the Connecticut is one of the finest mild (or mild-to-med) cigars on the market and the new Maduro is very tasty indeed.

    Unlike furious, for the most part, I have found the construction to be very good to excellent, having very few tunneling or canoeing issues. I've been able to achieve the "Nub Stand" (standing the cigar upright on 2 or so inches of ash) at least 3 times and probably could have done more if I had tried.

  5. Sam Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 4:24 am #

    For me I have found the torpedo nubs to be too big on the mouth end. They seem to slip out I cannot keep them in. Anyway, pretty good smoke. I would stick with the regular Oliva's for the money personally.

  6. Patrick M Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    I agree with dmjones on the Nub Connecticut. For a mild smoke it is one of my favorites. I've picked them up for less than $2.50 a stick when I've bought a whole box and at that price they are even better.

  7. ROTHNH Monday, July 20, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Great review. While not everyone's cup of tea, the Nub is a must try for every cigar aficionado.

    Also, IMHO, there is really no "MILD" Nub cigar. The Nub Connecticut is definitely on the medium edge of mild-medium. Conversely, there is no "FULL" Nub cigar — the Nub Habano falls squarely on the center of the medium-full profile.

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