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Staff Reviews

Nub Maduro 460 Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I’m smoking a chunky Nub Maduro in the brand’s bestselling 4 x 60 format, befittingly called the 460. What’s not to love about Nub if short fat cigars are your thing? What began as a bit of a gimmick in 2008 quickly grew into a mainstream phenomenon. Ultra-thick cigars that max out at four inches in length make up the entire Nub portfolio, which is handcrafted at the sprawling Oliva factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Nub is named for what we colloquially call the final moments of a cigar – the nub, or what remains on the edge of the ashtray when we’re done smoking. The philosophy behind the shape was to isolate a cigar’s “sweet spot” for peak flavor and aroma. Many argue the merits here, but Nub has no shortage of admirers. Smoking Nub is comically compared to stuffing the circumference of a beer can in your jaw. The cigars aren’t quite that fat, but the image is easy to grasp if you’ve ever held a Nub in your hand. For the size purists out there, don’t knock Nub until you smoke one. Nub offers plenty of nuances you simply won’t find in traditional shapes.

We’ve chronicled the other Nub blends: ConnecticutCameroonHabano, and Corojo. Nub Maduro completes the collection with a dark and oily wrapper leaf harvested in Brazil. A dense core of Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos fills out the 460’s abrupt profile, which is packed in cube-like boxes of 24 cigars. I slide the lid off a fresh box and unleash deep aromas of cocoa, toffee, and baking spices as I jar a portly cigar loose from the top layer.

Cutting Nub requires a big ring gauge cutter. If you’re using a standard cutter, gently push the head of the cigar into the blades to cut just enough of the cap to create a draw, or consider a punch cutter and punch the cigar more than once. It takes more time to fully toast the foot when you’re lighting up due to the extra area you’ve got to cover. Once the end is fully engulfed, Nub Maduro opens up in a series of cool, voluptuous draws with chocolaty and creamy notes. Hints of walnut and black pepper round out the edges.

The thickness of the 460 prevents Nub Maduro from intensifying too much, especially if you smoke it slow. Let each puff resonate on the palate long enough to access intricate flavors of hazelnut and spice. Smoking Nub too fast defeats the purpose. Big ring cigars are meant to burn cool and easy to deliver more approachable taste. Notes of almond and fresh ground coffee come into play as half of my Nub is gone and its strong ash shows no signs of dropping soon.

In a cursory search of Nub images, you’ll notice the ash is always intact. The brand’s consistent, stable structure is a testament to the quality control standards at the Oliva factory. Nub’s construction is frequently touted in pictures of the cigars proudly standing upright on a fully intact, spent ash.

Getting to the end of Nub is easier if you’ve got a big mouth – literally. Nub’s plump shape can fatigue the jaw after twenty minutes or so, and one Nub can last an hour, believe it or not. A wise strategy is to puff on Nub from the very tip instead of trying to wrap your lips around the entire head. A delicious amalgam of cocoa and white pepper culminates with dry, woody texture as Nub Maduro concludes. Make no bones about it, Nub is worth a try even if you’re hesitant to smoke cigars with carnivalesque dimensions.

The masses embraced Nub years ago. Find out if Nub is for you by taking a tour of each blend in our bestselling Nub 8-Cigar Sampler or the ‘Stub Club’ Monster Deal. Even Rocky Patel makes a decent cheaper alternative, called Mulligans Ground Hog, to meet today’s immense demand for short and stocky shapes. Know that Holt’s is your #1 source for the lowest prices on Nub when you’re ready to take the plunge on the industry’s original plump and premium brand.


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