Nomad C-276 Torpedo Guest Cigar Review
Here at Casas Fumando we are always open to guest reviews, and this most recent guest review has come to use from Jeff Oda in Seattle. Jeff has been a long time reader and probably the most active reader/commenter on our site for some time. Over the last few years Jeremy and I have had contact contact with the guy, traded sticks, and even pulled off a few beer trades. Recently he popped up in a guest review of the cigar that I created when I was in Nicaragua at the Drew Estate Cigar Safari last year and then again with an excellent review of Nomad’s Vagabond, one of EO Brands 601 Green Label, La Gloria Cubana’s Rabito de Cochino, Villiger’s La Libertad, and Also Bonita Smoke Shop’s Time Warp Big Ben. Please show him some love! Especially since he produced a review this week and my slacker-ass didn’t. – Tony
Well, I’m back with a review of another Nomad cigar, this time the C-276. I had previously reviewed the Nomad Dominican core line in the Vagabond size. The C-276, the latest of Fred Rewey’s creations, was released at this year’s IPCPR trade show, and has been getting a good amount of positive press. It is the fifth line that Fred has produced, and the third Nicaraguan made blend, after the limited Estili Lot 1386 and the S-307. According to the Nomad website, the blend consists of a five leaf filler, including Ometepe leaf, a Nicaraguan binder, and is cloaked in an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. In explaining the naming of the cigar, Fred says:
“I really wanted to push myself on this blend. I kept trying to add layer upon layer of complexity all the while making sure the flavors married well with each other.
The name C-276 also has a back story. The “C” is for Concepción, one of two volcanoes on Ometepe Island. “276″ is the square kilometers of the island.
Matter of fact, Ometepe was such a key ingredient at one point in the blending – I named the cigar after the mysterious island.”
The C-276, like last year’s S-307, is manufactured at AJ Fernandez’ Tobacalera AJ Fernandez factory, but Fred tells me that although AJ recommended that he look into the Ometepe leaf for his project, he was otherwise not involved in the blending. It is available in five sizes, all box pressed: Toro (6×50); Robusto (5×50); Torpedo (6 1/2 x 52); Toro Grande (6 x 58); and Corona (5.5 x 46).
This is the only Nomad C-276 I have smoked, and was gifted to me by my great Louisville buddy, Chris Tivnan aka @TheChris213, who happens to be one of the world’s biggest Nomad tramps. Just kidding… sort of. Big thanks to Chris!
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Filler: Nicaraguan, including Ometepe and two ligeros
Size: Torpedo 6 ½ x 50 box pressed
Smoking time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Pairing: Silver City Fat Woody Scotch Ale
The Nomad C-276 sports a classy looking black, red, and silver band that is nearly identical to that of the S-307, save for the small designations for each line on the side. The cigar itself is handsomely rolled in a rectangular box press culminating in a sharply pointed cap, and is firm throughout when gently squeezed. The wrapper is an oily and rich dark chocolate brown, uniform in color with a couple of minor veins. Smelling the wrapper, it exudes a sourish barnyard and tobacco aroma, while the foot shows more of a tobacco, cedar, and light white pepper character. The cold draw brings sweet spice and grassiness.
The cap cuts rather easily and leads to a slightly snug draw, but it doesn’t seem like it will be a problem. After lighting, the first draws present an oaky wood, earth, and unsweetened cocoa with a touch of leather and a very light sweetness that lingers on the tongue. The smoke texture has a nice oily slickness to it. The retrohale adds a nice peppery sting, but soon calms down to a smoother experience. The body of the C-276 is at a pretty solid medium starting out. The burn is somewhat wavy, but is not a problem at this point, while the ash is a brownish hue rather than the more usual gray or white. As I smoke further into the first third, the wood has turned towards cedar and the cocoa has morphed into more of a coffee flavor, while displaying a little more sweetness in the aftertaste. An inch in, the ash begins to show some weakness, so I easily tap it off. Some light floral notes weave in and out, adding even more complexity.
Moving into the second third of the C-276, the smoke texture has become very smooth while continuing to present the same enjoyable flavors, and the intensity of the pepper has quieted down a little more, although it is still quite noticeable. The burn continues to be wavy, but every time I start to think that I need to pull out my lighter and do a correction, the cigar seems to pick up on my thoughts and begins to self-correct. By about the mid-point of the stick, the earth has dropped off, to be replaced by some slightly charred notes and fleeting glimpses of nutmeg and musk, while the cedar has come to the forefront and the coffee remains in the picture. The experience keeps getting smoother, sweeter, and richer while maintaining its medium profile. The C-276 seems to have lost its gift of telepathy at this point and I’m forced to give it its first correction – not a big deal.
The last third of the cigar brings a ramp-up in body, getting into the full range and the pepper has stepped up, especially on the tip of the tongue, while the strength has tipped over to the plus side of medium and continues to rise. The flavors have become a little muddled by the power of the stick, or maybe my mind is being affected a bit by the escalating strength and the 9.2% ABV of the beer, and it’s finally time to put it down with just over an inch remaining.
The Nomad C-276 is a great cigar, especially for those who are into the fuller bodied and stronger smokes. The flavors are distinct and complex, and the construction is solid. Although I did eventually have to correct the burn a few times, it was not an aggravation, and did not affect the flavors. Fred did an outstanding job in blending this stick, and the inclusion of the Ometepe leaf takes it a step beyond the S-307 that I had previously enjoyed, in terms of additional flavors and balanced complexity. The price is more than reasonable for a cigar of this quality and flavor, making this a terrific addition to the Nomad lineup. Now my problem is that my local Nomad retailer is in the process of moving to a new location, and has let his stock of cigars dwindle down to virtually nothing, with no Nomads to be had, so I will be forced to turn to other sources to procure more of these.
The Fat Woody Scotch Ale from Silver City Brewery in Bremerton, WA is a variant of the Fat Scotch Ale I had previously paired with the 601 Green Label. This is the same 9.2% ABV strong Scotch ale, but has been aged in American white oak, giving it a smoother character with chocolate, plum, vanilla, and a strong malty sweetness. It’s a perfect pairing for the Nomad C-276, matching up with the cigar’s flavors, and filling in the gaps with complementary flavors of its own. I think a barley wine would also be a great way to go with the C-276.