Nomad Esteli Lot 8613
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
The Esteli Lot 8613 was released by Nomad Cigar Company earlier this year, and although I assumed that this was a re-blending of the limited Esteli Lot 1386 of 2013, according to halfwheel, this is not really the case: “While Rewey was unwilling to talk details of the blend, he did tell halfwheel that it was not very similar to the Nomad Estelí LE Lot 1386 in terms of components. Still he found the blend gave him a similar experience, so he named Lot 8613.” I do recall owner Fred Rewey talking about his as-yet unreleased blend when he visited Seattle last year and joking (or so I thought) about naming it by simply transposing the numbers of the Esteli Lot 1386, and it appears that he did just that.
This is now the sixth unique line that Nomad has released following the Dominican core line, the Esteli Lot 1386, S-307, C-276, and the Connecticut Fuerte. I have previously reviewed the Dominican Vagabond and the C-276 for Casas Fumando. The Esteli Lot 8613 was blended at the same time as the C-276, and it seems that Fred so impressed with the characteristics of the Ometepe tobacco that he wound up using it in both blends. The Lot 8613 is made at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Nicaragua, and comes in five sizes: Robusto 5×50, Coronita 5.5×46, Toro 6×50, Grand Toro 6×58, and Churchill 7×48, all with MSRP under $9.
Thanks to my good buddy Chris from Louisville for sending this one to me.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan – “Predominantly” Jalapa, Condega Ligero, and Ometepe, according to what Fred told me.
Size: Toro 6×50
Smoking time: One hour, forty-five minutes
Pairing: Fish Tale Reel Ales Monkfish Belgian Style Tripel Ale (ABV 9%)
The Nomad Esteli Lot 8613 presents itself in a medium milk chocolate brown wrapper with a silky and slightly sheen. Minimal veins and nearly undetectable seams lead up to a somewhat crooked double cap. The stick feels solidly packed with no discernible soft spots, although not particularly heavy in the hand. The wrapper exudes tangy barnyard and light earth, while the foot is spicy, peppery tobacco and wood. The band differs from the previous black dominated bands of the S-307 and C-276 in that it lacks the line designation, using a black footband marked “Esteli Lot 8613” instead. An easy cut of the cap reveals a draw with my preferred touch of resistance and a cold draw that shows sweet tobacco, light cedar, and some grassiness.
Upon lighting, sweetness hits the palate first, followed by woodiness, musty earth, and a peppery pungency. Pepper is sharp in the retrohale, but is balanced out by a smooth cedar, although I wouldn’t recommend a heavy retrohale at this point, as that pepper does carry a bit of a wallop. The sweetness fades to the background as some musk makes its way into the picture. Halfway into the first third, we’re creeping toward a solid medium in terms of body, and perhaps it’s my aging brain, but myriad of fleeting flavors have been showing themselves – licorice, water cracker, savory smokiness are here with one puff and gone the next – but the underlying base is still the smooth sweet cedar and musky tobacco. The pepper, while still present in terms of flavor, has faded in its spicy sting, making it much easier to move the smoke through my nasal passages, and the uniformly light gray ash has tapped off at a good 1-3/4”.
The second third of the Esteli Lot 8613 brings in more of that smokiness that I picked up earlier, but again, it’s there then gone after a few puffs, although some of the savory hit remains. The burn has gone a bit awry, and I give it a very quick touch up – no big deal, even if it doesn’t look great in the photo. The pepper picks up and water cracker deepens to more of a bread note, and all of the flavors have become richer as the body goes over the medium mark.
The Nomad Esteli Lot 8613 has deepened in flavor even more, although the pepper has once again backed off in intensity, as it reaches into the medium-full range. The sweetness has lingered throughout, sometimes light and at times almost syrupy, and the light bread and very faint wisps of baking spices weave in and out, while the cedar and tobacco components have remained a rock solid foundation. Surprisingly, with an inch and a half left, the Lot 8613 lightens up a bit and the flavors become a bit sharper, with a bit of a sting on the tip of the tongue as I take it down to the last inch.
Although this is the only Esteli Lot 8613 I have smoked, I have to say that I was more than just a little impressed by it. Having smoked a few of the Limited Esteli Lot 1386’s, I would have to say that my preference runs to this one. I have smoked each of Fred’s lines outside of the original limited Dominican Renegade, and having really enjoyed each line, I can say that the Esteli Lot 8613 is a more than worthy addition to the Nomad portfolio. The way the flavors wove in and out made for an enjoyably complex smoke and the construction was great. The only part that I didn’t quite enjoy so much was the very tail end of it, but by that time, I was well over an hour and a half into it and at the point where most cigars kind of peter out anyway. It’s well worth the money for an enjoyable, long lasting medium-plus bodied and medium strength smoke, and I would really like to get my hands on some of the Coronitas to see how they fare.
By the way, if you’re not by now familiar with Fred and his philosophy regarding cigars, not to mention his great sense of humor, it would be well worth your time to check out these videos from our friends at Stogie 411 and Cigar Craig:
Once again, big thanks to Chris for the gift!
In Tony’s most recent review, he mentioned his preference for Belgian and Belgian style ales when pairing up with cigars, and I tend to agree with him on that. The sweetness and fruitiness that those ales bring to the party tend to match much better with medium to medium-full bodied non-Maduro cigars than bitter (non-double) IPAs, so the Fish Tale Reel Ales Monkfish Belgian Style Tripel Ale from Olympia, WA brewer Fish Brewery was a no-brainer for me here. With a nice sweetness, orange fruit, and just enough of a spicy and lightly bitter hoppy finish to balance things out, it was a great match for the Nomad Esteli Lot 8613. I think just about any Belgian ale, a fruity and not too assertive bourbon, or a rum that is on the sweeter side would go well with this cigar as well.