NUB 460 Cameroon Cigar Review

Since I’ve heard about NUB Cigars by Sam Leccia, I’ve been wanting to try it out. For those who have never heard of NUB, the concept is simple: create a cigar which packs a lot of flavor in a short size. Why the short size? Because the best flavors of the cigars generally come out near the final 1/3rd of a cigar and because Leccia’s “natural impatience he wanted a high quality cigar that developed it’s optimum flavor extremely quickly” and so NUB was born.

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Fortunately my local brick-and-mortar, Cigar Loft and Lounge, happens to be one of the few places in San Francisco/Peninsula Bay Area to stock all the various NUB blends and vitolas, I was in luck. I picked up a NUB 460 Cameroon, a medium-bodied smoke, to try out and here are my thoughts.

NUB 460 Cameroon Cigar Details

Origin: Nicaragua
Format: 460
Length: 4.0
Ring: 60
Wrapper: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Made: Handmade
Smoke Time: ~36 minutes
Price: $4.65 single/$110.99 box

Construction

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The first thing I noticed about the NUB 460 Cameroon is that it’s beautifully constructed. There aren’t really any flaws and it’s solid with no soft spots when squeezed. It feels quite large due to the 60 ring size and stubby being only 4.0 inches long. It has a slight oily sheen to it with some small veins throughout with a nice double-cap at the end. The Cameroon wrapper is a nice rustic green/brown color that is pretty consistent all over. The cigar comes wrapped in cellophane.

The cigar band is plain, simple, and elegant adorned with gold, white, and blue. In the middle is the NUB logo with Cameroon written below it. Of all the cigar bands I’ve seen and tried (Cuban and non-Cuban), this is by far the easiest to remove without damaging the wrapper.

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The NUB Cameroon I tried for this review had a slight loose pre-light draw and continued up until the beginning of the second-third of the cigar. It wasn’t bad, but a bit annoying. Once the draw issues are out of the way, it starts really getting very good. The Cameroon is nicely packed with tobacco and rolled very well. The ash stayed on solid all the way up until the final 1/3rd when it broke off and fell to the ground and broke into flaky pieces. I only had to do one minor burn correction, otherwise the NUB burned quite well.

Flavor and Taste

The flavors come right out at the very beginning and hits you like a medium-bodied cigar with the flavors of spiciness, leather, a touch of sweetness, and coffee. It’s very buttery/creamy smooth all the way down to the nub. About 2/3rds of the way in I was shocked to suddenly taste pepper and nuts with a very nice aftertaste. The pepper taste started letting up near the final 1/3rd.

Overall I found the NUB 460 Cameroon to be very good, but the taste a bit lacking. It might be that Im starting to develop a taste for stronger bodied cigars or this could have been a fluke and I’ll need to try another one, but I think I may step it up and try the NUB Maduro next time out.

Value

I purchased the NUB 460 Cameroon from my local cigar store, Cigar Loft and Lounge, for $6.83 plus tax making this a decent value. If you purchase from online from stores such as Famous-Smoke, the price is certainly cheaper. I do urge that you try and buy from a local store when possible for a number of reasons: support the local economy, if there is something wrong with the cigar you can easily switch it, no worries about damage to the cigar because of shipping, and we need more local cigar lounges. I can’t tell you how annoying it is when you buy a sampler or a single and it has loose draw or a cracked wrapper. That extra couple of dollars goes a long way.

I try to base what I perceive as value on smoke time and the flavors of a cigar. This is definitely a “shorter” smoke, as it took me ~36 minutes to enjoy it, but I’ve heard you can smoke the NUB in ~15 minutes with constant and consistently puffs.

Conclusion

Sam Leccia doesn’t disappoint with his creation: NUB. I definitely can see picking up a box or having at least a handful in the humidor as this would be a great smoke for the winter months or even an after lunch smoke year round. The flavors are good, the construction is very good, and the price is not bad.

I’ll definitely be trying more of the NUB cigars. If you live in the San Francisco/Peninsula Bay Area and looking for an authorized NUB dealer, be sure to checkout Cigar Loft and Lounge for their great prices, great service, and a gorgeous cigar lounge.

Be sure to checkout these other great reviews:

NUB 460 Cameroon Gallery Pictures

Best Cigar Lounge in the San Francisco Bay Area: Cigar Loft and Lounge

With all the anti-smoking legislation and laws in effect, it has become increasingly difficult to find a safe haven where one can legally light-up and enjoy a smoke. And with my wife expecting our first child, I definitely don’t want to expose either to any second-hand smoke, so I’ve been looking for cigar lounges around San Francisco and the Peninsula and I’ve found some places thanks to CigarGroup.com. Unfortunately it seems like the information on CigarGroup.com hasn’t been updated in a while, but it still did offer a great starting point.

From the list, I selected four locations to try and I called each looking for a few things: cigar lounge, cost to use their lounge, do they carry the Zippo Blu butane lighter, and do they carry any NUB cigars. Of the four places I called, only one place fit everything I was looking for: Cigar Loft and Lounge (Yelp review) in San Mateo, CA. With two other stores in the East Bay, I decided to pay the San Mateo store a visit after my dentist appointment and not only was I not disappointed, but I met a few new cigar buddies.

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Cigar Loft and Lounge (650-312-1141) is located at 106 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo, CA across from Lucetti’s Italian Restaurant (an excellent Italian restaurant from what I’ve been told) along with a number of other stores. Parking is decent, with many 1-to-2-hour metered parking spots on 25th Avenue and be-careful not to make a u-turn on 25th because it’s prohibited and is a costly ticket according to one cigar aficionado who got a $300 fine.

My first impression upon entering Cigar Loft and Lounge was how nice a setup this place is. They have a number of large floor-to-ceiling humidor cabinets filled with a huge selection of premium cigars from many brands such as Opus X, Padron, AVO, Olivia, Fuente, Rocky Patel, Ashton, NUB, and so on. One brand I couldn’t find there that I’ve really been anxious to try was Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje brand (Wiki article), but with their selection so huge, I’m sure there are plenty of other brands that I can try. [2009-12-30 UPDATE: Further proof that I am blind, turns out that Cigar Loft and Lounge does in fact carry Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje brand cigars. Will clarified this in email to me. ] I also found the prices to very reasonable for a brick-and-mortar store. A number of the Opus X cigars was priced at ~$28, which is a great in-store price considering I’ve seen other places sell them for as high as $50 or more because of how limited and hard to find the cigars are. Although I usually buy my cigars online, I’ve been making an effort to support my local b&m store for a number of reasons including supporting the local economy and fellow BOTLs (Brothers of the Leaf).

20091219-Cigar-Loft-and-Lounge-San-Mateo-Bui4Ever-002I found Will Shekaib (store owner) and “Z”, Will’s cousin, very personable, professional, friendly and knowledgeable especially in helping me, a NUB noob, select the right NUB cigar for me, the NUB 460 Cameroon for $6.83 (review here). They were also the only store in the San Francisco/Peninsula area that carried the Zippo Blu butane lighter, which I’ve been looking to buy. There were two to select from: Zippo BLU Shadow Lighter Dark Chrome or Zippo Blu Sable Lighter; I selected the Shadow Lighter Dark ($54.95) as the Sable ($51.95) had a plastic cover cheap feel to it. I also purchased a large can of Vector premium refined gas that is “Quintuplus filtered 5+ times” for ~$7, as the cheap butane refill gas that I’ve using are crap and causing my lighters to perform less than satisfactory. A testament to their service, I had a bit of a struggle in filling my newly purchased Zippo Blu and Z took the initiative to help and spent the time to show me how to properly fill it.

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After completing my purchase, I decided to partake in their cigar lounge. While there is no cost to use the lounge, you do have to purchase at least a cigar, though you don’t have to smoke what you just purchased and are welcome to smoke anything you may have bought with you. I find it rude when some people come to a cigar lounge, don’t buy anything, and expect to use the lounge for free. That would be like going to Starbucks drinking home brought coffee sitting at the tables. The cigar lounge at the Cigar Loft and Lounge is quite generous taking up half, if not more, the size of the store in the back with plenty of large, over-sized, comfortable leather single-seat couches, a large wall-mounted Plasma T.V. complete with a microwave and a fridge. I joined two other BOTL (regulars there) who were already watching the football game and they were very personable, friendly, and inviting. Before long, we were joined by other regulars, all of which were extremely friendly and welcoming. With the relaxed atmosphere, comfortable couches, and friendly cigar aficionados, we discussed everything from favorite cigars to the football game to life in general. Who could ask for more.

This is a very friendly and relaxing atmosphere where you can bring your significant other, provided that he/she enjoys cigar smoking or can tolerate the smoke, and a bunch of friends. While the store has great ventilation, because of the enclosed room, you will end up smelling like cigar smoke after you leave. It’s like eating at Hot Pot City, food is good, but you smell like it afterward. You get people from all walks of life: retired/active police officers, teachers, engineers, CHP, and so forth. There are many great conversations to be had and shared over a fine stogie.

The lounge complete with microwave, mini fridge with beer, and big screen flat panel
The lounge complete with microwave, comfy leather seats, mini-fridge with beer, and big screen flat panel

The Cigar Loft and Lounge has a number of private humidors for rent for $25/month. Renting one gives you certain perks such as invitations to all their events, special discounts (anywhere from 10-25% depending on the cigar) and more. The group I was with there all had a private humidor.

I will definitely be back every couple of week or so. San Mateo is a bit more of a drive for me, but the ambiance, friendliness, fair prices, and great service is worth the drive for me. I didn’t really get a chance to take any snaps, but next time I’m there I’ll be sure to get more pictures. Will was generous enough to let me snap some pictures.

Cigar Loft & Lounge
106 W. 25th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 312-1141
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM, Sundays: 10 AM – 6 PM

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