The Sumatra features a distinctively coppery wrapper with a slight cinnamon accent. This reddish hue has few blemishes and only slight veins. As we’ve come to expect from both Nub and Cain cigars, the construction is perfectly consistent.
Meanwhile, the cigar is so tightly packed with tobacco, it has a very firm spring when pinched. However, I’m not overly concerned about the draw given the brand’s consistent construction.
Finally, the cigar’s wrapper releases aromas of coffee bean and musky labdanum. As for the foot, there are overt notes of tonka bean.
Nub Sumatra Review
As with all our cigar reviews, at least three have been smoked in order to provide a comprehensive representation of the smoking experience.
Draw: Mild Resistance
Aromas: Milk Chocolate, Spéculoos, Brioche
As expected, the draw is perfect after cutting and offers only the mildest resistance. A cold draw reveals gourmand notes of milk chocolate and yeasty brioche while I can pick out some spéculoos shortcrust biscuit too.
1st Third Smoking Experience
Notes: Hazelnut, Leather, Nutmeg
The first third starts off as a spicy experience with a sharp retrohale. As it’s a little overwhelming, I cradle the cigar until about a centimetre of ash has burned before trying to dissect the notes.
By now, the burn has settled to develop an overall charred bouquet of aromas. Some light notes of hazelnut with a touch of leather dominate the palate. Meanwhile, a pinch of nutmeg can be felt in the retrohale.
Interestingly, the Sumatra’s palate stimulation is pleasantly balanced in the first third. Some tingling can be felt near the front as well as the back with pressure on the lateral rear.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
Notes: Walnut, Cedar, Hay
The halfway mark takes me by surprise as the cigar has so far been very consistent all the way down. Interestingly, there has been very little change since the first third. However, I wouldn’t call the experience linear.
Nevertheless, the aromas do indeed develop as you pass the halfway mark. The hazelnut has transitioned into a deeper walnut note. Meanwhile, the leather has all but dissipated in favour of cedar while crisp hay can be felt on the retrohale.
As for the tongue stimulation, it’s perfectly harmonious and applies consistent pressure all over the palate.
Final Third Smoking Experience
Notes: Molasses, Honey, Leather
As I make my way to the final third, the cigar continues to offer consistence yet evolves with developing aromas. The leather identified in the first third has returned with a thicker and bolder texture.
With the leather are rich notes of succulent molasses and honey, which provides an overall sweet accord. However, there is still some savoury seasoning from a myriad of spices and nuttiness.
Tongue stimulation also remains pleasantly consistent with only a little more presence felt on the lateral rear, which creates some salivation.
Ash Backbone: Strong
Burn Angle: Mostly Even
Draw: Mild Resistance
Final Smoking Time: 70 Minutes
The Sumatra features the characteristic Nub ash backbone that is strong enough to provide impressive stacks. The ash stayed firmly on until only 2 cm were left (and right before I tried to take a photo) where it unceremoniously flopped onto my lap…
The burn line was sharp and mostly even with only the occasional undulation. The cigar also provides a cool smoke and burns your fingers well before the tongue.
The draw tightened slightly while smoking but remained pleasant enough to finish all the way down. As for the smoking time, it can to an average of between an hour and 70 minutes.
Ideal Pairings With A Nub Sumatra
The Sumatra is probably one of Nub’s most balanced blends to date. Consequently, I’d argue that it’s a very versatile cigar for pairings. You could probably accord it with a variety of whiskies, rums, or even a number of stouts.
I particularly enjoyed it with a 1989 Vintage Delord Armagnac as I found its fruitiness offered a pleasant contrast against the cigar’s seasoning. Alternatively, an American rye Bourbon would be a great choice.
As for non-alcoholic beverages, an espresso or even a café au lait would both pair nicely with this harmonious cigar.
Like the Nub Double Maduro, the Sumatra is delivered in a small, understated unfinished wooden box, which can contain 10 cigars. A very subtle box, it’s easy to miss as the only identifying featuring is a branding into the centre of the lid.
As for the cigar’s band, Studio Tobac have opted for a blue colour that contrasts nicely against the cigar’s coppery hue. Otherwise, it’s the exact same style as most other Nub cigars.
Choosing an occasion for smoking this cigar is a more challenging than usual. Indeed, it’s an affordable blend. However, it’s a little more sophisticated than Nub’s usual offerings.
I’d argue that this would be would savour either with a close friend or at a small, private gathering. Of course, you can save it to enjoy alone but where’s the fun in that?
Finally, as hinted above, the value for money offered by this this cigar is pretty good. Sure, it’s slightly more expensive than regular Nub blends at $76 MSRP for 10 cigars. However, I believe that it’s a worthwhile investment and it’s still objectively cheap as cigars go.
Furthermore, don’t forget that most online retailers offer hearty discounts with some boxes going for just over $50!
Those who know me well are aware that I’m quite the proponent of Nub Cigars. I’ll often recommend the Connecticut as the ideal first cigar thanks to its rich and creamy texture as well as the full flavours despite a nonthreatening length.
The Sumatra is no exception. In fact, I’d argue that its complex bouquet of nuanced flavours has rendered it my favourite offering from Oliva’s range of chubby stogies. If you stumbled upon one of these during your travels, they’re certainly worth a try even if you aren’t normally a fan of the brand.
Nub Sumatra Review
Reviewed by Charles-Philippe, on
"My favourite Nub thus far. A wonderfully consistent smoke that doesn't shy from bold flavours despite a medium body."
Rating: 4.0 ★★★★
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Charles-Philippe's work has covered a broad range of subjects from cigars and fragrances to wine and spirits. Fascinated by how history and culture together form the unique contemporary identities of alcoholic beverages, his articles follow an in-depth exploration of their development through a combination of tradition and innovation.