GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Honduran Candela
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 50 Toro
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $10.00
Humidor time: 3 weeks
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 0




Today we take a look at the GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co.
Thanks to Miguel Castro for the sticks.

Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra
Number of Cigars Produced: 5,000

Why GB-19?
Fred is a big Packers’ fan. That’s all you need to know.
I too am a big Packers fan as I am a Milwaukee resident.

The following is from a reliable source:
“Green 19. Rodger’s alternate cadence is “Blue 58”. Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy have said that it’s typical for 2 plays to be called in the huddle. When you hear “Kill”, it means go to the secondary play.”

There is no No.19 on the Packers’ roster.

I only like two candelas: Illusione 88 Candela and the La Flor Dominicana Double Claro. Both reviewed here 2-1/2 years ago. My photos sucked then. They’re better now.

So this is going to be a tough one. I saw that some other reviewer didn’t think too highly of this cigar. I betcha I do. It’s OK. I disagree often with a lot of the other writers. I’m usually right. Pretty damn confident for a man on the down slope to 70, huh?

A nice oily pickle, emerald, crocodile hued wrapper. The delicate wrapper has one huge Frankensteinian vein on one side. Looks like open heart surgery.
The stick is perfectly solid with the right amount of give when pressed.

The triple cap is expertly applied. And I love the colors of the accoutrement that adorn the cigar. First is the very simple, but classy, main cigar band. Nailed the Packers’ colors. And the golden ribbon footer is a nice touch. I will save it and wear it around my middle finger next time the Packers play. I mean, really…what is going on with those guys?

From the shaft, I smell lovely chocolate, sweet cream, butterscotch, green chlorophyll, a touch of lemon zest, and a small amount of floral notes.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell red hot spice that seems to burn my nostrils as I insert the cap into them…sweet cream, wonderful hot cocoa, malts, butterscotch has become caramel, green chlorophyll, earthwoodleather, and a small cup of piping hot espresso.

The cold draw presents flavors of big doses of chocolate, creaminess, red pepper, roasted nuts, grass, sweet kiwi, coffee, and malts.
I was expecting a really “green” taste but to my surprise it didn’t taste like I had just mowed the lawn. It is full of all these aromatic elements that delight the senses and palate.

I have a good feeling about this blend.
Holy shit! The first puffs make me want to dial 911 because the pepper is so hot it’s like chewing on a habanero…I love it! I must clear my eyes from the tears and wipe my cheeks with Kleenex. Wow.
Great start!

In order to put things in perspective, I am going back to all my Nomad reviews ( 8 ) and rate them according to what I wrote about them. I didn’t start numerically rating blends til sometime in late 2015. I just thought the process was so arbitrary and so subjective that all folks needed to do was read the review…instead of skimming it all the way down to the that magic number.

The GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. is killin’ it from the start. (I knew it).

I get a small crack at the foot. I just discovered that my Humi-Care electronic humidifier has been on the fritz and I have no idea how long this has been going on. I replaced it with Boveda packs. I wondered if this would have an effect on my cigars and I’ve just found out the answer is yes.


Flavors are pouring in like a Wisconsin snow blizzard: Red pepper, heavy whipping cream, chocolate, an array of malts, sweet fresh summer fruit, coffee, roasted nuts, turkey (Wait, that can’t be right…I must still be inundated with last night’s dinner), jasmine green tea, lemon zest, a light anise component (That sounds dirty), and caramel hard candy.
Wow 2.0.

Strength hits medium body immediately. It is gearing up for medium/full anytime now. The Cigar Federation store said it was a medium body stick. Methinks it will hit full body before the cigar passes into eternity. I shall buy an urn for it.

The draw is spot on, man. Not a lick of criticism. Perfect.

I hope all these flavors are just not a tease and then they fall off. It’s happened before with lots of cigars that start out like gangbusters only to fail in the last half. But not this blend. The Katman decrees this will be a flavor bomb of mammoth proportions.
The candela wrapper imbues a nice natural sweetness all its own. Not grassy…but like sugar cane or rock candy.

Holy Mother of God. The GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. has just surpassed my other two favorite candelas by a mile…only 1-1/2” into the stick!

Complexity hits me in the puss like a pie from Soupy Sales. It immediately becomes super smooth with a relaxed flavor profile that is now in constant turmoil as it rotates like a disco ball on steroids.
The finish goes on forever. The transitions are at the speed of light.

The sticks are still available but not for long. I really hope that Fred the Rewey makes more. Fred of Rewey is his “Lord of the Rings” name. Rewey means an engaging, eremitic, madcap combatant who is faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! And able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

Man, the other reviewer was just dead wrong on this blend.

I sit here smacking my lips like a thirsty dog. The cat wanders over to see what the hell I’m doing.
The sweetness elements jump the high hurdle and find little bits of sweet tea, lemonade, and sweet spirulina.

If the GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. continues on this path, it will most definitely be on my list of the top 25 cigars of 2015, Yeah, no shit…it’s that good. Thank you Miguel. And the good news is I have one left.

Now the GB-19 could have easily been a mid-double digit priced cigar. $10 ain’t cheap. But these days, it is nearly a deal for boutique cigar blends. Prices have skyrocketed everywhere…and most of it crap. You can list all the leaf stats you want but in the end it is how it affects your palate. And your palate could give a shit if there are 15 ingredients.

Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Strength hits medium/full. Smooth as silk.

Certain flavors pick up the speed: floral notes, jasmine tea, sugar cane, creaminess by the bucket, cocoa, malts, and roasted nuts.
The balance of my flavor list is in play but have allowed the prior elements to take off like the Concorde…loud and noisy.

Lawdy, lawdy, Miss Clawdy. What an incredible blend. If only I were a rich man, I’d give Fred’s left nut to be able to buy a box of these. I would treasure them, whisper sweet nothings to them, and hold them above all others. The last part is from my Bar Mitzvah speech.


Caraway seeds and sesame seeds pop out of nowhere. Now I want a bagel.
In the 90’s, we used to visit New York Bagel & Bialys in Scottsdale, AZ. Best bagels I’ve ever eaten out of NYC. I loved the poppy seed ones and then during a random urine test at work, I got nailed for having opium in me. Damn poppy seeds. From that day forward, I had to do a non-random drug screen every month until I left. There is a moral to this story but I just can’t figure out what it is.

The GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. is about a perfect blend as they come. No shit.
Stop reading and buy some. Now.

The only place I found them still for sale is at Cigar Federation and they only have 24 sticks left. Don’t be left in the dust.

The little crack burned away eons ago. I’m left with a perfectly constructed stick.
The draw that one reviewer complained about is non-existent here.

Uh-oh. Strength hits full body. Still have 3-1/2” to go as I feel Vitamin N creep in.
Halfway point.
Smoke time is 50 minutes. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.
The ash is hanging tough.


I tried to tap the ash off so it doesn’t end up in my lap but it won’t budge. Great construction. Fred used some excellent rollers.

This Toro has all the intense flavor bomb characteristics of a corona. This is rare.
I just love fawning over a cigar blend. A rotten stick review bums me out. So I go nuts with too many words on a top shelf blend.

The GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. has that perfect set of events that leads up to a killer blend. The stick starts off with a bang and then transitions build and the complexity reaches deep into the well and out comes an unexpected delight. To be honest, I knew this would happen. Of the 8 Nomad blends I’ve reviewed, each one was terrific. The only exception was a blend I thought to be just OK. That’s pretty damn consistent for a blender.

I will type slowly now as my brain and motor functions begin to fail from the nicotine. I suppose if I had ever smoked a single cigarette that I wouldn’t be so sensitive.

It’s a balmy 36° here in Milwaukee. Not bad for November. This time last year, it never got above the low 20°’s.
Looking forward to my first post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich for breakfast.

The GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. will make the top 5 of my 2015 list.

I haven’t had this much fun since I discovered that Lubriderm and Kleenex were a match made in heaven.
No matter how long I allow the GB-19 to rest, it stays lit. I’m giddy.

I had planned to review the SA-17 today. One blend back before the GB-19. But I woke up and changed my mind. (You really didn’t need to know that).

I had to take a 10 minute break for a phone call. Relighting the cigar provided an avalanche of exciting and bold flavors.

The strength is now very full. I’m floating in space. But not overwhelming because of the natural smooth quality of this blend.
The flavor bomb is making my toupee spin. Unbelievable. I’m so pleased that I’ve put on my boxers backwards…and doing the happy dance.

I doubt you will smoke a finer candela than the GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co.
The blend never gives in to mediocrity. It transitions like crazy. The next logical move is to produce a GB-19 mescal. That would go down nicely with the cigar.

Smoke time is a leisurely one hour 15 minutes.

At this point, the GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. goes for broke. It’s all in. The sweet spot is peeling skin from my face. The complexity is causing me to uncontrollably drool. All good signs.
No new additions to the flavor list. Just improvements in how the attack affects my palate.

Nomad Therapy Habano: 92
Nomad Therapy Maduro: 94
Nomad Connecticut Fuerte: 88
Nomad Estelí Lot 8613: 95
Nomad C-276: 92
Nomad Classic: 88
Nomad S-307: 94
Nomad H-Town San Andrés Lancero: 92


Cracks begin to form at the cap. My bad. Damn electronic humidifier.
But the cracks are so small that it is near impossible to see in my hand. Only the photo really picks up on them. They have no effect on the smokability of this cigar.

The GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. has ruined me for the rest of the day.

The spiciness has returned in spades. The creaminess is bold. The chocolate and coffee is a perfect pair. And the malts accentuate both. I can taste the flavor profile in the deepest recesses of my throat.

So when you rush to buy the GB-19 by Nomad Cigar Co. at Cigar Federation, don’t forget to buy your Uncle Katman some too.

Fred the Rewey. You are genius blender my friend.

I still have 1-1/2” to go so I am going to stop the review right here and kick back and enjoy the rest without distractions caused by typing.

This is the highest rating I’ve given to any of the 8 blends I’ve reviewed.
The GB-19 mightily trumps the Illusione 88 Candela and the La Flor Dominicana Double Claro.



And for something completely different:
(I found this story from a year ago while taking a peek at other Nomad reviews)

My older second cousin, Fred Selden, is an award winning reed player. He is 4 years older than me.
Fred is a brilliant player. So much so, that at the age of 13, he took his own jazz band to Europe to tour. He has played with just about everyone. And in the last couple of decades, he has been heavily involved in the movie industry. Either as a player or composer.


From the Fred Selden web site:
“Dr. Fred Selden is a Grammy nominated conductor, arranger and composer, and one of LA’s top session players. His musical talents have been featured in countless television and film projects, and he has a long history in the music business. He has recorded with such illustrious names as Don Ellis, Ringo Star, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole, Bill Holman and Lionel Hampton to name a few. Fred is also one of the pioneers in the use of the “Electronic Wind Instrument” (E.W.I.). He has received a Grammy Nomination, a Gold Record and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences “Most Valuable Player Award” for three years running. He has also written numerous music education books and composed, arranged and performed on many albums.”

Back in the mid/late 1960’s I would visit him and his family in Studio City, CA. I was related to him from my mother’s side. His dad was one of the biggest entertainment lawyers in Hollywood.

I had very little family. And my Aunt Gussie and Uncle Frank were terrific people. I really loved them.
So I used to take a drive and visit my cousin. I loved hearing his music stories.

Fred had an older brother, Bobby. Bobby had a serious drinking problem.
Sometimes, I’d get there and Fred was doing a last minute session.
So I sat with Bobby and his neighbor, William Holden. Yeah, my family was that upscale.
Holden was a major movie star from the 1950’s-1980’s.
I remember him in Sam Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch.” Man, he looked old.



We would sit on the back porch and kibitz. Bobby had a liquor cart on wheels. He sat it next to the round glass table and I basically just listened.
Holden would get shit faced and start dishing dirt on Hollywood. I was entranced.

But you could see in Holden’s face that the mass consumption of alcohol was taking its toll.

I must have visited a dozen times when Holden was there. Bobby and Holden must have had this drinking buddy thing going. I was only in my late teens and had nothing to offer to the conversation. Still, I was a big movie buff and I had lots of questions that Holden was glad to answer. I was especially interested in “Bridge on the River Kwai.”

Well, as expected in the human experience, things change. My life was moving forward and I just didn’t have the time to visit as much. Plus, I got tired of watching two men getting drunk out of their minds in the middle of the afternoon.

I do remember, several years later, hearing that Holden died a miserable lonely death. All because he was a lush.
This is from Wikipedia:
“According to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s autopsy report, Holden was alone and intoxicated in his apartment in Santa Monica, California, on November 12, 1981, when he slipped on a rug, severely lacerated his forehead on a teak bedside table, and bled to death. Evidence suggests he was conscious for at least half an hour after the fall. It is probable that he may not have realized the severity of the injury and did not summon aid, or was unable to call for help. His body was found four days later.” Protection Status


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