Nomad SA-17 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli and Condega Ligero)
Size: 5.5 x 46 “Corinita”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.50
Humidor Time: 3 months
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 1




Photo courtesy of Nomad Cigar Co.:

Today we take a look at the SA-17 by Nomad Cigars
Thanks to Miguel Castro for the sticks. (Your uncle is dead. My condolences.)

My last review was the Nomad GB-19. A blistering killer cigar. This will be a hard follow up.
I’ve reviewed all 9 blends now (minus today’s review):
Nomad GB-19: 97
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

Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Estelí, Nicaragua
Regular production.
Released: May 18, 2016.
Nomad SA-17 is the seventh regular production cigar.

From the Nomad Cigar Co. web site:
“The SA-17 is, you guessed it, a San Andres wrapper!
“I love San Andres wrapper. It may have taken me several years to wrap my arms around how it ages and plays with other tobaccos…but, for me it was worth the wait.”

From the press release:
“I love working with tobacco at AJ Fernandez’s factory. Ask anyone around, he has amassed some of the best aged, most diverse, quality tobacco. For me, blending is a creative process. It is nice to have that home in Estelí to blend and experiment.” commented Rewey in a press release.”

“Additional Notes: This is a med-full cigar with both Esteli and Condega Ligero in the filler. Think C-276 with the added richness of the San Andres and you might be in the ballpark.
“Available in four sizes and in gorgeous 21ct. boxes!”

Toro 6 x 50 $9.75
Robusto 5 x 50 $9.50
“Shorty” 4 x 56 $8.50
Corinita 5.5 x 46 $8.50
Lancero 7 x 38 $9.75 (It appears that only Cigar Federation sells this size. But it isn’t clear if this is the Nomad H-Town San Andrés Lancero that is Stogies World Class Cigars exclusive..It’s gotta be…)

A well-made cigar whose only distractions are the very large veins running up and down the stick.
Seams are invisible. The triple cap is a work of art.
The wrapper is an oily, slightly toothy coffee bean brown.

From the shaft, I smell floral notes, spice, chocolate, whipped cream, soy sauce, cumin, cedar, a rich tobacco aroma, espresso, sweetness, and prunes.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell red pepper, floral notes, dark chocolate, espresso, salted nuts, cedar, stewed prunes, cumin, and undefined sweetness.

The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, red pepper, cedar, malts, dried fruit, cherry candy, graham cracker, and a touch of black licorice.

Things start off with a nice dose of red pepper. Followed by sweet creaminess, chocolate, cinnamon, malts, salty nuts, cedar, and dried fruit.

I only found one online story carrying them: Serious Cigars. Cigar Federation is out. SBC doesn’t even carry a single Nomad. Shame.
So pull the rip cord on Google and do some hunting…or…go to the Nomad Cigar Co. web site and see Retailers. (But mind you, there are so many retailers that Fred chose to use a map of the States with little balloons that must be clicked on. No list of retailers.


Strength is medium body.

The SA-17 isn’t the barn burner that the GB-19 was. It has its own distinct reality. So far, only an inch in…there is a building complexity, conversion of individual flavors to a carousel-like set of transitions, and a rich character.

I expected a bigger bang of the ligero from the start but that is deceiving as the SA-17 is a mellow blend. It doesn’t reach out and grab you by the throat. Instead, it affects the amygdala part of the brain…the same part that controls sex to laughter to certain types of drug use. It also regulates emotions. Nucleus accumbens – controls the release of dopamine. This pleasure center is also called the “reward center.”

Get it? Got it. Good. This is the SA-17. A more cerebral indulgence.

Things change.

The complexity doubles down. The transitions are an out of control train. And Denzel ain’t going to help you on this one.

The ligero kicks in like a mule biting your arse. It power packs to the sinus cavities and your throat. A nice fire hose would be good at this point. I love the masochism of being an unabashed spice junkie.

Construction…just like the GB-19, is impeccable. No char issues whatsoever. I applaud Fred for doing the right thing each time with his blends. He spends the extra bucks to get the best rollers.

I don’t know if it is the power of suggestion or I really do taste the influence of AJ.

The Nomad SA-17 uses the first third to sneak up on you. Nice…but not quite great. And then a cold cock to the jaw and the SA-17 finds its center.

Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Strength hits medium/full.

Flavors are going through metamorphosis. The complexity and transitions and identification of individual flavors does the sprint in Olympic time. Things are tumbling out of control like a Packers game.
Everything bursts from their cocoons…little butterflies appear. I catch one gently in my hand. I whisper to it just barely touching its wings…then I chop it up and snort it. It’s way beyond mellow yellow.

The creaminess, chocolate, malts, coffee, graham cracker, cinnamon, roasted nuts, nougat, spice, an array of exotic spices, licorice, new caramel, and cedar are just going Bozo crazy.


Oh man. The first third was some sort of ill-advised magic trick as it was purely a tease. This shit intoxicates at the start of the second third.
I believe this blend will be a Godzilla with a little more humidor time. Go figure.

Very few blenders possess the rare skill of knowing tobacco that Fred Rewey owns.
I did lend him $680K to get his organization started and he hasn’t paid any of it back.

The Nomad SA-17 is packed to the hilt but without impediments to the draw. For a corona gorda sized stick, it does the slow roll. Never rushing. No corrections required.

Strength begins its outreach to medium/full.

All Nomad blends dominate with the same consistency…they all built from a solid base at the start until they are screaming laughter at the end. I can’t think of another boutique manufacturer whose with this talent.

Smooth? Of course. The strength goes down easy like a day at the beach. No nicotine.

As bold as the flavors are, this is not a flavor bomb blend. It is a subtle variation on a theme. The Nomad SA-17 is like a musical fugue (“A composition written for three to six voices. Beginning with the exposition, each voice enters at different times, creating counterpoint with one another.”) That was the perfect definition of the Nomad SA-17.
I have to remember that word for future reviews. Even in rock n roll, players use the fugue to impress. The Allman Brothers used it a lot. Instrumentally, of course. Like tapping your head while rubbing your stomach.

Oh lord. This is a friggin’ damn fine blend. The subtlety is outstanding. (Do those two words cancel each other out? I don’t know).
The Nomad SA-17 is for the very discerning palate; the trained palate that is able to pick up nuances and gradations.

I am simply amazed at the quality of the rolling. A totally, 100%, trouble free stick. Delightful.

Halfway point.
Smoke time is one hour.
Yeah, it really slowed down. Never had a corona gorda smoke this slowly. It helps that this size is just about my favorite incarnation of the variety of sizes available. Not enough manufacturers give much credence or importance to this size.

Catalog sticks rarely offer this size. A shame. Real aficionados love the corona gorda; or in this case: Corinita. I checked. If Fred had spelled it “Coronita” it would mean “Coronet.” I love it. (“A small or relatively simple crown, especially as worn by lesser royalty and peers or peeresses.”)


I dated royalty when I was 22. She was my first Jewish princess. Beautiful girl with long brown hair down to her ass. Her name was Naomi. And she liked playing hard to get…the little vixen. And emphatically told me that she was dating older men while she was dating me.

But here was the downside. This Jewish princess had pubic hair from her belly button down to her knees. I had to buy a pith helmet with a flash light attached. And then I dumped her and she began to stalk me. That was the last Jewish princess I ever dated. I moved on to shiksas from that point forward. Married a Catholic German girl who ended up teaching our daughter her Hebrew lessons while the kid attended Jewish day school. I was working too much to help.

Strength hits full body.
There is a new fruitiness. No. Not Miguel. Back in the 1960’s, gays were often called fruits. I never understood the meaning of that.

Oh wow. The red pepper takes off like the F-35 Lightning II.

The Nomad SA-17 is now Burning Love:
“I feel my temperature rising
Help me I’m flaming
I must be a hundred and nine

“Burning burning burning
And nothing can cool me
I just might turn into smoke
But I feel fine.”
“Hunka, hunka, burnin’ love.”

(The Katman has left the building.)

The Nomad SA-17’s slow roll is going to end up nearly a 90 minute smoke.

Smoke time is one hour 15 minutes.
Full body to the hilt. No nicotine yet.

Flavors shift. I can taste a frosted cinnamon bun now. I do believe that’s a first for me.
I detect another new flavor: smoky meatiness. That came out of nowhere. I like it.
The Nomad SA-17 is quite the mysterious surprise blend.

Now I want a box of SA-17 and a box of GB-19. And anything else called Nomad.

Now that Fidel is dead, I wonder how this will affect relations between our countries now that Raúl Castro doesn’t have his brother’s breath down his neck. (It will be interesting to see who the president will send to attend the Castro funeral.)

The flavor profile is in overload now. It has gone from a beautifully blended stick to a bona fide nuclear weapon.
I dig cigars that have a path of excellence, distinction, and character. Each puff brings something new to the table.

It is really cold in Milwaukee. It is currently 30°. I place a room temp bottle of water next to the open window and within 20 minutes it’s refrigerator cold. Brrrr…


Everything is going right. Not a single criticism. No complaints…and I’m good at tha…dontcha’ know.
The Nomad SA-17 is trumpeting bold flavors.
It appears that the SA-17 marches the same cadence as the rest of the Nomad blends. Always excellent. Always a treat.
And not a lick of nicotine. No bouncing against the walls as I walk to the kitchen when I finish the review.
Final smoke time is one hour 25 minutes.


And for something completely different:


A tale of New York City…Back in the late 90’s, La Guardia Airport was going through some renovations. I was senior project manager for a high end foo-foo gingerbread ferrous and non-ferrous metal fabrication company. The outfit was in Phoenix and I had to fly to NYC regularly.

What I didn’t know going into this was the stranglehold the unions had in that city.

The Ironworker’s Union business agent had decided to charge us triple time without cause or reason (We employed 3 crews of seven union guys each 8 hours per day). We went back and forth with the union for a month on this issue and I got nowhere.

The owner of my company was a weasel who told me to take care of it but would not get involved himself. (He was my age but a real pussy. Afraid of confrontations but talked talk but couldn’t walk the walk).

Every time I arrived at the job site, my hired NY crews were nowhere to be seen. Other trades would get on their radios alerting my men that I was there so by the time I got back to where they were supposed to be working, there they were with an Alfred E. Newman look on their faces…”What? Me worry?”
Why weren’t the assholes working?

I finally demanded a meeting with the Local B.A. I had to scuttle this triple time thing in the bud or we would take a horrendous dollar loss on the job.

We were to meet at the Waldorf Astoria. It was winter and very cold.
I stood in the lobby waiting. They were late. Sending me a message.
And then they walked in.
Four guys in trench coats. All of them huge guys.


And they all sounded very New York.
“Hey. How you doin’? My name is Vinnie.”

The BA and I shook hands but the other 3 spread out. We went into the empty dining room and sat down.
The BA and I sat at one table and the other 3 sat at tables all by themselves. They had surrounded me.
“Didja’ know that I’m the third BA in a year for this local?”
“Yeah, dat’s right…last BA just up and disappeared one night ‘bout 3 months ago. Hasn’t been seen from since. I got the job.”
Double gulp.

And then he leaned into me and asked why I was causing so many problems?
I told him that there was no basis for charging me triple time during ordinary working hours.
All four of them laughed hard.

“Look here, kid…I say it’s triple time so that’s what it is. Capiche?”
I told him my budget would not allow for that.
They laughed again.

I was literally pissing my pants.

When I insisted that we pay them standard pay, one of the guys opened his coat to show me his shoulder holster. Never said a word. Just smiled.


“You should know how t’ings run around here, kid. It goes like I say it goes. Capiche?” (He kept saying “Capiche.”)
My mouth was so dry, I couldn’t speak so I just shook my head…I didn’t have a shoulder holster.
And with that, they got up and marched out the front door of the hotel.

I went back to my hotel and said, “Fuck it.”
I lay down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. What if I had really pushed it? Would I have disappeared?

I called the owner of my company and told him how it went. He was pissed off at me for not “handling” it correctly. I got mad. I yelled into the phone, “Well, why the fuck don’t you fly out here and straighten it out?”
Then I heard “Click.” Protection Status


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