It was an interesting Sunday morning, waking up to the news that the United States conducted a raid on an ISIS compound in Syria, a raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Big news for sure. As part of the news, it was also noted that the chase down of al-Baghdadi was joined by one of Americas service dogs who played a vital role in the raid and even sustained minor injuries, and is back in service.
You may be asking, why am I bringing this up? Because I am a dog lover, and anytime I read good things about dogs especially something as big as this, I smile. I knew then what I needed to do, to celebrate a major victory for the USA. I had to fire up a cigar, but not just any cigar. It just so happened that I had a Providencia Cigars Nemo A534 in my humidor, which was the perfect cigar to celebrate with. I know, why is that Jimmie?
The Providencia Cigars Nemo A534 is a cigar named after the fearless US Airforce Sentry Dog “Nemo” who served in Vietnam. Nemo was stationed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base which fell under attack by the Viet Cong in the early morning of December 4, 1966. While on a security patrol later in the evening, Nemo alerted his handler, Airman Robert Throneburg that there was a hidden group of Viet Cong.
Airman Throneburg gave the signal to “get them” and Nemo bravely and savagely lunged into the group. With the help of Airman Throneburg, they killed two of the Viet Cong, but not with out injury to themselves. Throneburg was shot twice and fell to the ground and Nemo took a shot through his eye that exited through his mouth. Nemo never gave up and laid on top of his handler, protecting him even as fellow US Soldiers came to rescue them. Finally, once the medical team arrived they were able to separate the two and care for their wounds.
Nemo was returned to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and was treated like the hero he was. He had his own permanent retirement kennel and served his country as a recruiting dog until his death in December of 1972 at the age of 10. If you were to visit Lackland Air Force Base you would be able to see Nemo’s Kennel and a stone that stands there in his honor.
Even Jim and Ray from Providencia Cigars could not have realized the significance of producing and naming a cigar for Nemo considering the news of this weekend. But there it was, ready for me to smoke and think about the loyalty of our furry friends.
Now onto the cigar…
Providencia Cigars Nemo A534
The Providencia Cigars Nemo A534 is the latest in a flurry of blends from Providencia Cigars. The Nemo A534 is a limited edition cigar that is expressed in a single (6 X 44) Lonsdale vitola. They come packaged in 10-count boxes with a unique piece of art on the inside lid. The art was created by Robert Mayorga, a cigar enthusiast that Jim Providencia commissioned to create the piece. It also tells some of Nemo’s story. The Nemo A534 retails for $7.75/cigar and can be ordered through the company’s website here.
The Nemo A534 has a multi-country blend described as:
- Wrapper: Habano
- Binder: Indonesian
- Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan ligero, Dominican
It should be noted that this is the first time Providencia Cigars has used tobacco from the Dominican Republic in their cigars.
The Providencia Cigars Nemo A534 is a dark tan cigar that has a few veins and bumps along the barrel. It has a decent weight and is finished with a simple cap. The cigar feels well packed with no soft spots.
A single band adorns the cigar using a brown, olive green, and grey, military camouflage background with the Providencia logo printed on top and the name “Nemo A534” boldly printed in the center in white.
Running the Nemo A534 across the nose (easy doggy) I picked up a mildly pungent and light spice note along the barrel, while the foot offers a similar spicy note joined with a cocoa component.
I used a double blade cutter to slice the cap straight at the shoulder of the cigar and took in a few cold puffs. The cold draw is excellent with notes of pepper, earth, and nut.
With the pre-light exam much to my liking, it as time to burn this to ash (sorry Nemo). I used a single flame torch to warm the foot, as it is a smaller ring gauge and I did not want to over heat the foot. I drew in the first puffs that hit the nose with some pepper and intrigued me with cocoa notes on the palate.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper on the nose off the first light
- Cocoa notes grace the palate
- Medium grey ash forms on a medium thick char line
- Decent ash chunk fell with a flat and fairly centered cone
- Slight wave in burn develops
- Vanilla notes enter along with spice
- Spice notes kick up and continue through the most of the burn
- Gentle sweetness and earth finish in the final
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
Overall, I found the Providencia Nemo A534 to be a rather non-complex blend. It did have some intriguing pre-light and early notes but settled into more of a spice bomb through most of the burn. There were some short nuances of vanilla midway and a touch of sweetness and earth at the end. From a construction perspective, it had a nice ash which dropped in decent chunks and it had a flat yet centered burn cone on those drops. If you like spice I would certainly suggest picking up a 5 pack of these before they are sold out. I rate this a 92. I would be curious to see how this blend would perform in a larger robusto or toro vitola.
Point Deductions: (-1) Medium grey ash; (-1) Wave in burn; (-1) Flat burn cone; (-1) Not complex, mostly spice