Back in 1930, Nat Sherman opened his first tobacco shop in Manhattan’s garment district carrying his name. It didn’t take long for the company to become an iconic destination in New York for cigar enthusiasts. Now three generations and 85 years later, the company remains a family-run business in New York. The company has also been involved with bringing its own tobacco products to market, and over the past four years, Nat Sherman has enjoyed a significant renaissance in the crowded cigar marketplace. With 2015 commemorating 85 years in business, the company released a limited edition cigar called the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. Overall, I found the Nat Sherman 85th to be another excellent edition into the Nat Sherman portfolio.
The Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary is intended to be a one size, limited edition cigar. Production is limited to 2,500 ten count boxes. The Nat Sherman 85th cigar follows up 2014’s Joel Sherman 75th Celebration, which was another limited edition milestone cigar to commemorate company CEO (and son of Nat Sherman), Joel Sherman’s 75th birthday. That cigar went on to win the Cigar Coop 2014 Cigar of the Year Award. The Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary is very a different blend as well as a different size than the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary cigar and see what it brings to the table.
The Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary features a Dominican wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigar is made at Nat Sherman’s long-tme manufacturing partner, the Quesada Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Quesada Cigars SA)
The Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary comes in one size – a 6 1/2 x 54 Toro.
The Dominican wrapper of the Nat Sherman 85th has a dark oak-colored wrapper. Upon closer examination, there is some darker marbling that can be seen. There is a light coating of oil on the surface of the wrapper. There are some thin visible veins as well as some visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Nat Sherman 85th. The primary band has almost gold foil-like background. There is a black outline of a clock at center of the band. The red colored hands of the clock appear to be arranged to the time “1:50”. Above the clock is the text “NAT” and “SHERMAN” in black font arranged on two separate rows in a curved fashion. Below the clock is the text” “ESTABLISHED” and “1930” – also in black font and also arranged on two separate rows in a curved fashion. To the left and right of the clock is the text “NEW” and “YORK” on the left and right side respectively and also in black font. The remainder of the front of the band has black trim going around the center of the band. To the left and right of the front design is a maroon gradient style background. Sitting on that background is the gold footed text “LIMITED” and “EDITION” on the left and right side of the front design – both text in landscape mode with a gold crown over the text. The remainder of the band has black trim.
There is a secondary band that sits just below the primary band. It is a thin band with a black background and gold trim. In the middle of the band is a large retro-style 85 in red font. To the left the text “1930” in gold font. To the right is the text “2015” in gold font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap of the cigar was successfully removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The pre-light draw to the Nat Sheman 85th delivering some notes of dusty earth with a touch of sweetness and a touch of cedar spice. Overall I considered this pre-light draw to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The start to the Nat Sherman 85th provided notes of earth, cedar, cocoa, and a little bit of black pepper. The cocoa and earth notes moved into the forefront quickly. Meanwhile the cedar and pepper notes receded into the background. These secondary notes were soon joined by a subtle citrus note. The black pepper was also something prominent on the retro-hale.
As the Nat Sherman 85th burned through the first half, the cocoa and earth notes remained primary. The cedar notes floated in and out between the forefront and the background. I still found some subtle citrus notes in the background. The pepper notes were more distant on the tongue, but more prominent on the retro-hale.
As the Nat Sherman 85th moved into the second half, I found the cedar and earth were now the primary notes. During the later part of the second third, the cocoa notes significantly diminished while the citrus notes pretty much dissipated. There still was a distant pepper note on the tongue, but it remained on the retro-hale.
By the last third, I found the Nat Sherman 85th to have mostly a earthy and cedary profile with still a touch of pepper on the tongue. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was fool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary to be a well-constructed cigar – and this was reflected nicely on the burn and draw. The burn path of the Nat Sherman 85th remained straight from start to finish. There was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line and this was remedied with some touch-ups along the way. I still didn’t find this to be a cigar that required an excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was on the firmer side. I didn’t find the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary to be prone to any significant flaking. There was excellent combustion on this cigar as I found this to have an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
I found the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary to have a touch of resistance on the draw – which is something I like. This made this cigar an enjoyable one from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength and body perspective, I found the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary to fall in the medium range. I found the strength and body level of this cigar worked very nicely with the flavor profile of this cigar. When looking at strength versus body, I found both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither overpowering the other.
It’s inevitable that the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary will be compared against the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration. This is namely because both are limited edition commemorative cigars. My answer to this might be cliché, but these are really two different cigars.
When I look at the experience of the Nat Sherman 85th, it still delivers a nice performance. I will say, I found the first half of the Nat Sherman 85th to be more enjoyable than the second half. This is a cigar I would recommend to both a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this was a cigar I enjoyed. It’s definitely worthy of a fiver and keeping some of these in your humidor.
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver