|Michael Herklots in action at the
Nat Sherman booth at the 2012 IPCPR
Over the past 15 months, an evolution has surfaced at Nat Sherman Cigars. In particular this was evident at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. I managed to get some time with Michael Herklots at the Nat Sherman booth. My time with him was on the morning of the last day of the trade show – usually the slowest time of the show. However, the amazing thing is – the Nat Sherman booth was busy even then. This is not to imply that the Nat Sherman booth was not busy at past trade shows (as it has been), but there was an incredible energy and excitement present when I visited this booth.
Nat Sherman’s focus at the trade show was the new Nicaraguan version of the Timeless Collection cigar as well as some line extensions to the original Dominican version of the Timeless Collection.
There is no doubt, Nat Sherman is now once again making noise in the cigar industry. I think this is due to the following events that have happened over these past 15 months.
- 5/2011: In what was considered a surprise move, Herklots announces he is leaving his position as General Manager of the Davidoff Stores in New York City to become executive director, retail and brand development at Nat Sherman.
- 7/2011: At the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nat Sherman does not bring new product, but instead embarks on an extensive campaign to gather input from retailers on potential new blends that will be released in the future.
- 12/2011 – 1/2012: The first of the new blends, the Nat Sherman Timeless Collection begins to hit the shelves. This is first released at the Nat Sherman retail store in New York, and then nationwide to retailers in 2012. The cigar begins to receive some critical acclaim by many sources.
- 7/2012: Nat Sherman announces a second blend to the Timeless Collection, a Nicaraguan puro as well as the line extensions to the existing Timeless Collection.
- 8/2012: The excitement level is high at the Nat Sherman booth for the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show.
I did get some time with Herklots at the trade show. One question I poised to him was why call the Nicaraguan version of the Timeless the same name with the similar banding. Summarizing Herklots’ answer, he views both blends as the “Timeless Collection”. The interesting thing is I had a chance to sample the new Nicaraguan puro and while they are different smokes, there is almost something “sibling-like” between the Nicaraguan and Dominican version. It’s a little intangible, but there are some parallels to the experience when both are smoked.