|The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration by Nat Sherman|
Just prior to the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Nat Sherman announced the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration cigar. This is named for Joel Sherman, the son of company founder Nat Sherman who serves as President and CEO Nat Sherman. The cigar commemorates Sherman’s 75th birthday. The cigar is significant because it is the company’s first limited edition since Vice President of Retail and Brand Development Michael Herklots came on board three years ago. Since Herklots arrival, Nat Sherman has elevated its game and has released some outstanding products. The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration represents some of the best work to come out of the Nat Sherman brand to date. In fact, I found this to be a cigar that is one of the best releases from 2014.
The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration is a project that is a reflection on Sherman himself. The crest that is showcased on the black lacquered box was inspired by Sherman’s days as a young drummer as it the logo that was on his bass drum. Each box contains a personal note from Sherman describing his love of cigars and joy of being a part of a family run business.
|Packaging for Joel Sherman 75th Celebration|
|Open box of the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration|
The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration Cigar is made at the Quesada Factory in the Dominican Republic. The Quesada Family has been a long-time collaborator with Nat Sherman in producing their cigars. Recently critically acclaimed Nat Sherman cigars such as the Timeless Collection Dominican, the 1930 Collection, Sterling, and Epoca have come out of that factory.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration and see what this cigar brings to the table
The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed over Dominican binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed
The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration is available in one size – a 7 1/2 x 46 vitola. The cigars are packaged in boxes of 10 and 2,500 boxes are being produced for a total of 25,000 cigars.
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed wrapper of the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration is a slight shade darker than most Ecuadoran Connecticut Shade grown wrappers. The color of the wrapper almost has a slight bronzing effect. There is also a light coat of oil on the wrapper. There are some visible veins and some thin wrapper seams on the surface.
I also did notice a couple of small “frog eyes” on the cigar. Frog eyes are green blemishes often common to Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers and are not a sign of any damage. Overall, I think it added a little charm to the cigar.
There are two bands on the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration. 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 maroon background and gold trim. In the middle of the band is the signature “JOEL J. SHERMAN” in red font. To the left of the signature is the text “JOEL J. SHERMAN” in red font. To the right of the signature is the text “75TH CELEBRATION’ – also in red font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Joel Sherman 75th Celebration, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. After the cap was successfully clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided mostly notes of wood and cedar. As I progressed with the dry draw, I started to detect more cream notes. Overall, while this wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, it wasn’t a bad one. At this point, I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start of the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration delivered notes of cedar / pepper spice, cream, and a minor citrus note. There was no dominant flavor early on. As the flavor profile evolved, the cream became more of an orange cream flavor – which surfaced as a primary flavor. There also was very much a natural tobacco feel in the forefront – balancing the sweetness nicely. The pepper / cedar combination was a close secondary note. Meanwhile on the retro-hale, I also detected a combination of citrus and very mild spice.
Later in the first third, the orange cream started to exhibit more qualities of raw honey. By the early part of the second third, the orange sweetness had pretty much completed a transition to that honey flavor. There was less creaminess in the forefront. The cedar / pepper spice was still secondary, but now was also exhibiting qualities of a baker’s spice. Meanwhile the retro-hale was developing more into a pepper spice. I found this pepper spice to not overwhelm the nasal passages.
In the last third, I found the assorted spices (cedar, pepper, baker’s spice) joined the honey sweetness as a primary flavor. There was now a slight earthy component in the background as much of the cream had dissipated. This is the way the flavor profile came to end. The resulting nub was firm and cool – as a good a nub as one can derive from a cigar.
Burn and Draw
The construction on the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration was stellar and this reflected nicely on the burn an draw. The burn line required very little maintenance to burn razor sharp. It delivers a nice tight white-colored ash in the early stages which became a little more gray in the second half. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration|
The draw scored extremely well on the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration. There was a tiny amount of resistance to this cigar – and it’s something that I like. This cigar producds a nice amount of smoke – something that’s a bit surprising for a cigar with a little resistance on it. Overall this was a very enjoyable cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Joel Sherman 75th is not a nicotine bomb. I assessed this cigar as having just enough strength to make it into the medium range of the strength spectrum. As for the flavors, they definitely have some depth. I assessed this cigar as being medium to full-bodied with a little more of a slant toward the medium. Overall when comparing strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body.
The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration is simply the total package when it comes to a cigar. It has excellent flavor, a good amount of complexity, and top-notch construction. Nat Sherman and the Quesada family really took things to another level with this cigar. While I mention some trendy flavors like “orange cream”, “honey”, and “baker’s spice” , this cigar has a traditional tobacco feel and taste to it throughout the smoking experience. This makes this cigar a perfect fit to commemorate someone like Joel Sherman’s 75th birthday. It’s a pricier cigar – at $19.00, but is worth every penny. What is also great about this cigar is that has a profile that either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast can enjoy.
We at Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks define an Oasis level cigar as a cigar that one “Pursues relentlessly. Crawl Across a desert of broken glass to find and build a new humidor to store all the boxes”. The Joel Sherman 75th Anniversary joins this exclusive club of cigars with this rating becoming only the second cigar from 2014 that this author has designated Oasis. The interesting point – the other cigar with the Oasis rating comes from the Quesada factory as well – showing this factory is putting out some great cigars.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 5.0 – The Oasis
News: Joel Sherman 75th Celebration by Nat Sherman
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 107, Episode 108
Stogie Feed: Joel Sherman 75th Celebration by Nat Sherman (Ep 107), Joel Sherman 75th Celebration by Nat Sherman (Ep 108)