In 2020 Nat Sherman International would release its third cigar that would become a TAA Exclusive with the Timeless TAA 2020. At the time, Nat Sherman International’s parent company Altria was looking to sell off its premium cigar business which included Nat Sherman. What many did not realize is that the Timeless TAA 2020 would be the final premium cigar released by Nat Sherman. A few months later, Nat Sherman would shut its doors. While Nat Sherman as a premium cigar brand is no more, the Timeless brand lives on – as it was acquired by Ferio Tego, the company owned Michael Herklots and Brendon Scott. Today we take a closer look at the Timeless TAA 2020.
TAA Exclusive Series consists of cigars made by leading manufacturers that are exclusively sold at TAA member retailers. The TAA is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. The TAA has defined itself as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
There are 12 cigars released for 2020 as a part of the TAA Exclusive Series:
- AJ Fernandez Belles Artes Maduro Figurado
- Brick House Ciento por Ciento 6 1/4 x 54 (Return from 2019)
- CAO Expedición
- CLE 25th Anniversary 11/18
- Encore 656 by E.P. Carrillo
- Kristoff San Andrés Box-Pressed Toro TAA 2020
- La Aurora TAA Exclusivo
- My Father The Judge TAA Exclusive
- Rocky Patel TAA Exclusivo 2020
- Tatuaje TAA 2020
- Timeless TAA 2020 (Nat Sherman)
- Villiger TAA Exclusive 2020
There were four additional TAA Cigars that were announced but never released in 2020. While it was never explicitly stated, the reasons were most likely related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Crowned Heads release was effectively postponed indefinitely while the La Flor Dominicana and La Palina releases will be a part of the 2021 TAA Exclusive Series.
- Crowned Heads Lost Angel 2020
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 52nd Oro Tecera Edición 6 1/2 x 58 Chisel Natural
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 52nd Oro Tecera Edición 6 1/2 x 58 Chisel Maduro
- La Palina White Label 6 x 50
The Timeless is the third cigar released by Nat Sherman International for the TAA.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Timeless TAA 2020 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Timeless TAA 2020 is a 100% Nicaraguan puro. Production for the cigar comes from the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Plasencia S.A.
The Timeless TAA 2020 was produced in one size -a 6 x 50 Toro. The cigars are presented in ten-count mazos with a total production of 650 mazos.
The Nicaraguan wrapper of the Timeless TAA 2020 was medium to dark in color with a strong Colorado red tint to it. Upon closer examination some mottling could be seen on the surface. There also was some oil on the surface. There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams on the surface of the wrapper.
There were two bands on the Timeless TAA 2020 Limited Edition. The primary band had a mostly black-on-black color scheme. The upper portion of the band had the Timeless logo (with darker gray font) that was introduced in 2018. The lower portion of the had the text “LIMITED EDITION.”
The secondary band also had a black-on-black color scheme. The center of the band had the text “TAA” with the text “2020” in just below it. The left side of the band had the text “LIMITED” and the right side had the text “EDITION”.
Perhaps one interesting footnote that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere. At the time the Timeless TAA 2020 was released, the secondary gold ring that said “EXCLUSIVELY FOR Nat Sherman Intl” did not adorn this cigar. I believe this was the only time since the 2018 rebranding that a Nat Sherman cigar did not have this ring on it. Altria was shopping the brand at the time of the release of the Timeless TAA 2020, so it is possible this was deliberate.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Timeless TAA 2020. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of wood, earth, and natural tobacco. Overall the cigar delivered a straightforward but satisfying pre-light draw. At this point it was time to light up the Timeless TAA 2020 and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Timeless TAA 2020 opened up with notes of natural tobacco, citrus, earth, black pepper, and baker’s spice. Early on the natural tobacco notes moved into the forefront. The citrus was the most prominent of the secondary notes and imparted enough sweetness to give the overall flavor profile some zestiness. The earth pepper and baker’s spice rounded out things in the background. On the retro-hale, there was a layer of black pepper and some of the zesty citrus notes.
The second third of the Timeless TAA 2020 saw the natural tobacco notes remain grounded in the forefront. The citrus notes and the associated zestiness diminished while there was an increase in the earth notes. Around the midway point the black pepper notes started to increase in intensity.
By the last third, the natural tobacco notes continued to be grounded in the forefront. The earth and black pepper notes were now more prominent as secondary notes with the citrus and baker’s spice in the more distant background. The citrus notes had lost their sweetness and imparted a slight sour note. This is the way the Timeless TAA 2020 performed until the closing puffs. The resulting nub was slight soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Timeless TAA 2020 had a straight burn line and maintained a straight burn path from start to finish. There was not an excessive amount of touch-ups needed during the smoking experience. The Timeless TAA 2020 had a ash that was silver gray and skewed toward the firmer side. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Timeless TAA 2020 had a touch of resistance to it – placing in an ideal range for a draw in my book. The cigar also produced an ample amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
The Timeless TAA 2020 started out as a medium cigar in terms of strength and body. Along the way, there wasn’t much increase in strength, but the intensity of the flavors did increase. As a result the Timeless TAA 2020 moved into medium to full-bodied territory by the second half while the strength remained medium.
When looking at strength versus body, the body maintained an edge – particularly in the second half.
One thought I do need to mention here since I’ve mentioned this elsewhere. I simply am not a fan of dark paper mazos – and especially when it comes to TAA cigars. I understand all of the reasons for paper bundles, but I’m old school when it comes to TAA releases. If these are the best cigars by the best manufacturers for the best retailers, they deserve the best packaging – and that is a wooden box at a minimum. That being said, for a mazo it is one of the better looking ones – and this comment has no effect on the final score or rating.
For a final release, Nat Sherman went out very nicely. This is a cigar that is well constructed and more importantly did well in the category that matters the most – flavor. The flavors were very well balanced and I felt this contributed nicely to my impressions. The good news is that the Timeless brand lives on with Ferio Tego and perhaps someday this blend will return. This is a cigar I’d recommend to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again and buy multiples of.
Finally, this cigar reaches 90 points which designates this for Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence. Of the five TAA cigars reviewed to this point, this is the first one to earn that designation. It’s a designation I wish more TAA cigars could achieve.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Earth, Wood, Pepper, Baker’s Spice
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: Nat Sherman Timeless Limited Edition TAA Exclusive
Brand Reference: Nat Sherman
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop