This is my first review of a Nat Sherman cigar only because they have a history of being mild bodied cigars. This stick breaks the mold.
It is made at the new Manuel Quesada factory in the DR. It was first released in 2011 but this size debuted in 2012.
Per Cigar Aficionado’s web site where it came in at No. 10 of the Top 25 in 2012:
“For the first time ever a Nat Sherman cigar has placed in our Top 25. The landmark is a sign of the newfound energy and commitment Nat Sherman has made to its cigar brand.
“Nat Sherman cigars have been around almost as long as the Nat Sherman store in New York City, which opened its doors (albeit in a different location than where it stands now) in 1930. In recent years, the brand had fallen on hard times, and was distributed by a third party and found in many catalogues, often selling at a deep discount.
“In 2011, Nat Sherman decided to create a new cigar brand, and after testing several blends made by a host of manufacturers it settled on the one rolled in Santiago, Dominican Republic, by Manuel Quesada. The blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos combine for solid notes of cedar and espresso, along with hints of dark chocolate and nutmeg.
“This is the best Nat Sherman cigar ever tasted by Cigar Aficionado, and a sign of the 83-year-old company’s newfound devotion to its brand.”
Construction is nicely done. Although, it is a bit bumpy here and there. The Colorado wrapper has a brilliant oily sheen and is very smooth to the touch. The wrapper has a darker mottling giving it the look of a Sequoia Redwood. And the triple cap is one of the most flawless I’ve seen on a torpedo.
The cigar band is simple and classy. It looks like a man’s wrist watch from the middle half of the 20th Century.
I find aromas of cocoa, coffee, earthiness, spice, nuttiness, sweet ginger, cinnamon, and chocolate brownies. Wow.
Time to light up.
The retrohale makes the spice very present amongst the other flavors. I shall not do that again as the red hot chili peppers singed my nose hairs.
Speaking of which, were they not embarrassing at the halftime show of the Super Bowl. I’m a musician and I knew right away they were mimicking to a playing a previously recorded track. And Flea didn’t even bother to go with the illusion by putting a guitar cord in his bass. Even a wireless connection still needs that cord. The band is good enough to play live.
Onward Christian Soldiers…
The sweetness takes the front of the line and sends the spice to number 2 or 3. The cocoa keeps building and along with it the taste of a dense chocolate cake. Not brownies. I can taste the flour mixture from a cake.
New flavors arrive as the cigar burns its way to my happiness….there is a nice dose of vanilla bean, and I get a nice bit of citrus; lemon, I believe. That flour mixture becomes yeasty like in bread, for example. And the spiciness, which is black pepper as it lay on the back of my tongue, goes for it again by being the strongest flavor on the block. A dried fruit flavor is now present. Something like raisin. Maybe something else but raisin for now.
The strength, from the beginning, reached medium bodied. I have to say that this being my first intro to Nat Sherman cigars is a good one. While it is primarily a feast of Dominican leaves, it has a Nicaraguan feel to it. Just skewed a bit.
Here are the latest flavors in descending order: Sweetness, cocoa, earthiness, spice, coffee, nuts, chocolate cake, cream, lemon zest, raisin, and vanilla. A very nice combo of flavors. While they look Nicaraguan, the Dominican twist is that instead of blaring them out as if the horn players were announcing the arrival of Prince Philip….they are very short of a flavor bomb status. They require a smoker who has a refined palate, an aficionado. So far, this is a great cigar for newbies to practice their focus ability to try to catch and identify the myriad of flavors. This is a very sophisticated cigar that requires all of your attention. I suggest that if you decide to purchase some, you smoke them in secrecy where you provide your singular devotion to the flavor profile.
I am closing in on the halfway point and truly dig this cigar. Cinnamon appears out of nowhere. A zesty cinnamon-like toothpick flavor. And one of my fave flavors shows up for the first time: black licorice. It is somewhere around number 3 in the flavor line up now. Cinnamon is around number 5.
The strength moved from medium to medium/full as I arrived at the halfway point. But the cigar is very smooth and cool. Like me.
Let’s discuss the price point. From researching it, clearly the cigar is not price controlled as I saw it as high as $9.50. The $8 I saw was at Atlantic Cigars. This is not a $10 cigar. But an $8 stick? Sure. It is very complex, demanding of your attention, smooth, rich and earthy, with a very long finish. Flavors change position like a kid grabbing for the ring on an old merry go round. It appears that Atlantic has the entire line.
The last third is just perfect. It is not a flavor bomb. But then it doesn’t need to be one. This is a study of subtle flavors. I can taste every single one I’ve described but instead of being explosive, they are perfectly symmetrical. Quick! Go back to 8th grade math and tell me what the Pythagorean Theorem? I had to use it every single day of my life in construction management to solve problems. I won’t make you Google it. Here it is:
I want to thank three wonderful guys who are followers and friends for sending me cigars that they would like me to enjoy…and review. They’ve asked to be anonymous because they are totally swimming in good cigars. All three are single. No wives.
And if it gets around that they are giving me cigars, they are afraid the Mooch Alert will be sounded and their friends will be all over them. So thank you guys for being real pals.
The cigar finishes out with a rich creaminess up front. The flavor profile has a nice wintry set of flavors. There is no harshness. It is as cool as a cuke. Only the slightest of a nicotine kick. And as complex as the Pythagorean Theorem. If you are in 8th grade.
Now for something completely different:
Rick had the ability to scare the living shit out of me. He had a sterling background in the Marines and served in Viet Nam. 3 fucking times. Rick had a dual look to him. He had the good looks of a Bryan Ferry and the height. He was lanky but everything on him was muscle.
This night, he was really pissed off. I don’t really remember the circumstances leading up to the melt down, but I remember the melt down as if it were yesterday.
Rick is a musician who bleeds perfection. Our band was way ahead of its time. We were treading ground that would not come around for another 20 years. And this frustrated Rick a lot. All of the song ideas came from him. All I did was augment.
We did way too many drugs, mostly coke. And Rick drank. I didn’t. It was a lethal combo.
It was just past the 4am when I gave Rick a ride home from Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. He was on fire. Nothing went right. And we were spending a fortune on recording time. $250 an hour in 1982.
It was a good 45 minute drive and with each mile that passed, the fire breathing became more intense.
Rick started screaming at me, the world, at himself. And then he started pounding my dashboard…pounding with such ferocity that the dashboard began to crack in huge fissures. It was as if explosives were placed in small cracks and then lit. It looked like the San Andreas fault line.
My adrenaline was racing as I began to fear for my life. I didn’t know if he would change the direction of rage from the dashboard to me but I thought it highly possible.
I kept pleading with him to calm down. A bad night in the studio was not worth him killing me.
As we got off the freeway, we had about 15 minutes of city driving and at a stop light we saw a man smacking around a woman in front of a liquor store.
Rick screamed at me to stop and don’t move the fucking car. He jumped out and was on top of the woman’s attacker in a nano second. His arms were a blur as he nearly pummeled this guy. The woman fell into a heap. I left the car sitting in the middle of the road, with the doors open and ran into the store and demanded they call 911.
The woman was in bad shape. But the attacker was in worse shape…much worse.
I struggled to get Rick off of him. The guy was down and going nowhere. I was afraid Rick would kill him.
There wasn’t a single onlooker. I finally used all of my strength to pull Rick off and we both rolled backwards on the sidewalk. I grabbed him by the collar and screamed at him we had to get out of here. “Do you want to go to jail?”
Rick’s eyes were as big as saucers. But he understood and followed me to my car.
We got in and I peeled rubber.
Blood was everywhere. R’s knuckles were raw meat. He was hyperventilating. I found a paper bag in the back seat and made him breathe into it.
I got him home and we cleaned him up.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS