Nat Sherman cigars and cigarettes have been around since the dinosaurs learned to pick the sweet leaves from the top of the trees. And I’ve never been much of a fan until recently with the release of the Timeless Collection. Nat Sherman blends have always been super mild and very much like the original Macanudos. But it appears they are trying to rectify this.
The cigar came out during the summer of 2013. And not uncommonly, NS chose to work with the MATASA factory once again in producing this cigar. It was Manuel Quesada’s factory that produced the Timeless Collection that I have reviewed here and thoroughly enjoyed what the blend brought to the table.
By coincidence, I saw this cigar being rated in Cigar Aficionado this month and this is what it had to say:
“This corona burns unevenly, producing flinty, earthy smoke with a slight metallic note. Ashy touches of spearmint come through on the finish. Rated: 84”
This is not an up review of this cigar. And in the corona size, it should have been very flavorful compared to my Gran Robusto. But then again, do you trust CA? I don’t. I just hope they are wrong on this cigar because I paid for it.
The construction isn’t bad. But a certain sloppiness purveys the sticks in my possession. Very visible
seams, lots of big veins, a sloppy cap and the ring gauge from one to the other is remarkably inconsistent. (If you take a gander at my first photo you can see the difference in size.)
The wrapper is gorgeous in the sunlight with a nice oily toothiness. And the color is a nicely mottled coffee bean with hints of orange.
I clip the cap and find aromas of cinnamon and cocoa. There are lovely herbal and floral notes along with sweetness and a bit of tea my good man.
Time to light up.
The cigar comes in five sizes:
Corona: 5.5 x 42
Corona Grande: 6 x 46
Rothschild: 4.5 x 52
Gran Robusto: 5.25 x 54
Immenso: 7 x 56
A slight caramel element joins the sweetness. Pepper begins to uncover itself but it sort of a cross between black and red pepper. At Costco, I buy this big honkin’ pepper grinder with about 5 or 6 different types of pepper in it. It sort of tastes like an amalgam of those flavors. Nice.
More subtle flavors join the group in the form of mild cocoa and a little vanilla. The cinnamon gets a bit stronger and competes for top of the list with the sweetness of the cigar.
The strength of the cigar is mild/medium at the 1” burned point. The char line is doing very well. Nearly razor sharp with a solid piece of hash hanging tough. So tough, that I have the cajones to test me vs. the ash to see how long I can take it before I am compelled to knock it off into the ashtray….or just falls into my lap.
This is a pleasant cigar but maybe Cigar Aficionado got it right. Deserving of an 84 rating. Nicht gut.
The flavor profile is so small and subtle that the real star of the show is the earthiness from the nicely aged tobacco. I get the feeling that the public is in the midst of Nat Sherman’s experimental stage with blending stronger cigars. It is either hit or miss.
It is a slow burner thanks to the jam packed-ness of the cigar. It is a beautiful Milwaukee day going up to 77° and the sun is out with a slight breeze. And here is where I must whine as all Jews must…A mostly white cigar band is tough on my piece of shit camera. The direct sunlight washes the whole thing out. So instead of taking 5 or 6 photos for every published photo, I have to stand there, hunched over, waiting for the tree branches covered with leaves to intercede in my behalf and give just the right amount of shade at a perfect moment in time to snap a photo. Verstehen Sie?
I begin the second third. And the flavors are perking up. Here they are: Sweetness, earthiness, pepper, cinnamon, cocoa, a touch of café latte, vanilla, and leather.
The ash did me a solid by falling off just as I placed it in the ashtray for a photo…BTW-I am getting some gorgeous sun drenched photos and is it on a fantastic cigar like the Las Calaveras I reviewed yesterday? Nooooooo….Yesterday was dreary and shitty.
A woody flavor emerges..a campfire flavor like hickory. Very mild and subtle.
I did it. Yesterday, I packed my bass guitar gingerly in its case and took it to the UPS store. Paid the lady and walked out crying.
Time to move on with my life.
The cigar approaches the halfway point and is turning into a very nice stick. The balance is good. A long finish. But no complexity.
I get a really outstanding and unexpected flavor. Remember those candy bars called “5th Avenue”? They have this great peanut butter interior in the form of a splintery crunchy texture. I used to love them but they dried out your mouth something terrible. If I am going to eat candy with peanut butter, this is my fave. You can have Reese’s. You could choke to death if you didn’t have something to drink. That is the flavor I am getting. It is the new star of the flavor profile…a peanutty creaminess.
The cap just disassembles. I knew at the beginning that it didn’t stand a chance with my chomping, but a well-constructed cigar should have been able to hold up. The Las Calaveras took my chomping like a chomping champ yesterday.
The last third begins and the flavor profile is on the fence of becoming a flavor bomb. It started off slowly…but has turned into a very decent cigar. I don’t taste mineral, flinty, or spearmint as Cigar Aficionado said it does. Gee..I don’t agree with CA? What a shock? We all have our suspicions about the rating system of CA. I don’t think for a minute that it is a true blind taste test as they profess. And there has to be some hanky panky going on based on the crazy ratings they give to some cigars.
The char line is very wavy and may need a touch up.
A pokey amount of creaminess finally appears along with some caramel that adds to the 5th Avenue candy bar flavor. Add the cocoa and we are screaming laughter.
As much as this cigar has improved, there is no way in hell it is worth $9+. Maybe it is just an old school blend that needs months and months of humidor time. The Nat Sherman Timeless Collection Dominican needed only a few weeks and I expected this blend to follow suit. Not so.
The cigar ash started out very stout but after the first inch, it has become fragile and flaky…like me.
With about 1-1/2” to go, the flavor flat lines. The strength never gets above medium body. Any chance of it becoming a flavor bomb is gone with the wind.
The char line is a mess requiring several touch ups. The cap needs trimming. And the cigar begins to cave in. Nice.
The cigar is literally falling apart on me. The whole thing has flattened out; both construction wise and flavor wise.
And now for something completely different:
Darryl had the same routine before a concert: Eat a big meal, have a couple beers, and then throw up 30 minutes before we took the stage.
On one night he broke with tradition. He didn’t throw up. He threw up on stage all over his keyboard.
Moments later, this douche bag roadie who worked for our opening act..a Dutch band made up of the guys from Focus. They were called Trace. A three piece band: drummer, synthesizer player, and a guitarist/bassist.
Remember Rick Wakeman with Yes? This guy was doing the same thing with about a dozen synths on stage. Some were on wheels and he would run across the stage pushing the synths and playing at the same time.
This night, an array of horrors happened.
The night before, this horrible roadie put the guitar and bass cases next to the big rig to be loaded up. And then walked away expecting someone else to put them in the truck. Instead, they were stolen.
No one knew they were gone until Trace did their sound check the next day. The bassist only had one bass and freaked out.
My roadies told him he could use my bass. So you know what this asshole did? He took unscrewed the pickup cover, shoved foam rubber underneath the strings at the bottom of the bass, and de-tuned it. Meanwhile, no one told me.
I found out when they went on stage and saw my bass in his hands totally transformed. When he got off stage, he just handed my bass to a roadie and went to the dressing room. He made no attempt to put my bass back the way I had it. What an asshole!
And he never even thanked me.
Between Trace getting off stage and Curved Air going on, the idiot roadie was up in the rafters with the sound man and the mixing board. He spilled an entire bottle of Irish whisky into the board and fried it.
Luckily, we were only an hour from London and someone was sent, at light speed, to get another one.
We finally go on and Darryl pukes on his keys. I started laughing so hard, on stage; I doubled up and almost lost my bass. So we took another 30 minute break while a backup synth was put in place. But of course, Darryl never took the time to input the settings so he did it as fast as he could.
But he fucked it up. Every time he played it, it sounded like a cat wailing. So he just left it alone the rest of the concert and stuck with the violin, his primary instrument. Songs that started with synth riffs ended up starting with terrible violin and guitar riffs.
I was amazed at what the audience would put up with.
And halfway through our set, our road manager was told by the guy that ran the area it was time to shut ‘er down. It was around 1am. We refused to stop. We owed the audience a full set plus some for their patience. So we kept on playing.
Then the house lights came on. It was like daylight inside that arena.
We kept playing.
Then the asshole pulled the plug on the electricity and right in the middle of a song, the only thing we could hear was the drums.
Our great roadie, Beric Wickens (Is that a great name from Dickens or what?) manhandled the guy and forced him to put the electricity back on and shut down the house lights.
The police were called.
They came on stage while we were playing and the audience booed them. Our roadies attacked the cops. And while we were playing, 6 or 7 people were rolling around on the floor on stage. I couldn’t stop laughing.
The fight ended and the road manager made the peace. He handed them closed envelopes with money in it. The cops left.
And then the lights went back on and the electricity was turned off.
We gave up.
And did Darryl clean up his own mess from puking? No. He made one of the roadies meticulously clean it after the gig. It was 4am before they poor guy finished cleaning it.
Roadies are the unsung heroes of the music business. They work hard for their money. After the gig, the band retires to the dressing room, go out for a bit, and then head to the hotel to go to bed. The band would get up around 9am, have breakfast and be shuttled off to the next gig.
The roadies would spend hours breaking down the gear. Head back to the hotel for maybe 4 hours sleep and on the road by 7am.
I became better friends with our core group of roadies than I did with the arrogant bunch of band members.
These guys were down to earth and fun to be with. The band had a giant stick up their prima donna asses.
It was a night to remember.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS